Did it have to take a sale to boost my book selling?
You might remember that I put my only half-baked romance novel, Jonathan’s Hope, on sale last month, a sale which ends today btw, in case you haven’t checked it out yet, and I am able to report that thanks to this sale, I’ve sold more books than ever before in a given period.
This makes you wonder how this is possible, right? And it begs the question of whether or not this is a good thing, or not. In my case, the jury is still out. Last week I wrote about my new attempts at marketing, and compared to a PR stint or even a blog tour, a sale is cheap. It comes at no real cost apart form the minutes it takes to update the pricing online. This is of course unless you also include the cost of advertising the sale, which I did not.
However, what it does is diminish your income per sold book, in my case about three bucks (given that Amazon takes most of the cut anyway…) Now, I could cry about this money lost, but we all know, that all those books had not been sold had it not been for the fact that the price was significantly lowered.
So, lots of book sales times 99c or very few book sales times four ninety nine? I don’t know which is better to be honest… At this stage, I’m inclined to say the former, because I wasn’t making any money as it were, and this way, at least I can get my book out. I also got two great reviews on GoodReads and Amazon out of it, which I presume isn’t so bad, as reviews are important if you want to take your book to services like Bookbub or elsewhere.
This is a really difficult question, and I’m on the fence. Part of me is sad that my art isn’t valued unless I literally give it away, part of me wonders what good my work does if no one reads it? After all, I didn’t become an author NOT to be read, and since I’m not making any money and no one is reading as it is, isn’t it a step in the right direction to at least be read?
I’m sure you can understand this dilemma, and I’m far from the only one who is torn by it. Indie book marketing is a topic that is discussed, debated and decried by many of us, with just two recent posts by author friends here and here. It is a jungle out there for sure, and the only ones always making money, no matter what, is Amazon. It is pretty hilarious slash ironic that even they are not showing bottom line profits.
And it’s not that I don’t understand readers. One of my readers who jumped at the opportunity of the sale mentioned how poor they are and that they couldn’t afford many 5 dollar books, but at 99c, they could buy five of them… I guess that is also a way to view it. I can’t buy many RollsRoyces either, but for the price of a Rolls I can buy many Kias… Comparison sucks, but do we go to the mall and say “pretty please, can you sell me these jeans for 15 dollars, because I can’t afford the price tag of 79?” Is that what it’s come to? In literature, it has, and I wonder how this is going to affect the industry as a whole. Just the other day, music artists under the leadership of Jay Z started their own streaming service, Tidal, to counter the effect of low cost supplier Spotify, who has long been criticized by artists (not listeners you might note!) for the low royalty payments.
Are we going to see something similar happening in the book industry in coming years? You tell me… I’d love to hear how you see this all pan out… But also, how do you, as avid book readers and lovers of books, think that authors should make a living?
As always, I’d be happy if you shared this with others who might enjoy or profit from reading it.
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I hope you’ve had a great Easter weekend with lots of eggs and chocolate and I wish you a great week!
Hans M Hirschi