Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kindle Unlimited Revisited

I won't say I'm a popular author, though I do have fans. The money I make from this isn't "changing your life" money. It helps pay bills and supplements my income, but that's about it. What does this have to do with Kindle Unlimited? Well, this is still a job and money is still money.

For those who don't know, the Kindle Unlimited program (hereafter called KU) is an Amazon program which allows authors to enlist, and then they pay the authors a certain fraction of a cent per page read. In theory, it sounds great. In practice, not so much. If you're popular and you have a lot of stuff, people who are enrolled in the program read your stuff and you'll get paid a fair amount. If you're not, the pay really comes off as a pittance. I think the current rate is like 0.42 cents per page read. That's not "42", but 0.42, by the way. Not even a cent a page.

The old KU program paid a dollar amount for every time your book was read over 10%. I think it averaged out to about $1.30ish or so, which is not the amount of a sale (a $2.99 book nets the author $2.07 in royalties), but it wasn't, you know, ten cents for a short story. Predictably, there was an explosion of short stories, especially in erotica. When the KU program changed, many erotica writers moved to long form romance. Not all, but a fair few. Authors go where the money is.

I left some of my works in KU, notably the Delilah Devilshot series and the Villainess series, and pulled the others out, slowly. Taking one of my shorts, for example, which is about 6K or so in length, a complete read through is like twenty-five cents, if that, but we'll call it twenty-five cents. In order to make the same amount as a sale, eight people would have to borrow and read it. I just don't think it's worth it anymore, not even for my longer form works. I would rather have more people be able to buy it, than a select few able to read it. I'll still get sales here and there--I do on almost everything now and again, almost just as often as page reads for my older books.

However, the initial boost provided by the borrows/page reads is undeniably useful. Each time someone borrows a book in the KU program, they get a bump in rankings, which increases visibility. So, because of that, I'm going to put my new stuff in KU for the minimum three months, then pull them out and go wide, offering them on a variety of platforms. It's the best compromise I can think of. Whether it's successful or not... who knows? And I don't care (that much). Yes, I'd love to be successful, but more, I'd like to be paid fairly for the work I do. If people like my stuff, they'll buy it. If they buy it and don't like it, there's always the return policy.

Friday, August 4, 2017

To Patreon or Not to Patreon

Lately, I've been noticing more and more indie authors going to Patreon as well as publishing through Amazon or D2D or Smashwords (or all three). What Patreon is, for those who don't know, is a place for artists to post exclusive content for people who support them per month. The donations can be low as a dollar, or high as... well, whatever the artist puts it at.

The content creator can do anything, really, so long as people are willing to support them. It looks like it could potentially be a nice secondary source of revenue, but I'm a little afraid to try it. The first, as Bryce succinctly put it, was "What if you do it and no one supports you?" Not only would that be embarrassing, it would also be depressing. My main concern though is putting out enough "exclusive" content that it would be worthwhile. I think a couple people would support me. Maybe not much? Maybe not more than one or two? But if they did, I'd want to make sure that extra couple bucks is worth it. I mean, every two to three dollars would be like a book being sold for me (after Amazon takes their cut), so I should put out a short story worth every month, right? Problem is that sometimes I can't even just in publishing!

There are other benefits that I could list, such as early sneak peeks, early release access (or Advanced Reader Copies (ARC)) to new stuff, exclusive releases, and so on, as well as perhaps gifting people with copies of books I've already written. Doing a quick look at some other Patreon pages, I think I have a lot to offer. It would be another platform to open up, and I can give away some really great things. One thing I also thought about was that I could move the blog over to there. Hardly anyone reads this anyway, and it's mostly a place for my thoughts. Some authors offer a chance to immortalize people in prose. I have a wide variety of works. Like I said, I think I can offer a lot!

It's something to think about. I think I'll probably give it a shot. I need a place to consolidate things. I'm terrible at doing mailing lists because I think I'm annoying people, and just posting on Facebook is sort of like shooting in the dark. It's definitely something to consider.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Deadline? What is This Thing Called a Deadline?

I'm out of clever and/or witty titles for blog posts.

It's been a while, but I have been busy! I'm going to poke Jotham shortly to get me the cover to the next Unusual Suspects since it's done and has been sitting in my word processor gathering virtual dust. I didn't notice how time slipped away from me as "real life" work has been busy and I've been writing quite a bit on the next Villainess, The Queen of Disks. As always, I think everything is terrible and horrible, but usually upon rereads I'm surprised at how cohesive I sound. It's an odd thing.

