Anonymous said: just read book one of I Bring the Fire, was fuckin good. ive had a norse mythology itch for a while and couldn't find anything to scratch it -- this is hitting the SPOT. my mom told me to save my money but i think im going to end up buying more of I Bring the Fire instead. i hope youre proud )':-wally
Reviews help potential readers decide to take a chance on unknown independent authors. (Even though I Bring the Fire is free, people still are careful with their time). Reviews also lift authors’ spirits when sales and downloads are low. (I experienced the infamous “summer slump” this year. It was not fun!)
Thank you for your reviews Lucinda, amanda criner, Isabel Casamassa, Geri Treme, Candy Brown, Jeanne, sandra j. allen, Susan Basham, The Archer, Private Dad, skiteach, Paul G. Schloemer, and Florence Beeler for your reviews on Amazon U.S. Thank you too, Noctornus, for your review on Amazon U.K..
Thank you Google Reviewers: Photos Bykat, Iain Hyland, David Hodgson, Stewart Pratt, Sheila Pace, and Richard Barber for your reviews!
Thank you also Anonymous Barnes & Noble reviewers!
Kindle Unlimited has been out a little more than a month now, and self-published authors are just catching their breath. For those who don’t know, Kindle Unlimited (KU) is Amazon’s lending library. For $9.95 a month you can borrow as many books as you want from the KU library, but no more than ten at one time. Not all books on Amazon are in KU — currently, only one of mine, Murphy’s Star, is enrolled in the program.
The primary benefit of KU for self-published authors is exposure: a borrow, even without a read, counts towards your rankings, and increases your visibility.
What are the pitfalls of KU for self-published authors?
> Self-published works in KU may not be on any other platform: ie, no Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Google, Smashwords, Scribd, Oyster, etc. Traditionally published books in KU are still available everywhere.
“Not fair!” I hear you say. Well, life’s not fair. Amazon still treats self-published authors better than B&N does—the ‘Zon pays higher royalties, and is faster to respond to price changes, or problems of abuse, etc. Apple has issues with it’s platform (Why must I download their app to buy their books! Ugh! Let me search in my browser, please?) Kobo has been late with payments, and browsing there is terrible. Smashwords does a lot for indies … but they need to make their platform friendlier for customers. Google is still new.
> Royalty rates per borrow are variable: Every time someone reads 10% of your book you become eligible for a share from a pot of funds that Amazon sets up every month. The pot of funds varies in amount, and the number of authors and books that are sharing the fund is changeable. In July each borrow was worth $1.80. People who normally sell short stories and novellas for 99 cents raked it in. People who write longer stories and normally sell them for $2.99 - $5.99 didn’t do so well. Of course, they got the added exposure, but some authors have seen their sales cannibalized by borrows. Even if the added exposure meant they did well based on higher rankings, the variable payout for borrow means it’s difficult to plan. By contrast, Oyster, and Scribd both offer 50% royalty rates per borrow. (It should be noted, that the Oyster and Scribd royalty models are not sustainable).
Have authors not in KU been affected? I think my sales have suffered, although it’s difficult to say, I’ve really only been doing this a year and have very little data. From what I’ve heard from more experienced authors, late July and all of August are usually slow (they call it “the summer slump”). Some anecdotal evidence suggests authors in romance are more affected by KU than those in Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
What are authors doing to adjust?
> A lot of authors are planning on cutting up their novels into short stories. I’m pondering doing this for my sci-fi trilogy: maybe release it in nine 99 cent installments, and then sell three bundles for $2.99? It’s a possibility. But then again, I’ve read that sci-fi is one of the genres that benefit least from KU … and seeing romance authors talking about leaving the program because their sales are being cannibalized by borrows has given me pause.
> One series in one series out. I’ve thought of temporarily moving I Bring the Fire into KU when the series is finished, or just keeping my upcoming sci-fi stories as full-length novels, pricing them at $4.99 and keeping them in KU for at least 90 days. At $4.99 they would seem more desirable to KU subscribers. Sci-fi may not benefit the most from KU, but it probably benefits SOME. The extra exposure could be a boon. My writing “career” is still in its infancy, and getting the exposure could help me grow my mailing list.
Other Responses to Kindle Unlimited:
> This is just the evil Amazon trying to take over the world again! They’re raking it in while their authors suffer! Eh, no, they’re not raking it in. Kindle Unlimited is a money loser for Amazon for now. They’re not funding the KU pot with KU fees—they’re funding it out of pocket. Kindle sales leveled off, and they responded with the Kindle Fire, which is more like a tablet and can run apps, like any other tablet … including apps like Scribd and Oyster (Scribd and Oyster are also ebook subscription services). Also, Scribd is supposedly going to start letting readers BUY their ebooks. Amazon is trying to respond to the market, and they’re losing money doing it.
> This the end of self-publishing as we know it! This is a statement that has been bandied about a lot recently. I would say, oh yes, it definitely is! But the end is always the beginning, and really, this is a new opportunity to reach readers who may have stuck to getting books from the library. Now they’re more likely to get your books, and that’s cool.
About the author (that’s me!):
I got my start writing fanfiction, and I am not ashamed! My forays into original fiction are entirely the fault of my husband who nagged me about writing for free. The first part of my serial, I Bring the Fire, is available free (despite the hubbies disapproval) at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, Google and Kobo. It’s about Loki, Norse God of Mischief and Chaos (we’ll leave the God of Lies bit, he didn’t earn that title until the 1300s). It also features dinosaurs. You can also find the series at Scribd or Oyster
… and if you’re so inclined can read it all for free, those services have free first month trials too.
Murphy’s Star, my first original short story, is available on Amazon and is part of Kindle Unlimited.
When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. he sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lamppost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it.
When I read this letter of Van Gogh’s it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *academical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on.
But the moment I read Van Gogh’s letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it.
And Van Gogh’s little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care."
— Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit (via raggedybearcat)
— Anonymous (via maxkirin)
It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population - it is often a challenge…
Interestingly, on the kboards forum, where self-published writers hang-out, almost 90% of the population is INTJs—although two of the most successful female writers are INFJs. I am an INTP, we are not strategic planners, and it has probably hurt me a lot.