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Thread: Indies have no place to go but down.


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Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,747
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 29, 2017 10:24 AM   in response to: Ward Rogers in response to: Ward Rogers
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Ward Rogers wrote:
okydok wrote:
So how successful are you? What gives you the right to taunt every person that comes along? Does it make you feel successful to treat everyone like they're a newbee? You won't get by with that from me, so go pick on someone who will be driven away by your crap.

  • I've made no hollow brags about success (either to pee from knowing or to kill for), so I've nothing to prove.
  • Facts taken from your posts aren't taunts but echoes of your own voice.
  • Obviously you're not a newbie, but equally obviously you're in a self-confessed downward spiral and seeking reasons for it that don't revolve around you or your books.
  • No one is picking on you, but the nature of any forum is that not everyone will agree with you; it's foolish to expect people to do so.
  • No need to leave the forum if you don't want to and no one is asking you to; if being a prickly braggart so full of yourself that everything is about you ... well, you have yourself a jolly old time, mate.

Years ago my favorite group, the Beat les, had a line in a sing about ppl who sit at the banks of their own lagoon. I thought 'wow, a beautiful body of crystal blue water, and warm white sand to sit on'. Then years later, i discovered that 'lagoon' also means cess pool...

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Jul 29, 2017 10:27 AM

Christina

Posts: 16
Registered: 07/18/17
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 30, 2017 4:53 PM   in response to: Ed Augusts in response to: Ed Augusts
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I want to get back for a moment to the original poster, Christina. You've written huge essays here bemoaning Amazon and KDP, KU, et al. But we hear, again and again, about your 60 page novella. So your complaint is really that you're not making nearly as much as you should with your novella.

Surely the answer to your unhappy situation is to use your keen writing ability -- perhaps 5,000 words in just this thread -- and write another novella. And then another. And perhaps collect the three together and, once it's 180 pages in length, offer it for $2.99. Buyers will very likely rather pay that price for a book of erotica than for one novella.

It's not a matter of a cup of designer coffee costing $3.00 at all. It's that perhaps you could be more generous with your prospective readers by giving them more variety and larger portions.

My 420 page ebook sells better than my 3 much shorter ebooks added all together. Good Luck with success through continued writing!

So race to the bottom ? There are novellas on KDP that are even shorter in length that are also $2.99.

A latte at Tim Hortons (our pedestrian national coffee chain) costs $3 CAD. This is not artisanal coffee. Starbucks is bloody expensive. $2.99 USD isn't breaking the bank. A movie at the theatre costs like what $13 these days? My sympathies with people who are truly broke. But the truth is most people are not broke, they are just bad with money and spend money on frivolous crap all the time. The difference is that indie KDP authors are all too eager to give away their work for next to nothing and readers are used to this. While the local corner store might mark down that energy drink at 2 for $5 CAD or 2 for $4 if you are lucky... Because the general public values energy drinks more than they value your work. Do you want to cater to an audience that values energy drinks more than they value writing?

Just because people give away full-length novels for 99 cents on KDP (and they give 65% of that to Amazon), doesn't mean I should follow.

I am not going to artificially lengthen my stories just for the hell of it. I felt that the story could be told in 60 pages. And $2.99 is the minimum price tag to get the 70% royalty option. So I charge $2.99. $2.99 was also Amazon's recommended price for my book. That is apparently the sweet spot price for books of my size in my category in terms of maximizing revenue.

And if I bundle two more novellas for the same price, this is going to alienate people who bought the first two novellas at full price.

If we're going to talk about greed, let's talk about Amazon's greed. They tell indies to bend over and take it. Amazon says "jump!" and indies ask "how high?"

if I'm going to give customers discounts, I'm going to do so on my own website. Why should I give out discounts when Amazon itself is not so generous? Taking a 30% cut plus a bogus delivery fee for doing almost nothing. And if it wasn't for Apple, they would take 65% like they did back in 2007-2010~. And a 65% cut for titles under $2.99. I am thinking of selling my book at a discount for litecoin instead of PayPal so that Amazon can't price match it (I'm aware that Amazon bots scour the internet to find evidence of cheaper copies and then match. Good luck price matching something price listed in crypto-currency). Crypto-currency is extremely easy to buy, much cheaper than PayPal, puts the power of commerce in the hands of people rather than middle men institutions like Amazon and PayPal.
beachgardener

Posts: 370
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 30, 2017 6:06 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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You cannot argue the world into buying your books. If the look inside isn't pulling them in it is your fault not Amazon's. Coffee is 4.99 at the best local stand and it and my books are priced in the same range - the coffee is good and selling well, my books sell some months better than others. I am pleased and grateful for the opportunity to try. The platform is working well for me.

