I’ve had an idea and I want to see how it flies.
My Domme Chronicles book has been out for nearly a year now (I know, that’s AGES!!). It’s selling, but it’s hardly setting the world on fire. This is not surprising to me: I’ve done no marketing because I don’t have the appetite for that sort of self promotion, so any sales have been pretty much word-of-mouth. So I was mulling over how to make it more accessible while studiously ignoring that marketing elephant in the room.
As far as e-books go, mine is at a pretty premium price at about $5.99. It has some 460+ pages of content, so it’s pretty hefty, but still. I know that a lot of you have bought it (thank you so much!! *smile*), but I also think that a lot of people are hesitant to spend that much on an e-book, and fair enough.
On my path to converting everyone to femdommery and ensuring world domination, this is a barrier.
So, I’ve had this cunning plan to keep the original as-is, but to also re-release the content in three smaller, cheaper volumes of about 150 pages each. Most authors do it the other way (release a number of volumes, then do a ‘Collected Works’), but I’m hardly conventional.
So on the e-shelf would be:
- Domme Chronicles: Erotic tales of love, passion, & domination (original, full collection)
- Domme Chronicles: Erotic tales of love, passion, & domination Volume 1
- Domme Chronicles: Erotic tales of love, passion, & domination Volume 2
- Domme Chronicles: Erotic tales of love, passion, & domination Volume 3
- Cheaper to buy a single volume so people will be more likely to take a risk
- Less daunting content (468 pages is a bit full-on for an e-book)
- Opens up opportunities for heavy discounts on Volume 1 so people can see if they like it
- If they like it, they can either buy further volumes, or buy the full collection (i.e. the original)
- Dilutes the appeal of the full book which makes me sad
- I can’t really think of any others
- Release Volumes 1, 2 and 3 on the anniversary of the original book release (Dec 15th)
- Price them at $2.99 each
- Offer Volume 1 at 99c (holy fuck I’m a bargain basement Domme!!) at launch to anyone who pre-orders
(re this, if I get a decent number of pre-orders, upon launch there will be a sales jump and this makes it more visible on Amazon search and makes it turn up on ‘recommended’ lists which means wider reach)
I’d like to gauge interest in the idea, so I’d appreciate it if you could let me know what you think (ooh look, a poll!):
**Poll now closed, results below**
And of course I’d appreciate hearing your further thoughts in the comments.
As I am well familiar with your book, I will heartily recommend it in any size or format. It is a wonderful read, and by releasing it in several volumes, I think you would reach a different readership. There are many who want “just enough” for a quick read.
Thanks slapshot *smile*.
I assume you voted accordingly?
For what it’s worth I say keep it the way it is and spread the word about it. You need minions who will advertise. I know a lesbian minion if you wish her free services.
Thank you! *scheming*
I hereby put you in charge of marketing: That means YOU have to find all the other minions also. Your title: Chief executive minion wrangler.
Your objective is to target huge-audience BDSM blogs and forums and tout the book, get high profile folks to say my book is awesome, get some press releases out to mainstream media, implement some promotional ideas and competitions, and get some more book reviews.
I’ll just wait here… with the elephant :P.
Is it disrespectful to call your Dominant friend a smartass? Just curious of course. *laughs*
I have no experience of selling at all but seems to me that it is a very workable idea to offer a buy it cheaper in advance, the young people tell me it’s done all the time with games
P.S. I didn’t vote the options confused me
As for the options being confusing, I clicked ‘Yes’ on your behalf :P.
I think your book is too cheap! Really! I would have bought it for ten dollars or even fifteen, I think. It is a wonderful read and if you make it cheaper I think you underprice it! You should ask what it’s worth! So ask more. And please promote your book! It’s not selfpromoting to do so but you will let a lot of restless pre-dommes know about a wonderful way to celibrate their sensual longings and relationships!
Thank you so much for this lovely comment *smile*.
Speaking of price, yesterday I followed a link on a dominant woman’s profile to some books she was selling. I only looked at one (a 200 page ‘how to’ book): It was $47.00!!! It didn’t even appear to be a hard copy. I think my eyes popped out of my head *laugh*.
I would not break the book into smaller sections. The book works best as a whole. I bought it at full price and absolutely love it. It is very, very difficult to find good FemDom writings and yours are among the best I have read.
Thank you so much for your thoughts and your loveliness *smile*. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it.
I like the idea of offering volume 1 as a “loss leader” to make it attractive to the curious. Then you’d still have another $4 in potential sales from those who get it and like it.
Thanks theo, I appreciate your input. And you are right about ‘still having something left’ if I go that route. The problem with just one book is that my options for playing around like that are… well… limited.
Im a weirdo! Apparently it’s not very technologically advanced to own a hard copy book. Lol
Personally I loved it and reread parts to past the time but more importantly to stay encouraged in my pursuit of happiness. I’ve decided to loan it to a curious neighbor.. I can’t wait to hear her review
*laugh* No, not a weirdo at all!! There is an absolutely huge difference between the heft and joy of an actual ‘rifle through the pages’ book and an e-book. You aren’t the only one!
