February 27th, 2011
Updates on Backlist

I promised I would update everyone on my journey into re-releasing my backlist. It’s just about been a month. As you know, I have two books out (one novella and one short novel). I’ve made just shy of a hundred dollars this month. I know it’s not much at all, but the thing I find interesting is that it’s not much less than I was making with one of my e-publishers. You might be asking yourself, ‘why did I go the Indie route if the money isn’t as much’? That’s a good question. I was thinking the same thing…until I thought about it some more, then it dawned on me. My checks from the e-publisher are for eight books–not two. Yep, two books have nearly made the same amount as the eight I had for sale at the e-publishers. What’s going to happen when I get my next two books up? Next four books? Next ten? Yeah, you do the math.

I’ve always read J.A. Konrath’s blog, but I’ve really been paying attention to his latest entries. He’s changing his mind a little on pricing now that dropping the price on one of his books has gotten him into the top 100 on Amazon Kindle. His observations are quite interesting and have given me a lot to think about, especially as I go forward with the next releases.

14 comments to “Updates on Backlist”

  1. Yay for you! Also, don’t assume that your early sales figures are necessarily representative of the sales you’ll eventually get. There is no way of knowing in advance how you’ll sell, of course, but there is a long tail in indie publishing, and a lot of people find that their sales improve fairly dramatically after a while. Keep promoting, keep making more of your backlist available, and see what happens. I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Yey, Jordan! I’m so glad it’s going well for you. 🙂

  3. Ellen, Thank you! It’s a slow start, but I’m okay with that. I know it will take months to get my name out there. I had heard that the fourth/fifth month tends to show a bump. We’ll see. By then I should have at least six books out. With e-pubbing we’re running a marathon, not a sprint. 😉

  4. Thanks Patrice! I’m just glad it’s moving in the right direction. The next several months should be a better indicator of how things are going. I will keep everyone posted. 🙂

  5. Yeah J!

    I just got mine out 10 days ago. Yup, slow going, but I’m encouraged.

    I too have been wondering about dropping price. Firstly I’m going to write a new short story set in the same world as my book Glimmer and put it out for .99 and see what happens.

    I’ve been on the kindle boards and some writers have posted their numbers and it looks like yes, numbers seeme to jump after about 5-6 months.

    I’m rooting for you!!

  6. Vivi,

    Yep, it’s not instant. I would’ve been surprised if it was. I’m going to see what happens when I release this next batch, since two of them will be priced at .99. I’m still trying to decide what to do with the third novel since it will be under a different name.

    I hadn’t thought about dropping the price until I read J.A. Konrath’s latest blog. It’s definitely given me a lot to think about. Right now, my .99 and my 2.99 are selling almost the exact same numbers, so the price difference doesn’t seem to matter. I’ll probably have a better comparison once I release The Arrival, since it’s closer in length to my 2.99 book. Two of the next three books I’m going to release are originals, so it should be interesting to see what happens.

    I’ll definitely watch to see if there’s any change in the numbers as I go along.

    I’m rooting for you, too, V!!!

  7. At least you’ve cut out the middle man. It’s not like they were promoting your novels. This way, the gradual release will keep your name up on the Kindle lists. It’s all good.

    That’s an interesting experiment Konrath is charting.

  8. Bernard, Yes, I have. Of course, I’m doing three times the work…;) I think in the end it’ll be all good. Just have to give it time to build momentum.

    As for Konrath’s experiment, you know I’m really torn about it. I totally understand where he’s coming from, since it’s making such a difference in his sales. Right now, my books are basically tied in sales, even though they’re two different prices. Now I don’t know if that’s because one is .99 or if it’s because one is longer than the other. I think once I get this next batch up, I’ll have a better idea about whether I need to play with the prices.

    One of the big questions I’m pondering right now is what price to go out with on my experimental piece. It’s a 92K/93K length novel. After reading Joe’s entry, I’m really torn about what to do. Should I start out at 2.99 and see what happens or should I start at .99? I know it’s easier to lower a price than to raise it. I also have to factor in the fact that the other pen name isn’t recognizable, so I’m going to be an unknown entity when I release the novel. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

    As an aside, my car has stopped stinking. Whatever they did to ‘fix’ their mistake seems to have worked. At least thus far. Thank you again for your kind offer. 🙂

  9. I’m glad your car improved. It does take a while for residue to burn off. That’s a tough call on the pricing. As you point out it’s easy to lower the price. One thing I believe will come to an end due to market pressure is the top brand names hiring teams to keep their franchise going at astronomical hardbound prices. They may have to start writing their own product again. 🙂

  10. Bernard, They ‘fixed’ something on it, when I went in and cleaned off the engine block. Hopefully that will take care of the problem.

    Yes, it is a tough call. I really don’t know what to do. I’ll have to make up my mind soon, since I’m almost finished with edits.

    The hardback prices aren’t bothering me (I just bought Patricia Briggs’ latest for 13 something). It’s the trade paperback/ebook prices that chafe me. As for the writing teams stopping, I’d be surprised if that happens. Too many people are willing to pay for the books.

  11. Reporting in :-P. I haven’t gotten paid yet, but Kindle, Smashwords and PubIt has made me about $500 from the Big Bad Wolf ebook. I’m going to try to get my novella out in a week.

  12. Gennita, That’s terrific. 🙂 Congrats!!!

  13. Thanks, Jordan. I was just reporting in to give you an update ;-). It’s just so recent and the book isn’t new, but hey, like you, I’m experimenting and wanted to compare notes. I’ve put in some $$$ for help with format and cover, but am now pleased that I made it back, so it’s good ;-). Will update you again when I look at the numbers after another two-three weeks.

  14. Gennita, I really do think it’s great. I paid for the covers, but did the formatting myself with the help of a friend to walk me through it, so my expenses are relatively low. My biggest cost thus far (other than in time spent) was for the ISBN’s. I suspect I’ll have to get another pack of them in short order. I’ve already made back the cost of the covers. Hopefully once I get more stuff up, I’ll make back the cost of the ISBN’s. 🙂