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Tm-Moore
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Registered: ‎09-12-2008
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Not enough "sales" to stay around.

I am beginning to wonder if PubIt is the place to go for posting my ebooks. I have done everything I can to improve my content uploads, but while the reader shows a good upload I have not received more than maybe 1 to 2 sales per month of any title, and none for the rest. I thought that Nook was supposed be the great alternative to Amazon, but perhaps I was wrong. Maybe there are not enough people buying books, as many blogs have suggested. All I know is that while I see many ebooks getting best seller status from authors whose books were published by one of the big 6, the rest of us are left to struggle to even be noticed. If after millions of Nooks are sold, I can't even sell more than 1 or 2 books a month, it is becoming clear to me that maybe we're just here to be stuffing for the catalog, nothing more. If I don't see more sales in the coming months I will pull out in June and make an end of my relationship with Barnes and Noble.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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EinsteinPD
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎05-08-2012
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

It is essentially the same with Amazon.com, Smashwords, Kobo, etc. Amazon's policy of Select free ebook downloads has saturated the market, and with about 2000 ebooks per day continuing to be published, paid sales per author continue to decline. Both Amazon and BandN reported losses this last quarter. Either they will wise up, or leave the ebook industry. They cannot continue operating at a loss very much longer.

 

I have 22 titles with BandN and 24 with Amazon, my sales have all fallen off a cliff. With a print book you could use it to help start a fire, or as toilet paper, but what good is an ebook that doesn't sell?

 

My best seller used to be "Jack the Ripper versus Sherlock Holmes."

 

"Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk free?" Why indeed.

 

Phillip Duke Ph.D.

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EinsteinPD
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Correction- I sjould have Posted about 2000 new ebooks per day continue to be published. I have seen numerous Posts on the KDP Forum, each boasting of many thousands of free downloads.

 

By the way, Amazon.com's stock price declined more than $8.00 per share today, in a strong up market. It looks like the millions of free downloads are not helping Amazon.com either. Maybe the thing to do in business is to charge, not give away free? Strange idea, isn't it?- the enormous freebie giveaway continues. It has to cost Amazon to maintain the servers for the millions of ebooks that don't sell, and to pay Filipinos to try to answer Service calls they cannot understand.

 

Meanwhile the increasing pile of newbie ebooks grows ever larger, and many people in the literary world consider Indie publishing to be a sort of ghastly joke.

 

My ebook "Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Machine" was recently number one in the Kindle Paid Store, for Aeronautics. This month's paid sales would fit comfortably in your eye.

 

Sherlock Holmes & FM Cover.jpg

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jessiemay2
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

I feel the pain. For short stories it's been worse at Amazon. But pull your books? And do what with them? Might as well let them stay until maybe things turn around. Also take this time to examine your books closely to make sure they're the best they can be. They aren't charging us for server storage yet, so I see no reason to yank books.

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Tm-Moore
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Registered: ‎09-12-2008
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

You don't understand my situation. I have my ebooks up on several different venues, including BN. I am getting the feeling that as long as my ebooks were on Amazon the other booksellers were paying attention to the prices. Now that they are not on Amazon (I closed my account in November), suddenly they don't exist. As for what would I lose by pulling my ebooks out of BN? Nothing, because BN is considering spinning off Nook into another company. Also nothing because I am not able to sell them anywhere for any price. At this rate, I might as well give up on the ebook category completely and go back to just print. I am even considering giving up on writing altogether, since no one, and I mean no one, is interested in reading my books. I can do something else and make money, and save myself the heartache, because no one wants to buy books to begin with. They just want the entertainment for free.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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EinsteinPD
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Theresa, I have been writing for many years, and think I know something about where you are coming from. It may be a wise decision to give up writing, if you have something else to do that is as good, or maybe even better. But for now let me say this.

 

The entire ebook industry is very new, and in a shakedown period, when no one in it knows just what is best to do. IMO the Amazon.com Select Program has been disastrous for the paid sales of Indie authors, and also for Amazon's revenue combined, from paid ebook sales and related to Prime memberships, "free" borrows, and free downloads. The cost of maintaining the servers, that constantly make ebooks available, and providing ebook author "dis-service" is constantly growing, as more and more newbies publish first time ebooks, that do not sell.

