Sunday, January 22, 2017

The New Year - 2017

I. C. Talbot - Author

Several years ago, this was my mother's blog. She posted a few things and gathered a few readers. It was kinda cute.

Then she passed and I created a publishing company from her blog "Icy Road Publishing" and polished up a few more of her short stories and published them.

A couple years later, I changed e-book vendors from Smashwords to Draft2Digital and started a newsletter "Bookstop Central" which I hoped to use to market her work and mine. When that didn't work out, I moved her stuff over to Kindle Unlimited and deleted all of it from other markets.

Success was limited, because I was busy taking care of my stepfather, my husband, her estate, Dad's property and my farm. It was a grueling run of four years that left me completely wrung out.

So it's 2017 and I'm finding that I can breath again.

I have to say this - Smashwords was a pioneer e-book vendor, they opened doors for a whole lot of authors. Unfortunately, some of those doors have closed, or have gatekeepers who frown upon certain types of e-books.

Not for me to judge how others choose to make a living. But 'Plain Vanilla' authors like myself and my mother can't compete in a market of red hot e-books. So we had to go elsewhere.

Draft2Digital has proven to be a better vendor for little-old-us because e-books coming from them aren't automatically slapped with ratings restrictions. My e-book Impressive Bravado has risen on the iTunes site as a free e-book until it gets more than a download a day and more than 500 copies went out last year. that's pretty impressive for a small publisher.

Also found out that the Chinese have taken over the URL for this page, K. A. Jordan and a couple variations. Phooey. It would cost several grand to rebuild what we had back in 2012 when I started focusing on the publishing company.

So we'll start over with this blog and let them keep what they've taken. We need to update every single e-book to drop the old ULR, but more people hit those pages on Facebook than have ever looked at the URLs.

As things develop, we will update this blog and also the Facebook page. So please like Icy Road Publishing on Facebook.

And welcome to the New Year.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Struggling To Find A Market



It is never easy to decide upon a marketing strategy. 

A year ago I discovered that all e-books published via Smashwords were being treated differently by e-book vendors. 

An identical short story would have higher ratings if it came out from Draft 2 Digital. The difference would be between 10k and 20k points, depending on the e-book vendor. 

I attributed it to the fact that most of Smashwords content was x-rated 'romance' and most vendors didn't want those stories to be all a person could see when they browsed for other content. (Yes, they tend to dominate the lists like a skinny b!tch in a leather cat-suit.)

So I published my mother's short stories on Draft 2 Digital and removed them from any cross-over sites.  

At this time, Kindle Direct made some steep changes in their payment policy and I removed any short stories that remained in Kindle Unlimited. 

Today, a year later, after Smashwords added some sites and a few sites either closed to changed their allowed content I found that there were only 6 'sales' across all of Smashwords vendor sites. 

The thing is that there were only about 6 'sales' of I. C. Talbot short stories anywhere, and two of those were sales of the collection, for full price. The year before, while they were in Kindle Unlimited there were more sales. 

I'm not doing a 'leap before you look' move. I'm going to pull all of the I. C. Talbot short stories from Draft 2 Digital and move them back to Kindle Unlimited. 

So this month will be the 'take down' month. During this time I will update the backmatter and covers. Then each book will go to it's new home. Even at the paltry .001 per page, the odds of finding these books in Kindle Shorts is much better than scattered over a dozen vendors. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Touching Base

It's been months since I was last able to write something for this blog.

The sad fact is that I've been so entangled in Irene's Estate that I haven't been able to do anything with the publishing company. Family comes before business.

Roy (Irene's husband) passed away in December. He passed away in New Mexico with his children and grandchildren at his side and was in a safe and caring nursing home.

It may be several weeks before I can get back to publishing Irene's short stories. However, when I get back to it, I'll announce it here on the Icy Road blog.

See you then.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Newsletter Update - Good News!

I thought I should share this - my sales have picked up since Book Stop Central went out.

July I sold 59 e-books and this month, already 79 e-books. Most of them on Barnes & Noble, which tripled sales from last month.

Yahoo!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Stop Central

Book Stop Central is newsletter for Self-Published or Small Press Authors. 
View this email in your browser

Got A Newsletter?

No? Join Our Newsletter Co-op

As writers, we're told that we need a mailing list with at least 1000 fans in order to be successful. Then we're told we need to send that newsletter out monthly or even (gasp!) weekly.

But most of us are woefully short of time and short of the magic number of fans for our list.

HOWEVER -- if enough authors band together and pool our precious mailing lists, we
CAN produce a monthly newsletter than can be sent to enough people to make a difference for all of us.

THEREFORE - We at Icy Road Publishing are inviting you to join our co-op list. 
HOW IT WORKS
Your book(s) will be added to our newsletter "Book Stop Central' for 3 months.

