Friday, September 7, 2012

Books and books

With a new month comes a new reset of sales figures. It always seems to hurt my ego just a little when I look at the KDP figures and they’re right back at zero (or were). I’ve sold a few dozen books so far this month. Still, for the last two weeks my heart twirled every time I brought up my sales page and saw all the numbers, the result of many, many hours of marketing and promotion. For the last four months every promotion I’ve done has been on free sites, word-of-mouth, and social networking, but that’s about to change. With Amazon’s announcement of the new Kindles, I foresee a huge boost in new readers and Kindle owners. In fact, I just received a few messages on Facebook from my friends who are going to buy the new Kindle. So, I believe it’s time to start booking paid sponsorships. I’ve already booked November 30th on Kindle Fire for DROP OUT and I am going to spend today booking a few more. I’ve been saving and have budgeted $500 for marketing this month. I know to some writers that may seem like a lot of money and to others not nearly enough if I want to hit it big time. For now, I’m going to experiment before I invest the really big bucks. Kindle Fire Department boasts that seventy percent of their sponsors earn their upfront money back in sales and another ten percent actually make money. If that’s the case with DROP OUT, then I will book repeated sponsorships until I don’t get that return. Last sponsorship with KFD sold about five dozen books that day and another three dozen the following days, with relatively steady sales for a few weeks after that. My hope is with all these new sponsorships that I’ll be able to build a much larger fan base for the release of IMAGINATION, plus I have my other books available if readers like my style. My other dilemma is whether I should raise my prices before I start all my paid sponsorships. I’ve been doing pretty well selling all my books for a flat rate of $1.99, however, that still keeps me in the 30% royalty rate instead of the 70%. I would have to raise my prices by a dollar to meet the criteria. But statistically, I would only have to sell one book at $2.99 to make as much royalty as three books at the $1.99 rate. This is one I’m going to have to think about. By the way, KFD rate for a one day sponsorship is $100. Doing the math, I need to sell 167 books to break even at $1.99 and only 49 books to break even at $2.99. My reviews for DROP OUT have all been from strangers and all have been five stars so I know my readers will enjoy the story, I just don’t know if they’ll be willing to spend their hard earned money on me, a relatively unknown author. Ugh! I hate these kinds of decisions.