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Old 04-25-2010, 11:48 AM   #1
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Any comments from new or established authors

I've been trying to think of the price of "The First Book".

The first book of a new author.

The first book in a series by an established author.

A new author wants to get established (and make some money to live on). Sometimes their "first book" is free or only $.99 to $1.99.

A few books by new authors get deleted from my reader. But I think that some are under priced. I would rather see "new" authors getting about $3 for the first book as an enticement. More if they think that they can get it.

Not enough to get fat on, true.

Established authors on Baen will sometimes have free books. It works. I've read the free book and bought others that they have written.

In fact I have spent more money on Baen than elsewhere.
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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My first one which was only a short story, I've put on smash words for free!
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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My own experience, for what it's worth: I originally charged for all my ebooks, and got a trickle of sales. I decided to make the first one free, and fairly rapidly found it getting thousands of downloads - and hundreds of sales of the later books.

I think that even $1.99 can be a barrier when it comes to trying the work of an unknown author who's just another unfamiliar name.

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Old 04-25-2010, 07:41 PM   #4
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What will get me to buy a book, what ever the authors fame, is the ability to read the first chapter or 2.

In the book stores I'll read the first page or two and decide. Sometimes it doesn't work out though.

But if I do get to the end of the first chapter then I'm hooked.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just read the first four pages of your first book "Sentence of Marriage".

Great writing! Not really my type of book, but I do like your expressive style and imagery. You had me clicking though Google images as I read.

No sale yet. However I did bookmark it. I will come back to it later. Is this what they mean by "historical romance"?

What you've done is what I look for in new authors. I think that you can start to raise your prices on the next set of books.

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Old 04-25-2010, 08:07 PM   #5
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I did a number of giveaways and gave out over 1000 copies of my book in the first week. I thought it was important to get my name out there in the beginning. That was 8 weeks ago.

I now sell 3-5 books a day between Amazon and Smashwords at $1.99. It's not huge money, but it's a starting point. Likely I will move up to 2.99 in June because of Amazon's new model. Unless I get picked up by a traditional publisher I doubt I will raise it higher than 2.99 and my next book will likely start around that price.

I'm getting some good traction in a few places now and building up a following, but I really think none of that would have happened without giving it away in the beginning.

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Old 04-25-2010, 08:24 PM   #6
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I am curious about what different giveaways make.

David: when you gave away so many books, did you find that many people paid you back with ratings or reviews?

I know that I myself tend to have the free books in a "to be read" pile and don't get to them so quickly (unless they are books I would have paid for anyway).

I myself am doing a rolling launch, putting up a coupon here or there to see the response. I will probably try more give aways when I have more books up.

Camille

The Adventure of Anna the Great
at Smashwords
for Kindle

The Wife of Freedom
at Smashwords
for Kindle
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:36 PM   #7
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I got some reviews, but it was visibility that I got. For example, I found mobileread based on someone's post that they had received my book for free. There were other connections like that as well. I posted in a few forums and some folks picked it up and read. I've gotten a number of good reviews fairly quickly - couldn't tell you why. A couple are from bloggers, but most told me it would be awhile before they got to it. I think there's some luck in this too.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:47 PM   #8
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David - one more question: HOW did you give away the copies?

So far, I've posted some short term free Smashwords coupons here, just to test it out. But did you just make the price "free" or did you create a mailing list or target any particular areas or groups? Just post the info in your sig?

Camille

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at Smashwords, or for Kindle

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorridRedDog View Post
I just read the first four pages of your first book "Sentence of Marriage".

Great writing! Not really my type of book, but I do like your expressive style and imagery. You had me clicking though Google images as I read.

No sale yet. However I did bookmark it. I will come back to it later. Is this what they mean by "historical romance"?

What you've done is what I look for in new authors. I think that you can start to raise your prices on the next set of books.
Hey thank you! You're not horrid at all

As I understand it, historical romances have more romance than my books tend to I have a feeling that the people tend to be a bit grander, too.

