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Thread: Share Your Successes!

  1. #701
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    You're sounding a bit spammy there, Nicholas. Just so you know.

    If you want to promote your imprints this isn't the place.

  2. #702
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Well, made some sales after the long freebie trial period and picked up a glowing five-star review. Love the comment about surpassing King in writing the most disgusting, vile creature/human as an antag, evah! That's exactly what I was going for.

    My content writing is picking up with several direct client orders. Couldn't be happier to fulfill them.

    tri

  3. #703
    figuring it all out kingsley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    You're sounding a bit spammy there, Nicholas. Just so you know.

    If you want to promote your imprints this isn't the place.
    Oh, sorry, not my intention. Just trying to share info about our first success as a fledgling publisher. I edited the post; please tell me if that style is more appropriate?
    Nicholas K Tulach
    Hammer & Birch / SkySpark Books
    Always willing to exchange free copies of any of our books for honest reviews

  4. #704
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Nicholas, a word of advice: at AW we prefer our members to own their words. Editing your posts doesn't really help: it's best if you follow the rules in the first place.

    Why don't you read our Newbie Guide, and spend some time watching some of the ongoing conversations here before you post again? I bet you'd find it useful.

  5. #705

  6. #706
    Writing HF Again, Thank God EngineerTiger's Avatar
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    Thanks, Nick. I hope this one measures up and you enjoy it as you enjoyed the others. Still dickering with doctors and work. Every time I get one or the other nailed down, something else slips. I will return (and hopefully very soon).
    Visit my WEB SITE for information about my series, BLACK KNIGHTS OF THE HUDSON

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  7. #707
    practical experience, FTW Nick Russell's Avatar
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    Yesterday I announced on Facebook that the printed version of Crazy Days in Big Lake was available, and I also announced it in my blog today. As of right now 13 copies have been purchased. Never stop communicating with your readers.

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  9. #709
    E-pubbed author mairi's Avatar
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    Hi! Just wanted to share some good news. Been an AWer for years and I owe a lot to this forum.

    Last month my YA (fantasy) romance was re-released by an e-publisher and made it to Amazon's Top 1000 in its first few weeks and continue today to be Top 100 in its category.

    Last Dec 5. I released 3 other new ebooks - and what stunned me was that of the four I have out, the only one that did not receive professional editing (miscommunication problem, my fault entirely) turned out to be the most successful. It shot up to Amazon's Top 300 (Kindle's Paid store) in its first weekend. It remains Top 30 in its category (erotica, hehe) but in its first weekend it grabbed the #17th spot for erotica.

    So there. Was previously agented. Decided to give e-publishing another try, but this time with someone whose marketing skills I absolutely trust. And so far we're doing good.

    Here are a few funny things I thought other writers may find interesting / inspiring.
    ---
    My publisher is also from the Philippines but she's really, really good at marketing. The first time Evren was pubbed in Amazon, it only made it as far as 300,000+ of Amazon's bestselling ranking.

    Of the four novels I have out, the two that's doing really well are those which did not receive ANY agent interest. Weird / funny, right? However, my favorite among the 4 is one of those that did receive agent interest so my publisher and I are working hard to promote it right now.

    My erotica did not start out as such. I thought I was just writing a really sexy paranormal romance. Apparently, I wasn't. =D I am still somewhat uncomfortable when people recognize me as an erotica writer, primarily because I come from a devoutly Catholic background.

    Mmm...that's all for now. I'm hoping my news can be of help to other writers considering e-publishing / self-publishing.

  10. #710
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Congrats and well wishes Nick and Mairi! Keep up the good work.

  11. #711
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Gemma James's Avatar
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    Hello, everyone,

    Thought I'd share what I consider to be a success. I self-published a dark erotica novelette earlier this month, and a few sales trickled in for the first week. Got lucky with a couple of good reviews, and a few others said they'd review in January, so I'm looking forward to that as well. So to get to the point here, sales were non-existent for the past week, so I decided to enroll in select and experiment with a two day free promotion. Much to my shock, I gave away over 1800 copies, and by the time the book was set back to paid status last night, I was #1 in erotica free books and #168 in free overall. I never expected to go that high in free books. So this morning I woke up and had another small surprise: I'd sold 15 copies. I've since sold another 3, and my ranking is around the 10,000 range overall.

