Please welcome Terry Odell for another interesting and informative guest piece.
I started writing a new book last week. I'd been between projects with other writing-related activities taking up my time. What I didn't realize until I immersed myself in Chapter 1 was that I need to write. It's a stress-release for me. If you're a writer, you write because writing is like breathing. You simply have to do it.
But will it make you rich? If you're looking at the success stories of the few rich and famous authors, you're going to feel like a failure from Day One. There are no overnight success stories. No shortcuts. A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. And nowadays, when the odds of a new author breaking into the Big Six are getting slimmer and slimmer, and the mid-list authors are going the way of the dodo, I decided to investigate alternate publishing methods.
Yes, I'd heard Joe Konrath preach that e-books were the get-rich-quick scheme of publishing. Two of my publishers focused on e-books, so I was a very early reader of the format. When my publisher remaindered my first Blackthorne, Inc. book, I took it the indie e-book route. I priced it at 99 cents and waited for the money roll in. Only it didn't. Even though I had 5 other books published via more traditional, albeit small presses, I had no track record in the indie market.
But I kept going, adding more books to my list as rights reverted to me. Slowly, I saw royalty checks that were bigger than the ones I'd been getting from my publishers. Mind you, those were so small that "bigger" didn't mean much. I remember rejoicing in my first 3 digit (in front of the decimal point) check.
I watched countless people tout their successes with the Amazon Select program. However, by now, I was selling books at other venues as well as Amazon. I didn't want to risk pulling them and locking them into Amazon only for 90 days. The perk of getting to price books as free didn't make enough sense to me. Most of the stories I'd heard raved about how many copies they gave away, and how high their books moved in the free column at Amazon. But I didn't hear nearly as many stories about how much money they made when they had to move to the for sale side of the business.
My theory, for whatever it's worth, was to make my books available to as many readers as possible, regardless of what kind of an e-reader they had. The fact that I have a NOOK, not a Kindle, played into that decision. Even though the majority of my sales came from Amazon, I wasn't ready to dismiss my other readers.
I took out the occasional ad, played with Facebook and Twitter, but to be honest, those are all crap shoots. Most people don't want to see promotions in the Social Media networks.
Mostly, I kept writing books. I have 8 e-books available now. I bypassed the publisher for my last 3 releases. I've watched my Amazon sales climb each month, so I'm now selling about 80+ books a day there. I don't play with pricing. I don't move books from one venue to another. I find the best promotion is simply keeping one's name visible, and that's a slow process. Just remember: Marathon, not Sprint.
But I broke my own rule last month for a special promotion offered by Barnes &Noble. It was only a 30 day commitment, and only a one-shot deal, unlike Amazon's program. I decided to gamble with my newest release, Saving Scott.
For me, it was a major success. I now have many new readers from Barnes & Noble. I'm selling hundreds of books a day there, where I used to be thrilled with ten. But as soon as my 30 days are up, I'm going to be adding Saving Scott to all the other e-stores. For me, it's about having lots of baskets, with as many eggs as possible in each one.
If you're interested in my experiences with the NOOK First program you can find them on my own blog in the following posts.
Nook First or Amazon Select: Nook First, Week 1: Nook First, Week 2:
Terry Odell is the author of numerous romantic suspense novels, as well as contemporary romance short stories. Her newest indie release, Saving Scott, is part of the Nook First promotion. It will be exclusive at Barnes & Noble for 30 days, but will be available at all other e-book stores the latter part of April. Her next traditional release is Rooted in Danger, which is book 3 in her Blackthorne, Inc. series. It's available for pre-order. Buy links are HERE. To see all her books, visit her Web site. You can also find her at her blog, Terry's Place, as well as follow her on Twitter, or visit her Facebook page.
Posted by Maryann Miller who agrees that slow and steady wins the race. Wait, isn't that a cliche?