Monday, October 19, 2009


I swear I will quit talking about this soon, but it happens to be what's on my mind. It's way too early to come up with solid results, but Sunday's Pale Immortal special sale was an interesting test. Many people tweeted the deal and some Facebooked the event. (Thank you!!)


I sold 7 copies of Pale Immortal for $3.00 each. All were purchased by friends and family. The showing of support truly warmed my heart. One friend admitted she had no way to read it, but she bought it anyway. *sob*

This little experiment underscores the importance of a storefront like Amazon. I doubt I will break even unless Amazon eventually agrees to let Pale Immortal go live. Even with the Amazon storefront, I have my doubts.

Romance readers have been clamoring for the digital release of Bad Karma and there's been some decent buzz about it, but I honestly think if I released BK I might sell 20 copies. Max. This is the reality of self-publishing. And even though my books have the stamp of major publishers and have won awards, they don't have the visibility.

Most self-published books lack a sense of what I'm calling a validity of the moment, and there is no way for me to reach beyond my own small circle.


  1. I didn't realize you could buy it even if you had no way to read it. What a loser I am.

  2. bonnie, i know you have a print copy. you don't need a digital file!


  3. I just wanted to congratulate you on the digital release!! It takes a lot of hard work to do this. I agree on getting the word out is really tough too.

    And I'm really looking forward to Bad Karma!!

  4. I thought about buying one, but I too have never bought a digital version of anything yet. Plus, I have two extra copies that I lend out.

    Anyway, I can see how difficult it is to make sales this way. I'm not even sure that being on Amazon equates with big sales. Digital allows more material to be out, and it becomes a huge mass of competing works.

    I wonder if we should move toward a YouTube or old radio model. Allow people free access to read books online and sell advertising space to raise the income. Then, revenue can be split up based on usage. Kind of like how the massive music licenses work. If it caught on, maybe readers would have to pay a subscription fee.

    I think you'll see sales over time. A one-day look after a release is a tough way to judge it.

  5. Perhaps your readership isn't among early adopters of Kindle and other electronic reading devices and programs. I know that I am the only one among my group of friends to have purchased a Kindle, and it was a gift from my husband or I probably wouldn't have one. Now that I have it, though, I have something like 14 PAGES of books waiting to be read ("Pale Immortal" among them)! The truth is, all of those books are far less intimidating as a reading list than they would be if they were print books. Sometimes I have to hide my hardcover books from myself to keep from becoming overwhelmed.

    On second thought, maybe I'm not a very good example. It occurs to me after reading my comment that I appear to be a tad obsessive about reading material.

  6. thank you, Kelly! not sure i would have started this if i'd know how hard it was going to be!

    Jason, you might really have something there. I was nodding as I read your post. I think the biggest thing is offering something that clicks with the masses, and so far nothing is really doing that when it comes to books.

    Kim, that's a really good point. I tend to forget that few people even own reading devices.Online it seems everybody has one, but that's probably comparable to it feeling like everybody in the world is a writer because a high percentage of the people i know are writers. when i start to think of face to face friends and family with reading devices...hmm. that could be no one.

  7. I would buy it but I don't have a kindle, and I don't want to download yet more programs just so I can read a book. I've already got adobe (spawn of the devil) digital editions and microsoft reader. If you were selling your book in either of those formats or epub I would buy a copy. Perhaps when you have your book available in more formats your sales will go up. Still 7 books in a day is seriously impressive for self pubbed or even epubbed (there are some of those ebook houses that don't even do that a month).


  8. I'm curious about this phrase, 'the validity of the moment.' Can you define?

  9. Anika,
    understood! the only reason it's a MOBI file is because of Amazon, and now Amazon won't allow it to go live. SO FRUSTRATING! I would have gone with EPUB otherwise. But I could only afford one format, so I chose MOBI. *head to desk*

    i think what i meant by the phrase (and I admit I'm confused by it, but it just popped into my head), most books have to connect with at least a small fraction of the reading public for a small fraction of time in order to make it. it could be that i'm still stuck in the big publishing house mentality of a book needing buzz before it ever hits the shelf. And the majority of sales take place in the first two weeks, then it's over. it doesn't last very long, but in that short amount of time, readers take notice. individuals can't make that kind of thing happen. this also ties into the loss of cultural authority.

  10. oops, forgot to sign my name to that last post.