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Author Topic: Question Involving E-Book Selling  (Read 3890 times)
Lutrina Lontra
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« on: March 20, 2011, 11:50:17 PM »

Lately I've been wanting to try something new. A few months ago I made "It's Alright" available as an e-book via Smashwords. Before I took it down and closed my old account, it had a little over 100 downloads, which was WAY more than I expected. However, somebody recently told me that charging for it might increase the number of downloads/purchases simply because putting a price on it creates the illusion of value.

While I've always been more than happy posting my stories where people can easily read them without paying, I think I'll give this e-book selling thing a second try, more as an experiment to see if my work is actually good enough to pay for (HA!).

Here's my dilemma: I still want to post my stories online, especially here on FurRag, because it's a sort of beta stage for me. People's comments and reviews help me make the stories better. The problem is if I have my stories online for free, it defeats the purpose of charging for them as ebooks. What do you guys think I should do?
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Alflor
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 12:15:49 AM »

Use samples. Usually a chapter or two is enough for reviewers to tell you what you are doing right or wrong. That, or make a few friends whose opinions you trust the most and only give the story to them. Another thing you could do is offer some sort of bonus story in the paid version.
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Altivo
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 12:25:57 AM »

Alflor is right.

Also, there's another point to Smashwords: they will format your book or story for reading on various e-reader devices, like the Kindle and the Nook. People will pay for that service because they want to read on the portable device rather than the computer screen.

Set your prices low at first if you feel reluctant about charging for the work. A dollar or two is not really that much, and if you get downloads then you'll be getting paid. I know people who are taking fair amounts of income that way.
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Lutrina Lontra
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 01:34:56 AM »

@Alflor: That's kinda what I was thinking, the whole sample idea. I figure for postings on Fur Affinity, SoFurry, and FurRag (or anywhere else I put them) I could make them be teasers and such. I'll think of something, but thanks for the input.

@Altivo: I've published on Smashwords before, so I know that. It was really cool seeing It's Alright in the Nook library, too. ^^ As for pricing, I'm not really sure what's good. My first thought was $5 for a short story (Viral, for example) and $10 for a novel (my current project, Gecko Broken). Really short stories like It's Alright... I think I'll just leave those online for free. Maybe make more flash fiction or something like that so I can have stuff in my gallery. XD
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Alflor
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 01:44:04 AM »

$10 might be a bit high to start with. Kyell Gold only charges $9.99 for his novels on Amazon. I'd say $5 would be a good start. Once you reach a point where you're well-known, you can bump the prices. It's not really about making money for furry writers, anyway.
I, personally, am waiting to get a novel published in print first. This way, the publisher will do all of my advertising and take the book around to cons. If you go electronic right away, you'll need to do all your own advertising and marketing (which is HARD). Also, if your book is already published online, you really can't submit it to a publisher.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
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Lutrina Lontra
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 02:19:12 AM »

@Alflor: Ah, I see. That makes sense. How $3 and $5, respectively? As for marketing and what not, I expected that anyway. I really ought to just write more often and be more visible. Any recommendations as far as how to advertise?
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Alflor
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 02:44:31 AM »

@Alflor: Ah, I see. That makes sense. How $3 and $5, respectively? As for marketing and what not, I expected that anyway. I really ought to just write more often and be more visible. Any recommendations as far as how to advertise?
Well, SoFurry does writing contests every month, or so. If you win, your name will be on their home page and you get a nifty prize.
Also, conbook submissions are a GREAT way to get noticed. I'm getting two of my stories published in conbooks. They will list your website or SF/FA account and people can look you up if they like you.
Another thing you can do is submit to an anthology. There is a thread somewhere on here. If they pick your story, you'll get paid and be featured. That's the absolute best way for beginning writers, come to think of it. All the big furry publishers have at least one anthology and they will advertise it all year.

Oh, and $3 and $5 is a pretty good to set.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
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"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." -Soren Kierkgard

alflor.com <-- You should go there. You should go there now.
Lutrina Lontra
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 03:10:40 AM »

I'm on SoFurry all the time, so I'll keep my eyes open for said contests and give them a try. With conbooks, do you have to be attending the con in order to get published in them? And which furry publishers should I look up? I only know of Sofa Wolf and Fur Planet.
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Alflor
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 03:32:15 AM »

I'm on SoFurry all the time, so I'll keep my eyes open for said contests and give them a try. With conbooks, do you have to be attending the con in order to get published in them? And which furry publishers should I look up? I only know of Sofa Wolf and Fur Planet.
For conbooks, you can either do open submissions:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=con+book+submissions
... or they occasionally contact you. Califur's chair apparently really liked my stories and PMed me on SF.
Also -- I'm not sure if everyone does this, but -- if they publish your story, you'll get a free basic membership to the con.

As far as publishing goes:

BadDog Books have two open ones:
http://baddogbooks.com/submissions/roar-4-submissions/
http://baddogbooks.com/submissions/fang-submissions-2/

Sofawolf have HEAT and New Fables. (Both submissions are closed ATM.)

That's about it.

Keep an eye on this board: http://forum.furrag.com/index.php/board,14.0.html for more info.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
-Alex Vance

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." -Soren Kierkgard

alflor.com <-- You should go there. You should go there now.
Lutrina Lontra
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 04:42:33 AM »

I'll definitely give those Bad Dog anthologies a shot. Thanks a bunch!
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011, 05:49:04 AM »

completely forgot about bad dog! *bookmarks link*
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Alflor
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2011, 01:25:52 PM »

I'll definitely give those Bad Dog anthologies a shot. Thanks a bunch!

You're quite welcome!
I might submit something to BadDog. As much as I hate writing for a prompt, I do have a few story ideas that can be made to work with the given subjects.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
-Alex Vance

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." -Soren Kierkgard

alflor.com <-- You should go there. You should go there now.
Quinn Yellowfox
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2011, 06:59:27 PM »

Thanks for mentioning the Open Submission thread Aflor. Anyone can post information there.

I've been published in a couple of con books and you do not have to be attending the con in order to submit or be accepted. I have noticed that con books are very bad about sending out acceptance or rejection letters. The only way I knew that I was published was by getting the con book. That even includes the bigger ones like the Midwest Furfest.

And k9k, anyone that doesn't know about Bad Dog Books and is posting on this site should be spanked (although I fear a few may enjoy it too much).

Some word processing software can also save documents in Kindle format etc. I.e. Scrivener

I've also spoken to officials from Sofa Wolf. The word is that they would still publish stories posted openly on FurRag. Still, I still keep my final drafts offline.
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Lutrina Lontra
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2011, 07:36:07 PM »

@Quinn: So, if I labeled my online-posted stories as rough drafts, could I avoid publishers not taking them? XP
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Altivo
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 07:56:48 PM »

There's no simple answer to that. It depends on the editor and the publisher.

Bad Dog Books and Sofawolf Press have repeatedly said that they will consider and accept material that has appeared online. That doesn't mean that St. Martin's Press or DAW Books will do the same.

If you have your sights set on mainstream publication, you might well want to keep your finished material from appearing on open websites such as this one.

However, if you are writing furry erotica, chances are you will need to look to one of the three main furry publishers: Bad Dog, FurPlanet, or Sofawolf. All of them have accepted previously released material in the past and will probably continue to do so.
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“Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.” ― Arthur Miller
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