Having trouble getting the platform to work for you, then do as you keep threatening and change platforms. And very good luck to you.
B
Christina

Posts: 16
Registered: 07/18/17
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 10:35 AM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
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You are missing the point entirely. I never complained about my sales. At 23 sales for a novella, I am probably running circles over these novelists who give away their work for so little. lol. If I wrote a 180 page novel or a 3 novella bundle for the same price, I bet you my royalties wouldn't triple. All I did was criticize Amazon's Kindle Unlimited and Select programs. And writers' willingness to race to the bottom in order to "gain exposure". The OP pointed out that the free promotion wasn't working out for them. And I pointed out that giving your work away for free or for next to nothing is not the right way to go about things. Customers who get things for free or cheap are going to continue to expect this. These writers who charge $0.99 for full-length novels do not value their own time. I'm self-employed (not in writing). I have to value my time or else I never would make a living. From my time running my own business, I realized that being the cheapest doesn't necessarily translate to being the most successful.

The point is (not directed at you specifically, I don't know your situation): Stop racing to the bottom. Don't try to woo customers who do not value writing. Everything is bloody expensive. Yet someone eBooks are overpriced? lol When people say that eBooks are overpriced, it's because they do not value writing. $4.99 is a fair price to charge for a KDP book (some indie writers can easily command more than this). Kindle Unlimited and Amazon exclusivity is another matter. I've seen readers on the internet ADMIT that they would have bought a book if it wasn't for Kindle Unlimited. They readily admit that authors are leaving money on the table.

If there is a full-length book that looks good and the price tag is $9.99 or less, I'll buy it. I've paid $2.99 for a novella that was half the size of mine. I don't regret it. It's just $3 and I'm helping a fellow author. $3 doesn't buy you a lot these days. I can't complain.

One published KDP author once put out a pricing guide. And I remember her saying that writers are better off selling 7,000 word short stories for $2.99 on the Kindle platform than 70,000 word novels for $4.99. Because at the end of the day you actually end up with a higher money:work ratio. You can churn out 10 short stories easily during the time that it takes to publish one novel. Especially when it's so much easier to edit a short story than to edit a novel. 7,000 words was too short to tell the story that I wanted to tell. So my book is more than double that size. But I didn't feel like I needed 180 pages to tell my story either.
Ed Augusts

Posts: 469
Registered: 01/27/13
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 12:30 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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It sounds like you are SO satisfied with this 60 page erotic novella, which took you 4 or 5 years to write, that you're not going to write anything else, or surely you'd have mentioned such plans in your many previous posts in this thread.

It must have been an important story for you to tell, some kind of personal milestone, since you are actually angered at the idea of expanding or adding to the story.

It must have been an incredibly important story for you to tell!

Why don't you post the link to this amazing novella? You would satisfy a lot of curiosity about your magnum opus, and probably lead to further sales.
beachgardener

Posts: 370
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 12:37 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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I think I got your point. You want to "churn" out short stories rather than take the time and trouble to craft longer more complicated tales. Nothing wrong with short stores - Churn? A word I only use in reference to butter and angry water.
If you don't like the platform you are presenting your stories on by all means go find one that does suit you.
It does seem odd that you write short stores but make long arguments in their defense.
If you are trying to gather supporters for your proposed platform and funky money idea, do keep in mind that to do so is against the forum guide lines.
Success of any kind does, I think, involves a positive attitude.
B
Ed Augusts

Posts: 469
Registered: 01/27/13
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 1:10 PM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
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Christina did write about authors churning out a dozen short stories, as if it could be done in a few days, but she herself has evidently poured her whole being into the 5-year effort of bringing forth her one 60-page novella which I hope she provides a link to, since it must be a doozy of a story! Each word must be laden with the weight you'd see in a short Hemingway novel. Of course, Papa Hemingway wrote standing up, so every phrase was well-crafted. Maybe Henry Miller would be a better author to use for comparison, since he wrote some erotica, as did Christina in her not yet widely discovered, no doubt amazing, novella.
Christina

Posts: 16
Registered: 07/18/17
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 2:04 PM   in response to: Ed Augusts in response to: Ed Augusts
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It sounds like you are SO satisfied with this 60 page erotic novella, which took you 4 or 5 years to write, that you're not going to write anything else, or surely you'd have mentioned such plans in your many previous posts in this thread.