 

Bottom line is, the present situation cannot last. Something will have to give away, and more realistic, working business models will necessarily be put into operation. Meanwhile, you as an author may as well take advantage of what you can. If closing your Amazon.com account hurt your BandN (and Amazon) sales, then open it again. I don't know why you closed your Amazon.com account, considering the ways they have treated many people I know, as well as myself, I am not surprised. But, take the good with the bad. That is my suggestion.

 

My Reported ebook sales have been in a downtrend since March 2012. If you care to compare notes regarding how badly you and I have been treated by Amazon.com, email me drpduke@wmconnect.com, you may be amazed.

 

Writing is certainly a much more difficult, and much more severely taxing endeavor, than most people realize. It's worth remembering that Ernest Hemingway, extremely successful and very highly regarded Nobel Prize winning author, climaxed his writing career and his life, by putting his shotgun muzzle into his mouth, and blowing his head off.

 

Your life is more important than your writing. Do whatever you think is best. I hope to hear from you. Whether I do or not, you have my very best wishes, for all possible success and happiness.

 

Best regards,

 

Phillip Duke Ph.D.

 

JTR-SH cover.jpg

 

 

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Tm-Moore
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Most of my friends have reminded me that my writing is good and I should not give up. However, I do not believe that a soution is to go back to Amazon. It has been sued in class action for doing the very thing to others that was done to me, and I don't plan on enabling it any further. Picture Amazon as an alcoholic who needs intervention. I don't subscribe to the notion that I must work with the enemy in order to succeed elsewhere. That is capitulation in extremis. No, instead, I am working with the enemy of my enemy, which brings me the satisfaction of at least denying Amazon its bottle of whiskey at the end of the day.

 

As for why the other retailers are relying so heavily on Amazon for their marketing and sales planning, I think they have missed their opportunity to help the authors who depend on them for sales. It's a sad fact of life that some people don't see the big picture until it is too late. But I am content to rely on my print sales alone if that is all I can hope for. I have also been working on tweaking the files until they do meet all requirements of PubIt. The new files are uploaded, and I hope to see improved sales fairly soon.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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Tm-Moore
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

PS My book "The Queen's Marksman" includes the search for Jack The Ripper from a vampire's perspective.
Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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EinsteinPD
Posts: 235
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Theresa, I would very much like to know more about the "class action lawsuit" regarding what Amazon has done to you and others. Please contact me in confidence on this by email, thank you. Email drpduke@wmconnect.com.

 

I market ebooks on my website Philduke.weebly.com, and I will probably be able to market yours there, if you want. At this time I pay listed authors 100% of the sales peice. If interested let me know.

 

Please contact me, thank you.

 

Best regards,

 

Phillip Duke Ph.D.

Sherlock Holmes & FM Cover.jpg

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NDraylock
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

I am no best seller, but my sales at B&N are about 40X what they are at amazon, and though often slow to answer questions, B&N has generally served me quite well thus far.  So many factors relate to sales for indies that its hard to predict why one book sells and another doesn't....keep trying

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WesternSpinner
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.


Tm-Moore wrote:

I am beginning to wonder if PubIt is the place to go for posting my ebooks. I have done everything I can to improve my content uploads, but while the reader shows a good upload I have not received more than maybe 1 to 2 sales per month of any title, and none for the rest. I thought that Nook was supposed be the great alternative to Amazon, but perhaps I was wrong. Maybe there are not enough people buying books, as many blogs have suggested. All I know is that while I see many ebooks getting best seller status from authors whose books were published by one of the big 6, the rest of us are left to struggle to even be noticed. If after millions of Nooks are sold, I can't even sell more than 1 or 2 books a month, it is becoming clear to me that maybe we're just here to be stuffing for the catalog, nothing more. If I don't see more sales in the coming months I will pull out in June and make an end of my relationship with Barnes and Noble.



