My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

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MattLarkin
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My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 10th, 2012, 7:47 am

Most of you probably know I released Children of Sun and Moon a while back by self-pub. I've had very modest success so far, but I want to give a big shout out to David and Margo for their help.

I'm trying out a reduced price of $2.99. I've spent some time talking to other writers about price points. It's a tricky subject. I'll let you guys know if it makes a difference.

In the mean time, I'll soon be back to work on book 2, Legacy of Moon and Fire.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by Mira » March 20th, 2012, 2:17 pm

Good luck, Matt! :)

Yes, let us know how the pricing experiement goes!

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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 20th, 2012, 4:48 pm

Thanks, Mira!

I'm at 10 days out, and the price drop hasn't effected anything yet. I think I have to give it a good long shot to know for sure, though.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by Margo » March 21st, 2012, 12:11 pm

I don't think lowering the price will help. A recent reader survey for a different genre noted that readers associate very low prices with low quality. I wouldn't go 99 cents or $2.99 for a novel. I want to say (without looking it up) that the survey indicated $3.99 was the floor for what they would pay for a "good" novel.

So...what else do you have out? If you only have one title, it's unlikely you are going to see much in the way of sales. The people who do are basically lottery winners (who usually see a drop off after their 15 minutes of fame has timed out). I suggest this exercise. Go look up David Danglish on Amazon and look at the release schedule for his books. Look at how many he has out.

Bottom line, I think it is too early for you to be worrying about sales. It's HIGHLY unlikely you are going to have much in the way of sales before your have 3-4 full-length titles out, ESPECIALLY for a series. The fretting about price points is premature. Go write.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by Holly » March 22nd, 2012, 7:39 am

MattLarkin wrote:Most of you probably know I released Children of Sun and Moon a while back by self-pub. I've had very modest success so far, but I want to give a big shout out to David and Margo for their help.

I'm trying out a reduced price of $2.99. I've spent some time talking to other writers about price points. It's a tricky subject. I'll let you guys know if it makes a difference.

In the mean time, I'll soon be back to work on book 2, Legacy of Moon and Fire.
Hi, Matt. Best of luck with your books. I have two ebooks online, one fiction and one nonfiction, and am about to upload another fiction ebook.

My two cents: $2.99 is too much for most people to pay for an unknown indie with few reviews. You need more reviews and you need to move the book to a better rank. Right now you are stuck in the Amazon abyss where people who browse the site are not likely to see the book. Here are some things you might try:

Enroll the book in Amazon's KDP Select: You must stay in the program for 90 days and pull your book from other retailers during that period. The program has two benefits: free days and paid borrows. Amazon Prime members can borrow one book a month, and if they borrow your book, so far the payments have been $1.60 - 2.00 per borrow, which also counts toward your sales rank.

Free days: This is the best way to move a book out of the Amazon abyss to a rank where people can see it. If you enroll the book, you have five free days per 90 days. Make the book free 1-2 days at a time and watch its rise on the free charts. When it starts to slip, cancel the free run. The high point on the free chart will determine the point where it reenters the paid ranks. Try to cancel the 2nd free day before midnight, otherwise Amazon will count that free day as used. Edited to add the best way to get a good free run is to submit the book to Pixel of Ink and many other bargain sites 30 days before the free run -- those sites have thousands of subscribers and mention on them can make the difference between hundreds versus thousands of downloads (which determines the book's rank when it goes back to paid status).

Temporarily lower the price to 99 cents to move the book. It doesn't do any good to charge $2.99 if people aren't buying it at that price. You can even add a statement in your blurb that it is temporarily on sale for 99 cents. You can always change the price.

Get more reviews. Go to Kindleboards.com and look up review sites by the search feature. Submit the book to as many sites as you can. The more reviews you acquire, the more likely people will try the book.

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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 22nd, 2012, 9:10 am

Margo wrote:A recent reader survey for a different genre noted that readers associate very low prices with low quality. I wouldn't go 99 cents or $2.99 for a novel. I want to say (without looking it up) that the survey indicated $3.99 was the floor for what they would pay for a "good" novel.
Holly wrote:My two cents: $2.99 is too much for most people to pay for an unknown indie with few reviews. You need more reviews and you need to move the book to a better rank.

...Temporarily lower the price to 99 cents to move the book. It doesn't do any good to charge $2.99 if people aren't buying it at that price. You can even add a statement in your blurb that it is temporarily on sale for 99 cents. You can always change the price.
:lol:

So my gut was originally with Margo on this. But I spent a bit of time discussing it with Susan Ee, and more with her friend Amber Lynn Natusch. Both have been amazingly successful at $0.99. I think Angelfall was originally at $4.99 and got a huge bump when she went to $2.99 and another bump at $0.99. But I don't like the $0.99 price point, really. Not only are the absolute royalties very low, but the percentage is lowered, too. Plus, you've got no way to sell anything for less. If people expect to pay $0.99 for a novel, what do you sell a novella at?

