PDF documents are great but there may come a time when you are reading/reviewing one when you need to roughly know what the word count of the document is. By their nature PDF’s are usually full of charts, images and tables that make the task difficult. Most (all?) free PDF viewers don’t give the reader a word count in situ. So you have to use either expensive software or another method.Continue reading
Lets say you run a email newsletter. Maybe you would like to provide your readers with something a little less email-like and get your newsletter content/links/downloads published on Kindle. For arguments sake let’s say you want to send your readership a free e-book to read on their Kindle once in a while. It could be fiction or fact. The subject matter is immaterial.Continue reading
A salty little (true) tale involving poetry, sex and a different type of success.
Aeons ago I was at university.
It was a “Science & Technology” university. In those days that meant that the male to female ratio was horrendously biased towards males.Continue reading
I appreciate that this is an opinionated post on ebook publishing. It will be a hard read for some that may make you angry. But I feel it has to be said.
We need to look at the reality of self-publishing as well as the dream.Continue reading
Many indies use Amazon KDP. It is a great way to publish a book of any size. We often associate more pages with more value and bigger royalties but that is not always the case. There are circumstances when publishing paperbacks on Amazon KDP where you can increase royalties by decreasing page count. A case when less is more!
Before I come to this “Story-line” for writers, I want to purposefully digress slightly and talk about an excellent TV series on Netflix called “Black Mirror”. It is relevant (honest!).
Black Mirror is a series without a unifying story. It is in effect a set of stand alone stories. Each story is different and could be put out as-is without any of the others. Each story stands alone on its own merits.
If you place your book (or your book is placed) into one or more public libraries in the UK then you can register for an annual payment under the Public Lending Rights scheme (known as the PLR – see here).
Public Lending Rights is a long standing UK government scheme. It recompenses authors for loans of their work from public libraries. While the income from Public Lending Rights will not set the world on fire, it is a rather satisfying confirmation that your work is getting noticed and read. I believe most other countries run very similar schemes.
When you are promoting you book do not forget to give free copies of your work to the local public libraries. This is especially true if you are writing something that is locality relevant.
In my humble opinion the current state of copyright law is a serious inhibitor to the production of lesser known or nearly forgotten works. Maybe I have this wrong. If so please enlighten me.Continue reading
So what can you expect from selling a niche non-fiction paperback on Amazon or one of the other on-line platforms?
The first thing you need to take on-board is a heavy dose of realism. What is the size of the market for your book? How big should your book be? What will the punters be prepared to pay?Continue reading
I don’t want to knock Amazon KDP publishing platform (well, not by much anyway).
Over the last eight years KDP has provided a way in for countless new authors and publishers. It has almost singlehandedly, wrested control of publishing away from the stale suites governing the big five publishers.Continue reading
Authors all crave Amazon ratings. A string of good ratings really can establish a book. This is especially true for ebooks. An ebook with an initial bad rating will die a sudden death. If the first rating is bad then it can kill free downloads. Let alone sales.
Most readers do not give a rating. Even those who really enjoy or significantly dislike the work usually just let it pass. Most of those who do give a rating do so because the book has had an impact upon them. They try to fairly judge the work on what they got for their money. Which is fair enough and what we all want.
So you have published a paperback on Amazon or elsewhere. Well done! There is a legal requirement that you deposit at least one copy with the British Library. This is the famed Legal Deposit you have probably heard of. Here is what to do and what to expect.Continue reading
There are many head winds facing a self publisher. One of these is the cost of buying an ISBN in the UK. The price structure for buying ISBN’s strongly favours big companies while severely penalizing small publishers.
If you are publishing a single book and so just want one ISBN, you will get hit the hardest of all.
This is the price structure for buying ISBN’s in the UK as of today.
Nobody is going to get rich writing niche non-fiction books on local history or other similar narrow niche topics. But if you can get a some sales it will give you a great feeling. You will have provided a useful resource to the community.
