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Old 07-29-2012, 12:27 AM   #1
MidWestDom
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E-publishing: Windfall or Utter Folly?

Amazon and Barnes and Noble both encourage writers to develop material to sell for their respective devices (Kindle and Nook). They claim they will handle all the marketing, distribution, etc.

So, my question is: Does anyone actually know anyone who has received a real check for their efforts at e-publishing? Is it really worth the time and effort one would invest in even a short story for electronic readers?

If writing for e-publishing is a worthwhile pursuit, what genres seem to be the most profitable? I lean toward writing about swinging and mild BDSM topics, but I realize these may not be what the market wants. And, of course, writing stories few, if any, want to read, is not the way to ensure a steady stream of mailbox money. (Yes, I want to do this as a "retirement" career, one that couples art with income.)
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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I doubt it should be counted on as a retirement "career," but it can be nice travel money. My wife and I are going to England for three weeks in the fall, went to the New York Finger Lakes for a week in June and have prepaid two week-long ocean cruises for 2013 in e-book (e-book to paperback actually, which Amazon can do) royalty earnings from 2011. I imagine I'll make more this year.

Publish whatever you have and can get accepted by distributors. I don't know of any studies yet on what sells best. The e-book wave didn't really take off well until the surge in Kindle sales during Christmas of 2010. (And I think the top of the wave is past us now that most folks have their Kindles and other reader devices loaded to the gills already.)

This would have been better posted to the Author's Hangout, by the way. It doesn't have anything to do with the forum section you posted it to.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:52 AM   #3
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Smile Thanks

Thank You, SR71.

Your reply helped a lot. It brought me back to reality but also gives me some hope for success.

A bit of travel or mad money would be great in and of itself. I do not need to write to pay the bills (I might starve otherwise). Taking an occasional cruise, or attending a lifestyle event on the other side of the country, would be more than sufficient reward.

Sorry if this thread was misplaced. I'm quite new here on the forum.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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No Folly At All

My book has made a HUGE difference in my life. I have to grant that I don't make a whole lot of money in the first place; I have one of those high-responsibility-meets-crappy-pay professions, so even a little boost makes a big difference. I am not at all ready to quit my day job, particularly on having only one e-novel out there. But yes, it is actual, real money, and it has paid real bills (including the rent, more than once).

Two things, though:

1) My book was from a story series that did VERY well here on Literotica, and I therefore went into e-publishing it with a waiting audience.

2) I haven't done much actual marketing with my book, and therefore I don't know when the sales will finally die out. They've actually gotten better and better over the last six months, and I wish I knew why 'cause I'd do more to encourage it... but again, sooner or later it'll run its course.

Something a friend who has e-published told me: Even if you only get twelve sales a month, that's twelve sales you weren't gonna get if you never put it up. If you're shopping your book around to agents and publishers, that's one thing, but if for whatever reason you're not doing that, there's nothing wrong at all with e-publishing.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:04 AM   #5
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A slightly different but related question for the group...

A publicist once told my husband (regarding his book) that a good tactic was to first put up your book on the sites (Amazon, Smashwords etc) as free or as close to free in price as you can. This was in a bid to gain as many downloads as possible before then raising the price once you had some feedback/reviews etc

Is this necessary/useful/has anyone tried it?
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunne View Post
A slightly different but related question for the group...

A publicist once told my husband (regarding his book) that a good tactic was to first put up your book on the sites (Amazon, Smashwords etc) as free or as close to free in price as you can. This was in a bid to gain as many downloads as possible before then raising the price once you had some feedback/reviews etc

Is this necessary/useful/has anyone tried it?
That's suicidal unless you have more than one book.

If you only have one book and you give it away that's it. I know someone who has recently done this. a boatload of downloads the free day.

In two months since they have sold very few copies.

The only way free is a good idea is if you have several works. Then the theory is you give one away and if people like it they may come back to buy the rest of your things.

I have 12 e-books under an amazon pen name. I gave one away early last month and noticed a marked increase in the rest of my titles over the following few days.

Last edited by lovecraft68 : 07-29-2012 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidWestDom View Post
Amazon and Barnes and Noble both encourage writers to develop material to sell for their respective devices (Kindle and Nook). They claim they will handle all the marketing, distribution, etc.

So, my question is: Does anyone actually know anyone who has received a real check for their efforts at e-publishing? Is it really worth the time and effort one would invest in even a short story for electronic readers?

