I went the other way. Upped my royalty percentage to 70% in India, but dropped my price to half of what it is elsewhere. My royalty remains essentially the same as I was getting at 35%, and I feel good about offering it for a lower price in India where the incomes are lower.
The "maybe" bump in my genre rankings and sales is now quite definite. This I attribute to the combination of the Facebook ad and the drop in my price for India.
I'd much rather become an international best seller than charge $199 to prove a point. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
[i]Yup, all @ $199.00 each for India. If they get snarky or change royalty levels on other markets I'll unpublish on Amazon. Jeff doesn't own the independant book market, I owe him nothing.[/i]
You're correct that we owe Jeff nothing. We provide a product and Amazon provides the marketplace. Amazon does what the Amazon corpies decide is right for Amazon, without regard for us, and each of us must do what we feel is right for us, without regard for Amazon. That's just the way it is in business, and Amazon understands that.
Amazon has done a lot right in their goal to dominate the eBook marketplace, but not everything they've done resonates pleasantly with me. In recent months, because of Amazon's decision to give tens of millions of your books away (not mine so I didn't say 'ours'), I began to expand my distribution channels. It's been an interesting experience as I've seen what services other retailers offer, and it's made me appreciate many of Amazon's systems even more. But some eTailers provide things I've been requesting from Amazon for years. I received my very first sales report from Kobo today. I began posting my older stories there last month after spending a couple of weeks learning about ePub formatting from A to Z. The effort wasn't wasted because I'm now able to go to any site selling ePubs and upload a fully compatible file immediately.
Anyway, the report from Kobo shows the country and state/province of every sale. I finally know where some of my books are going. Kobo is partnered with Borders in Australia and about half the sales in Australia have the province identified. Sales through Angus Robertson only shows the country where the sale was made, but that's more than I ever received from Amazon.
In the Author Central area here, you can see where your print books were sold if they were sold by a company OTHER than Amazon. My Createspace sales are NOT reported there because Amazon won't tell us where books sold through Amazon by an Amazon company, are being shipped. It's frustrating dealing with Amazon at times. Again, as I said, they do what is right for Amazon without any regard for us. And as you said, we owe them nothing.
[i]If you're so inclined, and it's easy, care to share maybe a bullet-point list of, say, the 5 most useful things you learned about this or the most useful sites or pieces of software?[/i]
Okay, here are the Pearls Of Wisdom I can share:
1) Years in IT taught me to hate conversion programs and emulation programs. They were never anything but headaches for the IT Department. You can't get completely away from them, but you should try to minimize their use in your processing. I only submit HTML to Amazon because Mobi was built from HTML and they play well together. A lot of people swear by Amazon's Word to Mobi conversion program, but a lot of people swear at it. The fact is that the results aren't usually too bad, but there can also be unpredictable results. I see a LOT of formatting issues when I look at Indie books. When I decided to expand my distribution, I knew that I wanted to submit quality ePub files to eTailers that sold ePub, which is just about everybody except Amazon. If you can produce a real good ePub file that will pass epubcheck 3.0 without any errors or warnings, it should be acceptable anywhere and play properly on all readers (except Kindle).
2) I write using MS Word, so I always have to convert my files. For Amazon I convert to HTML, then open the file and clean it up. BY the time I'm done, the file is about a third the size of the original conversion. That's how much crap the Word conversion adds. I like things as clean as possible. For ePubs, I tried a number of different conversion programs, including Adobe's InDesign. The InDesign conversion was the worst of all. I even tried taking my HTML and converting to ePub using Calibre, but the result was too poor for me to use it. I won't bore you with all the programs I tested. I finally settled on a freeware package from Apose called Apose Word Express. Like I said, it's free, so the price is right. It takes my Word file and converts it to ePub. I wish it gave me a clean file, but it doesn't. It's FILLED with SPAN tags.
3) I then take the ePub file from Apose and open it with Sigil and decide how much effort I will waste to clean it up. The SPAN tags don't cause any problems, but they make the text file look like such a mess that it's difficult to spot any errors. Sigil has a great spellcheck feature. The ePub file seen in Sigil is simply a HTML file mixed together with CSS. If you know these two simple languages, you'll have no problem.
4) My biggest problem originally was breaking the story into chapters for the TOC. Hitch came to the rescue and told me how to do it easily in Sigil. Up on the tool bar line there a cursive looking 'CH'. Just position your cursor where you want the file to break and tap that button. Sigil does the rest.
5) After you get the file looking the way you want, your metadata is setup, and the TOC.NCX and Content.OPF is set, test it with epubcheck 3.0. If it passes clean, it'll be accepted anywhere, as I said earlier.
Learning to create the file is a bit of work, and there's a definite learning curve, but it's a worth it. Every file I've produced has been accepted without problem by Kobo. I've purchased them and they look almost exactly as I want them to look. The only issue I have is one of centering some items when I read the file with the Kobo to PC reader. When I open the exact same file with the Sony Reader or the Nook reader, they're perfect. So I'm not going to sweat it. I can't be responsible for coding software problems in readers.
[i]Many thanks for this, Scribblr. It's daunting, but it's a clear attack plan. I appreciate your having taking the time to write it.[/i]
You're welcome. I'm sure that others are content with accepting whatever the epub conversion program spits out, and can have their books up in hours, but I want my book to be the best I can make it. And if you do it right, you only have to do it once. With each conversion I did, the time for the work was naturally reduced.
My books are on KOBO. I've been on BN since I started. I'm branching out but most of my sales have always been paperbacks and ironically the spiral bound copies that my wife prints and binds are more popular than the ones from CS because they are more "crafty".
I get a lot of useless reviews from my paperback sales. I call them useless because they would look like fakes without the verifies purchase plus there's no way for me to add them so I don't bother.
I don't have a great deal online sales so I'm not sure that I'll miss a few from India but who knows maybe I'll interest the rich with my prices. Lets see, 50000 sales @ $70. royalty is a boatload of money, hmmmm.