Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I think on the matter.

I shut down early last night and sent the DH to Steak n Shake on his way home from work for a late night triple cheese burger (what? those patties are skinny as fuck, it's like one thick burger patty) and a strawberry shake no whip... I don't like whip cream. I think I might be the only person on the planet who doesn't like whip cream. We watched a couple hours of recorded television. And went to bed super early. I don't know... it's like that's what I needed: just get me a damned cheese burger and a milk shake and let me sleep.... I slept 9 hours straight. Had weird fucking dreams that aren't a damned think like I usually have. Now I'm up way too early and none of that from yesterday was a dream....

Okay... so... I did not know that once the books were removed from ARe that they would no longer be accessible to buyers. That's insane. I can't put them back up. Some of them are no longer available to return to that site. My apologies.

I have no clue what to do next. I mean my god, I've been in Kindle Unlimited most of the past two years with nearly every book. I'd just decided to go wide again and stay wide...conveniently in October. I had like ten bucks or something in sales in September on that site.

The problem is, Amazon's page read issue hit me very hard and it is still a problem. That has not cleared up and gone away. I pulled the books that had no issues with the single page reads more than a week ago and returned them to KU. None of those books, with the exception of Lagniappe, had sold a single copy in wide release for two months.

I left the books that were heavily affected by the single page reads and the ones that are selling well on Kobo... Kobo was my only factor for leaving a book wide, strangely enough.

Lagniappe never sold a single copy on Kobo or Barnes and Noble, but it did sell 20 copies on ARe this month, which is most of my sales there this month.

I've been waiting for ARe to update their sales page with the ibooks sales data from November...they haven't as of last night. I've been wondering what was happening there. I didn't have a good feeling about that...and yet I didn't suspect anything close to what really was about to happen.

Sooo.... here I am waking up to find it wasn't a dream and that I'm once again dealing with fraud and theft and bullshit.

I was published with Ellora's Cave for eleven years. That nonsense only came to an end early last year. Not that they owed me money. The books there didn't sell well (at least to my knowledge) and the republished books haven't sold at all under my Mercy pen name.

I was with Silver Publishing. I had a massive best seller with them. Massive. 90 plus days on the Amazon top 100 every gay chart in existence. It stayed in the top 10 for 90 plus days. And I was paid...pennies on the dollar...I had two more books with them that I never saw a single penny for before the owner skipped the country (supposedly).

I've been with five publishers. I really liked my experience with one of those publishers. Just one. Liquid Silver Books. They're small but they treated me right.

I've self published since 11-11-11. Five years. I've done well. This year I have not done well. This year everything changed. And I can't place my finger on what exactly changed and how. The page reads? I don't know. Maybe. It was off before that.

I went wide because I feel that Amazon has turned it's back on the beast it created. I fear for the future as an indie.

I see you shaking your head. I see you thinking this chick is paranoid as fuck.

Five years of data. FIVE! I'm fairly sure I am qualified to say...hey, shit ain't working right and something is up. 
Something is up.

I don't sell well at Barnes and Noble and I never have. Never. They could close tomorrow and I wouldn't miss the twenty or thirty bucks a month... okay, this year I would.

Ibooks is still an unknown entity to me. I've only had self pubbed books with them since June. I can't speak as to their abilities. I don't own a Mac computer of any kind, you can't directly publish with ibooks without a Mac computer of some kind, I assume an ipad would work, I don't have one of those either. I chose ARe to aggregate my books them...aggregate is the word ibooks uses. It means to play middle man. I know that for the past few months I've outsold ARe three to one on ibooks. Most of the money I've earned from ARe came from ibooks since June...and that's for limited books. November and December had most all of my books there.....and no data whatsoever will ever be forthcoming.

So... what do I do this morning? I'm down to Kobo and Barnes and Noble for sales outside Amazon. I have two books that can't be put into KU. One that can't go on Amazon at all.

Kobo is a decent sort of site. It sells to international countries where Barnes and Noble doesn't. I make more there than I did on ARe and ibooks combined.
What about Smashwords? Truth be told, I simply don't like Smashwords. I don't like anything about them. They paid on time. I guess that's about it.
I have never tried D2D, they're simply an aggregator as for as I know. I prefer to go directly to the source. Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon... you can publish directly to them without an ISBN. Ibooks is the only one I can't get to directly without an aggregator of some kind.

I don't trust Amazon. I've lost my faith in them...limited as that was.

I'm very worried about the future of indie publishing. Very worried. If you're shaking your head... let me ask you about yesterday and how you felt when you got that email? I did not see that coming. The data does, however, support that it was coming. Two years ago I made several thousand dollars each quarter with ARe. Before KU. After KU, I was lucky to make more than a couple hundred straight from them a quarter. I keep excellent records. I'm anal like that.

I'm scared.

Shake your head all you like. Five years of data... and all I can tell you is that next year is not going to be good for indies. Or anyone else. Of course, my data is my data and I don't have access to any other data so... I could be wrong. It could be just me.

Mercy

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