However, the biggest news right now is that I will be in a new anthology of short stories here soon called "Twist Me". I'm not super fond of the name, but oh well. Yolanda Olson put it together and asked me to join, which I was pretty honored. The proceeds for it go to the ASPCA, and that's a cause I believe in because animals are awesome. Hence, when it comes out, be prepared for a lot of pimping of that because, well, animals are pretty awesome.

I think it's cool being invited into an anthology. That happened before with Sex & Sorcery 3, except I got paid there. Which was pretty awesome. It should help reach a broader audience. I mean, I write smutty sex and weird sci-fi and about villains and the weird west... I write a lot of stuff, but some of it has a pretty small audience. This was a nice change of pace since this story is straight up thriller/horror. It was nice flexing my writing skills there.

I also have to brag just a wee bit. The person editing it said it was her favorite of the stories. :P

With this collaboration of stories, it got me to thinking about the collaboration Bryce and I were going to do, sort of an erotic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen thing. We had a plan, a decent plot, some things sketched out, and I even wrote the whole prologue in that old timey kind of Victorian style (except more coherent), but then we both got busy. I think it might be time to poke him about it again.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Blogging for Fun and Not Profit

I think I'm going to stop advertising new releases here. I do have a mailing list, so if people want to keep updated, they can join that. I keep forgetting to post new releases here anyway in the blur of activity which covers a release. I may still show some cover art though, cause I think Jotham does a really good job.

So, what then to put here, Alana? Information and thoughts, mostly, relating to this whacky publishing biz. I've been super busy at work lately and in real life, so I haven't had too many like... revelations? Hints? Tips? Tricks? Something like that. Perhaps when things calm a bit I can offer some more information or amusing stories. As it is, right now I'm busy working on three or four different stories. It's sometimes hard to lock down one, as you guys may have read in previous blog posts. Not only that, but sometimes writing has to take the back seat as things go on. Life goes on. However, since I started this journey, I've only missed one month where I haven't published anything, and that's quite an accomplishment!

For now, I'm going through and editing #3 of Unusual Suspects, this one centering around Adira. That's a side series anyway, not super important... but it's something I love doing. Why else write if you're not writing what you love? I'm also writing another... subset of Unusual Suspects called Mindcrime. That one will be a Smashwords (and whatever affliates will take it) specific side series centering around Gerard. It will feature heavy mind control and dubcon, which is just not allowed on Amazon. I'm about three fourths of the way done with that, I think. In addition to that, I've started Queen of Disks in earnest now, so that's three stories in the Villainess universe.

Otherwise, I'm working on two shorts for the Janus Key Chronicles. I plan on finishing that series by about book 21. I've also written some stuff for the next Delilah Devilshot: The Hounds of Hades. As you can tell, I've been bouncing around a lot. Not really super for focusing, but at least I'm writing.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Silver for Souls LIVE on Amazon!

The fourth book in the Delilah Devilshot series, Silver for Souls, is now LIVE on Amazon! I really love this series, but it keeps getting bigger with every book. I wanted this to be a serial, with relatively juicy big segments, but a serial nonetheless. At the rate I'm going, they're going to turn into novels!

Jotham, as always, did a great job on the covers.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Last Night the Audio Book LIVE on Audible and Amazon!

Wantonly Wicked #1: Last Night is now an audio book, narrated by me! That's right, I thought I'd try my hand at narrating books, and it's been an educational experience. Jotham, as always, did a great job adapting the cover.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Writing Forecast and Random Thoughts

It occurred to me as I sent out my mailing list that I totally forgot to add my writing forecast. I usually do that, and I'm not going to spam just to send that out, so I'll put it here.

First and foremost, there's a anthology being putting together by Yolanda Olson called "Twist Me" (which, I'm not really fond of the name, but whatever) which is going to be "dark", pretty much whatever flavor we want. I think dark romance? Not sure. Anyway. All proceeds of that is going to the ASPCA so I'm writing a story that's been bouncing around in my head for a while for that. I'll let y'all know when it goes on sale.

After that, I am going to be switching to Villainess for a minute to write the third in the Unusual Suspects series centering around Adira. Then, I should be writing two shorts for the Janus Key Chronicles, and then finally to Villainess #5: The Queen of Disks. I've actually already got a start on the Queen of Disks, writing stuff as it occurs to me. I have to stop myself from making each book longer and longer. They just keep growing! Things keep happening!

Villainess, for those who don't know, is going to be a set series of 16 books, 4 sets of 4. The first four are done, and they were basically the "introductory" four, setting the scene, the characters, the theme and mood, and pretty much everything. From here on out, I'm going to start messing with that. The second four will definitely be more transformative than before, both for Caprice and a lot of secondary characters.

We'll see where the story takes us, but I already have a pretty good idea.