Wow! The responses to this question have been a real eye opener. I too have been trying to figure out why out of every 100 e-books sold... only 2 are sold on Nook. I write western novels. My prices range from $3.95 to $5.95. Although, I occasionally run short term promotions for  99 cents on new releases. Surprisingly, the 99 cent promos have had mixed results. Which I attribute strictly to the strength of the cover and title. I will not give books away for free as I believe this is a significant contributor to the overall problem. However, admittedly when I published my first book I fell into that trap. As for my intentions...I agree with those that have suggested to weather the storm. It doesn't make sense to give up 2% of my sales in this difficult time. Unfortunately, the indie publishing movement has resulted in a flood of literary garbage, but eventually the cream will rise to the top.

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Tm-Moore
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Dr Duke - The class action suit I mentioned has to do with independent book stores taking Amazon and the big six publishers to court for "locking in" ebook sales using DRM. It's on http://www.scribd.com/doc/126461959/Class-Action-Complaint

though I just looked on KDP's forum and saw that a lot of authors are jumping ship as I type. It appears the newbies are being strongarmed into joining Select in order to "sell" their books and many experienced intermittent freezes of their sales just like I did. As I said, I have no plans to rejoin anytime soon so encouraging me to add another disappointing channel for ebook sales is a no win scenario. I am looking for a serious response to my books as I have been writing for over thirty years, and charming the trads was not likely to happen. I am fed up with people telling me to give stuff away when I did it for twenty years already. It's time I got paid.

 

I'm giving PubIt until the end of March and then I'm yanking them. No sense in letting them sit where they're not wanted.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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EinsteinPD
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎05-08-2012
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

     Theresa, thank you for replying in detail. I believe I understand your frustration. I have been writing longer than you, and my sales are also disappointing. As I posted earlier in this thread, the present situation regarding both Amazon and BandN cannot last, because both are reporting increasing financial losses. There will have to be changes, and IMO anything that works against the flood of Select program freebies will be helpful. At this time we can only wait, but be assured, under our econoimic system there must be changes, for more efficient operation, and I expect such changes will benefit Indie authors like us.

     Regarding looking for a serious response to your books, I am very serious. I want to attempt marketing at least one of your books, and if you don't want to just give me that opportunity, I want to purchase it. Please let me know what the minimum would be for you to sell me the rights to one ebook of my choice, thank you. Then the book would be published under your name, but with me as Editor, and I would receive its sales commissions, if any.

     It is not clear why you closed your Amazon.com account, I assume it was closed due to frustration over paid sales.

     I prefer that we continue this discussion by email, please contact me by email drpduke@wmconnect.com, thank you.

     Best regards,

 

     Phillip Duke Ph.D.

karma1.jpg

     From my ebook "KARMA."  

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Tm-Moore
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎09-12-2008
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

" It is not clear why you closed your Amazon.com account, I assume it was closed due to frustration over paid sales."

 

In point of fact I was paid everything owed to me when I closed my account, but the issue was over lack of transparency over sales reporting. I don't trust businesses that keep two sets of books, or which engage in holding back funds so they can earn interest on the balance. Several other authors are planning to sue Amazon in class action fairly soon just over that issue.

 

Lately I have looked on the ticker on CNBC and Amazon is notably missing. I presume that is because Amazon is being sued in class action. Anything which disturbs the flow in the stock market is dealt that way.

 

As for selling the rights to my books, sorry but as you pointed out yourself, you are not doing any better than I am. I prefer to keep them and decide for myself what or who benefits. Thanks.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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RalphyK
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Registered: ‎01-30-2013
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Theresa,

 

I am also interested in the class action lawsuit against Amazon. I had two accounts with Amazon in the past year. They are bully's and dictators and plain unfair to all sellers.

