I’m trying something new with my print books. I use CreateSpace to have them made and until just a couple days ago, I only sold them on Amazon. The reason for that is illustrated in the picture on the right. Through some polling I did when I first released the book, I determined that $12.95 was pretty much the max I could charge for the paperback. That was the price at which people who loved me would not balk.
If you run that through the nifty little royalty calculator CreateSpace has, you immediately see the problem with selling the book anywhere except Amazon. After the cost of production and everyone taking their cut, every book sold through another channel would cost me $0.47. As you know, I’m not a fan of paying people to read your book, and so even if CreateSpace let me do that (they won’t), I wouldn’t.
However, a couple things have changed in the year (yes! it’s been a year!) since I wrote Entropy. Sales of the print book have basically dried up. I’m selling maybe one print copy a month. E-book sales still happen, but not so much the print ones. The other thing that happened is someone suggested I look into Midwest Book Review. It seems like a great idea, but their target audience is book stores and libraries, and those folks do not buy books that are strictly sold through Amazon. To get to those places, you have to open up “Expanded Distribution” from CreateSpace, which gets you into the Ingram catalog, which gets you everywhere.
So I went ahead and bit the bullet and cranked my print list price to $16.95. That gets me out of the hole for expanded distribution, and it also gives me a really huge royalty if someone buys on Amazon (which, of course, they won’t—it’s too expensive). Fortunately, Amazon lets you set a different price for the UK and EU, so my print edition remains affordably priced everywhere except the US/Canada market.
I’ve decided to also step up guerrilla promotion efforts of my novels in other ways. In addition to trying to get MBR to review my book, I’ve started submitting it to bloggers to review. That’ll take time, but I hope that it might generate some new sales. The other thing I’m doing is pushing hard on the perma-free short story Attractions. You can get it free all over the fucking place now. The first chapter of Entropy is stuck on the end of the short story. And I’ve submitted Attractions to every “free book” listing site I can find.
I’ve suspended Twitter Ads for a while, so I can see whether I get any Entropy sales from any of these activities. The CPC on Twitter Ads has been creeping up lately, anyway, which makes them too expensive to use at my current conversion and price points.
As always, I’ll update when I have any hard data to report.