Going into this whole fiction thing, I made a few assumptions, not consciously, but you know, I just thought things were a certain way, and it turns out they are not. For example, when I made the decision to make the protagonist in the Mara Lantern series a young woman, I assumed that male readers would probably not be interested. My original thought was Mara would be a guy, but technically adroit women are much more interesting than their male counterparts, and I’m not just talking about the fictional ones.
Turns out I’ve got some male readers, and not just a few. I’ve not done a survey, but there are more than I assumed there would be.
Another assumption I made was the vast majority of ebook readers were Kindle readers, like me. There’s no denying that Amazon is the big kahuna in the market, but I’m starting to think that their percentage in the market isn’t as much as it used to be. You see, I just finished up with a member giveaway at LibraryThing in which I am giving away 100 review copies of Broken Realms in ebook format. I offered a choice of EPUB or Kindle format. About half of the winners have gotten back to me and it is running 50-50, which surprises me. Now, that might just be the make up of the membership of LibraryThing, but I doubt it.
Anyway, for me it was a bit of an epiphany. It also indicates that my participation in Amazon’s exclusive program (KDP Select) is probably not the best long-term strategy. That being said, I do get the feeling that for my first three months in the marketplace, it has helped me get the book and the series established, at least to some degree. I definitely got a significant bump in sales during the Countdown Deal I ran last month, and, after the deal ended, sales leveled off at a slightly (very slightly) higher level.
My three-month enrollment in KDP Select runs out at the end of July. Most likely, I will not renew and begin distributing my books to the other online book retailers. Just to make sure, I’m running a pricing experiment for the next two weeks to see if I can replicate the results of the Countdown Deal without having the benefit of appearing on Amazon’s Countdown Deal pages. The price of Broken Realms has been lowered back down to 99 cents temporarily and I’ve done a bit of marketing, so if I get a sales bump comparable to what happened last month, then there’s no real benefit to staying exclusive to Amazon.
I’ll know in a couple of weeks, but I’m pretty sure The Chronicles of Mara Lantern will be showing up at B&N, iBooks, Kobo and a few other places real soon.
How’s Book 2 coming? Little slower than I anticipated at this point, but I’m determined to make a September publication date.