Goals and Book Pricing

It’s with much grinning and happy dancing (do I need to link the Snoopy Dance vid again?  Nah….) that I report that A Curve of Claw has “sold” over 6,000 between both the Amazon and Smashwords sites!  Amazon has well over doubled the downloads on Smashwords, which is why I’m so very glad that I published on both.  Of course I put “sold” in quotes because Curve was only listed at 99 cents on Amazon for about a week and I think I sold maybe 7 during that week.  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, a very tidy $2.45.  But that first 99 cent sale felt like a million dollars!

A Flash of Fang has sold nearly 1,000 on Amazon since it went free this past week.  I knew as a follow-up novella that it wouldn’t go as fast as the first one, but it’s nice to see about one hundred downloads a day and it’s very, very cool to get emails from people who’ve read one or both books, as well as comments on the blog and nice reviews.  I like to do reviews on Amazon, especially if the book is by an indie author and I want to support them, but lately I haven’t really read anything that touched me enough to make me want to say anything.  I did read a nice short on smashwords by a new email pal, and when the series gets up on Amazon, I’ll do a few reviews for her because I did like them.

Which brings me back around to my topic, which is book pricing.  There’s a discussion for self-published authors I’ve been following lately, about whether low pricing a book is really better at gaining an audience than traditional pricing (such as in the $4.99-6.99 range like you might pay at a bookstore).  I think it’s a sword that cuts both ways, frankly.  I won’t touch a new author if they don’t have something inexpensive I can read first.  The only exceptions to that rule have been authors that trusted friends have recommended, but I’ve been burned on expensive books.  Nothing rankles me more than thinking I’m getting a full length novel (based on the kb number) and finding it’s a novella (or worse an extremely short story) and full of ads for other books.  So when I’m choosing a book to buy, I am always pleased when they list somewhere in the description for word count if it is a novella, or I read the comments and look to see how big the file is.  For me, a novella should be around 20,000 words.  I shot for that with both Curve and Fang. I know that if I was going to spend $1 on a book, I’d be expecting a handful of chapters and about 20k words give or take and I wanted to be fair to those that did buy the book instead of getting it for free.

I guess I’d like to think that the people who paid for my novellas don’t regret the dollar they spent, and that when TWM 1 comes out, at 70k words for just 99 cents, that those that read it feel they’re getting a real bargain.  I’m an author that is just so happy to be sharing my writing with people and making contacts with authors and readers and industry people, that the money is secondary but very, VERY nice.  Like an extra layer of ganache on top of a fantastic cake, or an equally naughty image if you can picture one – maybe frosting on man?  🙂

I’ve set an interesting goal for myself to pick one of the characters from the wiccan novella series and write one thousand words in it every day.  When I was in college (Go Buckeyes!), I was in a poetry writing class – my major was English, I wanted to be a teacher but life got in the way as it sometimes does – and the teacher gave me some of the best writing advice I’d ever received.  One of the things I remember most, is her saying that an author should sit down every day and write for an hour.  At the time (and I’m dating myself here) we used pencils and tablets, because no one was really using laptops then – oh it was the mid-90s after all – and she suggested one should just sit down and write and not use the eraser, not read over what you’d written until the hour was up.  Some of my best poetry, my best writing in general, came from those one-hour sessions sitting in a coffee house dive on campus and just writing and writing and writing.  I also dated two men I met there.  Not that they lasted at all, but they were fun at the time.  Who doesn’t like to have a story in their romantic past about looking up from a cup of coffee and meeting someone’s eyes?

My original milestone with Curve was to sell 1,000 books.  When I hit that many, my next goal became 5,000.  I’d like to hit 5,000 sales on Amazon of Curve before the end of January and I’m very hopeful it will happen.  It’s encouraging to know it’s still selling as well as it is, and that Fang is quickly closing the gap.

I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve met in the “ether” and the encouraging notes.  As I come into editing my novel for the end of this month, I’m looking forward to balancing editing and writing two very different books along with getting the second wolf novel ready for review in February.  It’ll be a tough schedule, but it will be nice to have goals to shoot for.

If you’re stopping by for the first time or back again for another round of my ultra witty banter (ha ha), join the mailing list or drop me an email at rebutlerauthor AT gmail . com (just take out the spaces and replace at with @), or send me a comment on the form above.  Cheers and Happy Reading!  -R

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