Amazon Bitch – the results

Amaazon author page - crpdAmazon.com Author Page   Amazon.co.uk Author Page

In October 2014 here on my blog, I produced two posts related to self-publishing, and my experiences. For those of you like me who have an aversion to percentages and targets in their private life – I am not intending to give figures, only a general overview.

For the benefit of those who didn’t see the posts, and to refresh the memories of those who were kind enough to read them, I will summarise both posts before I go on.

*

Amazon Bitch – Part 1 of 2
I related a brief history of my self-publishing experience on various platforms. It couldn’t help but be brief, because I’ve only been on the scene since 2012.

*

Amazon Bitch – Part 2 of 2
My second post of the pair was aimed at sharing ten personal tips to aid success in the world of self-publishing. Prior to making my list I did not refer to the other zillion posts on the Internet with ten tips for success. My wish was to focus on what I knew.
In closing the second post I suggested that I would return with an update if my figures reached a healthy level. For ‘healthy’ in the world of self-publishing, read ‘breathing unaided’.

*

It was as we entered November 2014 that I reached a point where my novels, short story anthologies and poetry anthologies were all published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Having freed myself from other publishers I enrolled all of my work on Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select), and in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).

*

At this point I’d like to bring up something that may have been overlooked, or misunderstood by some authors. The Amazon Terms and Conditions for publishers are long-winded and detailed, so before you tick all the little boxes and publish all over the place, spend a while reading their terms. If you transgress and you are found out, you could come unstuck. As a guide, it took me 30 minutes to read the terms and conditions.

*

Okay, let’s get back on track. By November 2014, I had all of my books published on Amazon and I submitted myself completely. One of my fantasies has always been to submit myself to an Amazon. In this case it was to give my books a chance.

By enrolling on KDP Select my books gained me more royalties, and on KOLL, to buy or borrow was the reader’s choice.
Within a week my novels were being borrowed, which means I was getting royalties from readers who might go on to borrow more of my titles, if they enjoyed the first one.

It should be considered too, that if we humans feel the need to offer our opinion, we do, so that old advertising ploy, ‘word of mouth’ comes into play.

*

By the end of November I saw an increase in sales on all of my novels and a regular trickle of borrowing across my entire portfolio – yes, including my poetry series. Really!
In order to stimulate sales, I tried the option of giving away a book for a day. If you want to see a spike in your Amazon sales graph, give a book away for a day and tell Twitter and a couple of Facebook groups. I’ve now employed that tactic a couple of times and it works.

*

How does it work for the author by giving away a book?
It works for this author, because at the back of all of my books I have a list of my other titles and each has a brief synopsis.

Looking at my figures from early November 2014 to the end of January 2015, I’m pretty confident that I’m gaining repeat business from readers.

*

Does it work being an Amazon bitch?
Personally, I believe it works for me. I have no connection to any of the other publishers and I don’t sell my books from my author website. There is absolutely no chance of me breaking any rules because I’ve affiliated myself to one publishing house.
I don’t conduct a daily sales check, because that would drive me insane, but I do check my sales weekly, and against the marketing ideas I try on a particular date.
The Books page on my author website offers links to both main Amazon websites to buy my work and I think that’s working for me. We reap what we sow, especially in self-publishing, and I take nothing for granted.

*

I hope as always that at least some of this has been of benefit to my peers out there. If you are a novice at the self-publishing business and you haven’t read the two posts mentioned in my intro, please consider checking them out – my points are for the benefit of all of us. atasteofhoney(1)

A Taste of Honey was not included in my previous posts, due to it being published in December 2014.

The good news is that sales are climbing and reviews are favourable.
Thank you for taking the time to consume my thoughts. All feedback is welcome.

***

Advertisements

10 comments on “Amazon Bitch – the results

  1. I’m happy to hear about your success with Amazon. What you have done is not for the faint of heart–I speak from a tiny bit of experience.
    A couple of weeks ago, I published a short story through KDP, and it was no walk in the park. My intention is to publish two more shorts (maybe more) in the coming weeks to pave way for my novel, which I hope to have ready in a few months.
    Now to why I’m telling you this–
    Some time ago, you encouraged me to give a go at self publishing. Since in a year’s time, I couldnt get even one literary agent to look at my novel, I decided to take the leap into the indie author world. All thanks to you, my friend.(I mentioned this in a post I made a couple of weeks ago.) I don’t think I would have taken the plunge without you urging me to do so. Thanks, Tom.
    Kathy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Kathy and thank you for your continued patronage at my little platform here. I am so glad that you took the plunge, because you are a wonderful storyteller and I would despair if I thought only a few people would read your work.
      Yes, that first dip into self-publishing gives cause for a few butterflies, but if you find any issues, please give me a nod. I don’t know it all – yet, but I’m working on it, and it is a hard road.
      Perhaps this would be a good time to tell you that your short story, ‘Saving Grace’ has a review on both main Amazon sites. I’ll be posting a link to a Facebook group of authors/reviewers.
      Congratulations to you my friend, and I can’t wait for the next one. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your gracious comments re my storytelling made me smile great big. 😀 There are times I think my writing isn’t worth crap, then someone–like you–whose talent I admire, tells me my ramblings ARE worth reading.
        Thank you for your countinued support, Tom, AND offer of help. Now I know who to call on if I find myself in a jam. 🙂

        Like

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Tom! They are especially helpful to me since I’ve been considering taking Reborn off of Smashwords and making it exclusive to Amazon again, at least for a bit while I build my early fan base.

    I’ll be honest with you: My biggest problem has been reaching the people that read Reborn to let them know the sequel is out, although I do know that I have a group of readers that read Reborn and then read the sequel when it came out. I wonder if I made them both exclusive to Amazon and played around with the promotions more if that would help. This journey is a tough, long road (but worth it when you’re doing what you enjoy).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shaina and thank you for stopping by. If it was my decision I would base it on my findings in this post. Unless you are seeing fair success with Smashwords, cut and run.
      If for example you have both books on Amazon you could promote the pair, or one on the back of the other. I know Facebook isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, but within only a handful of groups you could reach a lot of readers.
      It is a tough game and even as my portfolio grows, it doesn’t get any easier – it takes the same determination and stamina to market and promote as it does to write and edit. Is there a down-side? Yes, while we’re doing the self-promotion thing we’re not writing.
      I’ll be watching you … 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ‘One of my fantasies has always been to submit myself to an Amazon.’ – Why doesn’t that surprise me? It does make me laugh, though.
    I’m so pleased that your hard work and dedication is reaping rewards. I do know what you mean, though, about writing v self-promoting … Well, I’m spinning manuscripts rather than plates at the moment, but in the next couple of weeks hope to see some pages land in the places for which they were destined, and I can start to fulfil some other promises, such as buying WKTucker’s book (I haven’t forgotten, Kathy) and perhaps ironing some of my husband’s shirts. Now that would cause a shock 🙂
    As ever, Tom, thanks for the generous way you share your writing journey and discoveries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello and thank you for the visit and kind comments Julia. Glad you liked my admission …:)
      I’m pleased to hear your producing results, and that your poor husband is having his shirts ironed. I’ll be over your way tomorrow to catch up on yet another attempt at visiting some blogs. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not much to catch up on at the moment! Most of my social media presence has been on my fb author page whilst I’m writing. But visits are always welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Really inspiring, Tom. And I have to say I just love that title… Amazon Bitch, lol. Talk about making an impact! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by Ramona, and I’m glad you like the title. I always aim to find something to catch the eye, but that one just felt right from the outset. 😀

      Like

Comments are closed.