Trouble finding my ebooks? There’s a reason.

Posted on February 3, 2016 By

I hate doing this. I actually like dealing with Amazon…but I don’t like dealing only with Amazon. OTOH, I like it when actual people (not just the ones I make up in my head) can and do read my books and stories.

What’s that mean? It means I pulled all of my ebooks, except Shiver on the Sky, from all non-Amazon sites this morning. The problem: most of that stuff was free. The free stuff got downloaded. People didn’t proceed to buy the books that cost money, though.

Logically, the finger of blame points to me: my material simply isn’t compelling enough that people who read some of it, or even most of it, will pay $2.99 or a local equivalent to read one of my novels or story collections. So I’ll work on that. It’s part of being a writer. I’m always trying to do better.

However? It’s also true that, when my material is available in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, it gets read more often. And I even get paid for each page read. Folks who borrow the books improve the books’ rankings, which actually seems to inspire more people to buy the books too.

I like the multiple-streams-of-income thing. I don’t like the dependent-on-Amazon thing. But I’ve tried new releases both ways. I’ve tried freebies both ways. I tried it all before, too, but hoped things had changed.

Clearly, I need to work on my writing/storytelling skills. That’s a given. In the meantime, I like it when people read what I’ve written. And I like it when I get paid, even if it’s not much. It’s kind of inspiring. And, you know, money is fun.

So, starting in a week or so–or whenever the ebooks actually disappear from non-Amazon digital shelves–all of my books will be available in Kindle Unlimited. When I released The Secret in Kindle Unlimited, it sparked interest in other stuff I’d written, and thanks mostly to Kindle Unlimited readers I had a couple of months of my best fiction-income ever. When I released Bleed on the Sky, not in Kindle Unlimited, with my other books also mostly not in Kindle Unlimited, it didn’t move the needle at all.

It is what it is. Maybe when I have 20 or 30 books out it’ll make a difference. I’ll probably write better stuff by then, too. Everybody’s a winner!

Meanwhile I’m working on Destiny’s Dance (the novel, not the previously-published story/prologue), which is a lot of fun to write. Almost certainly the start of a new series. And I have at least one other series I’d like to write, too, and then there’s the possibility of more nonfiction coming along. So I’ll get back to all that, and wish y’all a good day.

Have fun out there!

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  1. As a newbie with only one novel out, the only thing that made sense is KDP Select. I’m waiting to catch on. Meanwhile, I’m trying to revise Book 2.

    I’m okay with Amazon. And the fact that if you don’t like Select, within three months you can be out of there.

    Good luck – if people are already buying your other stuff after reading one, I’m green with envy. Hope that helps.

    • David says:

      Well, green may well be my favorite color. I’m not sure that matters here, but how can it hurt? Thanks for the comment, and the perspective. I’m okay with Amazon, too…I just have “don’t trap yourself into somebody else’s platform” reflexes from the software-startup world. It feels as if KDP Select is not only a long-term mistake on my part, but one I’ve made before. OTOH at the moment I don’t see any better choices.

      Good luck to you too! I don’t think there’s such a thing as “only” one novel. Most people, I’ve heard, never get one written–much less published. Not sure why they don’t, ’cause it’s a fun game, but it seems to be true. An odd species, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.

      -D

      • Yet. Only one novel yet.

        I have no intention of stopping – the first one was the hard one. Learned everything from plotting to self-editing to branding, and I intend to keep them the same until I finish this trilogy.

        It’s just a little hard to believe you’re on the published side of the line, when it takes you a long time to get there. But here I am, nevertheless – and there’s no way to undo that.

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