The Mystery of Publishing Ebooks and NEW RELEASE


The Mystery of Publishing Ebooks and NEW RELEASE

The Mystery of Publishing Ebooks and NEW RELEASE

The Mystery of Publishing Ebooks and NEW RELEASE

I just re-released another novella last week on Amazon. Whoo-hoo! Deets below!

As always, new projects lead to deep, deep rabbit holes. I don’t like to reinvent the wheel, so I’ve been digging for resources on the best strategy to price my indie published ebooks, plus strategies to get them into readers hands, and even the best way to put them on sale.

I’ve scoured the internet. I’ve asked in groups. I’ve read articles, and….

I’m still confused. Confused, but not undaunted!

There just doesn’t seem to be ONE answer to these age-old question. For someone that works well with step-by-step instructions, the “shotgun” approach makes me twitchy. But, apparently, the shotgun approach is the only way to go when trying to set prices on ebooks.

To date, I’ve published five novellas in Amazon’s KDP program, and they’re also available for free in the Kindle Unlimited program. I set the price at $2.99 to receive the 70% royalty rate. However, every 90 days I can either put each ebook on sale (referred to as a Kindle Countdown deal) for up to 7 days, or offer them for free for up to 5 days, but I can’t do both within a 90 day period.

Before I became a hybrid (the term that describes a traditionally published as well as independently-published) author, my mind spun when authors talked about all the different options available for indie authors. Okay, it still spins A LOT, but not as much as it did a year ago, which leads me to lots of questions like … what’s the difference in Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited? 

Ebooks enrolled in Kindle Select (the author side) are available to download for readers who have the Kindle Unlimited program (the reader side). You’re probably familiar with the Kindle Unlimited program, but for those who might not be, Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 a month and allows a reader to download as many ebooks that are enrolled in the program as she wants for free. Oh, and, to make it even more complicated, an ebook isn’t eligible for Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program if it’s available for sale elsewhere like for Nook or iBooks, etc. Listing for sale in multiple venues is the same as “Going Wide”. (Hmmm, I think my head is starting to spin again.)

All that’s well and good, but it still doesn’t really help me when trying to decide when, why, and how to put a novella on sale. The jury’s still out on that, but I’m learning and researching and trying to figure it all out. I’d love to hear your thoughts on ebooks, either as a reader, writer, or even a blogger or reviewer. Anything goes, from price points, to whether you enjoy novellas or fulls, to whether you’re a fan of Kindle Unlimited, or you buy based on sales or your favorite author or enjoy picking up ebooks based on Amazon recommendations. Let’s hear it!

But, in the meantime, I'm so excited to unveil the latest novella!

The Mystery of Publishing Ebooks and NEW RELEASE
Silver Lining: A Calico Trails Romance

A weary and bedraggled wagon train rolls into Silver Lining, KS only to find a ghost town. The party moves on, leaving a handful of settlers behind. Can Maggie O’Toole and the others find their silver lining in the abandoned town? And can Maggie depend on cowboy Rafe Alonzo to stick around long enough to see them through the coming winter—and beyond—in order to find her own silver lining? (Originally published as Love's Silver Lining (With this Kiss Historical Romance Collection)

Available on Amazon for $2.99 AND as a free download for Kindle Unlimited members.

Click HERE to buy


11 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: The Mystery of Publishing Ebooks and NEW RELEASE

  • Sherrinda Ketchersid
    on September 24, 2021 | 10:57 Sherrinda Ketchersidsaid :
    "I'm totally with you in regards to wanting a list or set of instructions for the whole self-publishing thing. I just released my third medieval romance last week and it is just plain scary. I got nothing in the way of advice! I like your price point for a novella. :)
    Do you find most of your income comes from page reads in KU after it's initial release?"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on September 24, 2021 | 11:25 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Pam, I admire you and so many others who dip into the indie waters. Y'all amaze me. You know those rabbit holes you mentioned? Yeah, I'd get myself stuck in one and no one would ever find me. ;)"
  • Jan Drexler
    on September 24, 2021 | 12:09 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "I'm hovering on the edge of going hybrid - waiting to hear from a traditional publisher right now. Playing the waiting game while I'm working on book #2 in the cozy series.

    So you're experiences and tips are gold to me! Thank you!

