I’ve been trying to sell my two books on kindle: Rock’n’Roll Suicide and Doppelganger, the first two in the Jack Lockwood Mystery series. I haven’t a clue how many books other people sell, but I sell hardly any.
A while ago I read a post saying that it was wise to price at 99c (77p) and, by doing this, more people would buy your book, even though a minimal price would hardly seem important. He said it’s a psychological thing. So that’s where I fixed my price.
I think he may be right.
About a month ago (I think) I put prices for both up to $1.99 (£1.37). Since then I have sold two books. Everyone seems to say that times are hard, and very few books sold, but I do feel that maybe if I hadn’t put the price up I might have sold more. But who really knows, I haven’t the faintest idea, all you can do is try things and see what happens.
Rather like my idea the Jack Lockwood Diaries, of short stories on my blog, the idea being to entice people to read about Jack Lockwood and decide to buy one of the books. A few people are following the JL Diaries blog, but not very many. Yet you can Google Jack Lockwood Diaries, and there are several entries, almost as if I’ve breathed life into him.
That was my idea: to create a living breathing Jack Lockwood, who lives in a village in Kent and solves problems and has adventures, yet remains a likeable, yet lonely soul, searching for happiness and struggling to survive against the odds. Someone who people wanted to read about. I think it probably all takes time, maybe it’s just a question of plugging on and hoping. After all, it’s better to have your books out there and some people reading them and giving them good reviews than just constantly be rejected by publishers and agents.
Kevin Ashman and Gail (@JenniOrbell) told me about Feed-a-read, who publish your book as a paperback free, as a print on demand, so people pay for it and you get a percentage. It’s worth considering. On the other hand I hate doing talks and trying to physically sell books (couldn’t do it), and who on earth is going to pay about £8 for a book by an unknown author? Worse, if they paid as much as that and didn’t like it, would they doubly resent it and post a horrible review?
And reviews are another thing. For Rock’n’Roll Suicide on amazon.uk I’ve got 16, 5* reviews, one 4* and one 2*. So in their wisdom they’ve put one of the 5* and the awful 2* one right at the top, so the first thing anyone sees is “!!!!!This was a very childish novel!!!!!I didn’t like it!!!!!” The most absurd and ridiculous review imaginable, yet there it is, for all to see, and it’s obviously putting people off. I would very much like to take the 77p that she paid for the book and shove the coins down her throat as far as they would go.
And I got one proofreading job from a publisher, and was delighted so dropped everything to do it, as I really need the money. And I’m happy to have now got two copy editing jobs from the same publisher, and feel really lucky (having applied to about 30 publishers months ago and heard nothing). And I am stuck into these, with the result that I haven’t been RTing friends who have helped me on twitter, and some of them have been RTing me, so I feel really guilty about not returning the favour. All I can do is make a big effort when I’ve finished (plus hope this nice publisher gives me more work).
When you realise how some people without a job or income at rock bottom are struggling, and being pushed further into poverty by the latest cruel cuts to housing benefit and so on, you realise how lucky you are to have any kind of an income at all.
Think I’ll probably cut the price again, and do another free promo. But what happens if I then get another person who has read a free copy, does a nasty review and that gets put right up at the top of the page!
If that was to happen, there would be no 77p to shove down their throat.
See my website for all details of everything http://www.geoffreydavidwest.com