It must have been an important story for you to tell, some kind of personal milestone, since you are actually angered at the idea of expanding or adding to the story.

It must have been an incredibly important story for you to tell!

Why don't you post the link to this amazing novella? You would satisfy a lot of curiosity about your magnum opus, and probably lead to further sales.

Took 4-5 years for me to publish something due to procrastination and scrapping projects and restarting. Now that I have one published book under my belt, I feel like I can easily publish 4 more books. Not a novel though. I'm not going to write a 180 page story for the sake of 180 pages. I just lose interest. I just don't have a story to tell that is that long. I just focus on writing what I want to write and then make sure the foundation/skeleton is in place.

Instead of debating my points, you mock the fact that I wrote a 60 page novella. There's nothing wrong with writing shorts. There is a market for it. If you think that writing novels makes you superior then perhaps that length is compensating for something? If you are not going to be civil, we have nothing to discuss.
Christina

Posts: 16
Registered: 07/18/17
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 2:48 PM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
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Success of any kind does, I think, involves a positive attitude.
B
Good luck quitting your day job in the race to the bottom. As a self-employed entrepreneur, I can assure you that I didn't make money running my own business by offering the best prices. Let Amazon, Netflix and Wal-Mart race to the bottom all they want. They are the ones with the big pockets. Only they can win in a race to the bottom. Definitely not the little guy. Netflix is $20 billion in debt wasting all kinds of money on Netflix Originals production and charging only $10/month and no one seems to care. Amazon is racing to the bottom themselves with Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Select. Difference is, the shareholders and executives at Netflix and Amazon are getting PAID. At the expense of the content creators that Netflix and Amazon are exploiting with their royalty agreements. There are plenty of niche businesses out there that are profitable and don't have to work as hard to make money. Why on earth would anyone with a Kindle Unlimited subscription have an incentive to buy your book for $4.99 when they can just "borrow" it and give you a fraction of the royalties? Readers have deliberately said on the internet that they have avoided buying books specifically because it was available on Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited cannibalizes sales. I personally don't have Kindle Unlimited because I just don't read a lot of KU books. And I know that if I cancel the membership, I will no longer have access to those books. So I buy. But if someone decides that Kindle Unlimited offers good value, what incentive do they have to buy your book?

Indie game publishing is plagued with similar issues to indie book publishing. And to this day, indies still haven't learned their lesson. Look at this great quote from this indie game developer "Fellow Indies, race to the bottom if you like, but it’ll get you nowhere but another stint at a day job." http://www.puppygames.net/blog/?p=2290
beachgardener

Posts: 370
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 3:35 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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Quit my day job over 25 years ago, started e publishing in 2011. Both actions proved to be profitable. You keep hammering on that "dive to the bottom" I am sure you will get there. It is unlikely anyone here wants to go with you. We are all busy making for as high up the ladder as we can get. There are a whole lot of readers out there, billions, buyers and borrowers with a wide taste in reading material. There is a lot of room at the top for writers who are willing to work hard to improve their books and the optimism to hang in for the long haul.. B
Christina

Posts: 16
Registered: 07/18/17
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 4:20 PM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
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For some reason when I posted in another thread, it went into moderation. Did you and Ed seriously report me even though you made personal attacks? lol. You can dish it out but you can't take it?
beachgardener

Posts: 370
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 4:46 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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Christina wrote:
For some reason when I posted in another thread, it went into moderation. Did you and Ed seriously report me even though you made personal attacks? lol. You can dish it out but you can't take it?
As far as I know nobody reported you. You used a word or words that trigger automatic attention from the bots. If you don't want to be disagreed with, don't put your thoughts out in a public forum. I respect your right to your opinion, you must leave me mine. B
Ed Augusts

Posts: 469
Registered: 01/27/13
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 7:24 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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Nobody complained about you. For the past five years many people have complained about being 'moderated'. It may be because they trigger moderation because of certain key words or phrases they used. It's surely nothing personal.

