Tag Archives: Bundle Dragon

A few thoughts on self-publishing

My stance on the value of self-publishing goes like this:

In today’s technology age it’s best for an author to be open to trying as many different avenues for publishing as possible. Submit a story to a magazine, put it up on your blog, enter a contest, try to get a literary agent, self-publish your book on your own terms, use CreateSpace, etc.

An extension of this is, the project dictates the method of publishing. Now genre fiction can be traditionally published or self-published. It tends to find a particular niche on eReaders so if you have the platform to make it happen that’s not a bad option, but neither is going through an agent.

Some projects, like very very niche projects, are well suited to self-publishing, especially if you think it would be an uphill battle to get a publisher to fund an expensive book only a few people would read.

Self-publishing does not limit your options. The authors making the most money today seem to be the “hybrids”, traditionally and self-published authors.

That being said, some elements of being a self-published author are unfortunate.

If you don’t want to sell exclusively on Amazon you are:

  • Getting a 35% royalty instead of 70%.
  • Unable to run a price promotion unless you actually change the price  (no scheduling).
  • You will not be selected for a Kindle Daily Deal (though apparently some Kindle Worlds projects can be).

If you want to publish on Smashwords you are:

  • Confined to 5MB of content.
  • Relying on a third party to convert your book into multiple formats.
  • Working with a company with a sketchy better business bureau rating (C-).

If you want to publish for the Nook you are:

  • Getting a better royalty but still need to meet the $10 threshold to get paid.
  • Which may be a lot harder given that Nook Sales are a much smaller piece of the eBook publishing pie.
  • And Nooks are perceived as being on the way out, even if they might be better hardware.
  • And their on-line formatting software still needs a lot of work.

Even Bundle Dragon, who I love, has a couple of caveats:

  • Less mainstream name recognition so much higher self-promotion required.
  • Reluctance of readers to buy something they can’t manage in their Amazon library.
  • It’s still in its first year of being a fully released platform. And its own audience is more games and music oriented.
  • Still totally worth it since the profit margin is 80%, you have full control over everything, and you get paid monthly (without the 60 day wait).

It’s important to have all the facts, and weigh all the options when considering what to do with your next story. But the best solution to fixing something you’re not happy with, is to write something else and try it somewhere else. Success, it seems, is earned by those who put out quality work in great quantity.


Filed under Trube On Tech, Writing

Bundle Dragon (3 months in)

Can you believe it’s already been 3 months since the fractal book was released?

A few weeks ago I experienced one of the rare pleasures of being a writer, getting paid. Depending on how you look at it the fractal book is doing modestly well to super freaking fantastic considering it’s on a niche subject by an unknown author.

I’m very happy with how things are going, and I owe that in large part to the Bundle Dragon service.

Lots of personal attention

Bundle Dragon was kind enough to let me into their closed beta so I could get in on the ground floor before their public launch (around the same time as my book). From the beginning I’ve gotten personalized attention from their support staff, often receiving responses from their president Josh Whelchel to my MANY questions. In fact, Josh was the first one to buy my book. But everyone on their support staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly, and problems tend to be resolved in less than 24 hours. You can’t get that kind of attention from Amazon.

Professional Looking Store

Let’s face it, Amazon looks kind of … dowdy. Their book cover art is small, and their site utilitarian. I don’t have a lot of customization to change how things look, and a lot of products that aren’t mine are shown on the same screen. Bundle Dragon is sleek, and is one of the few sites I’ve used where I’m happy when they randomly update their platform. The sites are stable in all browsers, and load quickly, even with a lot of pretty pictures.

Your name here

Bundle Dragon was also nice enough to feature my bundle on their main page for the last several months. This is especially nice when a very popular bundle is run, and people click over out of curiosity. I’ve probably gotten more sales because of the Game Music Bundle and the Big Bad Bundle than I would have otherwise.

Better royalty

My effective royalty for Bundle Dragon is around 80%. If I had sold with Amazon exclusively it would have been around 43% (possibly less). Nonexclusive, I get 35% from Amazon, and 65% from Barnes and Noble (though it seems few people have Nooks these days). And unlike Amazon, people can pay a little extra if they want to support the author, or just really like the book. This has actually happened a couple of times and is a really nice thing to see. People can be nicer than you’d think.

The book I wanted to offer

There’s no way Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple or any of them could have supported the package I was able to put together on Bundle Dragon. An hour of video, 100s of pictures and two books. I did a lot of work putting the fractal book together, and I wanted to share all that I had learned with people buying the book, and give them more to enjoy for their buck.

Bottom Line

I like Bundle Dragon so much I’m tempted to work on more projects that can be sold in this way. I already have another in the works in fact, and projections for a few more. It’s a very indie minded site, open to anyone wanting to sell their original material. If you have enough material to bundle in this way, I highly recommend it, even just to try it. You might be surprised how well you’ll do.