    Not sure if this is pretty standard after a free promotional run or not, but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I've read a lot of stories about free days (good and bad), so I really didn't know what to expect, but I'm pretty happy with the results.

  12. #712
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Two days was wise, and the fact that it's a popular genre--erotica, gave it another boost. You've done very well for a first timer.

    Congrats and keep it up.

    tri

  13. #713
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemma James View Post
    Hello, everyone,

    ....I was #1 in erotica free books and #168 in free overall. I never expected to go that high in free books. So this morning I woke up and had another small surprise: I'd sold 15 copies. I've since sold another 3, and my ranking is around the 10,000 range overall.

    Not sure if this is pretty standard after a free promotional run or not, but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I've read a lot of stories about free days (good and bad), so I really didn't know what to expect, but I'm pretty happy with the results.
    Well done, that is brilliant!

  14. #714
    practical experience, FTW pattyjansen's Avatar
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    I love the way my fantasy trilogy is selling at Kobo and B&N. Nothing huge, but steady sales, without me having done any advertsing. The books have never been free and I've never done any huge campaigns for them, much less tried to solicit reviews or anything of that sort.
    WOTF winner, Analog author, author of Ambassador (Ticonderoga Publications, 2013) and a list of self and/or re-published novels and novellas on the main retailer sites. Story doctor service and ebook cover design on my website http://pattyjansen.com/

    Blog: Must Use Bigger Elephants: http://pattyjansen.wordpress.com/

  15. #715
    practical experience, FTW Mark Moore's Avatar
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    I just decided to check my KDP sales for, like, only the second time since I got my new computer on December 6. I wasn't expecting anything at all.

    Imagine my surprise when I found out that I've had five sales! I sold one copy each of Becoming a Hero: The Complete Collection, Four-Series Sampler #1 (which includes the first story in four different series that I've written, including Becoming a Hero #1), and Becoming a Hero #8, #9, and #10 (oddly enough). No idea if any of those sales are related or not.

    UPDATE: Aaand a sale of "Becoming a Hero: The Complete Collection" on Smashwords.
    Last edited by Mark Moore; 12-26-2012 at 06:50 AM. Reason: added Smashwords sale
    Complete:

    Becoming a Hero (10 stories)
    Destined (3 stories)
    Vampire Killer (4 stories)
    Blackjack Jill (3 stories)

    Revelatio Dearum (1 story)

    WIP:

    Our Lady of the Sea and the Moon (11906/100000)
    Vampire Killer #05 (552/2100)
    The Age of Ascension (2326)
    Vanity City #01 (2939/20000)
    I Can Kill You With My Brain (515)
    Blackjack Jill #04 (2583/3000)
    Destined #04 (editing)

    Blog Amazon YouTube

  16. #716
    keyboard monkey Garpy's Avatar
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    I'll post my lack of success.

    I'm author of a number of adult thrillers and a teen series called TimeRiders, which is doing pretty well in the UK (250,000) and sold in 30 territories.

    So, I launched my first self-pubbed book ELLIE QUIN, first in a series, on Xmas day. This was marketed on the usual social media, and leveraging my TimeRiders fan base too for 3 months leading up to release.

    It was launched on xmas day for free, and four the next four days (so we've still got 4 more days of free-ness)

    My ranking in 'Free' peeked at 341. That's it. It's now falling. Don't know what more I could have done. I was hoping, nay...expecting it to make an appearance in the top 100, but didnt even get close.

    Point is, I suspect the successes and failures are down to random noise and not any formula/technique. On paper it should have been a dead cert that ELLIE QUIN made the top 100. I mean - large readership, recognised name author etc etc. I know it's early days yet, and who knows it may experience a second wind...but ever the pessimist, I doubt it.

