So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about authors being in competition with each other. If you read beyond the intentionally clickbaity title, you would seen that I was not actually trying to pit authors against one another.
Other authors are, in fact, an author's single greatest resource. Whether it's about the craft or the business end, you'd do well to befriend those who have traveled the path before.
Rick is a fellow follically-challenged writer of humorous books, a player in our Authors & Dragons podcast, and an all-around nice guy.
Also, Rick sells more books than I do, according to their ranks on Amazon.
As a writer who's getting ready to pack up his family and move across the world (next week!) and support said family on his writing alone, it behooves me to investigate what more successful authors than myself are doing right. Nice guy that he is, Rick was more than willing to chat with me and answer my questions.
Two things stood out immediately in that ad.
1. He's running a Facebook ad when he's not doing a limited-time promotion. I've always just waited around 83 days until my books were eligible for their next Kindle Countdown promotion, and then tossed a bunch of money at Facebook during promo week. It didn't even occur to me to run an ad simply to let people know my books exist at their normal prices. Which leads me to...
2. He's bundled his books together. This is an idea that I've tossed around for a while, and one which I've applied to my short stories since the first d6 collection. In the bigger scheme of my overall strategy, it made sense for me to bundle the shorts together, as $2.99 (the minimum price for which they're eligible to be included in a Kindle Countdown deal), is much more than I can reasonably expect people to pay for them.
But I've always been reluctant to bundle my novels together because I didn't want to cannibalize sales of individual books. In theory, that would make me less money, and it would cut into the exposure I enjoy with having multiple titles on Amazon's Comedy list.
So I asked Rick about that. He didn't back it up with any data (beyond the fact that his individual books are still kicking ass on the charts), but he said he thought a different breed of customer buys bundles.
If his theory is true, then by not bundling my books together, I'm missing out on sales from these mysterious bargain-hunting beast-men. Unacceptable!
Lest you think I'd dedicate an entire post to let you know what a swell guy Rick is, I present to you the actual reason for me writing this post. Behold!
As long as I'm following Rick's lead, I priced this set at the same price his is going for, $6.99. That feels really low to me, and I might be adjusting that in time, but we'll see how it goes.
While I was making changes, I decided to re-evaluate some of my previous practices.
For most of their existence, I've kept my short story collections, d6, 2d6, and 3d6 out of KDP Select. Under the old rules, Kindle Unlimited users could read as many enrolled titles as they pleased, and I would get paid a certain amount per title they read. I'd much prefer to get credit for six titles than for one, so I didn't enroll the collections. But now with the changes made over the summer, Kindle Unlimited authors get paid per pages read, so it no longer matters whether readers read from a collection or from the individual titles.
My short story collections are now available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. But for those of you who would rather just buy them, I've also lowered their price to match the $6.99 price of my new boxed set. Enjoy.
And I made one last little tweak yesterday. I dropped the price of the first book in the series, Critical Failures, to $0.99.
With four books currently in the series, I can afford to take a hit on the income from one of them to try and pull some new readers into my web. I'd even consider going perma-free if that wouldn't just toss my highest-ranking book off the paid charts.
Always experimenting. Always learning. Now I'm going to see about throwing a Facebook ad together.