• Amazon’s Allure

Amazon’s Allure

The most wonderful part of social media is the ability to make new friends in any part of this world. The awful part about social media is also making new friends.

Facebook has become a time suck for me as well as many authors. I’m not sure what twitter does to be honest. I tweet and retweet and wondering whether the effort is wasted too.

Writers are expected to promote and market at every opportunity. It can wear you down. Drain you. Discourage your heart. Sometimes I have the urge to run away to a deserted island and leave behind any communication device.

This isn’t just a feeling a writer or author feels. Yet, for all this anxiety added to my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to cultivate some wonderful friendships with readers and authors. What I’ve learned is authors and readers are much like me – they work hard every day to fulfill their dreams. There are so many talented people who have yet to realize their dreams.

Writers dare to dream the impossible too. Don’t give up – there is an incredible option for you.

What I’m about to write does not come easy to this traditionalist, lover of print books and bookstores. If you’ve extended every single option in your writing career, go with Amazon.

Amazon.com can give you a chance to make this dream come true. Amazon is the dream maker for ignored authors.

Let me explain. I can give you my own experiences with the business. Way back in 2007, after two decades of fussing around with a story idea, I created the first version of Necessary Heartbreak. I self published through IUniverse and it did well enough to catch the eye of publishing powerhouse Simon & Schuster.

Necessary Heartbreak was given an April 2010 pub date so I took the time to revise and add more material in it. Looking back on the story four years later, I wish I had waited and polished it even more. However, this is something every author goes through on their first novel. You cringe looking back at it after you write your second novel – which I did – in Everybody’s Daughter.

I decided to publish the second book of the trilogy with Fiction Studio Books, led by former Avon boss, Lou Aronica. I did so for a big reason – I could control the price and Mr. Aronica was educated in how the digital revolution was impacting us as authors. Later, Everybody’s Daughter was picked up by The Story Plant, a traditional publisher but still led by the highly respected Aronica. This is traditional publisher. The Story also published the third book in my trilogy, The Greatest Gift.

The difference here is Aronica is a hands on publisher who is constantly searching for ways to promote his terrific books. This isn’t trying to find answers in a bloated corporation.

Authors need to be honest, too, about why their books succeed or fail. Necessary Heartbreak has languished for the past fouryears, mainly due to price. The ebook version is priced around ten bucks in the US and $16.99 in Canada. Maybe the economy is much better up North?

Well, whatever the reasons are for pricing my first novel way above most of the books in my genre, it has depressed sales. Everybody’s Daughter hit 116 overall at Amazon.com during a promotional weekend with a sales price of $1.99. Necessary Heartbreak couldn’t break 10,000 during the same time.

My problem is the second book, Everybody’s Daughter, is connected to the first book. I certainly did my best to make sure readers could enjoy it as a standalone story. But, it does help to have read the first book before you start the second novel.

Realizing this dilemma, my publisher has done a few promotions for Everybody’s Daughter at $1.99. Each time it does well. Each time, Necessary Heartbreak is far behind in sales. But, reading the sales trend has given us the belief that readers see the story as the second in a series, head to the NH page, absorb the high price, and move on.

In other words, the high price has taken my second novel hostage.

I’ve previously approached S&S through my contact several times, explaining the issues, showing how it would be beneficial for them to lower the price, especially at the time of the promotions. Why not sell many more ebooks at $4.99 then none at $9.73? It’s a fair question. The past response was they don’t believe they would sell more.

But the choice is clear for any author today. You can control your entry price point and you have the ability to utilize many Amazon promotions for reasonable prices, and you can reach an audience.

Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait for the next fad to erupt on the scene. Make your own dream come true. Pursue a relationship with Amazon.com if you feel you’ve exhausted your share of emails, phone calls, and visits to the post office. Build your audience with them. Utilize the promotion and marketing tools they give to you as the author. I know firsthand they do work. They have a vested interest in you succeeding like you do with your writing.

It is said Walt Disney made many dreams come true years ago with his vision and imagination. The same can be said for Jeff Bezos today.

Amazon is a dream maker.

You can act on this dream. Now.

3 thoughts on “Amazon’s Allure

  1. Sunflower05@comcast.net'B. J. Robinson

    So true. I love being able to control my own covers as well as price. It’s also nice to be able to make your own deadlines. There’s a song by Alan Jackson, “The Little Man,” and while some might say Amazon is hurting the little man, the opposite is true. Amazon gives the little man a chance when he’s swamped in competition when it comes to the traditional publishing world, one where an author needs an agent just to get a manuscript glanced over since most editors read the first few pages, if that much, and move on. Some may only read the first paragraph or the first page.

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