C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

Amazon: My last stab

GET BIGGER THAN JESUS, FREE ON AMAZON TODAY, TOMORROW AND FRIDAY

Free promotions sure aren’t what they used to be. Last December, with Amazon’s old algorithm, friends of mine made big money. Success on the free list actually translated to success on the paid list. Then everything changed and many of us have been slow to react, me included. I notice that, among my writer friends, many (most?) are selling their books on KDP Select exclusively, five free days and all, for the first three months and then they aren’t renewing with KDP. They’ll continue to sell on Amazon, but there are plenty of other places to sell besides Amazon. After that first three months of trying to take advantage of the Amazon advantage, they put their work up everywhere else, too. That’s what I’m doing with the foundation book of my crime novel series, Bigger Than Jesus.

BY THE WAY: 

Bigger Than Jesus is available for free in ebook form

until Friday, and then that’s it.

As The Hit Man Series continues, I don’t know if I’ll go exclusive at all, even for those first three months. The math just doesn’t seem to add up to a marketing strategy that’s advantageous. In truth, it hasn’t been helpful to many indie authors for some time. I stuck with it because of the timing as my previous books launched. I have three books to release before Christmas and the eggs won’t be going into one basket anymore.

Someone asked me recently, “What’s the latest success strategy for indie authors?” I encountered some resistance when I replied, “There isn’t one.” We’ve had the publicists, advertising, press releases, blogging, podcasting, Twitter (and various  derivative Twitter strategies), Facebook, Pinterest (maybe?), the 99 cent strategy, blog tours, free, Goodreads, book bloggers, etc,…. Some combination of these elements may work for someone. Though they’ve all been effective for someone individually in the past, no one strategy seems to deliver a knock-out punch. When I say there isn’t one, I don’t rule out the possibility of their effectiveness in the plural, if you have the time to do all that. (You don’t. Go write instead.) 

Which brings up the question: Will Amazon change its algorithm again so it makes sense for us to stay exclusive with KDP Select? Who knows? Amazon’s algorithms and their rationale may be deduced, but are never made explicit. That information is solely on a need-to-know basis. (Apparently, we don’t need to know.)

Amazon is good at what they do — or has been — but it’s unreasonable to expect they’ll be right all the time, even with their vast resources. More to the point, Amazon’s looking out for Amazon, not me. My evidence is they aren’t making the exclusivity clause worth it for a lot of authors (even the true believers who, in the past, made a lot of dough.) I’m losing sales on other devices because I’m not selling enough with KDP. The Amazon sales don’t make up for lost sales elsewhere. Listening to my writer buddies, it’s clear I’m not alone in that assessment.

This is a business decision and has nothing to do with damning Amazon. I’m not one of the haters whining about monopolies and painting Amazon as a bully. The market is a competition and Amazon is on top because they made a lot of great decisions early on. However, I’m not looking for a new mom to take care of me, either. Being indie doesn’t mean supplanting one boss with a new boss just because it’s easy to go on inertia and formatting anew is a pain in the ass. Next month, as soon as my three months are up, Bigger Than Jesus will be available more widely (Hello Kobo, Nook, Sony, your smart phone, your iPhone, your iPad…maybe even your toaster.)

As for book marketing’s next knock out punch? People will tell you they know what the next big thing is. Some will even try to sell you books based on giving away one ultimate secret of indie author success. I think those people are often well-intentioned and they give out a lot of good information. I’ve read a bunch about marketing ebooks lately and, frankly, I’m also skeptical about some of those easy, plug-and-play answers.

Only one strategy I know of seems like anything close to a sure thing and (WARNING!) it’s a slow, steady grind. It’s not a popular idea because it’s not easy and quick. 

Write more books.

(Do a great job!)

Put them up.

(Do what promotion you can that doesn’t interfere with your writing schedule.)

Write more books.

(Make sure they are wonderful.)

I aspire to inspire, but as for marketing? Hm. Sorry.

“Write more books” is honestly all I’ve got in stock at the moment.

I’ve said it before and it’s still all I have to say on that subject.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I just received my first review on Goodreads! And it’s a good’un!

The ebook review was for The Dangerous Kind, a novelette:The_Dangerous_Kind

Two orphaned brothers go into the woods on a hunting trip. Each has reason to want the other out of the way. Only one will ever see home again.

Read the review here!

Thanks to Mark Young for the nice review. It’s also kind of prescient of him. The setting for The Dangerous Kind is a small town in Maine called Poeticule Bay. Mark felt the novelette was a warm-up for more from Poeticule Bay and he’s right! I’m already working on the next Poeticule Bay book, a full-length novel.

If you’ve read Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You’re High, you’ll also recognize the name. In the very first story of that collection, an actress named Legs Gabrielle returns to Poeticule Bay for her father’s funeral. Complications ensue when she is not welcomed back as the local girl who made good. You can read that story for free here. Or buy it as part of the whole collection here. (All of $2.99.)

As for that awesome review of The Dangerous Kind, if you’re ready for a little suspense, just jump to buying it on Amazon.

Or Smashwords.

Or for your Nook.

Or you could, I suppose, go on with your life thinking that your world does not revolve around my dark tales of suspense.

You could, theoretically, pass this by and believe that you could do without fulfilling my petty desires.

But we both know that’s not true. (Er…right?)

Also, The Dangerous Kind is only 99 cents. 

(It ain’t begging if you provide something in exchange for the couch change.)

Or click the link above to get that free taste of Self-help for Stoners and see if you think I’m wasting your time…or drawing you into my world.

Filed under: All That Chazz, My fiction, web reviews, What about Chazz?, Writers, , , , , , , , , ,

E-readers: I told you so (an indulgent post of self-congratulation)

A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

UPDATE about the Big Picture

The trend is up. The sales of e-books outpaced the expectations of many industry experts through the fall. I have trumpeted the arrival of the e-book future here to the point of pedantry. And yes, I received an e-reader for Christmas. I’m pleased and impressed with my Sony reader. I predicted that e-readers would sweep consumers off their feet on their gift-buying sprees. I’m sure I can now predict the numbers bear me out.

Today I went out in search of a protector for my e-reader. I visited several stores. They were all sold out.

Oh, sure, now it looks obvious. It didn’t look so obvious when I was telling everyone about it last summer.

“Ha!” I say, and “Ha!” again.

Filed under: Books, ebooks, publishing, Rant, , , , , , , ,

Merry Christmas from Chazz!

Wherever you are, I hope Santa brought you the perfect giftmerry_christmas

that you didn’t think you needed

and would never have bought

for yourself but it turned out to be amazing!


Yes, I’m saying I hope you got an e-reader for Christmas.

Have a happy and a merry!

And thanks for reading.

See you Monday.

Filed under: ebooks, , , , , , , ,

Comparing E-readers (because I’m running out of room!)

 
Friday's Library Sale Haul
Friday’s Library Sale Haul

 

But the problem is...
But the problem is…

 The bookshelves are groaning. I’m going to need to get an e-reader so I can store my books in the weightless, spaceless ether.

Are you wondering what e-reader to buy? Here’s a an interesting link that compares the tech:

How five e-readers stacked up – USATODAY.com‏

Filed under: Books, ebooks, web reviews, , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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