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Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Writing and reading fiction
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There's plenty more to ebook pricing than free, 99 cents or $2.99

When pricing an ebook, publishers should think of innovative models. Here are seven ideas publishers, distributors, and authors should consider.

Via Robert Chazz Chute
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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, April 16, 2013 11:25 AM

In this post on Digital Book World by Beth Bacon (learn at the link!), she suggests we widen our pricing options and she suggests seven interesting options to consider.

 

Here are more possibilities I'd add to her list of possibilities to noodle with:

 

1. Make the first book in a series perma-free. Make each new book in the series incrementally more expensive as the series grows in popularity. Give discounts for batches. For instance, selling Books 2, 3 and 4 at once at one discounted price. Steadily escalate your prices. Fans who get in early pay less.

 

Or go with members-only discounts for the biggest fans. Reward your biggest supporters who knew you before you were famous with exclusive merch, or behind-the-scenes video of the making of the audiobook.) Chuck Pahlaniuk has his variation of this and it's called The Cult. Start with Smashwords coupons for discounts to people who love you and who are influencers anxious to spread the good word of your awesomeness.

 

2. Be less proprietary to gain new readers. For instance, encourage fan fic as the author of Wool does. The theory is that, instead of diluting your work, he's creating a larger funnel. The hypothesis has already proved mind-rippingly successful with a lesser book. That's how Fifty Shades started out, so that's not as crazy as it may sound.

 

3. Get into more channels and generate more income streams (and produce more faster) with co-authors and crowd-sourcing. 

Good example: Hit RECord because the tone set is open-eyed, cooperative revenue sharing. More of these sites seem to be popping up. Bad examples: James Patterson and James Frey, because the tone is usery and cynical opportunism.

 

4. Charge readers less on Amazon because the big dog sells more. This one will drive someone insane with rage. However, flawed channels, small channels or channels that are more difficult to publish to take more time and energy from the author/publisher with fewer positive results. Make consumers pay a premium for the trouble and inconvenience. Those that do pay a higher price might make it worth your trouble. (I'm looking at you, Apple.)

I admit that many authors will hate this idea, scream about punishing consumers, hurting ourselves and so on. However, if you call it "split testing", suddenly it will sound entirely reasonable. Reframe the practice and you'll sound stupid if you don't do it.

 

5. Broaden your platform with more free or cheap, but very short, ebooks as introductions and samplers. I'm thinking of "The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying F*** About You" by Johnny B Truant. It's worked for Truant to gain subscribers to his email list and expand his readership and brand awareness.

 

6. Expand your readership by combining catering to niches and repurposing material. I'm considering this with an upcoming title. If done carefully, I'm thinking this could work very well. Suppose you have a romance: Our Summer in Paris. Now suppose you introduce supernatural elements and werewolves: Our Summer in Paris WEREWOLVED!

 

7. Unpublish books. Somebody just fell on the floor, but pull your iPad closer, breathe deeply and reconsider: Scarcity provides value.

 

Suppose you have more than fifteen books/short stories on your channel's sales page. Many regular readers here would qualify. Sure, they're all gems to someone but they don't all sell as well and your less popular books are making it hard for casual browsers to find your most popular titles. Clutter slows sales movement and blocks discovery by potential fans. Your fans buy everything you put out anyway, so they already have your old stuff. Encourage sales and get a happy introduction: Take down the old stuff and offer it as a bonus to new readers when they buy your primo stuff.

 

I don't blame authors who are resistant to the 80/20 rule, but consider making business decisions rather than emotional decisions to win more readers in the long run. Eighty percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your efforts. Choose wisely.

 

When you have a carve out a big enough fan base (i.e. Neil Gaiman, Joe Rogan, Kevin Smith) your core fan base becomes your 20 percent and you don't have to work so hard at gaining new fans. You'll retire on the fanatics. It's arguable that, due to market fragmentation, that sort of base-building isn't possible anymore. That's an argument for a different post on another day.

 

Summary: The point I share with Beth Bacon is that we need to be open to price experimentation to find the sweet spot (or rather, sweet spots, since there are likely to be several over the life of each book). There are many more options in pricing and funneling than most authors and publishers usually consider. The ideas I've added in the commentary here are my own so if you have heat to give, give it to me here. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions for more possibilities.

 

Learn about Beth Bacon's thoughts at the DBW through the Scoopit! Link below.

