Curveball Year Two: Analysis and Retrospective

Responses

  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    @ubersoft: Those goals sound awesome. Please add a category for zombie apocalypse survival, if you haven't already. xD

    Oh, and one to support you in getting superpowers. You'll need a lab, obviously - and some radioactive spiders.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  2. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Billy, I think the 99c model actually works against me, to be honest, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

    (This is getting away from the web fiction part, so apologies to everyone for that.)

    99 cents seems to be thought of as the "junk price point" these days. At one point in time there was a mad rush for $.99 self-published fiction--and we're talking full-length novels, here--and at the end of it there was a bit of a hangover. $.99 appears to be generally percieved as "the place where bad novels go to moulder." This is obviously an over-generalization, but when I hear people talking about prices that comes up a lot.

    The thing is, though, I'm working on the comic book model AND the ebook model, so I'm stuck. The average price for a full-length, self-published novel is $2.99-3.99. The average price for a comic book is $2.50-$4.50. Curveball is playing the comic book game but without pictures, so it needs to be cheaper than a comic book. Each issue is also considerably shorter than 85,000 words, so I have to be cheaper than your average self-published novel. That doesn't leave a lot of room to work in.

    Originally Curveball issues were $1.99, but then John Scalzi released a serial at $.99 a pop, and I didn't figure I'd be able to compete above the prices he set for his work. So... that's where I am.

    Fiona, Jamie is a really nice guy and I was really stoked to be able to pay him to draw for me. And one of the first things he said was "in your previous covers CB looks so well-groomed. I'd like to draw him a little more haggard" and all I could think was "HE REALLY GETS THIS CHARACTER!"

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  3. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    The price seems reasonable considering the length of each issue. I really think sales rank visibility is your only problem. Try Ereader News Today at least - among Indie authors, they're considered the second most effective promotion service after Bookbub. But WAY cheaper, and they don't require a minimum amount of reviews to accept you. Some authors have gotten several hundred sales in 1-2 days from it.

    http://ereadernewstoday.com/bargain-and-free-book-submissions/

    Take an omnibus (if you have one) and temporarily drop the price to 99$ for the promotion. Readers love limited time offers. Or take the first issue and make it free temporarily.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  4. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    I can't make anything free on Amazon, because I don't qualify for KDP Select.

    Here's the fun thing about KDP Select: technically if you do a web serial you're not eligible. Why? Because KDPS terms of service state, rather plainly, that they can be your only source of distribution for the work. And posting it for free in its entirety on your website is a competitive distribution.

    Also, people who subscribe to my Patreon get a special "Patreon Edition" of the work (and the complete backlist!) which is another no-no.

    Also, because I distribute under a CC license, anyone technically has the right to redistribute non-commercially. So... three strikes, no KDP. The only way to trick 'em into making something free is to make it free somewhere else (Kobo, I guess) and ask Amazon to match the price.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  5. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    You already know about the price match, that's the way to temporarily get free books outside KDP. If you don't have your books in other stores... why don't you have your books in other stores? ;) ibooks and Google Play might very well out-grow Amazon if they get their clunky interfaces and search issues sorted out.

    It's not a 'trick' as such. Amazon does have a category for free books, after all.

    Also, many don't know that you can kindly ask Apple to promote you. They might say no, but if they like the book and do say yes... imagine being promoted by Apple.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  6. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    I do actually sell in other stores. Amazon is by far the dominant player but Google play appears to be ready to overtake b&n to assume the (distant) #2 spot.

    I'm going to follow up on the book list suggestions. I hadn't really looked at them in the past because my understanding was they wouldn't consider you unless you already had a fair number of reviews under your belt (and I... Don't. Ahem.) but looking through some of the guidelines that doesn't actually appear to be the case.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  7. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Not for Ereader News Today, no. Bookbub yes, it's notoriously hard to get into. But you can get a similar effect even without Bookbub by stacking several promotional services for several days (ENT alone would give you a nudge, but the effect is stronger if you stack). If I get the time, I'll compile a list of services that are considered worthwhile.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  8. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    JUst a quick something for those looking to do ebook promotion - I haven't had time to compile a thread yet, but here's a spreadsheet many Indie authors find useful: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RuBvSzJuy5jFg4-58EkkQ0G1OIuXzjN54CW-_CavdCA/edit#gid=0

    Some don't charge anything for a promotion. Others charge a little bit, and select few with huge subscriber numbers charge a lot. Note that the list is most likely outdated - pixel of ink doesn't accept submissions anymore, for instance. They now only feature the books they like.

