Feel like giving up

Since KDP took over sales are horrible. I keep getting underpaid by Amazon for one of my books and Amazon support no longer will work with me on keywords etc. We are at such a disadvantage now with no key words, KDP's ad placement bids, etc. It's getting so frustrating as my sales were doing at least acceptable until the take over. Now I'm making close to $60 less a month. Not really worth the work anymore.

Comments

  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    Don't give up, JesusNinja. Just make more books. Like soldiers working for you, now and when you can't work anymore.
    __________________________
    * Print Book and Ebook Formatting Services http://www.custom-book-tique.com/

  • Maggie you're right of course. I'm just frustrated. Dealing with anxiety too. Not fun. Back to work :)
  • I was just contacted by a man who does videos on Youtube. He said he had confirmation over the phone with Amazon that you "can' add keywords through them separately from KDP. I gave me an address they told him to use. They also said you could use the contact us link in your AC account. That's what I did for years until a new person forwarded it to KDP who turned me down. Going to start sending some messages to Amazon and see if it's true. If so I'll let everyone know. It might pick things up a little.
  • Oh well....Turned down again. They said only Lulu can add the keywords there. 
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Creator
    I don't have the KDP problem as I don't have e-books with Amazon, but I'm again trying to figure out the right price to get a couple of bucks per book for print sales through Ingram. It's nice to know someone is buying my books, but some other bugger is drinking my coffee :(.
  • HULSEYHULSEY UK Publisher
    edited June 6
    I feel the same way. Yes, my sales have dropped drastically, but why the inconsistency with paperback sales I have set at same price? One example for a return on a Amazon print is  £1-50 and another 22p. One for Ingram print £1-32, another just 31p. Why, when I have them set at the same price? There are also books that my Amazon Central account reported over the weeks and have not showed up in my sales. I understand there is sometimes a delay and hope that is the case. Anyway, I hope an admin can enlighten me about the inconsistent returns. I doubt this has anything to do with the fluctuation in currency exchanges given the vast difference.  
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    AA Cain

    Someone else will always be drinking your coffee. It costs $ 5.25 to make a 200-page 6 x 9 distributable paperback. Let’s say you charge $ 20 (a ridiculous price for a 200-page book by an unknown author) $10 will go to the distributor, $ 5.25 to the printer and a small amount to Lulu.

    You can’t charge $ 10 for the book because that would not leave enough for the printing costs. The minimum you could charge is about $ 11 and at that price you have to kiss the caffeine goodbye.


  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Creator
    wildwind said:

    AA Cain

    Someone else will always be drinking your coffee. It costs $ 5.25 to make a 200-page 6 x 9 distributable paperback. Let’s say you charge $ 20 (a ridiculous price for a 200-page book by an unknown author) $10 will go to the distributor, $ 5.25 to the printer and a small amount to Lulu.

    You can’t charge $ 10 for the book because that would not leave enough for the printing costs. The minimum you could charge is about $ 11 and at that price you have to kiss the caffeine goodbye.


    All I'm trying to do is figure out the price that covers all of the costs, margins and bullshit "distributor charges." I know they charge them, but I can't see what they are doing to earn them. Lulu has pushed the distribution out to them, Lulu have provided the print files, and they have a computer doing all the work, it's all automated. Why they get the ten bucks a book is daylight robbery.

    Plus they lie. It's complete garbage when the book-shops say they have ten or twenty "in stock." I don't believe that for a second. So far I've found one who acknowledges it's print on demand, and some of the bookshops are doubling my stated retail price. Bandits :(.

    Rant over - at least somebody is reading my smut :).
  • HULSEYHULSEY UK Publisher
    Yes, Wildwind, I acknowledge that, but it doesn't explain the £1-50 return and the 22p. I set my paperbacks at £9-99, which usually gives me on average around £1 return. Working on a book that takes me around four months to complete should surely generate more than a measly 22p. No doubt the admins will tell me to raise the price, but I have no intention of charging more than £9-99.
  • oncewasoncewas Librarian
    Hulsey -Are you saying that you sometimes get £ 1.50 and sometimes £ 0.22 for the same book, or for different books? If it is for different books it might be that the production costs of the book that gives you £ 0.22 is higher. If it is for the same book, I don't know why that would happen; I wouldn't have expected such a huge fluctuation even allowing for foreign currency conversions. £0.22 is not a decent return for months of hard work. This is what Amazon Author Central says about the book sales reports feature:

    It is likely that not all your books' sales are reflected here; NPD BookScan estimates they report 85% of all retail print book sales.

