Kindle Exclusive (1 month in)

Hey, this Monday and Tuesday you can get Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach on Amazon for just $2.99! The price goes up to $3.99 on Wednesday and Thursday so grab it now if you can! Also, Fractals You Can Draw is available again for free this Monday and Tuesday only!

UPDATE: Kindle Countdown Deal is live. Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach is $2.99 until 11am on 2/4 (when the price goes up to $3.99 for another 48 hours). Fractals You Can Draw is FREE until 11:59pm Tuesday.

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About a month ago I decided to sell the fractal books exclusively on Amazon. Part of this was due to slow sales at outlets like Barnes and Noble (which offered a better royalty but only made 13 sales in one year), and the rest due to platform changes on sites like Bundle Dragon. I’d already triggered the higher royalty back in August, but I wanted to try out some of the new tools for giving my books away for free or selling them at a discount.

I had a bad experience last year with discounts on Bundle Dragon. To lower the price of my bundle I basically had to create a new bundle from scratch (which meant re-uploading all the content which kept failing even though it had worked last year). After running the lower price bundle for a week I had made exactly 0 sales. And because the site always redirected to the latest bundle, links to Bundle Dragon now took you to my defunct discount bundle, and not the current full price one.

With Kindle, all I have to do is specify a time I want the book to go on sale. I’m trying a Kindle Countdown deal for Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach this week ($2.99 on Monday and Tuesday, $3.99 on Wednesday and Thursday) and another free deal for Fractals You Can Draw. When I ran a free deal for a couple of days last month I gave away over 200 copies of Fractals You Can Draw (more than twice what I’d sold in the last year and a half).

A lot of authors complain they don’t get as much of a royalty (if any at all) for books that are lent. I’m sympathetic to this argument somewhat, but my experience in the last month has been increased sales and borrowing. I’m still a relatively unknown author, so it’s nice to give people the chance to try before they buy (and sometimes a 5% sample from Amazon doesn’t cut it). I actually like that people can borrow my book and decide to buy it later if they want. When I first published Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach, I put a copy of it on my library’s digital lending site so that people (at least in the Columbus area) could share my love of fractals for free (and I’m not getting any royalty on those borrows). I think a lot of people will support you if you give them the choice. That’s how sites like Humble Bundle and Story Bundle have survived.

I’m not saying I’ll always put all my eggs in the Amazon basket, but the fractal books have been out for a year and a half, and sometimes you just have to try something new to stir up interest. And since I’m thinking of releasing Surreality as an Amazon exclusive initially, making the switch has been a nice way to feel that process out. This is the part that’s very different for the self-published author, self promotion and having to figure out where to sell your books for the best exposure and the best profit. It can feel like a very un-writer-y thing to do, but it can also be exciting.

Have you ever tried a Kindle Countdown deal? How did it go?

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Filed under Books + Publishing, Writing

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