Daily Archives: January 19, 2013

Principle vs Profit – KDP Select

Amazon’s KDP Select program enables an author to make their Ebook free for select days in a 90 day period. This garners immense free publicity for the author. I often read about books that have thousands of downloads on the free days. While my book is on Amazon, both in print and Ebook, it’s never there free. No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique IS free as an Ebook everywhere else. Why not on Amazon?  Because if I join KDP Select – the book must be pulled from every other retailer.

The book is intended for students and struggling writers, I want No Red Pen to be easy to access. I don’t want cost, even a couple bucks or 99 cents as a barrier. I’m cautious about a “company” store where products are only sold there and nowhere else. I think it is dangerous for writers to allow their access to the public to be controlled by one entity. I’m standing on principle.

And it’s costing me unknown amount of readers.

In 2012, there were 167 downloads over the 11 months the book was available. There were several instances via Barnes&Noble the book saw dozens of downloads in a day. Instructor use? A free book promotion B&N did? Don’t know. Moving to KDP Select would remove the access in the dozen other markets. How ironic, I may have to reduce markets to one if I want downloads and readership to multiply.  Principle may need tossing to the wayside if I want No Red Pen to reach a wider audience.

Not before June, 2013. After that, I may experiment with KDP Select and up the price of the Ebook to $2.99 with as many free days as the program allows.

Principle does not always pan out.

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Independent Creator – Publish an Online Newspaper

Surfing through my twitter feed, I saw something interesting about online newspapers that Molly Greene tweeted. A couple clicks later and all I could say was “COOOOL!” Molly had a guest post by Paul Dorset, a successful author and twitter marketer about a fantastic website, Paper.Li where you can create a curated list from twitter that appears as an online newspaper. Immediately, I set about creating and publishing my own. This is a boon for any indie-author. I’m an independent creator. The idea of easily creating and publish online a product that can highlight what I write, provide a niche service, or publicize a cause or interest is tremendously appealing.

A ton of stuff flies by on twitter once you have more than a couple dozen follows, how do you keep track and catch the important? Lists are a good way, but that is cumbersome and there remains the scrolling through hundreds of posts. Not keeping up with literary magazines was frustrating, so I created the Literary Journal list, an open list of every journal I’ve found on twitter. I’ve added more than 80 but there are scores more. Putting them into the Paper.Li format, I was able to source beyond my list to include others as well using the simple set-up process. This brought the count in Literary Dispatch, my online newsletter, to over 200 journals. The value – many of the literary magazines I send my writing to, I find their calls for submissions via twitter. Anyone can register for an account and build and publish their own paper, free. I opted for the 9 bucks a month so I could customize and remove ads, building my own ad for No Red Pen, Writers, Writing Groups & Critique that links back to a sales site. Additional links on the page link directly back to my web site – a pretty good investment for less than ten dollars, IF Literary Dispatch gets subscribers.

Why add one more widget that demands attention and marketing? I don’t like hawking my book all the time, I’m not the independent publisher equivalent of a door to door salesperson (really, been there, done that). I’ve never liked the constant sales talk from self-employed friends who always have a sales pitch. I do like providing a service that I think meets a need, and curating the literary magazines on Twitter both helps small publications get some notice and creates a resource for finding publication venues.  I think that fills a niche. The marketing advantage is advertising for my book and increased visibility. The writers looking for literary magazines are the audience intended for No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique. Paper.Li is a terrific means for leveraging social media like twitter and, I can source into the feed other web sites as well. Finally, there is the potential to monetize because with the pro level for $9/month I can sell the remaining ad space I don’t use for self marketing. This creates an income stream when leveraging the potential of an online newspaper fed by twitter.

If you’re an Independent Creator too – publish your online newspaper. Come on back and tell me about here.

Paper.Li is a dynamic service with hundreds of possibilities. I see great potential to move my visibility and online presence as an indie author and my book forward.

Read Molly Greene‘s Blog with guest post by Paul DorsetCreate Your Own Newsletter with Paper.Li.

Check out Literary Dispatch and subscribe.

Check out Vicki Hudson – Inditer and subscribe.

Start your own paper at Paper.Li.


Filed under writing life