    AA Cain -The distributors charge a fee simply for allowing you access to their distribution channels. That is what you are paying for. Yes, it is a lie for a bookstore to say that a print on demand book is in stock.

    Anyone and Everyone -Books sell well collectively, but not individually. If you sold 200 000 copies of a book in a year you would probably make it into the top 100 books list of that particular year. So all of our tiny sales collectively generate nice profits for someone, but individually our lousy little sales frustrate the hell out of us.

    I had a book once that sold 40 to 50 copies a month for several months and then one day it just went over a cliff and never sold again. I will never be able to figure out why and just had to move on and create other books. It is not always possible to make the correct link between cause and effect. Keywords might be important but we are allowed just seven keywords and who knows what keywords people use when they search. So one cannot say, with absolute certainty, that my sales fell because my keywords are not relevant anymore. Changing the keywords will not necessarily increase the sales. Even dropping the sales price will not necessarily increase sales. Likewise, creating a social media campaign, and advertising, will not necessarily increase the sales. When it comes to book sales, and the decline thereof, it is hard to pinpoint the reason.

    I am currently experiencing the same sales slump as everyone else. It clearly is real; let's just hope that it is a temporary blip and not the end of the road for self-published authors


  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Creator
    I reckon I'll just keep nudging up my retail price until I make a buck on each print book through global distribution - who knows, it might have the effect of saying, "Damn, this guy must write good erotica, look at the prices he's charging!"

    It's one of the reasons why I'm generating slightly more tasteful covers, rather than the big boobs and shaved chests you see everywhere else - to say, I'm a bit different than most other smut merchants. There's got to be a bit of a niche, somewhere.

    Time will tell. The main thing is readers - I never expected to sell more than a few, so my first month has been not too bad. Almost a decent meal for two.
  • HULSEYHULSEY UK Publisher
    I see your point, Oncewas. Actually, when checking, the low return is only for Insanity Never Sleeps, which has around 96,000 words and is the largest of my thirty books. the rest average at around 70,000. That would probably explain the low return, but it still seems a pittance after four months writing. The majority of the books sell on Kindle and I have no complaint on the revenue. I did experiment and produce a hardback of Insanity, but understandably, due to the inflated price, I have had no sales. Back to the drawing, or should that be writing board?   
  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    AACain, I would lower my ebook price to $2.99 and hike up the print book price to $12.95 or $14.95 US. People who are budget-tight or in countries where shipping is costly  will be able to afford your books. People who have no restrictions won't mind paying extra for your print books. Your ebook prices stunned me last time I looked.
    __________________________
    * Print Book and Ebook Formatting Services http://www.custom-book-tique.com/

  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Creator
    Maggie said:
    AACain, I would lower my ebook price to $2.99 and hike up the print book price to $12.95 or $14.95 US. People who are budget-tight or in countries where shipping is costly  will be able to afford your books. People who have no restrictions won't mind paying extra for your print books. Your ebook prices stunned me last time I looked.
    You're right, Maggie; I've not been paying much attention to my e-book prices - mainly because they're the ones that are actually selling and paying for my lunch :). I might reduce them, see what happens. 
  • My other frustration is that I'm getting under paid by Amazon US. Third month in a row. Support did reimburse me but I'm still to hear anything back this month so far. I noticed that not only was I getting under paid on an eBook, I was also getting unpaid for the paperback version as well. I've yet to  check my other books. But it mostly seems to be coming from Amazon U.S.. The other Amazon sites were correct. Frustrating that this could have been going on a long time and I'm just now noticing it. 
  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    JN, I was looking for your Christian book yesterday to show a local Tai Chi Master who is considering publishing his book. I wanted to show him what an excellent cover on the subject looks like. And it was so hard to find; I came here to your signature, clicked on the two items and then couldn't remember your author name cause I know you as Jesus Ninja. Anyway, I finally found it.

    Is there a limit to how many items you can add to your signature?
    __________________________
    * Print Book and Ebook Formatting Services http://www.custom-book-tique.com/

  • TheJesusNinjaTheJesusNinja Teacher
    edited June 7
    Maggie, Do you mean the links under our posts? I don't think there is a limit but I wouldn't go too far. I added the link to that book in the signature if you needed it. 
  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    Thank you, JN.

    I don't think making your books easy to buy is going too far.
    __________________________
    * Print Book and Ebook Formatting Services http://www.custom-book-tique.com/

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