You suggest "the length of my novels is compensating for something?" And that I am not being civil? And maybe "we have nothing further to discuss?" Why are you so irate and defensive and unwilling to explain yoir creative ideas calmly?

You haven't responded to my progressive and honestly helpful suggestion that you give us a link to your novella, which may well give you good feedback as well as sales. Something odd in your whole presentation. You DID actually publish the novella you've been mentioning? Are you an actual author?
Thank you.

Edited by: Ed Augusts on Jul 31, 2017 7:25 PM
Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,747
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 8:42 PM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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Christina wrote:
Success of any kind does, I think, involves a positive attitude.
B
Good luck quitting your day job in the race to the bottom. As a self-employed entrepreneur, I can assure you that I didn't make money running my own business by offering the best prices. Let Amazon, Netflix and Wal-Mart race to the bottom all they want. They are the ones with the big pockets. Only they can win in a race to the bottom. Definitely not the little guy. Netflix is $20 billion in debt wasting all kinds of money on Netflix Originals production and charging only $10/month and no one seems to care. Amazon is racing to the bottom themselves with Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Select. Difference is, the shareholders and executives at Netflix and Amazon are getting PAID. At the expense of the content creators that Netflix and Amazon are exploiting with their royalty agreements. There are plenty of niche businesses out there that are profitable and don't have to work as hard to make money. Why on earth would anyone with a Kindle Unlimited subscription have an incentive to buy your book for $4.99 when they can just "borrow" it and give you a fraction of the royalties? Readers have deliberately said on the internet that they have avoided buying books specifically because it was available on Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited cannibalizes sales. I personally don't have Kindle Unlimited because I just don't read a lot of KU books. And I know that if I cancel the membership, I will no longer have access to those books. So I buy. But if someone decides that Kindle Unlimited offers good value, what incentive do they have to buy your book?

I used to think that if i pulled my many bks out of kay u that i would get more s ales... Wrong! Not only did i miss the k you money, my sal es dropped severly! Bu yers are an entirely different group than k u ppl.
I put all my books back in, and have done much better every since!

Ward Rogers

Posts: 1,308
Registered: 12/02/16
Re: Indies have no place to go but down.
Posted: Aug 1, 2017 1:27 AM   in response to: Christina in response to: Christina
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Christina wrote:
It sounds like you are SO satisfied with this 60 page erotic novella, which took you 4 or 5 years to write, that you're not going to write anything else, or surely you'd have mentioned such plans in your many previous posts in this thread.

It must have been an important story for you to tell, some kind of personal milestone, since you are actually angered at the idea of expanding or adding to the story.

It must have been an incredibly important story for you to tell!

Why don't you post the link to this amazing novella? You would satisfy a lot of curiosity about your magnum opus, and probably lead to further sales.

Took 4-5 years for me to publish something due to procrastination and scrapping projects and restarting. Now that I have one published book under my belt, I feel like I can easily publish 4 more books. Not a novel though. I'm not going to write a 180 page story for the sake of 180 pages. I just lose interest. I just don't have a story to tell that is that long. I just focus on writing what I want to write and then make sure the foundation/skeleton is in place.

Instead of debating my points, you mock the fact that I wrote a 60 page novella. There's nothing wrong with writing shorts. There is a market for it. If you think that writing novels makes you superior then perhaps that length is compensating for something? If you are not going to be civil, we have nothing to discuss.


No, there's nothing wrong with shorter works. I've written hundreds of them over the past sixty years and consider them some of my best and most rewarding writing. And, yes, there is a market for them, but that market is not KU, not if you want to make a profit.

KU is the equivalent of wholesale, with large numbers of people borrowing ten books at a time, often weekly, binging through an author's entire corpus, one after the other, sharing about those books in internet groups, where other insatiable readers are looking for their next barge of books. In KU, individuals are not important, only masses. What you're doing is more like "boutique publishing," aiming for a small, eclectic readership where every individual, every sale counts.

Quite honestly, you have as little to offer KU as KU has to offer you. It's probably best for a writer in your position, not prolific and not seeking to create more complex plots, to expand to other platforms. It's not really any different than a writer preferring small literary journals over mass market magazines, at least when we still had magazines.
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