 

 

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Writing and reading fiction
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An astonishing five out of ten of last year's bestsellers were whodunits. Here Ian Rankin reveals how to write your own

With worldwide sales of 30 million for his Rebus books, the writer is just the man to compile Event's ten-point guide to writing the perfect whodunit...

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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, May 22, 2013 11:34 PM

I write crime novels in which the cops never show up. However, my first love in the mystery genre was Agatha Christie. I also like Ian Rankin's books very much. You'll enjoy Rankin's article on building your whodunit.

Learn at the link below and enjoy!

 

~ Chazz 

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Writing and reading fiction
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Ebook Boxed Set Tips and How Tos

Ebook Boxed Set Tips and How Tos | Writers' World | Scoop.it

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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, June 1, 2013 12:17 PM

1. Check out this great post on ebook box sets by DD Scott at The Writer's Guide to E-Publishing to make more money and sell more books.

 

2. I'm always researching how to best proceed in the book business. I run across great stuff all the time. When I want to keep a link for future reference, I dutifully click "Add to reading list." The article is added to the nigh-infinite cyber pile of stuff I'll never look at again. RSS feeds pile up and notes get filed under: "Stuff to definitely get to once I become immortal."Scoopit! is my solution.

3. I add value to this blog by using Scoopit! links to point readers to useful stuff they might have missed. My blog is the surest way I have to avoid losing useful information to the "Add to reading list" button.

 

Enjoy DD Scott's suggestions at the link below.

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Writing and reading fiction
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Do You Know These 9 Huge Opportunities Even Smart Authors Miss? — The Book Designer

Do You Know These 9 Huge Opportunities Even Smart Authors Miss? — The Book Designer | Writers' World | Scoop.it
Do You Know These 9 Huge Opportunities Even Smart Authors Miss? describes numerous ways indie authors can improve their traffic, authority, and sales

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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, June 1, 2013 12:03 PM

Great suggestions (with even more helpful links) from Joan Stewart on The Book Designer's website. For instance, Locus.com wasn't really on my radar.

 

I do wonder about the real value of blogging sometimes. Blogging success (as in eventually gathering a base, driving traffic and selling books and/or monetizing in an author's case) depends on how you do it, your target audience and your goals. I justify this blog for writers by gathering publishing allies, building community and turning years of blogging about writing into two books, for instance.

If blogging takes time away from writing books you should be writing, blogging hurts you. An author page *is* necessary and you do need to at least blog that much so you have web real estate you own. Your blog is where you build your mailing list and you can't do that on Amazon. (Subscribe to my mailing list at www.AllThatChazz.com, BTW.)

I'm not saying don't blog (I have five blogs.) However, blogging must be pursued strategically, using time management and prioritzation. How do I do it? I don't blog on all my blogs daily and the books come first. I'm getting better at writing shorter blog posts that are easily done and quicker  for readers to digest: Less Tolstoy, more Seth Godin.

 

Learn more about publicity from Joan Stewart at the link to The Book Designer below.

 

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from The Funnily Enough
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How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication

How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication | Writers' World | Scoop.it

E. B. White declared, “The best writing is rewriting.” In other words, the best writing is editing. We find all kinds of info on how to write. But editing can be a little more slippery. Basically, this is because good editing skills are no different from good writing skills. If you know how to write a good plot, you’ll know how to edit one. If you know how to edit a great beginning, you’ll know how to write one. The storycraft is no different in writing than it is in editing.


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Rescooped by Sherman Hu from The Funnily Enough
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Tear Down the Writing Wall. 6 Tips to Help You Finish Your Novel

Tear Down the Writing Wall. 6 Tips to Help You Finish Your Novel | Writers' World | Scoop.it

You’re a writer. You were born with natural creativity.

 

But then something happens.

 

The romance wears thin. You hit a wall and your precious book becomes more tedious than fun. Breaking down the wall, instead of turning away from the project, is the difference between published and unpublished writers.

 

How can you tear down the wall?

 


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Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Writing and reading fiction
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New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks


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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, May 8, 2013 11:36 PM

This is an interesting survey from Smashwords. For instance, shorter titles have a slight advantage and "the top bestselling Smashwords books averaged 115,000 words"? Cool to know. Learn at the link and see what you think.

 

~ Chazz

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The Writers' Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers' Union of Canada

The Writers' Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers' Union of Canada | Writers' World | Scoop.it

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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, June 3, 2013 12:59 PM

I doubted this would move forward (and it still has to pass by a two-thirds  majority of the membership.) However, things are looking up for recognition of self-published work and indie authors. Their caveats seem reasonable to me.