 

Before I started writing eBooks I was selling Dvd's and doing quite well. I had them flying off the shelf so to speak. I had a top rating from every customer. Every customer! In fact many sent emails praising my service to them. Amazons reports (I still have) even shows the good ratings. Yet Amazon suspended my sellers account. I have no idea why. They will not tell me. All I can gather is that I use to have a sellers account prior to the one they suspended but never used it so I closed it. I am told that once you have a account and close it they will not let you open another and will close the new one if they find out. The only other reason I can think of is that Amazon wants sellers to add a delivery conformation charge which is .85 cents. Doesn't sound like a big deal but it is because many times that's all you would make on some DVD's or less. And they calculate shipping using the media rate. Thus you ship your product using the media service and that takes 7-14 days. Instead, I shipped First Class which was about the same as the media rate but I did not add tracking. My customers were getting their packages in 3 days or less. So where's the problem? Beats me. Tracking is what Amazon wants, but why? A customer contact the seller anytime. So I told Amazon to just close the sellers account. I wasn't going to kiss their butt.

 

In the meantime I also opened a author account and published a few eBooks. '109 Greek Recipes and the History of the Greek Diet' and 'The ICE Plan: Family Disaster Planning'. After a few months of sales and a check from Amazon, I published two more books. Both recipe books. Amazon would not publish those new books because they said the info can be found freely on the internet. Well yeah, but so can my other two books they published (and continue to sell) and so can just about any informational / reference material which accounts for thousands of books. I do not feel its Amazons place to not publish because of material that can be found on the internet for free. Hell even without the web people can go to the library and get "free" info. The whole thing is pointless to me. People buy (and still are buying these types of books) because the info is all in one place and in a format they like. If people did not want it they would not be buying them. So I told Amazon to close that account too. B&N as well as others are selling my books. No worse or no better than Amazon.

 

With regards to items other than books, Amazon will go under. It's only a matter of time because sellers are getting disgusted with them and are leaving. Plus with the cost of shipping you might as well shop at a brick and mortar place. Additionally their book trade will also disappear because of their business model and the way they treat indies. And to be honest, I think many eBooks should only be sold with a paper book. I for one do not want to see the printed book to disappear. Too many good book stores have closed because of this digital format. And Amazon helped to put them out of business.

 

And while I'm at it, all eBook readers should be able to read all formats or at least have one format for the readers. To limit a customer to only a format a reader can read defeats the purpose of eBooks. That would be like only being able to call a cell phone that is like your phone.

 

With places like Amazon that has a boat load of restrictions and is "big brotherly" it takes all of the fun out of doing anything as well as it loses creativity. In fact the creativity it creates is the "work arounds" and that's dumb because you spend more time trying to figure out how to work around their silly rules then to put a book or product together.

 

 

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EinsteinPD
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

TheresaM and RalphyK:

 

Mr. Jeffry Bezos, founder and  CEO of Amazon.com, is the supreme authority at Amazon.com and KDP. Why don't you try contacting him about your concerns, and negative experiences, with Amazon.com and KDP? I do not see how doing this could possibly be harmful to you, since neither of you still has an Amazon account, and it might possibly help.

 

Here is some contact information for Mr. Bezos, from Customer Service:

 

Email jeff@amazon.com

Email jeffry @amazon.com

 

Snail mail:

Mr. Jeff Bezos

Amazon.com

P.O. Box 81226

Seattle, Washington

98108-1226

 

If desired you can Post your communications to Mr. Bezos, and the replies to them. Again, it can't hurt, and it might possibly help. Good luck!

 

Best regards,

 

Phillip Duke Ph.D.

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Tm-Moore
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Been there, done that. At the end of the day anything dealing with real business gets kicked down to lower levels of management, where his flying monkeys enjoy a bit of fun at the complainant's expense. He does not touch the day to day material and is currently too busy dredging up spent rocket stages from the bottom of the ocean to pay attention. I would have felt better if he had invested millions of dollars in helping the starving poor than "recovering history".

 

As for the rest of it, Amazon's policy is "we reserve the right to alter the terms of the contract at our sole discretion", which basically illegal, since it renders the contract voidable in any court of law. Or as Darth Vader once said, "I have altered the contract. Pray I do not alter it further." In that case, no author with any sense of self-worth would deal with that corporation on any level.