If writing for e-publishing is a worthwhile pursuit, what genres seem to be the most profitable? I lean toward writing about swinging and mild BDSM topics, but I realize these may not be what the market wants. And, of course, writing stories few, if any, want to read, is not the way to ensure a steady stream of mailbox money. (Yes, I want to do this as a "retirement" career, one that couples art with income.)
~~~

Hello and welcome!

Yes, yes,yes, write,write,write,publish publish publish, anywhere and everywhere as much as you can...that is...if you have anything to say.

90 percent of all books sold, so I read, are bought by women. Might give you a clue.

In a current promotion, therealamicus at Smashwords, has 25 title as free down loads until the last day of July.

Don't talk about it...juist DO it!

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Jenny kissíd me when we met,
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Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say Iím weary, say Iím sad,
Say that health and wealth have missíd me,
Say Iím growing old, but add,
Jenny kissíd me.

http://www.literotica.com/p/a-girl-in-a-skirt

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Old 07-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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I publish on Amazon only, and I am coming to the point that I make about a hundred bucks per month. Of course, I have eighteen titles ,with more planned. I market myself through facebook, twitter and yahoo groups, and the marketing takes up more time than the writing, but the money, little as it is, helps.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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I just browsed Amazon for a few minutes (Kindle: erotica) to see what was on offer. I was rather surprised that quite a few books where for $0.00. Misprint? Apparently not.

Oh, I see now. It's a series. Book 1 is free. Book 2 is $4 and Book 3 is $3. I suppose the idea is get you hooked on book 1, and if you like it you pay to see how it finishes.

Book 1 was 7000 words. Does that sound like the sort of stuff some of you are selling? And the prices?

And to save me wading through all their corporate-speak, how much of a cut does the author get from a $3 book?
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:28 AM   #10
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Neither my wordage nor my prices, no.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sun_sea_sky View Post
I just browsed Amazon for a few minutes (Kindle: erotica) to see what was on offer. I was rather surprised that quite a few books where for $0.00. Misprint? Apparently not.

Oh, I see now. It's a series. Book 1 is free. Book 2 is $4 and Book 3 is $3. I suppose the idea is get you hooked on book 1, and if you like it you pay to see how it finishes.

Book 1 was 7000 words. Does that sound like the sort of stuff some of you are selling? And the prices?

And to save me wading through all their corporate-speak, how much of a cut does the author get from a $3 book?
My book is over 200k words. I have it priced at $2.99 because I want people to read it. It's possible that I could make more money if I bumped it up a buck or two, and I certainly think it's worth a higher price... but much of the strategy of marketing e-books (hell, music online, too) is to make the buyer feel like he/she isn't spending real money.

From a $2.99 book, I get about $2 per sale. It's a 70/30 split in favor of the author -- though if you price it above $10, they flip that in favor of the vendor (Amazon).

Note that they do NOT withhold anything for taxes for you before sending the check. This leads to some aggravation when you do your taxes, because those checks say "royalties" on them and you can't really classify them as anything else where the IRS is concerned.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:23 AM   #12
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E-publishing: Windfall or Utter Folly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidWestDom View Post
Amazon and Barnes and Noble both encourage writers to develop material to sell for their respective devices (Kindle and Nook). They claim they will handle all the marketing, distribution, etc.

So, my question is: Does anyone actually know anyone who has received a real check for their efforts at e-publishing? Is it really worth the time and effort one would invest in even a short story for electronic readers?

If writing for e-publishing is a worthwhile pursuit, what genres seem to be the most profitable? I lean toward writing about swinging and mild BDSM topics, but I realize these may not be what the market wants. And, of course, writing stories few, if any, want to read, is not the way to ensure a steady stream of mailbox money. (Yes, I want to do this as a "retirement" career, one that couples art with income.)
Windfall or Folly? It can be both, in my case it is a windfall. I have seven erotic e-books on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Each publishing house will either send you a check or deposit directly into your bank or PayPal account, usually on a quarterly basis.
B&N does about half the sales as Amazon and Smashwords does more than each combined (they make e-books available to Apple, Sony and a few other Smart Phones and iPads). If you price your e-book over $2.99 they all pay 70% back to you.
Bashfullyshameless has a valid point about royalties and IRS... but until I get to six digits I'm not worrying about it.

It is not necessary to buy a Kindle or Nook, each has a free download of the application to your pc and they work well.
None do much editing for you. They just keep rejecting your submission until you get it right... Smashwords gives the most help and instructions.
To Brunne's question about freebies: I put one out as free and included a chapter of one of my for sale books... Purchases picked up noticeably.

My question to this group: I have been trying to post one of my books to Literotica but keep getting it kicked back (rejected). Something to do with advertisements... probably because I tell interested readers where they can read my other erotic e-books on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Does anyone have any ideas where I can get Lit to accept my submission and still tell readers where they can get more?
Cheers, DL Davito
Here's a link to my seven on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...s=digital-text
(Make sure you deactivate the 'Adults' filter)
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:37 AM   #13
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None do much editing for you. They just keep rejecting your submission until you get it right... Smashwords gives the most help and instructions.
