Tag Archives: self-publishing

Ginnie Dare On Sale

I’ve decided, in the tradition of this great on-going electronic publishing experiment, to drop the price on the e-pub version of Ginnie Dare. Use the link below you’ll get it in e-pub and mobi/Kindle formats for $4.99 $2.49.

If you prefer to get it another way it’s available on Smashwords for $2.99 and will be available on Amazon for the same price later in the week. I don’t have an end date in mind on this, but I’ll make an announcement before the price change. Why wait though?

Where My Readers At?

I’ve been gradually ramping up my efforts to find out where my readers are at and trying to make my fiction available in those places. To that end I’ve begun selling books at Goodreads, in addition to Smashwords, Amazon, and my very own bookstore. I’ve also sent out coupon codes to podcasters, writers, and bloggers to share with their audiences and I set up my story “Fetch” to be featured on Daily Kindle Bargains. Finally, I’ve been using Google Plus and have found new friends, writers, and a fan or two.

All of this is very early days yet, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to reach prospective readers. One thing I’ve noticed (reinforced by Nobilis Reed) is that on social media sites like Google Plus, authors tend to network with other authors. That’s good to a point. Iron sharpens iron and all that and most writers are also readers, but I’d like to find readers who are primarily readers.

So I open the floor to the writers who are more successful fiscally than I am, where do you find your readers and how do you connect? Also, in my efforts to reach out and offer ways for people to sample my wares, I want to avoid being a douchenozzle and bombarding folks with spam. So, where do you draw the line on self promotion?

Not to leave readers out of the questions, where/how do you find new authors and how much self promotion is too much? Are coupons/free samples a driver for you to try new things? And how much of a role do reviews on sites like Amazon and Smashwords play in your decisions to buy?

Thanks for any input you have!

Semi-Professional Editing

I’ve been thinking a lot about editing lately. I’m an editor for Flying Island Press and I’ve been doing some self-publishing (though not everyone agrees that that’s what I’m doing) which, best case scenario, involves no small amount of red-lining. The critics of self-publishing point out that there’s a lot of sub-par product out there. They assume, and in large part are probably right, that that’s because they aren’t professionally edited, as they would be if they were published “professionally”. It’s certainly not because authors are unaware of the need to have good eyes and skills applied to their work. One of the things that I hear again and again from my fellow creators is, “I know I need an editor, but those don’t come cheap.” So, we do the best we can and put our stuff out there.

I’m curious about a couple of things from my writer peeps. Have you used an editor for your fiction? If so, who and how much did they charge? Were they “pros”? Setting aside the raw definition of that word, I’ll define it to mean “someone who does it for a living”. Were they “semi-pros”, defined by me as “someone who charges a below market rate”? And if you did, how long did it take you to make back your investment?

If you decided not to use an editor and it was because of the perceived cost, how much would you be willing to spend? What is it “worth” to have someone look at your work if it will, to a degree, ensure a better product? I ask, in part, because I know there are people out there, in our community that are semi-pro/pro editors and I’m sure they’d like to know. I know two personally, Jenny Melzer and Allison Duncan. (Semi-pro is not an indication of quality or rate, but is based on the notion that I don’t think this is their primary source of income. No judgment on them.) I have no idea what their client base looks like, so I don’t know if the semi-pro, self-publishing authors out there are using them.

I do know that at present Allison’s rates are beyond my budget. Jenny’s are closer to the mark, but I haven’t sent her anything, yet. I’m just not sure I can justify paying her either. I’m actually kicking around the idea of forming a group to give us another, inexpensive option. But would someone, who charges less, be perceived by you as lacking in the necessary skills to justify any outlay? Is a semi-pro someone I can trust my manuscript to? What do you think?

Future Plans

I know my buddy advised me not to talk about numbers and that may be sound advice, so moving forward I won’t worry about them so much.

Okay, I’ll worry, but I just won’t say anything. 😉

What I will say is, I didn’t make the numbers I wanted to. Yes, that’s a little frustrating. I set a reasonable goal, but people buying what I have to sell is out of my hands. So, I can’t let that frustrate me. As one person told me, I might see an uptick in sales there once Ginnie Dare is out. We’ll see.

Moving forward, I plan on creating recordings of some of my stories. I’ll likely put those here and on Podiobooks so that those of you who enjoy podcast fiction can enjoy them. Keep tuned to this station.

I also wanted to put a link here for “Battle of Wildspitze”, an awesome ten-thousand word short story that Zach Ricks and I wrote.

