Tag Archives: create space

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover? Readers Do!

That said, do you need a pro to help you design a professional-looking cover? After all, when readers begin searching for their next purchase, after they click on or supply their search terms, what do they see first? The cover.

 

Do yourself a favor: search Amazon for ten minutes. Take a close look at the book covers in your genre—the covers of the bestselling books in your category. How do they compare to yours? Now do a search for books that other indies have produced, maybe some friends’/acquaintances’ books, especially the .99 ones listed on your book page under “customers who bought this item also bought….” Search until you find something really awful. It didn’t take that long, did it?

What about important issues for these thumb-size versions of book covers like font size and simplicity vs. busy/overloaded? Do you see some bad examples. Look back at your cover art and carefully consider how it compares to the covers produced by traditionally published books. Would you really chose your book over some of the other top-selling authors’? Just because your own friends haven’t told you your book cover “bites,” doesn’t mean it doesn’t!

Will it be worth it to purchase new cover art for your old book? Should you let a pro design your new novel’s cover? That’s up to you, of course. I’d ask this: are you in this book ‘ritin’ business for the long haul? Can you afford $25 to $100 for a really professional looking cover? Will a facelift on your old book pay for itself in sales profits in the long run?

For further research, below you’ll find a link to Mark Coker’s list of book cover designers and eBook formatters. I’ve given this important info its own tab on our IWA site.

Most of these folks are very reasonable. But here’s a word of caution: be sure to check out these people’s websites and their previous work before you make a deal. I’ve posted Mark’s List at:

http://writersmatrix.com/wordpress/?page_id=122

What About EBook Pricing?

So what’s the best price point for eBooks? It’s certainly dependent on type of book and size. But beyond that, let’s look at novel-length fiction: what price is going to sell your novel the best? With what price point are you going to get the most downloads? What price point is going to make you the most money? Drilling down deeper, as an indie author, what price point is going to get you the best ranking and visibility? So much to consider, it makes my head hurt!

Look at the image I’ve used for this post. It helps illustrate my premise that there’s three basic buying groups of “indie” published books (throw in those who buy traditionally published eBooks 99% of the time, and you have four).

This illustration is not size proportionate. Until we have more solid numbers, that is impossible (feedback anyone?). Notice that I’ve not only shown the main three groups, but that they overlap at times, as well.

Initially following ground-breaking indie authors’ leads, like John Locke and Amanda Hocking, I priced my eBooks at $.99 each. By doing this, I believe I did sell more books and enjoyed some pretty good rankings for a while for my books (until Amazon “supposedly” started playing around with their algorithms).

I did a little research and noted the prices of the Amazon suggested books on each of my novels’ Amazon book pages. I was amazed to see that most eBook purchasers who bought my books (at least according to Amazon) were buying books at $2.99 and up, and only a few were $.99 books. So, I checked out the top 100 list for my genres. Guess what? I discovered very similar data!

What did I do the very next day? I raised my prices to $2.99. For nearly two months now, I’ve found my sales to dip only slightly, but noted that my actual royalty $ have gone way up. I think it all goes back to the old proverb about the smart shopper: “you get what you pay for” and it seems that’s the thinking most eBook buyers are following.

Drawing this illustration helps me look at pricing as a malleable thing and not just an intangible, abstract and unclear concept. I hope it helps you.

Here are a few links for some very interesting blog posts concerning pricing:

http://preciseedit.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/how-much-should-my-e-book-cost/

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/09/ebook-pricing.html

Give us your learned thoughts and suggestions, you experience ePubbers out there!

Amazon Keeps Changing Algorithms on Kindle eBooks?

Can indie authors even hope to understand the complex and secret ways Amazon ranks our books? How can we use what little information available to maximize our exposure to the reading world? Did you know they use things like price points and being independently published to consider where to rank you book?

Check out Edward W. Robertson’s blog posts, especially May’s as well as other more recent ones at: http://www.edwardwrobertson.com/

Kindle Select or the World?

That’s what it seems to be boiling down to. Are there fewer advantages with the Kindle Select program now than before? Are the Amazon free days as effective as they used to be? Does it even make sense to use them?

These are the questions I’m asking, now. Take a look at what other indies are saying. It might help you make up your mind.

Joe Konrath—check out his comments at the bottom of the interview. The guy knows his stuff: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2012/05/guest-post-by-robert-gregory-browne.html

Katie.M.John (It looks wrong, but that’s the way she spells it)—Some interesting thoughts here: http://katiemjohn.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/why-amazon-kdp-select-and-i-are-on.html

D.D. Scott—this lady is an experienced ePubber and very sharp: http://goo.gl/yNi9T

This is an older post on Karen Barney’s blog, that made a lot of sense back in January, and still has some great tips for trying to maximize Kindle Select’s “free days”: http://goo.gl/zMrxl

Should I do a Print On Demand paperback besides an eBook?

Indie authors are finding the most success with eBooks, by a considerable amount. But, since Print on Demand is easy and free through Amazon’s CreateSpace.com, what will it hurt? Then, you’ll have something tangible you can give to reviewers, friends and relatives, besides having one more way to market your work. There are other POD printers out there that do a fine job. Many of them charge a fee, depending on the extent of the work needed from their end. You should check out Lulu.com, iUniverse.com, Xlibris.com, and others before you make up your mind. Also, several of these POD printers, including Lulu.com will do hardcover books besides the popular trade paperback—CreateSpace.com only does trade paper but has a great distribution network. And no one is to say you can’t do both–trade paperback with CreateSpace.com and hardcover with Lulu.com.