For today only, get Remnants, book 1 of the Remnants Saga, for free on Amazon Kindle!
If you enjoy it, please leave me a review on Amazon! I love to receive your feedback.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had as an indie author is switching caps between my Writer Self and my Business Self.
For me, my Writer Self is the one who loves writing, creating, imagining, and dreaming. I’d rather focus on the fun stuff – the craft of writing, if you will. It’s why I do this in the first place.
However, my Business Self is what needs to kick in when it comes time to actually sell books. “Sales” can seem like a bit of a curse word to people who are focused on their craft, but it’s something we all need to learn if we’re to achieve that ever-distant dream of supporting ourselves with our craft.
Making Good Art should definitely be a focus. You won’t feel proud selling it if it isn’t good. But, if you have generated a quality piece of work, applying some business sense to the mix will do wonders for you. And some of that business sense means knowing your value, i.e. knowing what to charge.
One of the top mantras you’ll hear in most business models is as follows: Don’t Compete On Price. What does that mean? Don’t try to always have the cheapest product. Cheap products attract bargain shoppers. While we can all understand shopping on a budget, luxury and entertainment purveyors (which includes authors) don’t make a living by marketing to people who claim they can’t afford certain products.
The problem with offering the cheapest product is that it’s possible to eventually get priced out of the market. If your goal is to actually make some money, it’s a lot harder on 99 cent eBooks at a 35% royalty rate than on something more reasonable, and more reflective of your time, effort, and talent.
My Writer Self balks at that lesson. I want to share my craft, and be accessible, and frankly, I feel very hurt when critics suggest my price is too high. I struggle between wanting to be an artist and wanting to support myself doing what I love.
Here’s the thing: you can experiment with pricing. You can have promotions to offer people more opportunities to buy your book, and you can optimize your pricing to find the best range for your target readership. But, don’t feel like you must impoverish yourself for the sake of your art. You have a dream, and your dream is valid.
You may get the occasional nay-sayer, who leaves you a bad review without ever even reading your book, merely to complain, “This isn’t worth the $2.99 price tag! You should price your book at 99 cents!” This type of review says more about the bitter, haughty reviewer than it does about you. Other, more reasonable people recognize that. Don’t get sucked into the price wars that do a disservice to you, your readers, and your fellow authors.
And, really, here’s what’s at issue: is a 2 dollar price difference really that substantial when it comes to buying a book? The effect of 2 dollars on a single reader’s pocket book isn’t huge; but the cumulative effect it has for you as an author who wants to be in the business of writing is game-changing. On Amazon, it’s the difference between 35% and 70%, and being that much closer to your dream of supporting yourself with your writing.
You work hard to turn your dreams into reality, and it takes strength to share your writing with the world and to be vulnerable to other people’s comments and criticisms. When you deliver a quality product, you deserve to have it recognized, and to have pricing that reflects that. For the readers who love you, it isn’t about price, but about delivering the best work you possibly can to them.
My new dystopian young adult book, Remnants, is available on Amazon Kindle for the reasonable price of $2.99. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
The End of the World (as we know it).
Whatever you want to call it, we’re pretty obsessed with it.
From The Walking Dead to The Hunger Games, plus hits like Divergent and just about every zombie movie ever made, we are fascinated with depictions of the end times. We ruminate over barren wastelands, isolation, and the musings of what a desolate future might hold after a world gone mad.
The End comes in any number of ways. Drought. Nuclear war. Disease. Undead. Asteroid. The result is always the same: small pockets of survivors strive to endure, confronting challenges that range from murderous hoards to depleted resources. Plus, there are always those who want to take advantage of the misfortune of others for personal gain.
Whatever the focus, these types of stories are dark. The future of mankind is bleak, the setting is usually harsh and unforgiving, and despair and hopelessness are omnipresent.
So, why on Earth do we love reading about this stuff? What’s the appeal of post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows? Are we all just crazy gluttons for punishment? Here, we’ll take a look at a handful of reasons why we love dystopian stories.
1) The Select Few Endure
As depressing as these stories are, we love to follow the heroes and heroines, envisioning ourselves in their shoes. How would we react if we were one of the chosen few? What steps would we take to become Certified Badasses capable of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world? How would we help rebuild society?
Dystopian fiction provides some of the escapism we all need to step back and get perspective on our lives, and stepping into the shoes of a strong hero for a little while can help us feel empowered and refreshed.
2) We Can Rebuild
When the real world is already full of hopelessness, why pile on? Because dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories are about more than devastation: they are about survival after the worst has happened. Underneath the despair is the glimmer of potential: we can overcome these challenges, and make a better world.
3) We Kind of Want the World to Burn
No, you read that right. Many of us are psychologically inclined to want the end of the world to happen.
Contemplating the end of the world triggers certain fear responses, which some people are wired to crave. Whether it’s a case of needing validation, a fatalistic outlook on life, or a desire to escape individual responsibility, dystopian stories give us the psychological rush we need.
It’s not entirely unhealthy, either. In fact, “preppers,” people who actively prepare for a doomsday scenario, are engaging in goal-oriented behavior that therapists often recommend to people in crisis.
What about you? Are you into the dystopian genre? What’s the appeal for you? And what are your favorite dystopian movies, books, and authors?
Friday, August 4, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
released Remnants on Amazon today. Give it a look, and leave a review if you enjoyed it! Thanks everyone for your support. This has been a long-running project and I've really had fun working on it, and I look forward to seeing what it holds for me in the future.