It’s that time of year when I ask:
What will the new year mean for Indie Epublished Authors?
First, here’s a quick re-cap of what the last few years have looked like for me:
Two years ago – December 2010 – I had Indie Epubbed/Self-Published my first 3 Ebooks, and I was selling a whopping 27 copies per month…across all platforms (Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, iPad and Smashwords)!!!
Last year at this time – December 2011 – I was selling over 10,000 Ebooks per month across all platforms, was both an Amazon and Barnes & Noble Top 100 Bestselling Author and a two-time Amazon Movers & Shakers List Author!!! I’d published 10 books and planned to add 16 more in 2012. My reader base was well over 100,000 readers strong (if you count the 75,000 peeps who’d already downloaded the book that’s Free and started it all for me BOOTSCOOTIN’ BLAHNIKS). I’d sold over 40,000 Ebooks!!! And my royalties for just December 2011 alone were over $10,000!!!
Okay, this year – December 2012, here’s where I stand…I’m both an Amazon and Barnes & Noble Top 100 Bestselling Author, making it all the way to the #1 Nook Pubit Book and a three-time Amazon Movers & Shakers List Author!!! I’ve published 23 Ebooks and 3 Audio Books (one of which also made it to the #1 Chick Lit Audio Book on Audible) and plan to add 10 more products in 2012. My reader base is well over 200,000 readers strong (if you begin the count with the close to 200,000 peeps who’ve downloaded the book that’s Free and started it all for me). I’ve sold over 100,000 Ebooks!!! And my royalties have reached a high of $14,000 per month and are averaging around $5,000 per month!!!
I’m not saying any of this to brag…not at all!
This is simply an example, my personal example, of what just a little over 2 years can mean to an Indie Epub Author!
It shows the massive growth potential in an Indie Epub Author Career. It shows that our reader bases have the potential to grow beyond our wildest plans and expectations! And it shows that there’s still a huge, untapped reader base out there.
In 2013, as in 2012, the BIG QUESTION WILL BE THE SAME…
HOW DO WE REACH READERS?
That to me is the question I’m still asking my crystal ball…
To answer it, I thought it might be fun to look at where we’re going next by first figuring out whether or not I “nailed or failed” my 2012 Predictions.
Here’s what I predicted for 2012:
When it came to predicting how to reach readers, basically, I suggested that it would be in primarily the following ways:
1. Ereader-Centric Blogs like ENT (Ereader News Today) and our own RG2E
NAILED – I, along with many of you fellow WG2E-Land Authors, have hit it big-time (meaning Amazon’s Movers & Shakers List and Top 100) by using ENT, which has something like 400,000 Facebook Fans alone!!! And we’re also building fabulous new, very active readerships using the Ebook Gifting Platform we’ve established in our own reading community, The RG2E.
2. My “First One is On Me” Strategy, meaning an author’s first book is always FREE across all platforms
NAILED – Offering an Ebook for FREE works, especially if you can keep it that way forever, across all platforms! I still find over 5,000 new readers that way per month (that’s how many people download that first book for FREE each and every month). Going FREE also works short term, using KDP Select, although, yeah, that approach bites the big one long-term due to its Exclusivity Period.
3. Unique Author Collaborations – like joint marketing strategies
NAILED – Have y’all been watching the progress for authors, many of our own WG2E-Land Peeps included, who’ve participated in the joint-marketing site Free Par-Tay ? They’re rockin’ it! I still don’t get how they’re getting around promoting each others’ books on their Amazon Book Description Pages because that’s prohibited in Amazon’s KDP rules, although, maybe Amazon has changed that because of the success of this marketing strategy filled with limited-time only FREE Ebooks. We’re also starting to see some success with our WG2E Street Team Beach Book Blast Promotions Group.
4. Social Media Platforms where Authors take time to Get-to-Know Readers and Hang with ‘em
***And here a Bonus Tip: Once you start publishing books in a variety of genres, you’ll attract a variety of readers too! So another HUGE theme for 2013 will be Writing in Multiple Genres!!!
Okay…my 2012 Predictions seem to have been right on so far. BUT…here’s where I was a wee bit off…and I wouldn’t say these were Failures, just way under-estimated or over-estimated in relevance…
Just a rather nasty word for me. And I know, never say never, but I still can’t imagine telling my readers “oops…you’ve got a Sony Ereader or Kobo? Sorry…you can’t get my books for those.” But wow is The Zon killin’ it with KDP Select, including sweetening the borrow pot by over a million dollars for the holiday season. But sweetening the pot for whom? I still believe, not the authors, but I’ll give ‘em credit for it being a brilliant strategy for The Zon. For me, and from what I’m seeing in my own sales numbers, it’s about being available on all platforms around the world. And can we all say “International Sales?” That’s where it’s gonna be in 2013…not stateside…
2. The Big Six Pubs…which, yeah…are soon to be, more than likely, The Big Three
These guys might just get a shot at making up some major lost ground, now that because of the DOJ Settlements made and Court Dates looming, they have to play fair when it comes to pricing…aka no price-fixing. BUT…that means there are a ton more books now at lower price points, so price points alone aren’t the advantage they once were for Indie Authors.
Also, these guys are now into the Ebook-Only Imprint divisions. BUT…Authors Beware…What are you getting from these shareholder-controlled start-ups that you can’t get yourself for a bigger piece of the pie?
3. Subscription-Style Services
I jumped the gun on this one, but I still very much believe it’s on its way!!! Think Amazon SmartPhone…which is rumored to be coming at us in 2013!!!
Our readers will increasingly be looking to Subscription-Style Services – whether through library systems or Online Giants like The Zon (Amazon) – in which they’ll pay so much per month or per year to download a certain number or unlimited number of Ebooks to a variety of Ereaders, Tablets, and Smart Phones.
What does that mean for how authors will be paid?
Okay…there you have it. That’s where we’ve been and perhaps a peek at the issues we’ll be dealing with going forward in our Indie Epublishing Journeys.
What are your thoughts and predictions regarding Epublishing 2013?
The Best of Epublishing Wishes — D. D. Scott
D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Humorous Mystery Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing. You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.