    I'm not sure if this is an encouraging message or a discouraging one. On one hand it means a 'pro' author has no more chance of ebook success as an as yet unpublished one. On the other hand, maybe it indicates that you can waste a lot of time doing all the right things (social media, blog tours) and in the end it all boils down to chance.

    If you're interested in checking the current rating - Ellie Quin Amazon link

    :-/
    Last edited by Garpy; 12-26-2012 at 03:45 PM. Reason: typos
    TimeRiders out now! Check out the trailer here and the website here

    OCTOBER SKIES
    out in hardback July 2008. "Last of the Mohicans meets Silence of the Lambs". Trailer

    LAST LIGHT out in paperback May 2008, backed by poster campaign on the London Underground
    YouTube trailer: Right Here and Amazon Link





  17. #717
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garpy View Post


    It was launched on xmas day for free, and four the next four days (so we've still got 4 more days of free-ness)

    My ranking in 'Free' peeked at 341. That's it. It's now falling. Don't know what more I could have done. I was hoping, nay...expecting it to make an appearance in the top 100, but didnt even get close.
    You're only a day into its free promotion, don't even worry about it!
    Thinking from my own point of view, I am not sure if xmas day is the best selling day of the year, kids and parents' attention taken with presents, almost everyone one elses' taken with Christmas dinner.

    Give it a few days before you beat yourself up.

  18. #718
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Agreed, you've got a ways to go on this. I'm having somewhat of the same problem.

    On the other hand, my The Wolfen Strain just came out in paperback after a snafu at the printer that lasted for two months.

    Boy, I just don't know about print sales at this point. Trade paperback sales are down everywhere, except for the A-list titles. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if most small press publishers start pulling their print options from their contracts in the following years. No one is springing for a $15 print book when the e-version can be had for dollars.

    I'll remain optimistic and cherish the "Likes."

  19. #719
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    Boy, I just don't know about print sales at this point. Trade paperback sales are down everywhere, except for the A-list titles.
    This doesn't match what I'm seeing, Tri. Paperback sales seem to be doing fine for many of the writers, editors and publishers I chat to regularly; their e-editions are selling better too, which is providing them with a steady, if gradual, growth in their sales. This is good.

    It wouldn't surprise me a bit if most small press publishers start pulling their print options from their contracts in the following years.
    Why would publishers stop publishing print editions when they're still making money on them?

    No one is springing for a $15 print book when the e-version can be had for dollars.
    You're wrong that "no one" is buying print editions. I'm still buying print editions, and so are plenty of people I know.

    Tri, I wonder how wide the sample is that you're relying on to draw these conclusions. They are true for some areas of publishing, but they really don't match what I'm seeing going on in publishing as a whole. Might the difference in where we are be the cause of this disparity, do you think? Might it be that you speak mostly to writers who are self published, or who are published through specific niche presses, or micropresses? Or do you think there's something else going on that I've not considered?

  20. #720
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    OH, I think it's primarily small and niche press that I'm looking at. I'm clicking on dozens of AW writers, some that are with the NY biggies, and I'm just seeing sparse print sales. Maybe I'm not being fair, 'cause I'm comparing rank for different production versions. I'm not saying they're not moving print titles completely, but I've seen a steady decrease in print titles for the past two years. Now, if they're using POD, which most of them are, reviewers are reluctant to give them any ink. But POD negates large print runs, so yes, they can pop a sale off every now and then.

    My own print sales have been a disaster, but my circumstances are not normal or average. Here's one title that I've been following, just as an example. It's a six-book fantasy series. I know the author and the publisher intimately:

    Release date: August 2012

    E-book rank 118,000--price 9.39 (Two titles of the series are now up and it did extremely well in the e-book format--hitting and staying in three top 100 spots for a couple months).

    Print Version (same release date) rank is 1,335,388, priced at 14.44. (I don't think one Amazon copy has been sold. I could be wrong).

    Now, admittedly, I'm not taking into consideration all the other retail outlets--Bookstrand, Kobo, B&N, Fictionwise and others etc. so maybe my opinion is skewed. Amazon can't be used as the only benchmark.