    And that cover is great! I'm looking forward to reading Silver Lining. :-)"
  • Pam Hillman
    on September 24, 2021 | 13:05 Pam Hillmansaid :
    "Sherrinda, since I'm a fairly new Indie author, I don't have a lot of data to provide, but I'll give your question a shot...

    I published my first KDP novella on October 26, 2020. From December through February, I did some .99cent promotions as I released additional works. Over the (almost) 12 month period, my ebook sales (in $$ earned) have outpaced my KU reads. Almost double. And... make no mistake. it's not a LOT of money at this point, but I'm not gravely disappointed in the results either.

    However, I feel that with more exposure and a concerted effort to offer promotions on a consistent, my KU reads will eventually outpace the ebook sales. IMO, the KU readers who are downloading my books are organic and probably would never have found or downloaded one of my novellas otherwise.

    Regarding my comment above about not being gravely disappointed in sales to date. I was tapped out all summer with a newborn grand baby (we didn't want him at daycare until he was six months old) as well as his two older sisters EVERY WEEKDAY for 10+ hours. Needless to say, my job for the summer was to make sure nobody died and to be in bed by 9:30 at night!!! (And that's the beauty of Indie publishings. When life gets in the way, we can adjust our self-imposed deadlines.)

    So during that 6 months or so, I didn't stick to my promotion strategy or issue new release every couple of months as I'd planned. That meant my sales stalled a bit because there was nothing boosting them in the rankings. I still moved some books/KU reads (as little as $15-$20 a month occasionally, but with KDP Promotions, I anticipate seeing a substantial increase each month.

    But your question does bring up an interesting point. I just downloaded my KDP history, and from Oct 2020-Feb 2021 when I put out 4 novellas, offered KDP Countdown deals, which also moved my work UP in the rankings and triggered the KU readers to take notice, that period of time (Oct-Feb 2020) constitutes 82% of my sales for the last 11 months. On the flip side, my KU Reads for the Oct 2020-Feb 2021 was about 66%, so even though my KU reads also dropped while I was "treading water" in the summer, KU reads momentum held up a little better than paid ebook downloads themselves.

    Last, I'm not sharing how much I earned in 11 months ... because I don't want anyone to feel like mine is MORE than theirs, or that it's so low that that those who are considering getting into Indie publishing run for the hills and never write again. lol But the point is that continuing to push that snowball down the hill with new content, and Countdown promotions is key. And the KU reads feeds on the promotions and vice versa."
  • Pam Hillman
    on September 24, 2021 | 13:13 Pam Hillmansaid :
    "The lack of information on navigating this is amazing. Or... I should say the sheer magnitude of "talking heads" online makes it difficult to find the simplest data.

    The actual preparing the documents, creating covers, uploading to KDP, setting prices is a piece of cake compared to figuring out a doable strategy for promoting that work. Granted, I suppose well-known authors don't really have to worry about promotions (or maybe they do), but I can see that my sales suffered when I was AWOL for the summer."
  • Pam Hillman
    on September 24, 2021 | 13:15 Pam Hillmansaid :
    "It's definitely something worth considering. I like the idea of having a foot in both worlds, and if/when the time comes that I have any rights reversions, I can continue to profit off of that intellectual property.

    Ideally, my kids will be able to have some income from my books long after I'm gone. Okay, that's a LONG time down the road, but it's true. :)"
  • Erica Vetsch
    on September 24, 2021 | 14:39 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "Congrats on another book releasing! I love the studious approach you take to you researching the market and how to do all the things! :)"
  • Pam Hillman
    on September 24, 2021 | 15:15 Pam Hillmansaid :
    "Yeah, being detail oriented has its perks, but don't ask my hubby or my kids for their opinion. lol"
  • Sherrinda Ketchersid
    on September 24, 2021 | 15:27 Sherrinda Ketchersidsaid :
    "Wow! What a reply! Thank you for such a detailed answer. I find my KU reads give me more income from my backlist. I'm not making a lot of money yet either. I know I need to write more books per year, but I am not wired that way, it would seem. :) "
  • Lucy Reynolds
    on September 24, 2021 | 20:09 Lucy Reynolds said :
    "Congratulations. 🎈 "
  • Pam Hillman
    on September 25, 2021 | 22:05 Pam Hillmansaid :
    "Thank you, Lucy!"
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