 

I have enough trouble just getting other booksellers to list my books at all. I am hoping that the class-action for collusion will make the booksellers to sit up and take notice. I would like Barnes & Noble to explain why it is not doing more to straighten out its catalog, and stop favoring the big 6 publishers. If Simon & Schuster are having trouble, then I do need to worry that there is fair treatment on the part of any site which sells books. I have invested far too much money on producing the books to see them languish in obscurity due to the selfishness of a market where monopolies arise much too quickly on the backs of their suppliers.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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EinsteinPD
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

Theresa, since you have "Been there, done that" how about Posting your communication made directly to Amazon's supreme authority, and also the "flying monkeys" response to it?

 

Regarding your "having enough trouble getting other booksellers to list "my books at all," I have offered to list and promote at least one ebook of yours, you refused.

 

If you continue withdrawing and distancing your ebooks from marketing outlets, then your seeing them "languish(ing) in obscurity" will be partly your doing.

 

It looks to me you are so angry, that all you want to do is be negative. Then it is no use suggesting anything positive to you at this time. I am not saying you have no reason to be angry- I am saying that just being angry, and not considering doing anything constructive regarding your ebook marketing, will not work towards the goal of preventing your ebooks "languish(ing) in obscurity."

 

I have repeatedly suggested that we continue communicating by email, and you refuse to do this. I have pretty much said what I have to say to you on this thread. It looks to me that unless your attitude changes, your career as a published ebook author, with possibly a meaningful number of new readers, will soon be over. I urge you NOT to close your Barnes and Noble account now. My offer to list and promote at least some of your work, still stands.

 

Good-bye, y vaya con Dios.

                                                                

Phillip Duke Ph.D.

 

 

Film clip courtesy Republic Pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tm-Moore
Posts: 58
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

I stand by my opinions, just as you stand on yours. I am not being negative. I am angry at the difficulty of working with marketing channels that refuse to help authors, and if I need to "withdraw" my books from marketing channels that seek to obscure them in the first place, then so be it. As for allowing you to market my books to your own benefit, you offered to buy my exclusive rights to ownership for your own benefit. All I can see here is that you don't understand how the market works and painting me a rosy scenario will not change my mind. I usually expect results and when I wait a significant portion of time (far longer than the big 6 would tolerate) I remove my work from sites that only seek to fill their catalogs with titles so they can look big and prosperous. If after all that, no one wants to read my books, then I can choose to do something else. I don't have to torture myself. Most of the books on the best seller list are books published by the big 6 (or Amazon) or authors with a given track record and are usually more well known. If no one buys my books I have no chance of that happening. But unlike authors who ultimately commit suicide I'm not made of a weepy innocent. When nothing works, I stop doing it to the detriment of those who might benefit from my knowledge. So be it. Goodbye to you.

 

By the way, now that Amazon has acquired Goodreads, I have closed my Goodreads account. Does it bother me? NOOOOO.

Theresa M. Moore
Author of the Children of The Dragon vampire series and other fiction/nonfiction books http://www.antellus.com/
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EinsteinPD
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎05-08-2012
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Re: Not enough "sales" to stay around.

    Theresa, just to make sure there is no misundertanding, I first offered to list and promote a number of your ebook under your name, and give you the entire sales price. When you refused this, I offered to possibly buy at least one ebook, and promote it under your name. These offers were made to try to be helpful. You posted previously that I would be quite unable to market your ebooks, and now that I want to market your ebooks for my own benefit.

     You post that I "simply don't understand how the market works." What you are really saying is, there is no reason for me to be anything but pessimistic. I do not agree. As I posted earlier, the entire ebook field is changing, and no one can predict reliably what will happen next. The present situation does leave a lot to be desired, from the viewpoint of Indie authors. However, if you give up, it's over. Being an author with a readership is much more difficult than most people realize. We both know that.

     I respect your opinion and any decision you make, and I respect you. I again urge you not to close your BandN account at this time, keep it going awhile, and see what happens. Try promoting on Nookboards.com. It has helped me.

     Best regards,

 

     Phillip Duke Ph.D.


People living on the Moon for 20 generations.