    Genre and author brand has to be a consideration too. For example, I don't know if romance and erotica print titles are steady or up.

    What do you think?

    I just had a thriller come out in paperback today, following the e-book version which came out June 15 2012. It's priced at 15.95. I'm going to be brutally honest and say that this title will not sell one print addition, not in the next days, weeks or months, but ever. Even with the most massive promo campaign, and I'm famous for those. I don't have any idea on how to reach a print-coveting audience. And I've done everything humanly possible--massive pushes, announcements, author interviews, book reviews, and so on. But haven't bought any ad space anywhere (and could this be the magic bullet?)

    OH, are your samples/discussions coming from the larger trade publishers who have some good distribution in place? And do you see a specific genre that is doing better in print or equally solid with the e-book version? I think bookstore placement would make all the difference in the world in regard to moving print titles. I'll bet Behler does ok, as well as some of the better small presses like Snowbooks and Midnight Ink?

  21. #721
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    OH, I think it's primarily small and niche press that I'm looking at. I'm clicking on dozens of AW writers, some that are with the NY biggies, and I'm just seeing sparse print sales. Maybe I'm not being fair, 'cause I'm comparing rank for different production versions. I'm not saying they're not moving print titles completely, but I've seen a steady decrease in print titles for the past two years. Now, if they're using POD, which most of them are, reviewers are reluctant to give them any ink. But POD negates large print runs, so yes, they can pop a sale off every now and then.
    Ah.

    This is more complicated than it appears, for all sorts of reasons.

    You can't get an accurate idea of sales levels if you're using Amazon sales ranks to formulate your hypotheses. Sales ranks only indicate how various books are performing against one another: they don't tell you how many units are being paid for by eager readers. If you have a month where overall book sales halve, sales ranks won't tell you that: they'll only tell you which of the books which have sold are the most popular.

    Further, if you're talking about publishers which only use POD--which is probable, because you say that "most of them are"--then you're not talking about the same sorts of publishers that I am.

    Publishers which rely on POD can't afford to use decent distribution channels, and so they're doomed to low sales and those sales are dwindling, too. This isn't because print sales are declining overall: it's because the POD model can't support good levels of sales, and following a book's initial push its sales are bound to fall; and that initial push is going to be lacking in energy, too, as a publisher which can't afford to invest in a decent print run won't be able to afford a decent marketing effort or a proper publicist either. It's impossible for them to maintain sales in the way a better-funded publisher could, and so their books very rarely take off regardless of the quality of those books.

    Here's one title that I've been following, just as an example. <snipped> E-book rank 118,000--price 9.39 (Two titles of the series are now up and it did extremely well in the e-book format--hitting and staying in three top 100 spots for a couple months).

    Print Version (same release date) rank is 1,335,388, priced at 14.44. (I don't think one Amazon copy has been sold. I could be wrong).
    As I've said before, rankings tell you little or nothing. For that book to have an Amazon ranking it must have sold at least one copy: but that's about all you can safely surmise here.

    Now, admittedly, I'm not taking into consideration all the other retail outlets--Bookstrand, Kobo, B&N, Fictionwise and others etc. so maybe my opinion is skewed. Amazon can't be used as the only benchmark.
    Amazon rankings aren't a benchmark, they're a comparison. And yes, all those other retail outlets have to be considered.

    What do you think?
    I think you're looking at Amazon rankings and coming up with several very unsafe conclusions; and that you're assuming that because something is true for a tiny area of publishing that it's also true for the majority of trade publishing which relies on completely different ways to print, distribute, market and promote books, so it obviously doesn't apply.


    I just had a thriller come out in paperback today, following the e-book version which came out June 15 2012. It's priced at 15.95. I'm going to be brutally honest and say that this title will not sell one print addition, not in the next days, weeks or months, but ever.
    *edition*

    Even with the most massive promo campaign, and I'm famous for those. I don't have any idea on how to reach a print-coveting audience. And I've done everything humanly possible--massive pushes, announcements, author interviews, book reviews, and so on. But haven't bought any ad space anywhere (and could this be the magic bullet?)
    No.

