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

Copyright © 2015 *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|*

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 


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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two New Short Stories

I've just finished posting two new short stories by I. C. Talbot to Amazon.com



The Secret of Aleworthy Acres, by I. C. Talbot
Cara Novotny gets a letter from Amy Aleworthy, an elderly relation that takes her on a journey to the old family farm. But someting isn't quite right, Amy isn't what she seems. This short story is 5.5k words.



Shelter From The Storm, by I. C. Talbot
Hurricane Georges is coming to the little Florida farm belonging to a loney widow. Amy knows her house and barn can handle the storm. Meanwhile two cars break down on the road, a mother and her children are trapped in a ditch. Short story 3k words

I'm glad to be back on track with releasing these short stories. I've been working on the Estate since April, and gotten behind in my publishing.

If you click the link on the first line, it will take you to the Amazon US, I. C. Talbot Author Page. 

If you would like to know when new e-books are released and when they will come on sale or free, sign up for the Icy Road Publishing Newsletter. The link is on this page.

Also, I would like to announce that 'Tales From The Leeward Lounge II' is in the works, as are 8 more short stories. 

I would like to credit my friend Karlin at The Country Clerk for her help in getting the short stories ready to publish. The stories needed to be formatted and proofread because they've gone through at least 10 different word processing updates and 6 operating systems. There were strange little glitches in all the files, so she had to seek them out for me. 

If you are an author and need a hand proofreading, I recommend her highly.

Stay tuned for more releases this month!