June 22, 2010


Well,'In the Valley stories' has begun its swift inexorable climb to the top of Amazon's Best Seller list. Sold 1 today for a grand total of 2 - my cut is $1.40. Also, someone has posted that they will buy a copy 'soon' so I count that as 1/2 a sale.
What happened was J.A. Konrath/Jack Kilbourn put a new book up, and offered to buy a copy of their book from every author on Kindle boards who bought a copy of his book.
Well I splurged, spent $4.99 to buy a copy - it's a Horror/ Thriller selling for $2.99 to US customers.
He bought In the Valley stories, along with a whole lot of other books, and achieved his purpose, got into the Amazon top 100 sellers. Momentum pays off it looks like - he must have spent a fair bit, but will recoup that easily in the added sales he gets from the exposure.
A marketing lesson indeed.
Then, too, the person who bought the very first copy, Ann, will have her book up soon, and I shall probably buy a copy - keep the circle going.

June 9, 2010

Another Ad experiment

My daughter, Penny, has put out a Facebook ad, this time targeted at UK, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, people who read and like adventure books. This one was based on a pay per click model, instead of simple pay per impression. Cost of $10.00

Results are 16 clicks from 20,000 exposures, so a much better ratio there; I think she just sent them to smashwords site, as she said the actual book address was too long. During the time it ran, 1 book was downloaded, as far as I can tell.
Total downloads from smashwords now 15, all free with use of the coupon(GR96T)which is good until Sunday 13th.
I have posted on several threads on Kindle Boards,got included in the free books thread run by knbr - this may have drawn several of the downloads on the 6th &7th, and of course on Facebook, Kindle, Authonomy, Slushpilereader and Authors on Show. Also signed up for a first page critique at http://yourfirstpage.blogspot.com/ and posted the first chapter of Eland Dances on http://nightreading.ning.com/ for critique/comments.

June 6, 2010

Slowly, slowly, catches?

So far- Sunday night, 10 downloads from smashwords and 1 sale on Amazon. Have to believe in the snowball principle, things start slow and build momentum; still priced at $3.99 for Canadians & $1.99 for Americans, $ 2.34 for Irish, and so on.

That may be important, I don't know. There are so many free e-books available, perhaps I should join that list and use the short stories just to attract interest. My one solitary customer e-mailed me to say she wanted to know about anything else I write about Africa, so I have 1 sure sale for Eland Dances when it is published.

I've spent a lot of time online, reading kindle Boards, Twitting, Facebook, other writing blogs, and of course Authonomy. Done almost zero actual writing, which should be - finishing Stone Song, getting on with extending In the Valley to full book length, and going over Eland again.

There are a couple of factual glitches there - kapenta come from Lake Tanganyika, not Lake Malawi(I actually knew that)& rock art north of the Zambezi features elephants instead of eland, with the area between the Limpopo and Zambezi having both. So elephant are the Northern Power animals-close to what I have written at least.

I also really need to write Big Sid into a role in Rhodesia, perhaps integrate him into the Salisbury trip and later in the finale or penultimate chapter. Make that last scene more dramatic, more touch & go, with a couple of twists in who has the upper hand --

June 1, 2010

Amazon pricing

When I put In the Valley stories up on Amazon for sale as a Kindle e-book, I priced it at $1.99 US. However when I searched for it on Amazon.com it came up with a price of $3.99; I contacted them to ask about this large price jump, and this morning received this reply

Hello Philip,

Your Kindle book is listed at a price of $1.99. Please note, all items available in the Kindle store are listed in U.S. dollars (USD), and the availability and pricing of titles from the Kindle Store varies by your home country or region.

If you're browsing in the Kindle store from a location outside of the US, you may see a price higher than what you listed on the DTP web site.

There are a number of reasons why prices for Kindle titles may vary from region to region, including taxes and other operating costs. We understand your concern about prices, and we share that concern -- we will continue our efforts to reduce costs and offer the best possible prices to customers in every region. We hope you will continue to use our platform for sales in the US and internationally. Also, note that the royalties will be based on the list price you provide on your DTP dashboard.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further question, please feel free to send an e-mail to dtp-support@amazon.com.

Thank you for using Amazon DTP.

Did I answer your question?

The question is answered, but I can't believe that with the Canadian Dollar almost equal to the US Dollar, a doubling in price can be legitimately explained as they have. Probably the answer is that they see an opportunity to make money on a very flimsy excuse - notice that 'royalties will be based on the list price you provide on your DTP dashboard.'
In other words, they will pay me 35% of $1.99, and keep the remaining $3.29 for themselves. Wow!

Amazon author page

I have an author page on Amazon.com now, and have added an rss feed from this blog, so in fact this post should show up there soon.
No sales yet, and I don't expect many either, but so far this has been very useful in learning how things work there, and in going through all the hoops involved.
If I decide to put Eland Dances on Amazon then I will have already laid the groundwork, and will know the best way to do things.
I am considering editing Heavy and Light Tales, perhaps by removing the worst stories in it, adding some newer ones and looking at the ones worth keeping with a severe editorial eye. Then perhaps putting it out as a 2nd edition e-book only for Kindle & perhaps smashwords.