Each ad will require
  • $10 set up fee per book
  • your email addresses
  • a copy of the book's cover in JPEG format
  • the blurb for the book 
  • the vendor website links you want included in your ad
The $10 will cover the creation of the ad, adding the cover, text and links you send us. If your book is available as a paperback, provide us with that link, or the website of the books store where the book is available.

At the end of 3 months, you have the option of leaving our list, or you can sign up for 3 more months.

WHAT'S THE CATCH?
It is essential for you to add 10 emails to our list each quarter. You're welcome to keep copies of the addresses you collect. The success of this venture will depend on the number of email addresses we get. We need the addresses of readers, people who will want to buy our books. Random addresses are not going to give us the same results.

For 2015 we are limiting our author list to 25 authors and 50 books. We are asking that each author contribute a minimum 10 VALID email addresses. By valid, we mean people who have agreed to be on your author mailing list.

Feel free to forward this message to anyone who would be interested in joining us.

GOT A RELEASE COMING?
If you would like us to send out a special Newsletter, we can do that if you send us the information, cover art and links. The price will reflect the time required to produce your press release.

If you provide services to authors, or run a bookstore, you can join us as well. We'll be sending out a quarterly newsletter to authors and will advertise your services.

To join our newsletter co-op, just click the button below!

If you have any questions, then contact us at:
IcyRoadPublishing@gmail.com

Visit us at:
http://www.icyroadpublishing.com/

 

The Country Clerk

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Announcing Book Stop Central



The most difficult thing for an author is to get their books under the eyes of readers. Most of the authors I know have a few email addresses, not enough to send out a monthly newsletter, which is a 'must do' for indie authors.

Our area author association Kentuckian Authors has over 300 authors. I'm sure that many of them have licked the newsletter/address problem, but there are plenty of us who are struggling. 

The Co-op approach - one mailing list where authors pool their addresses and we all pitch in for the newsletter - looks like a possible solution.

In order for this to work, we are going to need a thousand addresses, and I hope to get 100 authors by Christmas. The first Book Stop Central newsletter will go out at the end of July.

HOW IT WORKS
Your book(s) will be added to our newsletter "Book Stop Central' for 3 months.

Each ad will require:

  • $10 set up fee per book
  • your email addresses
  • a copy of the book's cover in JPEG format
  • the blurb for the book 
  • the vendor website links you want included in your ad

The $10 will cover the creation of the ad, adding the cover, text and links you send us. If your book is available as a paperback, provide us with that link, or the website of the books store where the book is available.

At the end of 3 months, you can sign up for 3 more months. We will send out a quarterly newsletter with number of openings, additions to the mailing list and clicks the newsletter receives.

WHAT'S THE CATCH?
We really NEED you to add at least 10 emails to our list each quarter. The success of this venture will depend on the number of email addresses we get. We need the addresses of fans, people who want to buy your books. Random addresses are not going to give us the same results.

Our goal is to have 1000 addresses by the first of January.

GOT A RELEASE COMING?
If you would like us to send out a special Newsletter, we can do that if you send us the information, cover art and links. The price will reflect the time required to produce your press release.

If you provide services to authors, or run a bookstore, you can join us as well. We'll be sending out a quarterly newsletter to authors and will advertise your services.

I hope you will join us. There's a sign-up form to the left.

Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Old Post I Forgot I Wrote About Pricing

From back in 2013 or 2014.

The dreaded science of Mathematics again raises it's ugly head as Dean Wesley Smith makes the case for the $4.99 Indie Novel. Click here to read Dean's post. (No that link doesn't work any more, it just goes to Dean's blog.)

Good GAD! The Indie roof may fall in. The culture of the 'Dollar Dreadful' has become entrenched - so I doubt even DWS's persuasive voice can be heard above the din.

I think he's got a heck of a point.

Add up the cost of rent, electricity, internet and add the day-to-day cost of living - $.35 an e-book just doesn't cut it for anyone except a hobby writer.

Even for a hobby writer - cover art and a copy editor can set you back $300 to $500 per book. Sell a couple thousand books at $0.99 to break even? Maybe you don't mind. But for the low-end that's not a lot of payback at $.35 royalty.

You know something is wrong when you see a $.99 book for sale and cringe inside, and it's not even your book. 

To be comfortable in my own skin, I've got 'Let's Do Lunch' for sale at $3.99 and 'Swallow the Moon' is $3.99 therefore 'Impressive Bravado' a short story is $.99 or free.

These prices are fair in the Real World.

In the Indie Ghettos these prices are very high. At this point you have to ask yourself - to whom am I marketing this e-book?

===============================

Oh, sadly, two or even 3 years later, the Dollar Dreadful still rules in Indie Book-land. 

It's a micro-business, after all.