We’re writing more in that universe and plan on putting more of these stories out, maybe a print anthology of them too. We also plan on podcasting it down the road, cause we’re cool like that. I’ve also included a bit of sample text after the jump for you to have a look at.

For those that support me both in spreading the word and in buying my fiction (both are important), I thank you.

Continue reading Future Plans

Contest Update!

So here’s where we’re at contest-wise. Thanks to a couple of generous (and lovely) young ladies (and some other folks I don’t know) I have crossed the halfway point and am at fourteen sales. Only one of those ladies has sent her receipts in. So, if we do cross the twenty-seven sales line by the end of the month, she’s a dead lock to get the paperback proof of Through a Glass, Darkly

I’ve Tweeted and Facebooked and blogged about it. I’ve had people share and RT my contest. I’ve put the word on on MobileRead.com’s Forums as well as the Kindleboards. I’ve also shared it on the Kindle Facebook fan page. I’ll continue to use these methods and any others I can come up with. I’m still running into people that don’t know I’ve put stuff on Amazon and that I have a print anthology available, so I’m not reaching everyone I can. Thanks to Amazon’s limited reporting tools, I don’t know if people are downloading the samples (you can get samples of most any Amazon Kindle books delivered right to your device) or not. If you haven’t taken advantage of the samples at least, please do so. If you have and you’re just not compelled, I’d actually like to hear that.

There are still ten days left in the month. This has only gone for seven days, so there’s plenty of time. You don’t have to buy all six stories to be entered. If you’d just like to send me the money for a signed copy of the print book I can arrange that. Any help you lovely people can give me in this effort is appreciated. Blog, Tweet, and Facebook about it. Tell your friends. And for those that have done that, a great big thanks!

Bobby and His Dragon

I’m trying out some direct sales through this site in preparation for Ginnie Dare and some other projects. So in order to test this I’ll be offering a cute little middle grades level story I’ve written that’s available nowhere else. It’s only $.49 for a story that clocks in at 3400 words. Well worth it in my opinion.

I also made the e-pub myself so I’m a bit proud of that.

A preview for those who’d like one:
Continue reading Bobby and His Dragon


I really want to triple my sales from last month. I also want to know who’s out there buying my stories. So let’s see if I can kill two birds with one stone, shall we?

I’m getting a proof copy of this anthology in a few days. For every story you buy from here between now and the end of March, you will get one entry. Just email me at scott at scottroche.com and attach an electronic copy of your receipt from Amazon. All entries will go into a hat (possibly a real hat, possibly an electronic one) and I will draw a name. That person will receive a signed, personalized copy of the proof copy. This will be the only one of its kind in existence and will be worth at least as much as the paper it’s printed on for generations to come. The only catch? If I don’t sell at least twenty seven stories, I keep the book. There needs to be some incentive to stop my Mom from being the only winner. 😉

Simple enough? Now go forth and buy!

Read An E-book Week

In celebration of “Read An E-book Week” if you go to Smashwords you can get any of my e-pubs for free. Don’t have an e-reader? You can read them all online or download them as PDFs. Coupon codes are available on each story’s page.

This is a promotional effort by Smashwords to encourage people to embrace the format and let people know about the awesome content out there. This promotion only lasts til the end of the week so don’t wait!

The Price is Right

I had an interesting Twitter discussion this weekend that involved e-book pricing. It’s on my mind a lot really what with me having a new book coming out in May. I had five dollars set as the soft price in my mind based on a few things I read in this post. I felt (and still feel) that this is a fair price point for a book in the sixty-thousand word range.

There are a number of people who disagree with me though. Brand Gamblin (an author whose work I will pimp without fail) posted recently about his experiment in advertising and his decision to drop the price on Tumbler from $4.99 to $2.99. He points to JA Konrath’s ongoing experiments in e-book pricing as well as data from Evil Genius Dave Slusher’s graphs and charts as the reason for this decision. Brand has been well pleased by the results, the increase in sales more than making up for the decrease in profit. While Brand isn’t saying that there’s anything “magical” about $2.99 (the biggest thing driving that price point is that it’s the lowest you can charge through Amazon to make 70% profit) and that not every book should be priced at that point, he is saying that that’s probably what I should charge.