    I have no idea how good or reliable most of these are. BUT ebook butterfly is unique in that it guarantees a fixed number of sales or free book downloads - if you get less, you get a refund.

    Off the top of my head, these are considered decent - there's probably more that perform really well and I just don't know:

    Freebooksy, Midlist, Awesomegang / bknights, ENT (second best after Bookbub), Bookbassett, Ebook Butterfly, Bookbarbarian (though that one is very new)

    And if you want to know where I got this info from, here's one of the sources: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,207656.0

    Sorry about derailing the thread! I'll make a new one with more info when I get some time.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  9. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Thanks for the info!

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  10. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Wow, that was fast! Did you gain superpowers when I wasn't looking? :D

    Oh, and before I forget - full length works are more easily accepted and perform better than shorts.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  11. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Yeah, and issues 1-12 are already published in single novel form ("Curveball Year One") so I've got that part covered. I just need to poke around each site and start taking notes.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  12. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    First off, to anyone that maligns present tense, i have one thing to say. Amber. (if you are unfamiliar, go find and read Nine Princes in Amber. Now. Then come back tomorrow as you curse me and start collecting all 10. )

    I do think some advertising would do the book good, but this hearkens back to our aborted attempts at a web fiction advocacy group. I think with the number of words involved, instead of yearly omnibuses, you may want to start doing bi yearly going forward? issues 1 through 6 and 7 through 12?

    Also, yes, I would actually prefer weekly releases, even if I had to go a couple months without for you to build up the backlog.

    Does CB have all the normal accoutrements? FB, twitter, ect?

  13. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    I had someone else ask for a bi-yearly "semibus" (heh) and it's tempting but I need to figure out some specific (non-webfictiony again, SORRY EVERYONE) things in terms of packaging.

    I don't want the collected works to be confused with the individual issues, so I need to do something to differentiate them YET keep them unified. This will primarily be handled via the cover art, and I think I figured out how to do it for the yearly omnibuses. But I'd need to come up with something else for the semibus (I swear I'm never calling it anything else, ever) and I'd need to come up with two of them. So I dunno.

    I really do understand the preference for weekly and as I've said I've considered it but I want to stick with the comic book conceit as much as possible, and that would break it. Not that it didn't get smashed to teeny bits with i24, considering how long I was continuously posting content for it (*headdesk*) but that's supposed to be an example of Things What I Am Not Supposed To Do.

    I don't bother with FB at all. I know there are people who have great success with it and at this point they already have a lot of followers on FB. But now that FB charges you money if you want to reach everyone who follows you, I don't see any point in trying to play that game. I don't have CB-specific accounts on Twitter or G+ or any of the other sites, I just use my twitter and G+ account when I announce updates.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  14. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Easy, each semibus (toot toot) includes a short story or two of someone, usually curveball, getting the everloving shit beat out of them in some way. Could be good for some CB as bad guy backstory, and be exclusive. Call them.... Curveball: Thrown under the SemiBus.

    Even though FB is a bitch for finding everyone with every post, its great for a tool for people to share you. I have often talked about CB ina facebook post and typed @curv only to remember damnit, no facebook page for me to link. at this point among content creators, I find FB is just about making it easier for your fans to share shit, rather than sharing shit with your fans.

  15. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 4 years ago

    Just as a note, though a lot of comic books follow the monthly model, not all do. There's 52 and Countdown (let's focus on 52 though since that was actually, you know, good). I think Spider-Man did the weekly thing for a while -- if you count all the spin-off series, he's often gotten released more than once-a-week, tho I'm not enough of a spidey fan to give you specifics.

    Jonathan Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers run was interesting, too. Combined, the two series ended up being weekly (or maybe it was three times a month, my memory's shaky).

    Anyway, just wanted to point out that you can do a comic book style with a weekly release schedule. (And in fact one of the only reasons many comic books get away with monthly release is because of the industry's weekly releases. One series released monthly might not hook people, but a bunch of series, some of which get released each week? It's a whole different ball game.)

    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest

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