I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, and I am so curious what your neighbour will think! Do come back and tell!
My gut feel is that the book isn’t big enough to split into smaller volumes. I think maybe a better strategy is to look at how people find out about your book (I know, the dreaded marketing elephant).
I found your book via the snippet that was featured in one of the Submissive Guy Comics. The writing caught my interest so I followed the links and bought the e-book. I’m wondering whether a similar strategy might work to give people a sample of what’s in the book and get them interested. Maybe offer a free “preview” of one of the stories. With Kindle you can often download a “preview”, which I often use to get an idea of whether I’m going to enjoy the writing style. However, often it’s just the first few pages, which is taken up with publishing details and whatnot, not the actual content, which isn’t much help. I think being able to read one of the stories for free would give people a taste of your style and entice them to buy the book.
Maybe do a poll of your blog followers who have bought the book and ask how they found out about it.
Thanks so much for your thoughts.
I disagree that it’s not big enough to split. The average of the top 25 best-selling erotica e-book is around 79,781 words, the average for the top ten is 51,185. I possibly should have split it up-front, but I was so eager to get it out that I couldn’t entertain the idea.
“I found your book via the snippet that was featured in one of the Submissive Guy Comics.”
Ahh, that’s interesting, thank you.
I had a sales spike when SGC pimped my book, so I do think that a great marketing strategy is to have popular F/m folks read it, like it, talk about it, but I hate (HATE!) asking any of them to do that (and I hate (HATE!) being asked myself). I can’t/won’t do it.
“I think being able to read one of the stories for free would give people a taste of your style and entice them to buy the book.”
I think you’re right. The Amazon preview gives them some 30 pages for free, so that’s about 7 stories, but I have to GET them there before they can see it.
I’ve been thinking of posting snippets (probably on Tumblr) to see how that goes.
I really appreciate your thoughtful comments, thank you!
I think you’re over complicating it. Do a poll of your purchasers. ‘Vote for your fave story’. Top three to be available at 99p for limited period to celebrate 1st anniversary. If its good you get the 99p voucher to put off the cost of the whole book.
Invite readers to help you share and promote.
Also, if you can find out where purchasers heard about you then promote to those sources and give them a shout out in thanks too.
You wrote and self published a book. Stop with the coy.
Thanks for that, I appreciate the ideas.
I DID write and self publish a book *smile*.
And I’m not at all coy! The nerve!
I have not voted because I feel like my opinion needs words…
I have not read your book but from the comments here it would seem that people have enjoyed it. I understand your reluctance to be overly self pimpy but I think that is the way you should go instead of breaking it into volumes.
You have a whole host of sex blogging friends in this community who you could garner to help you. Why not send some of them a free copy in exchange for a review. There are even some bloggers like Kissin Karen Blue who’s main focus is book reviews.
Also, have you looked on Reddit and Google Plus for places to pimp it? There is also a BDSM reading group on Goodreads that might be worth trying to get in touch with and sending someone there a freebie in the hope they recommend it to the group
I am fairly sure there is a big market for quality Femdom erotic, you just need to perform some high kicks to get their attention ;)
Thanks so much Molly.
I do really hate asking other bloggers for stuff, but I’ll look up Kissin Karen Blue, and while sighing dramatically might try to find places to pimp it (I mentioned that I hate that, right? Ugh).
I will find my can-can skirt and practice some high kicks… :)
As I suspect you know Femdom is not really my gig. I know, you are shocked right? Having said that, if you want to attempt to bring me over to the dark side then I will happily read for you and if I like it then write something about it on my site… well written erotica is always a thing in my world regardless of the dynamic it portrays.
Ps… you need those frilly French knickers to really complete a quality round of high kicks ;)
I AM shocked *gasp*!
Thank you so much for your very kind offer!! Wow!
I am frilly-knicker-can-canning straight into your inbox as fast as my poorly executed high kicks can carry me!! :))
I’m basing my answer on the information I found here: http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/05/new-smashwords-survey-helps-authors.html
The best way to move a book is to give it away. Not very profitable, but it makes it more visible. That builds name recognition and makes future sales easier.
For length of book, it appears that 100K to 120K is a good length. Readers feel like they are getting what they pay for.
For price, 99 cents is a black hole. 2.99 to 3.99 appears to be the sweet spot, with more sales happening at 3.99 than 2.99.
My recommendation: Break it into three parts. The first part would be about 75-80K and the other two split fairly evenly. Give the first one away (what better Christmas bargain is there than that?) and then set the other two at 3.99, with the whole edition being set at 5.99.
Also: Even though you hate it: advertise. Enter it in contests if you don’t want to do it another way.
Thanks so much for that.
Interestingly, I used last year’s survey to inform my price when I released. The price points have changed this year (then 2.99 and 5.99 were the sweet spots and the in-between was a dead zone).
But yes, unsurprisingly FREE is the sweetest spot *smile*.
Thanks for linking that for me.