Amazon For Views

I know some of you offer your webfiction as novels people can buy on Amazon. That's not what this post is about.


Has any one put their webfiction onto Amazon, completely free, to see if it would increase views of their serial?


What did you do, and how did it work?


I don't think that would work - Amazon and web fiction users don't really overlap, I don't think. Reading on a Kindle is so much more convenient than reading online. Web fiction readers are a breed of their own.


Besides, I'm pretty sure Amazon frowns at you linking anywhere other than their own store...


But maybe you could try it with different stories for Amazon and your web page. That way, readers who like your stuff would need to use both platforms to read everything. Linking to your web serial from Amazon would still be tricky, though.


Edit to add: visibility is also a problem. There are a ton of free books on Amazon.


I've been thinking lately that a lot more people would probably read webfiction if they actually knew it existed. And as easy as a kindle is, readers are readers. Sure, some wouldn't make the jump, but some might. I don't know. At this stage it's little more than a random idea.


"I'm pretty sure Amazon frowns at you linking anywhere other than their own store..."


I think I've read books where the author's linked to their own websites and social media platforms at the back. I'm fairly certain I have, but I'd need to double check.


"But maybe you could try it with different stories for Amazon and your web page." Great minds, etc. That plan is in place, and there are other works I'm working on in the same universe right now. :)


Yeah, visibility is an issue, but it's probably slightly easier to be visible as a book in a place where people are looking for books, as opposed to being to being a serial in a place where no one is looking for serials.


Like I said, though, at this point it's just a vague idea. I have vague ideas about lots of things, like youtube, or vimeo, or podcasting, etc. Some will happen, and some won't.


Thanks for your thoughts on it :)


@Chrys


Check out this marketing strategy @leoduhvinci turned me on to https://www.yourfirst10kreaders.com/ It explains how to use amazon to grow an email list, which can sorta work for webserials too maybe.


I'll have a look, but it sounds familiar. I think I may already have read something similar - if it's what I'm thinking, I can't think how to use it for webserials :)


Like TC said Chris, if you utilize it correctly you can grow your brand, and web serials are part of your brand.


Best,


Leo


I sell my webfiction after converting it into a novel. At the end of each novel, I have a short note explaining where it came from (i.e. webfiction) and that if you want to read ahead, it's all there.


I know I've gotten some readers out of it. Can't speak to numbers though.


As far as using Amazon for migration to the web-serial, there is some validity there. My audience has grown substantially since I started my ventures into the e-book market. However, there are some serious hurdles in the way of using it just to gain serial awareness.


1) Chrysalis touched on this, but it really bears repeating: There are tons of free books on Amazon. Getting visibility is a major task for most authors. There are entire forums dedicating to tactics that might help to move even a few more copies a month, because it is highly competitive and saturated. People spends lot of cash advertising to get seen on Amazon, so in terms of getting eyes on your work its not a solution in itself.


2) The biggest and best tool new authors use to get seen is unavailable to you. Kindle Unlimited, or KU, allows people who pay the subscription fee to read all books enrolled in the program for no extra cash, while compensating the authors per page read. This is also the only way to do promos (I know you said permafree, I'll touch on that next) which is how you can use services like Bookbub. But, and this is a huge but, KU demands exclusivity. Your story, save for a small sample, can't be anywhere else on the web. That's why I had to take SP: Year 1 down for a few months in order to do promo work. Not really an option if you're trying to drive traffic to your serial in the first place.


3) Being permafree is not easy. Amazon despises that status, and you cannot set your book to be free. The only way to do it is to set the book to $0.99, list it on other retailers as free, and then have fans or friends report the lower price so that Amazon will price match it. This needs to be a constant process, as otherwise it will jump back to a pay book. It is worth noting that Barnes and Noble just allowed the Nook store to have books set to free, but given their market share of e-books you're not really upping your chances of being seen by that much. Still, it might make shoving Amazon's price down easier, so it's worth a mention.


4) This one is more subjective than the others, but I do think it needs to be said: lots of people are committed to their medium in terms of reading. I'll get a few e-mail a week asking when Year 4 is coming out, and when I tell them that they can read the first hundred plus chapters for free right now, the over-whelming majority say a polite "Thanks, but I'd rather wait until its done". That's not always the case, you are right that some people would read a serial if they knew it existed, just be aware that the conversion of ebook reader to serial reader isn't a huge percentage.


