Where Am I Going (and how do I get there)?

First off, I apologize for being so quiet as of late. I would love to say I’ve been writing, but the reality is that I’ve been marketing, studying about marketing, and trying to narrow my focus for better efficiency. Here is the latest…

New Pricing

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a small party and I met some new folks. Having just come from my interview earlier that day, I was talking about Gliese, and that led to one guy looking my books up on Amazon. “Why do you price your books so cheap?” He asked me after thumbing through them.

I gave him a non-answer, but the truth is, I’ve been floundering. What is the best price point for sales? 99 cents? $1.99? $2.99? $3.99? Or more?

One camp will tell you – “the cheaper it is priced the more sales you will have” and another camp will tell you “if you price it too low, you are sending a message that your books aren’t worth reading.”

And I’m stuck between the two thinking, “Just damned well read them, okay?”

In any case, I found an interesting article by Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this very problem. And things seem to be changing, as things do, in that particular part of self-publishing

  • $1.99 to $3.99 is the sweet spot for most sales
  • Free books don’t work as much as they used to
  • Pre-orders are the new thing
  • Non-fiction garners higher prices
  • Series are great but only if each book is at over 50k words (not a problem for me!)
  • Readers prefer longer books (also not a problem!) of 100k or more words

In line with this, I’ve raised my ebook prices on my fiction from $2.99 to $3.99 for all fiction books except War’s End: A Brave New World (it won’t let me until the 99 cent promo is complete on 12/15 & 12/16). And I have raised my non-fiction from $2.99 to $5.99 each.

I’ve also reduced my offering of free book promos to just one book for one day every other month. I’ve come up with this schedule of promos:

And after that, I will evaluate how all of my books are selling and adjust accordingly.

Earnings for the Month

I’m on track for “exceeding $150” for the month. My first goal back in November had been to just make $1 per day on my writing. That has obviously been outstripped when you consider I closed out the month at nearly $115.

My goal for December was to earn $150 for the month, and that is also going extremely well. At just one-third of the month completed, I’m currently at just over $66 in earnings! If I keep going at this rate, I’ll come close to $200 in earnings by the end of the month.

This is quite exciting for me.

Where Is This Blog (and my others) Going?

And finally we get to the big question – where is this blog, and my other blogs, going?

I started each with a specific purpose, but they have evolved over time…

  • The Deadly Nightshade – I began as a way to chronicle my gardening and DIY adventures. That morphed into promoting my classes and educating others as I broadened my class offerings. However, I’m no longer teaching many classes (a handful of them in the year) and I’m embarrassed to admit that the past two years have been a bust on growing crops of any kind. I have a feeling that as the writing speeds up, the posts here will slow down – there is only so much I can focus on at one time, and that means cutting out areas that aren’t necessarily furthering my goals of writing full-time for a living.
  • The Learning Advocate – This began as a homeschool advocacy and parenting blog, but it has mainly focused on the kiddo, so it isn’t seeing a lot of traffic, or many posts now that she is in public school. I plan on updating soon, because there is a post I have in mind, but my prognosis for this blog is that the posts will be few and far between. This may change as we edge into 2018 and things change around here yet again (more on that at a later time, when our new reality actually hits) so I’m not ruling out writing more on the blog until I’ve had a chance to see how the next six months change our lives.
  • The Cottages – This started out, and remains, a website and blog dedicated to a business purpose – that of promoting our future Airbnb properties. The blog is only updated when there is progress. I’ve got one post to make, but nothing much to say or do on the site until spring or mid-summer at the earliest.
  • My author website – This blog itself. I have shared promotional info, but also my struggle to learn marketing, to deal with the ups and downs of self-publishing, and more.

I think that is where my biggest question presents itself, what future do I see for my author blog in particular? Do I use it only for peddling my writing? Do I use it to update like-minded writers? Do I use it to simply share a slice of me? The answer is, I’m not sure. So for now, I’ll keep writing weekly (or so) blog posts here in this blog, one or two blog posts per month in The Deadly Nightshade and The Learning Advocate, and as events occur in The Cottages.

Hopefully this will keep my focus on where it needs to be – generating more content and spreading the word of my existing content to others.

Subscribers Rewarded

I’ll say this clearly – I’m NOT SELLING YOU ANYTHING. I’m only asking you to let me give you something free to read.

What do I mean by that?

It’s simple. If you add yourself to my subscriber email list, you will ONE email per month. Inside of it will be my newsletter that will provide the following:

  • The link and password to the FREE short story of the month (companion pieces to my already existing fictional works)
  • Updates on any upcoming free book promotion and discounted ebook deals
  • A summary of all of my blog posts (I post in four different blogs on a variety of cool subjects) for the month
  • An organizing “tip of the month” (remember, I wrote this GREAT organizing book)
  • Updates on any upcoming classes I’m teaching
  • Updates on book projects

I promise to NEVER share or sell your email address and you can unsubscribe safely and easily at any time.