I just found a Wikipedia article on this, and it confirmed my feeling that I don't really write historical romances. If I had to pick a sub-genre of "historical novel", "Family saga" is probably the best match.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:21 PM   #10
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Camille

I've been building up a network over the last year. Facebook, Twitter, etc. When I went public with the release of my book I made a huge deal out of it and let people know that I was giving the book away for free. I also posted here.

Quite honestly the giveaway was pretty easy but build up the network took time.

If you want some really good advice on some of this check out Joe Konrath's blog. It's worth every word.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:24 PM   #11
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Hey thank you! You're not horrid at all

As I understand it, historical romances have more romance than my books tend to I have a feeling that the people tend to be a bit grander, too.

I just found a Wikipedia article on this, and it confirmed my feeling that I don't really write historical romances. If I had to pick a sub-genre of "historical novel", "Family saga" is probably the best match.
You know, genres have changed so much. (It seems like "thriller" these days means horror and "suspense" means "somewhat horrific thriller", adventure means "action", and the word "romance" means the more strict formula, while "romantic" may be applied to other genres.)

Most of the time I write in clear other genres, but like you, I have a book that has romance, and historical aspects (imaginary world, but not magical), but is more 'women's fiction' with adventure in it.

I am trying to keep an eye on how people are managing to find an audience, and I'm beginning to think you've got to "just do it" call it whatever seems closest.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:34 PM   #12
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I agree, Camille, genres do seem to be rather fluid. And while some books fall neatly into one, some really don't. This can be quite a hassle for people pitching to publishers/agents.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:34 PM   #13
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davidhburton

I guess it would depend on how fast you can write new books.

(I should finish my first book in about 2,000 years, maybe longer.)

I would like to see your first book stay below $4 as an introduction to your future books.

After that, up to full price (except for your friends here at MR) or $7.99 which ever is lower.

Paper books at $9.99 or what ever.

I guess my point is that I would like to see a low $1 to $3 introductory price on the first book. And leave it low. Books after that should be higher, if possible.

If I can read a chapter or two then I really don't feel like I'm wasting money when I pay $6 or $7 for a new authors first work.

I know, the only price that some will pay is "the lowest price".

Even free is too much if I don't like that first page or the first chapter. I don't download just to say "look what I've got".

P.S. - I do have you book.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:35 PM   #14
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Camille

I've been building up a network over the last year. Facebook, Twitter, etc. When I went public with the release of my book I made a huge deal out of it and let people know that I was giving the book away for free. I also posted here.

Quite honestly the giveaway was pretty easy but build up the network took time.

If you want some really good advice on some of this check out Joe Konrath's blog. It's worth every word.
Thanks, yeah, Konrath is the one who inspired me to pull out some of my older work and publish it.

I was actually not asking about promoting it, but the mechanism you used to physically give the book away. Coupons? Personal sending by email? Free downloads from your website? Just set the price as Free on Smashwords? All of the above?

Since Amazon won't let you price as free, I am a little concerned about the juggling act to use Smashwords to get a free version on Amazon, and then getting the free Smashwords version off Amazon later when you want to put up a priced version.

Of course, that's not a problem if you are using a book promotionally and intend to always keep it at free.

Sorry if I'm obsessing - I'm just trying to figure out details of my action plan when there are SO many options out there.

Camille

The Adventure of Anna the Great
at Smashwords, or for Kindle

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:46 PM   #15
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Hey thank you! You're not horrid at all

As I understand it, historical romances have more romance than my books tend to I have a feeling that the people tend to be a bit grander, too.

I just found a Wikipedia article on this, and it confirmed my feeling that I don't really write historical romances. If I had to pick a sub-genre of "historical novel", "Family saga" is probably the best match.
Thanks Shayne, I just looked at a bit of the other 3 books. All in all they looked interesting. If I didn't like it at all I would never have gotten to page 4 of the first book.

All of you are doing much more than I can do, and I just want to give support more than advice.
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