Not trying to discourage the idea, I think you might see some results if you've got the time to really push through all these hurdles, but I wanted you to know what sort of challenge you're in for.


Not to beat a dead horse, but I agree with Chrysalis and Drew.


I also think it depends on what type of book you write and how you've presented your brand.


Are you an easily approachable writer, or always hard at work?


I'm kind of new to this, but I've learned a lot in a short amount of time. I've only been published for a little over a week, but I have noticed some new blood on my website. That said, to Drew's point, it seems like a lot of them are just checking in to see if I mention a new book release date... lol


The big question in my mind is how much overlap there would be between genres. I think it'd be fun to get a trad deal for another genre and see how it worked out.


One thing I really like about writing in this space is the near-constant air of the discovery. Nobody really seems to know anything, or at least the answers aren't spelled out. As a result, most of us are constantly experimenting... and I think that is pretty cool.


Good point @Blaise. We're all trying stuff for which there is no solid script. I for example have the totally opposite goal to @Chrys. I'm releasing my stuff was a webserial in hopes to gain readers for a eventual ebook series release. Will it be helpful, I don't really know. But it seemed a good idea to get feedback and test the waters so to speak in this format before taking the plunge.


@Team Contract that's not opposite, it was my goal as well. My web serial reasers definitely helped with the ebook release. :) Web fiction readers don't mind reading ebooks as well, but the opposite is much less true...


I know about email lists and use them, but I highly doubt that people who signed up because of the ebooks will have any interest in a web serial, especially one that consists of first drafts.


I'm still planning to post about my publication experiences! Hopefully I'll have time on Sunday.


@Drew, if I wanted everyone to agree with me, I'd listen to the voices in my head. Everyone urging me not to do it makes me consider things I might not have acknowledged.


1 and 3) I'm not actually new to Amazon Publishing, so I know exactly how difficult it can be to make your work stand out. I also have experience in doing that. Webserial is completely new to me, and I'm reading lots of conflicting advice, and what works for Joe doesn't work for Jane. With ebooks, I know what works for me.


2) I never, ever intend to use KU.


4) Okay, this is a point I never considered. Some people might prefer to wait. I'm going to have to think this over.


Thanks :D


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@Blaise, absolutely, I love how new and experimental everything is.


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@Chrysalis, I think @Team Contract meant opposite my goal, not yours, because I have no intention of ever selling my webserial. It's free, and that's not going to change in ANY format or medium. Unless, like, it becomes a TV series, or a comic book. I'd maybe charge for an audio version, too.


Okay, any version of the serial that doesn't involve extensive creative work by other people (artists, actors, etc), will be free.


I've never actually done this, but I've heard that people tend to browse Smashwords for free fictions, so maybe this tactic would work better there.


@chrysKelly


"I never, ever intend to use KU."


I deeply understand this sentiment. I wrestled with the decision for a long time.


I will probably only use KU this one time for the minimum 3 months. That said, I don't regret my decision. Sure, I now feel like a 2-bit hooker for Amazon, but hopefully I can bury the memory later on in life.


The results are that I've greatly expanded my reader base and made my book launch that much more successful. I priced my first book at 5.98 too which I think is fair for the length of words etc, but some readers are iffy about buying books from new, untested indie writers.


By going KU, I effectively doubled or tripled the number of readers I'll have in the first week of my next book's launch.


@The community here, I really struggled with some of the decisions I've made over the last three weeks. Ultimately, if we indie publish, we're already at such a disadvantage, I think at least exploring all the options and tools available to us is prudent.


Of course, whether we choose to use all the tools available is an individual decision.


I have been very very very very tempted to start running the old Dream Fantastic quarterly, as the one time we did it, while a pain in my ass, was decent for all involved.


Basically it was an anthology of serial fiction. Lots of chapter ones, a few short storys set in the world of. One person did a bonus chapter exclusive to the anthology, iirc. Every serial in it had a link back to the website. It was free on Amazon and Smash (oh how the meatgrinder made me cry) and a couple other places, and with all the serial authors in it plugging it to people, we got a couple k in downloads total over a few months.


@BlaiseCorvin : Hey man, no need to apologize. Use whatever you can. Get that money.


@Chrysalis


Yes sorry I meant Chrys Kelly before. I didn't realize your name could be assumed for that as well. xD Indeed we do have the same objectives you and I. I would very much like to learn all about your publication experiences as it's a road I have yet to travel. Please share soon!!


Hey, I was already Chrys on WFG before OtherChrys came along. You name thief, you. :D