Several people in my Twitter stream expressed a concern that I was letting a notion of what my book is “worth” in an artistic sense cloud my judgment in terms of the price I’m setting. They believe in me in some sense and in my work and want me to maximize my profits. I appreciate that concern and it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. I certainly want to make money on this deal and I want to both maximize the total profit and get this into the hands of the highest number of people possible. So I don’t have any high flung notions that my work is “worth” five bones. The notion of worth as Ed Talbot pointed out is philosophical and largely depends on how you’re measuring it.

So far a number of people have stepped onto the pre-sale band wagon, six to date, and gave me varying chunks of their hard earned dollars. Four have opted for the highest level of support, one at the ten dollar level and one at fifteen. To them, the idea and the reality of my work is “worth” the price that they paid. To say I am grateful is a wild understatement. I am also grateful to folks that have ponied up anywhere from $.99 to $1.99 for my offerings on Amazon and Smashwords. Their payments for my stories have meant far more to me than the coin I received. The accolades I’ve received from reviewers likewise made my day/week/month. That out of the way though, I need to look at this as a business man would. I’m not a business man at heart, but as Dan Sawyer’s often said to me (paraphrasing) authors/aritsts need to train themselves up that way.

I’ve read the threads on Kindleboards and I’ve looked on Amazon’s lists and the pricepoint that makes the most sense to me is the $2.99 one. I don’t have the researchers that publishers do, but there are a few things I know. I don’t have the following that Nathan Lowell does. People aren’t clamoring for this book. I’m a completely unknown author to 99.999% of the universe out there. So I need to make my prose as compelling as possible and price it reasonably. I won’t give it away (at least not in text form) since I think it is worth something and based on a number of things I’ve read, free e-books languish unread in their owners’ readers. I also don’t see charging less than $2.99 for it since, while it may increase sales (or it may not depending on who you listen to) I don’t think the subsequent cut in percentage will make it worth while.

The question of what to charge for the paperback version still looms large in my mind. I have the pre-sale levels set at five and ten for e-book and paperback versions respectively and I don’t see that I’ll lower those. That means if you’ve made the decision to support me already, you’ve likely paid more than you would have had you waited. And it may mean that if you were going to pre-order that you’ll wait til it’s out. I can’t fault you if you ask for a refund or if you wait until the launch. My hope is that you’ll support me anyway and that you’ll feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth at the “full price”.

As always, feel free to share your comments below and tip your servers well!

Pre-sale Thoughts

Soon and very soon I will be making my novel Ginnie Dare:Crimson Sands available for sale. There are lots of plans percolating in the background that I can’t make public just yet. Suffice to say there will be a paperback, an electronic version, and an audio version. They will be available in various places, for various prices.

Before that happens I will be opening up the lines for pre-orders. I have a wonderful artist who’s putting together cover art for me and I have to pay him. I also need to buy an ISBN or two. To make that happen I need some angel investors. I’m still ruminating on pricing and what exactly you’d get for your money. Here are my thoughts and I’m interested in what you think of them (whether you plan on helping me out or not).

I’m thinking of doing a tiered approach, letting people help me as they are able:

Tier One (Seraph) – For $5 you would get an electronic version of Crimson Sands, signed, dedicated, and numbered as well as a Twitter icon indicating your level of support.
Tier Two (Cherub) – For $10 you would get a paperback version of Crimson Sands, signed, dedicated, and numbered as well as a Twitter icon indicating your level of support.
Tier Three (Archangel) – For $15 you would get the benefits of both Tiers One and Two.

My plan is to make these available by May 1st. I want to carry copies of the book with me to Balticon and see if I can sell some there as well. If you have any thoughts, criticisms, or suggestions on this please drop me a comment or shoot me an email. This is a grand experiment and I’m more than willing to hear that this is a bad idea or an awesome idea.

To give you an idea of what you’d be getting, here’s a brief synopsis:

Ginnie Dare is the communications officer for her family’s space faring shipping company. They arrive at Eshua for a routine supply drop and discover that the entire settlement’s population has vanished. Their search of the site reveals nothing out of place except the people, but ends in a tense confrontation with the natives. During the conflict Ginnie discovers an alien artifact that may be the key to diffusing the conflict. Can she decode the artifact before it’s taken by the Sector Defense Force and will it help them to discover the missing colony’s fate? Or will the whole thing spark an interstellar war?

My hope is that this story will hearken back to the sci-fi I grew up with and will be enjoyable to a wide range of age groups. It’s a story I feel more than just comfortable with my ten year old daughter reading. I hope she will read it and find a protagonist that she can identify with and be inspired by.