 

This is particularly important since I was just listening to the Book Fight podcast (BookFightPod.com) in which one host revealed that universities are very much behind the times. He was told that publication online (where many more people might actually discover and read his work) would count for little or nothing to his credit. It's still publish or perish, but they would prefer you hide your light under that cliched bushel of paper, thanks very much.

Largely, it seems academia still prefers publication in prestigious literary journals. To put that in perspective, a middling blog has a much larger subscriber base and readership than most any literary journal you could name. Chasing journals kind of sounds ridiculous. You could be using that time and energy building a readership, a mailing list and relevance.

 

As technology and reality drag neo-Luddites into the 21st century, it's exciting to see TWUC leading the way and acknowledging that the publishing industry, and the profession of writer, has changed drastically.  (Not will change or is changing. Has changed.) By admitting indies, they expand their revenue, their power in numbers and maintain their relevance.

 

Good luck, TWUC! I'll definitely consider joining.

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Writing and reading fiction
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Amazon’s New SciFi, Fantasy, and Romance Subcategories


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Robert Chazz Chute's curator insight, May 28, 2013 11:35 AM

Author India Drummond noticed that Amazon has new categories, subcategories, theme categories and character categories. Learn at the link to The Writer's Guide to E-publishing. They're pretty detailed, cool and interesting (though they've got elves, dragons and pirates, but no zombies, darnnit!)

Um, hello, Amazon? I've got a bunch of books on your site. I'm grateful to India for pointing this out, of course, but shouldn't Amazon go out of their way to let us know about something like this? Did I miss a meeting or a memo? Lots of things happen on Amazon and sometimes it seems like they rely on osmosis to announce changes. (Like one day you wake up and the tags are gone.)

It's a good idea to revisit your book's categories from time to time. If your work isn't moving in Mystery, you might have more luck in Action/Adventure (assuming your book could reasonably fit both categories.)

 

You're allowed two categories on Amazon, so explore your options so readers can find you. The more specific your list, the greater your chances of book buyers discovering you're awesome (assuming you're awesome.) You could be ranked 1,786,023 in sci-fi, but you could potentially be huge  in a subcategory, like First Contact, Galactic Empire or Cyberpunk.

 

It's an exciting marketing opportunity if we work it right.

 

~ Chazz





 

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from Machinimania
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Amazon launches Storyteller to turn scripts into storyboards -- automagically

Amazon launches Storyteller to turn scripts into storyboards -- automagically | Writers' World | Scoop.it

Excerpt from review article by VentureBeat:
"Upload your script, choose some backgrounds, and magically created a professional-looking storyboard of your movie. Or the graphic novel version of your text-based anything.

Amazon Studios released Storyteller today to allow writers and filmmakers to quickly, easily — and cheaply — storyboard their scripts.

Roy Price, Amazon’s director of Studios said: “Storyteller provides a digital backlot, acting troupe, prop department, and assistant editor — everything you need to bring your story to life.”

You start by uploading a script to Amazon Studios — or by playing with one that’s already there. Then simply page through the script paragraph by paragraph. Storyteller will try to match up characters, props, and background with the words in each chunk of text, and it does a surprisingly good job.

But if you don’t like what Storyteller gives, you can choose from its library, or even upload your own custom background or characters. Currently, the software has a library of thousands of props, characters, and backgrounds..."

Read full review article: http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/07/amazon-launches-storyteller-to-turn-scripts-into-storyboards-automagically/

Learn more and try out Storyteller: http://studios.amazon.com/storyteller

 


Via Giuseppe Mauriello, Nicko Gibson, Henrik Safegaard - Cloneartist
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Jim Doyle's curator insight, June 10, 2013 8:32 PM
Amazon launches Storyteller to turn scripts into storyboards -- automagically
vgpascal's curator insight, June 11, 2013 1:49 AM

Du synopsis au storyboard en passant par studio.amazon.com/storyteller

Alfredo Corell's curator insight, June 23, 2013 8:52 AM

load of applications in the classroom

Rescooped by Sherman Hu from itsyourbiz
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Entrepreneur Creates Publishing Powerhouse With Niche Romance Novels - Small Business Trends

Entrepreneur Creates Publishing Powerhouse With Niche Romance Novels - Small Business Trends | Writers' World | Scoop.it
Entrepreneur Creates Publishing Powerhouse With Niche Romance Novels Small Business Trends Jaid Black aka Tina Engler of Ellora's Cave Tina Engler didn't set out to start a multimillion dollar publishing company when she began writing romance...

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