What about quotes? I've been using "straight" quotes (ie. apostrophes) because I get sick of going to web sites (or downloading documents) where what are obviously supposed to be quotes render as some bizarre symbol because of font issues, encoding issues, or some damn thing.

Personally I prefer "real" quotes to "inch and feet" symbols (like I am using now) however I prefer the "inch and feet" symbols to some incorrect graphic.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:40 AM   #14
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Here's a link to my seven on Amazon:
Who does the front covers? Does Amazon just stick on a stock picture of some girl or two in their underwear?
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:48 AM   #15
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so it kind of sounds like doing android/iphone apps, the more you have out there even if several are free, the more you sell?
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Who does the front covers? Does Amazon just stick on a stock picture of some girl or two in their underwear?
No, you have to provide your own. A lot of people go find stock photos and do the photoshopping of putting on a title & such themselves. I was very lucky and had an excellent photographer friend who offered to do it for free as long as I credited him.

I suspect next time around I'm gonna look into commissioning some artwork, but that'll all depend on finding an artist, liking the medium, my ability to pay a respectable wage (because it drives me nuts when people undervalue artwork), etc.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:14 AM   #17
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Who does the front covers? Does Amazon just stick on a stock picture of some girl or two in their underwear?
The author supplies covers, descriptions, rating, etc, etc. I got myself PhotoShop and am finding that building a cover is almost as much fun as writing.

Lior2006 has the right idea about more visability = more sales.
- DLD
(what about my question about getting Lit to accept my book with marketing info?)
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:19 AM   #18
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What about quotes? I've been using "straight" quotes (ie. apostrophes) because I get sick of going to web sites (or downloading documents) where what are obviously supposed to be quotes render as some bizarre symbol because of font issues, encoding issues, or some damn thing.

Personally I prefer "real" quotes to "inch and feet" symbols (like I am using now) however I prefer the "inch and feet" symbols to some incorrect graphic.
I'm smiling and nodding understaning about sun_sea_sky's rant about quotation marks. It took me hours to figure out how to make them right (I write in MS Word)
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dldavito View Post
My question to this group: I have been trying to post one of my books to Literotica but keep getting it kicked back (rejected). Something to do with advertisements... probably because I tell interested readers where they can read my other erotic e-books on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Does anyone have any ideas where I can get Lit to accept my submission and still tell readers where they can get more?
Cheers, DL Davito
Here's a link to my seven on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...s=digital-text
(Make sure you deactivate the 'Adults' filter)
You can't put this in a story text, no. You can put something in your author's profile and in your signature line in the forum. And you can announce your new books with links to them in the forum area for that here at the top of the AH forum.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:12 AM   #20
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You can't put this in a story text, no. You can put something in your author's profile and in your signature line in the forum. And you can announce your new books with links to them in the forum area for that here at the top of the AH forum.
Many thanks sr71plt. I made changes to eliminate ads and added a link to my profile per your suggestion.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:16 AM   #21
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Hard at work prepping my first e-book for launch but...

Terrific article in Forbes about indie publishing:

Publishing Is Broken, We're Drowning In Indie Books - And That's A Good Thing


Even better than the article is the fact that it is ALL over my Twitter feed. Authors big and small are excited about this.

Also, I have a question about hard scene and soft scene breaks and how to format them. I'm getting mixed answers. Any thoughts?

http://forum.literotica.com/showthread.php?t=823313
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:27 AM   #22
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Publish whatever you have and can get accepted by distributors. I don't know of any studies yet on what sells best.The North Face Jacket
THe North Face Outlet
North Face Jackets Men
North Face Equipment The e-book wave didn't really take off well until the surge in Kindle sales during Christmas of 2010. (And I think the top of the wave is past us now that most folks have their Kindles and other reader devices loaded to the gills already.)
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:55 AM   #23
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Oh wow lovecraft, you have a great point there - I recently put something on amazon after it got taken down for being erotica on another site, I had a following (about 2000+) and yeah, If i were to make free with just 1 book it is over. maybe I'll save my free promotions for when I get a 2nd book up, this way people will get the 1st one free and end up buying the 2nd to continue the series.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #24
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Coming from a newby author, just dumped some work on Lit and got >4 ratings. Not too bad. And for fun I'm considering maybe publishing an e-book out of it. My main reason to write is because I enjoy it, and I enjoy people reading my work.

Just wondering two things about this e-book publishing.
1) do you publish your books on Lit for free, and then create e-book to sell?
2) how long should a story be, to become "book"?
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:20 PM   #25
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I've downloaded a couple of free (erotic) books from Amazon. The word counts turned out to be around 5000 words. So, a story here ought to qualify. They have quite a range of erotica, quite a bit free. You could download some and check it out.
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