Monday, May 9, 2016

Reasons to Focus on Print: An authors decision in a digital age

Several people have been asking me about what Jenny Trout reported about my sales in her recent blog post about returns. It’s been enough people that I figure I should probably write something up about it. So here goes. 

Yes. We have all but abandoned digital releases in favor of print and audio.  This wasn’t a decision we had decided lightly, so before I start getting emails from people saying I’m disparaging digital work… let me explain.

Historically we have always sold poorly in e book. We have 38 books out right now, between our SA Price, Stella and Audra Price names, my Anastasia Virgas name and my other pen name Dagmar Avery.  Sales are low for us, and have always been. We have been okay with it, because we aren’t mainstream with what we write. But it’s gotten worse. 

With the influx of books being uploaded to Amazon every day (I believe the last count was 700+ a day!)Our limited visibility was further cut down, and then with the advent of this returns bullshit, sales were set to nothing. 

We rarely make 50 sales TOTAL in ebook a month, and during release week, hell release day, we are inundated with almost if not HALF of the sales for the released book returned. That is no way to be able to keep releasing books. 

Then we looked at out print and Audio. Whereas audio sales aren’t huge, we make more on them. And print? Print we do awesome with. When you are selling double what you’re selling a month in e book in print… well it tells me some things. It tells me E books are not the medium to get our work out there with. It tells me print is not dead, and I need to focus on what works for us.
Here’s a breakdown. 

We are lucky. When we put out a book, I don’t have to pay extra for formatting or Cover work, so our overhead is low… between 300-500$ for edits. Now in order to put another book out, I need to make back what I put into a release. So in e book, if a book sells for 4.99 (the majority of the books sell for this) I have to sell a minimum of 144 copies to break even. That’s not even making a profit. As the E sales we have average between 2-4 a book a month… at the high end it would take me 36 MONTHS to make that money to simply edit the work, back. 

Now, in print, selling at 12.99 we would have to sell 27 copies. WHICH DO YOU THINK IS EASIER?

At Con, for a new release, I sell books at 10$. This means I need to sell between 30-38 while there. Considering we always sell well at con, this is not a hardship.

Most would say E book is the easier way to go. But not for us. No, not at all.  So selling 27 print book means I have the ability to release another book in a few months.  

36 months to earn out on e-book? Not feasible. At all.  

I realize readers are pissed about this. Certain readers don’t read print, don’t do audio. To be quite honest, the amount of readers that only read e book and read us is so low, I can’t even count it. Yes, losing any sale is hard but consider the other side of this. 

No E books means my books aren’t being pirated. It means they aren’t being read and then returned, and most importantly, it means I’m not checking KDP daily and getting more and more frustrated that for the 6th day in a row I haven’t sold a damn thing. 

I like the idea of a return to the printed word as well, digital while easier and all but immediate, can't compare to the tactile wonder of holding a book in your hands.

The 1-15 sales I get a month on a .99-4.99 book isn’t worth the stress and the feelings that I am not good enough. I know I am, and the work we do is. Shit visibility is the culprit, but that doesn’t compute when you are constantly tearing your hair out over nonexistent sales. Maybe things will change in the future, but for now, this is the best course of action for us.  I always liked print better anyway.

So I'm going to open up the discussion here for those that feel the need.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rocker romance? No. Not this bitch.

In taking Bianca Sommerland’s lead, I need to confess something. 

I write Metalcore Romance. 

See I’m tired of trying to lump what I do in with these ”rock” romances, because I don’t write the popular idea of a “rock star”. My guys don’t have long hair, and drug habits, they aren’t groupie crazy and they have respect for women. So many rock books out right now deal with what I call ‘peter pan syndrome” where the guys are like fucking lost boys. Well I don’t write that.

My guys are contemporary. They have tattoos and piercings. They aren’t giant gym rats that women assume rock stars look like. They aren’t practicing doms (cuz that shit is LAUGHABLE--- these guys don’t have time to sleep let alone be a practicing dom… though I know they are kinky as fuck… ), their music is heavy, and means more to their fans than anything else out there. They treat the band like a business, and while they might have wild times, they aren’t ruining their careers with drug addictions, drama and rehab. 

The bands are realistic, to a fault, even though I write paranormal. 

The bands I write are a direct result of the music. Bands like From Autumn to Ashes, Ice Nine Kills, The Birthday Massacre, Motionless in White, Upon a Burning Body, All Out War, Grade, Thrice, and others, are what fuel’s the words on the page. There’s NO hair bands in my work.

So if that’s what you are looking for, Hair Bands, my shit is not the shit for you. But if you are a Lover of the music I love, then you will like my books.

My boys and girls are caustic, fun, super pop culture, and above all responsible adults. NO off the cuff drama, because who the fuck wants drama in a good time?  

So fuck the Rock and Roll Romance designation. I listen to Metalcore, so I'm writing Metalcore. A better tip o the hat to these amazing musicians I couldn’t ever think of. 

So if you love metalcore, Like romance books, and lots of naughty sex in those romance books… I am the author for you. 

If not. Cool. But I’m through trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. I'm writing a subgenre of a subgenre. And I know there are readers out there that are looking for it. So my books will now be labeled METALCORE ROMANCE on amazon. 

It makes sense. If you write Metalcore bands, consider that suggestion. 


That's right 8 books... the band (13 Shades of Red) are Metalcore... let them show you why rock isn't as cool as metal. 

Sex, Love and Metal,