Filed under Books + Publishing, Internal Debate 42, Trube On Tech, Writing

Hey, It’s Friday!

Or is Thursday, since that’s when I’m writing this post?

Philosophical arguments aside I thought I’d share with you a couple of quick things that are making me happy.

First up, Pomplamoose:

This is from one of the many other bundles available on Bundle Dragon, and has been stuck in my head for the last week along with these:

Quirky huh?

If you at all like what you’re hearing you can check them out at: http://contemusic.bundledragon.com/cintro.

And if you missed it check out this great interview from M. S. Fowle. I promise I’ll work on my car taste at some point.

On Monday a certain Brian D. Buckley is conducting his own interrogation of yours truly. Trust me, no one else could ask me some of the questions this man has come up with. I got chills, serious chills.

Regular programming will resume on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

1 Comment

Filed under Round-Ups

Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach Available Now!

UPDATE: Unfortunately Bundle Dragon is asleep, probably forever, so this particular bundle is no longer available. However, the book is still available on Amazon. You can find the original Fractals You Can Draw posts here, or check out the gallery from the bundle here.

FractalBundleHeaderIt’s finally here!

Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach is now available for sale, bundled with a ton of bonus content.

What is the book?

Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach covers some of the basic topics of drawing fractals, from the ubiquitous Mandelbrot Set, to the Chaos Game and Turtle Graphics. The book combines detailed explanations with example programs, helpful figures, and many beautiful fractal images.

I’m not really interested in math or programming. Why should I buy this book?

For starters the book contains hundreds of beautiful images like this one:


The bundle includes even more high resolution pictures not featured in the book as well as nearly an hour of video. Also included is the eBooklet “Fractals You Can Draw”, a compilation of the popular posts from last year which remain some of the most trafficked posts on this blog (and inspired the writing of this book). There’s something for everyone in this bundle.

So what do I get exactly?

The fractal bundle has a base price of $4.99. For $4.99 you get the book in three formats: Amazon (MOBI), Nook (EPUB) and PDF. You also get a gallery of 125 high resolution fractal images from the fractal book.

For just a dollar more ($5.99) you get the eBooklet “Fractals You Can Draw”, plus another gallery of 125 images not featured in the fractal book, plus nearly an hour of video based on the concepts explained in each chapter.

Every image and animation was created with the programs detailed in this book.

Tell me more about these videos.

There are 37 video files in all, zipped into 6 groups. Most are in AVI or MPEG format and should play with Windows Media Player or the freely available VLC media player.

Each video relates to a specific chapter of the book:

  • The Chaos Game (Chapter 1)
  • Affine Transformations (Chapter 2)
  • L-System (Chapters 3+4)
  • Mandelbrot Set (Chapter 5)
  • Julia Set (Chapter 6)

Each animation is like its own gallery, going deeper than still images or text can in exploring the nature of a fractal. If you want to get interested in fractals, here’s where to start.

I only buy eBooks from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Should I wait till this book is available there?

I will be releasing an Amazon (and possibly a Barnes and Noble) version of this book in a couple of weeks. However, neither Amazon nor Barnes and Noble can accommodate all of the bonus content (images, extra eBooks and videos) that Bundle Dragon can. And neither Amazon nor Barnes and Noble is DRM free meaning your eBook is not really yours. If you buy the book here, you’re getting the best version of this book possible and it’s yours to keep on any device or hosted in the cloud.

How do I transfer the book to my eReader?

When you download Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach you’ll get all three formats (MOBI, EPUB and PDF) zipped together in a single file. If you extract this zip file you can transfer the MOBI file to your Kindle by connecting it to your computer and copying the book to your “documents” folder. The Nook works much the same way. Or you can read the PDF right on your computer, tablet or iPad. Calibre is a great free program for organizing your own eBook library, and Sumatra PDF allows you to read eBook formats (MOBI and EPUB) on your computer as well. If you have any questions feel free to use the “Contact [BTW]” link at the top of this blog.

Where do I buy?

bentrubewriter.bundledragon.com (no longer available here, but you can buy on Amazon) or click the ad to the right of this blog.

What payment methods are accepted? I don’t tend to buy from random sites on the internet.

You can use your PayPal, Amazon or Google accounts to buy the bundle without having to give your credit card information directly to Bundle Dragon. Each transaction is safe and secure.

Can I give this as a gift?

Yes, absolutely!

What are these support levels?

Bundle Dragon is a “pay what you want” service. The fractal bundle is priced in two tiers, $4.99 and $5.99, but if you feel like tossing a few extra bucks to support Ben Trube Writer, this is the easiest way. Suggested support levels are $10 or $25.

I’d like to learn more, where can I go?

Well, right here on the blog is always a good place to start. Or like “BenTrubeWriter” on Facebook. If you have any questions, or would be interested in doing an author interview post, contact me using the “Contact [BTW]” page at the top of the blog.

Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!


Filed under Books + Publishing, Internal Debate 42, Writing, Writing Goals