    The magic bullet here is to get published by a publisher with proper editing, distribution, marketing and promotion. Buying ad space is something trade publishers do to let retail outlets know that the book they got interested in a few months back will soon be released, and that it's going to be supported by a decent marketing campaign. It's not something that writers do in the hope of selling their own books.

    If you want to reach those "print-coveting" readers, you need to get your book in front of them. That means it needs to be positioned on bookshop shelves and reviewed in the publications they read, and so on. You can't do this for yourself apart from on a local level.

    OH, are your samples/discussions coming from the larger trade publishers who have some good distribution in place?
    I don't know what samples you're talking about: but the discussions I've had involve trade publishers from vast to tiny. Most have a proper distribution contract. Those which don't aren't making sales. That's why I always advise writers interested in trade publishing to only submit to publishers which use offset printing, and which have a real distribution deal: if a publisher doesn't have those two things in place, then it can't sell many copies of your book for you and you might do better self publishing.

    I think bookstore placement would make all the difference in the world in regard to moving print titles. I'll bet Behler does ok, as well as some of the better small presses like Snowbooks and Midnight Ink?
    Bookshop placement is still very important if you want to sell big numbers. While the majority of print sales are now made online, nearly half of those sales are only made after the books have first been selected in physical bookshops. If your publisher doesn't have full distribution in place, your book won't get bookshop placement, and so will miss out on all those sales.

    I'm not going to comment on specific publishers--that's what BR&BC is for--but without full distribution, decent funding, and offset runs, most publishers are going to struggle to sell more than a handful of copies of each title they publish.

  22. #722
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsley View Post
    Oh, sorry, not my intention. Just trying to share info about our first success as a fledgling publisher. I edited the post; please tell me if that style is more appropriate?
    I think you are fine. Just my opinion. Good luck.
    ---------------------

    Alex Scarrow, yes, I've heard of your books. Haven't gotten to reading them yet. We had looked at grabbing one for a family trip to read as we drove along, but still had other series, such as The Leviathan that we were finishing first.

    In terms of overall success, I can't yet predict who or what titles will sell and which won't.

    My title, The Day I Met Dr. Seuss, did relatively well for the first 2 or 3 weeks. I was satisfied that some folks were purchasing it and it was getting good reviews and then it seemed to really drop off where the sales were one or two per week. But it's back up in December -- currently at 59 sales for the month. My next title is also a children's book, but quite a different category. I don't feel that I've figured out what to expect from Kindle yet, but.... I'm glad for the success I am seeing, even if I can't pay the mortgage with it yet, or even the electric bill. Soon....

  23. #723
    practical experience, FTW Mark Moore's Avatar
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    I just noticed that, sometime last week, "21", the first story in my "Blackjack Jill" series, sold its first copy on Amazon.

    Okay, the story is collected in a sampler package, which had already sold a copy, so I guess this makes two copies sold.
    Complete:

    Becoming a Hero (10 stories)
    Destined (3 stories)
    Vampire Killer (4 stories)
    Blackjack Jill (3 stories)

    Revelatio Dearum (1 story)

    WIP:

    Our Lady of the Sea and the Moon (11906/100000)
    Vampire Killer #05 (552/2100)
    The Age of Ascension (2326)
    Vanity City #01 (2939/20000)
    I Can Kill You With My Brain (515)
    Blackjack Jill #04 (2583/3000)
    Destined #04 (editing)

    Blog Amazon YouTube

  24. #724
    Fantasy Smut? Yes please! Anjasa's Avatar
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    We got our first Smashwords review! Oddly enough it's a on the book I expected to be least read and the one I anticipated to get a lot of vitriol. Outcast is a very dark fantasy erotica, so I'm very pleased with the 3.5/5!



  25. #725
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I'll have to eat my fedora. I did just sell a print copy on a small press book. I'm reeling.

    tri

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