If you follow me as an author, then you might have noticed that I’ve been breaking up some of my larger books (fondly known as the BABs aka the big a** books) into parts. I started with THE KEY and then did it with GIRL GONE NOVA. As with anything authors do, there are people who misunderstand the reasons behind the actions. So I thought I’d do some ’splaining, even if there is only a slim chance the misunderstanders will read this. (Wry Grin)
When I first started my adventure in publishing, I had very little control over my books or the formats that would be available for readers. I’d get emails from readers asking when they’d be available in audio, for instance, and all I could say was, “I’m trying.”
As publishing changed, and I went indie, I’ve been able to make my books available in audio and print. I also try to be with the main vendors for eBooks. The other things I do, well, they aren’t intended as a personal attack on your wallet, I promise. With the explosion of indie publishing it is harder and harder to become visible. My various efforts are to try to find readers in new ways. I’ve done book bundles, co-ops with other authors—and now my recent venture in breaking them up. I know kind of ironic to bundle books and then break them into pieces.
I was a reader before I was a writer, so I try to filter everything through the lens of what I’d like. But I also try to look beyond what I’d do and consider those whose reading preferences are different from mine. I didn’t make the decision lightly or based only on economics. Every time I try something with my books, it takes a lot of time (my scarcest commodity!) and yes, money to make it happen. But I was willing to give the idea a try for the same reason I worked to get my books available in audio. This time I was trying to reach readers who like to read shorter stories.
It really is that simple.
Keep in mind that none of the complete books have gone off sale. The only time my BABs were off sale was for the period between when my publisher shut down and I put them back on sale again.
They will remain on sale for as long as I can keep them on sale. And yes, buying the complete BAB is the best financial deal for the reader, no question. But some readers just like smaller bites in their reading and are willing to pay a bit more for the convenience of getting their stories in smaller bites. The parting of the BABs are just another way for me to accommodate a different type of reader.
There are also good reasons that the parts end up costing slightly more than a reader would pay to simply buy the whole book. Of course, the main reason is the cost of repackaging the parts. I had to purchase new covers for each part, including the parts that will make me NO money since they are free, and it took time away from my writing to edit, create and format for the various vendors.
I won’t go into the backend costs (which are more than you’d think), but in the interests of full disclosure, here are some numbers on what I make per sale on the full book and then the parts:
THE KEY (complete novel). List price 5.99. My profit (before deducting my costs, of course): 4.19
THE KEY: PART ONE. List price: 0.00. No profit.
THE KEY: PART TWO. List price: 1.99. My profit: .70 (I get a smaller percentage of the sale for books priced below 2.99. This part is shorter than the others so I didn’t feel comfortable pricing it at 2.99 even though I get hosed on the percentage.)
THE KEY: PART THREE. List price: 2.99. My profit: 2.09
THE KEY: PART FOUR. List price: 2.99. My profit: 2.09
Profit for total novel: 4.19. Profit if someone buys all four parts: 4.88 = .69
GIRL GONE NOVA (complete novel). List price 5.99. Profit: 4.19
GIRL GONE NOVA: PART ONE. List: 0.00
GIRL GONE NOVA: PART TWO. List: 2.99. Profit: 2.09
GIRL GONE NOVA: PART THREE. List: 2.99. Profit: 2.09
GIRL GONE NOVA: PART FOUR. LIST: 2.99. Profit: 2.09
Profit for complete novel: 4.19. Profit if someone buys all four parts: 6.27 = 2.08
Not exactly raking in the cash, though yes, IF someone buys all four parts of GIRL GONE NOVA, they will pay more. But it is longer than THE KEY and the parts broke up more evenly into four parts, so readers get a solid chunk of text with each part. And they can choose at any time to buy the full novel. The cover art also cost me more, so it will take me longer to earn out—if I do. I’m sad to say the only review I have for GIRL GONE NOVA: PART TWO slams me for releasing in parts and includes the misinformation that you can’t buy the full novel. Sigh.
So what can you expect from me going forward? Well, I’ll probably continue to annoy the occasional reader because it takes time to write new books, time to smooth out issues from a new release, time to manage my writing business. But you should soon see another (possibly annoying) breakup of STEAMROLLED in January. And sometime this spring DEAD SPACES should release, followed by SUCKER PUNCH. On the other side of those two books? Well, I’m just coming off the holidays AND the flu, so I’m not going to look too far ahead. I just know I will keep writing. Cuz I’m a writer. 🙂
Life Happens around here and so do my Books. Both continue to surprise me. But one thing that never changes is my love of books and my deep gratitude to the people who read them. Not just my books, but BOOKS.
And I love the people who read my blog and share their thoughts. So here’s my question? Am I missing something for readers? What else can I be doing (besides writing faster!) to make your reading life better? You know I enter comments into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). I announce a winner the first blog post of the new month (mostly).