Ironically I actually have read Danglish. I splurged on a book for $0.99 that I otherwise wouldn't have bought.

As to releases, unfortunately at this point I have to recoup some of my expenses on editing for the first novel before I can pay for editing for book 2. The book is written and being revised, but I'm unwilling to release it with lower standards than the first.
Holly wrote:Get more reviews. Go to Kindleboards.com and look up review sites by the search feature. Submit the book to as many sites as you can. The more reviews you acquire, the more likely people will try the book.
Now, I've submitted to book bloggers and gotten a few to add me to the queue. One has posted the review so far. But I didn't even think about Kindleboards as a source to find book bloggers. That's a great idea.
Last edited by MattLarkin on March 23rd, 2012, 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 22nd, 2012, 9:14 am

Children of Sun and Moon has it's first review up. Big thanks to Pure Textuality for the glowing review (cross-posted on Goodreads and Amazon).
Pure Textuality Excerpt wrote: This book unceremoniously ripped my heart of my chest, took a bit out of it, stomped on it, ran it through a blender, set it on fire, and then spit on the ashes… and I loved every second of it.

So can someone please tell me how this book has no reads/reviews/comments/love ANYWHERE? I got out my “independent authors are worth reading” soap box, and freshened up the paint, and added glitter, and hot glued some of those plastic gem things to it, but I didn’t want this review to involve any ranting, this book deserves more than that. I’ve put my soap box away… for now…

Now, where do I begin with a review of “Children of Sun and Moon?” Well, let me give you some facts. On March 1st Jena sent out an e-mail asking for reviewers. I read the blurb and replied “I’m in.” On March 3rd she sent me the file. On March 19th I started reading. It took me 16 days to open the file. Once the file was opened, it took me less than 12 hours to read the entire thing. By 4% (the first time you see a Macan Gadungan in action, in case you were wondering) I was hopelessly hooked.

Read more
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by Nicole R » March 22nd, 2012, 10:33 am

That's an awesome review, Matt! Major congrats.

Hope they keep coming. :)

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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by Margo » March 22nd, 2012, 12:02 pm

For what it's worth, my pen name stuff is all priced $2.99 to $8.99, and the $2.99 stuff would be novellas. 25-30% of my sales are the $8.99's. I'm on target to hit 10,000 total sales next month. It's looking like May for quitting my day job. I'm still strongly of the belief that if you don't value your work, no one else will. I know three or four writers who have hit the BIG time with 99 cent ebooks, and a lot more who make $50 a month off them, and even MORE than that who are now making a comfortable living with higher priced ebooks (the modern equivalent of midlisters). They don't hit the Top 100 charts often, but at their royalty rate, they don't have to. And, no, they weren't name authors to begin with.

Enough from me on the matter.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 22nd, 2012, 2:41 pm

Margo wrote:For what it's worth, my pen name stuff is all priced $2.99 to $8.99, and the $2.99 stuff would be novellas. 25-30% of my sales are the $8.99's. I'm on target to hit 10,000 total sales next month. It's looking like May for quitting my day job. I'm still strongly of the belief that if you don't value your work, no one else will. I know three or four writers who have hit the BIG time with 99 cent ebooks, and a lot more who make $50 a month off them, and even MORE than that who are now making a comfortable living with higher priced ebooks (the modern equivalent of midlisters). They don't hit the Top 100 charts often, but at their royalty rate, they don't have to. And, no, they weren't name authors to begin with.

Enough from me on the matter.
One thing Amber suggested, was making the first book in the series $2.99, and then going a dollar or two higher for the others. I think Hocking did that with some success, so I might try.

If I find one price point not working, I may shift it around a bit, too. As Holly says, some initial market penetration may be a welcome boost.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 23rd, 2012, 8:44 am

Pure Textuality is doing a giveaway for Children of Sun and Moon today.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by Mira » March 24th, 2012, 4:00 pm

Love this thread. Really interesting.

I'm far away from actually publishing, but I love hearing about people's experiments and what is working for folks.

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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » March 28th, 2012, 9:50 am

Mira wrote:Love this thread. Really interesting.

I'm far away from actually publishing, but I love hearing about people's experiments and what is working for folks.
Thanks, Mira. I've noticed a slight uptick in sales lately, but it's hard to say whether that is from the glowing review at Pure Textuality, the price drop, or a little marketing effort.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by MattLarkin » April 7th, 2012, 11:00 am

Things did slow down a bit lately. But I did get another nice review on Goodreads from someone you guys may know ;)

Another writer that's had huge success said she got an enormous bump in sales by running an ad. Not sure I want to do that.
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Re: My epic fantasy - The Skyfall Trilogy

Post by dios4vida » April 11th, 2012, 1:39 pm

MattLarkin wrote:Things did slow down a bit lately. But I did get another nice review on Goodreads from someone you guys may know ;)
You know, it's easy to put up glowing reviews when you really enjoy something. My only regret is that my name doesn't pull any weight on the internet, that my little review won't do much to boost your sales. But I'm happy to help.

Best of luck!
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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