If you are lucky, writing a niche non-fiction book might allow you to buy a few beers. But you most certainly should not give up the day job! So if you want to maximise the number of beers what should you publish? An ebook? A paperback? Or both?
NOTE: This is about novellas, short stories and other ebooks that do not sell. It is not about the Zombie novellas as a genre!
OK, lets say your novella or short story sold a few copies then went into rapid decline like This One did. Now, two years on, instead of giving you that small but consistent income you were hoping for, it has dropped to a sales rank so high it resembles the number of dollars you were dreaming of making when you started writing.
What should you do?
In the last post I displayed the statistics for the first of three short stories I wrote a few years ago. The sales performance of this first ebook was hardly spectacular. But it took less than a day to write, format and then submit. It was also just an experiment. So taking all into account, it wasn’t bad. I made a couple of hundred quid. In this post I want take a real no-hoper and do some sales analysis.
In my last post (Here) I looked at how the ebook Novella and short story market appears to be overcrowded. I went on to surmise though that maybe it is not as bad as it first looks. Could it be that as most novellas and short stories seem to have a very brief shelf life? Which would mean the author of a new novella would be competing mostly with corpses.
If that is the case then there is some good news.
The good news is that the market is not swamped. Or at least, less swamped than we thought. Sadly though there is some bad news too.
(It is just old novellas smell funny)
So how do novella sales compare with other ebook formats? Look at this graph I picked up from Data Guy on AuthorsEarnings.com. Like all of the Data Guys information, it is immaculate. Everything on his site is worth a read. (Frankly I’m in awe). There is no reason to doubt the graph below at all. But, I do not think it tells the whole story.
Just to wrap up the last set of a short series of blog posts on how many ebook sales you can expect from a specified sales rank, I thought I would just compare the pluses and minuses of sales rank performance in the USA and UK. The series started On This Link
We know that by far the biggest market for ebooks is the USA. Below is the relative quantity of ebook sales by Amazon in 2017 by English speaking region. Bear in mind Germany is a bigger market than the UK. Japan is nearly as big. There will be more on these two markets in a later post.
In the last post I looked at the relationship between ebook sales rank and actual sales for popular ebooks in the UK. This post is about those ebooks that sell less well and how the sales rank relates to actual sales for them.
Over 400 million ebooks were shifted by Amazon USA in in 2016/17 whereas the UK managed just short of 85 million. So the ratio of ebook sales between the two behemoths is of the order of 5:1. Unsurprisingly the sales rank for the same ebook differs greatly between the two.
So, are the USA sales ranks totally independent of the UK store? I think so. Inevitably there will be books that sell well in the USA and badly in the UK and vice sa versa. So to have the same ranking for both would be self defeating.
The last couple of posts, starting with (This one) I have explored how ebook sales rank relates to number of ebooks sold. But that was for the USA. From the data that is out there I extrapolated to end up with a set of graphs showing how Amazon sales rank related to actual sales. Obviously this comes down to my interpretation but I think it stands up. Here I will try an explore the same issue with UK sales rank.
In the last post (Here) I tried to graphically present how many ebook sales per month you could roughly expect for a particular sales ranking. This was fine for those shifting 1000’s a month. For those with a sales rank under 10,000 it was useless. The resolution on the graph was simply not up to displaying the highs as well as the lows. The long tail ebook sales rank in the USA just blurred into the x-axis.
This is the first is a series of posts on how ebook sales rank in the USA and the UK relates to the number and rate of ebook sales. While there are a number of tools available that will give an approximate sales outcome for a particular rank, they are a little like fruit machines. You put in your sales rank. Pull the handle. Out pops an estimate of the number of books you need to sell to achieve that sales ranking.
I thought it would be nice to present this data graphically so we can all see what is going on right across the full sales rank spectrum. I intend going down to where a ebook is selling only a handful of copies a year. This is below the resolution of the fruit machines.