Something or Nothing

Something or Nothing

It’s been a while on this blog since I’ve talked numbers, and how those are playing into the continuing decisions that I’m making. For starters, and let’s get this out of the way, I’m not a runaway bestseller. I’m not an instant millionaire. However, what I do make from the books is enough to pay for the cost of the business and a few nights out, and that’s a start.

On April 19th, Wild Nines will hit its 90-day release anniversary. In that time, it’s sold something in the neighborhood of 75 copies and had over 20,000 pages read in Kindle Unlimited, which is the purpose of today’s post. The quick and dirty of Kindle Unlimited (KU) is that it’s like Spotify or Netflix for ebooks – you pay Amazon somewhere between $9-10 a month and can read as much as you want of books that elect to be in the program. The author receives an amount for each page read – the estimated amount for March was .0046 cents per page read, for example. The program is friendly for newer authors because readers don’t feel like they’re “paying” to take a chance on someone new. If you don’t recognize a name, but it costs you nothing and the blurb seems intriguing, well, download it and find out!

The big downside to KU is that your ebook must be exclusive to Amazon. That means no selling on other retailers. Barnes and Noble? Nope. Kobo? Nope. Ibooks? Nada. It’s a “put all of your eggs in one basket” thing – some authors do exceptionally well on KU and, for them, it doesn’t make sense to leave the program. For a smaller author like me? Well, there’s limit to what I have to lose. The $5 per day I get from KU may not be worth what I’d get from all of the other outlets. Or maybe it’ll be far more and I’ll release wide to the glorious sound of silence. Then maybe a polite cough. Followed by an air raid siren as the crowds flee in droves.

But, and this is the real important part, when I jumped into this crazy career, I did it with enough cushion to allow for some risk taking – meaning it’s fine if I throw Wild Nines and its sequels to the wind to see what happens. I can afford it. There are many that can’t, and should take a very close look at their market potential at the other vendors. For me, though, I want to try a bunch of things. I want to fiddle with Wattpad. Make a wild run with Instafreebie to get some newsletter subscribers. Throw snippets of my work anywhere that’ll take it to try and find eyeballs.

It’s going to be work, but it’s going to be fun too. It all starts on Wednesday.

As for today’s Opening Lines – The Hobbit is one of those books that many people know and some people have actually read. You might think it’s a children’s book, but it’s more a grand adventure disguised as a children’s book. For all that Tolkien’s description might bore adult readers who have a thousand notifications screaming at them every minute of every day, the sheer volume of words devoted to the meals his characters eat, the songs they sing, and the enchantment of Middle Earth serves as a refreshing delight. It feels almost sinful to read an engrossing tale like this one and its brethren in today’s world of endless action. Do yourself a favor and remind your imagination what it was made for.

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