In a way, the start of today’s show was a bummer because nobody used the word “cum slut,” which we’d gotten used to from our last show. But we quickly got over it and got on with business.
A bit of a KDP Select review
As a way of talking again about Amazon’s KDP Select program, I announced that I’ve sold FOUR copies of The Bialy Pimps. I during its time on both the Nook and Apple iBooks bookstore over the entire year… which really makes me wonder why the fuck I’d bother putting any books on platforms OTHER than Amazon.
Sean laid out what they’re doing now, which involves “graduating” books from Amazon only to other platforms. We argued a bit about this, and the best way to break out promos, and so on.
I mentioned that I’ve decided to bundle my Fat Vampire books differently than the way Sean and I have decided to bundle Unicorn Western. Sean’s current favorite bundling model combines three novellas which are priced at $2.99 each into a bundle that costs $4.99… and then once there are three bundles at $4.99, you combine those into a nine-book bundle that costs $9.99.
Instead, I’ve decided to bundle three of my $2.99 Fat Vampire books into a collection that costs $5.99 (I published the first Fat Vampire “Value Meal” this past weekend)… and then to combine two of those into a 6-book bundle for $9.99. My argument is that the Fat Vampire books are longer than Unicorn Western books.
This led us to a discussion of price and value, which was a perfect segue into a voicemail question: What is the VALUE of your book vs. what you can PRICE it at?
The answer is that value is a pretty useless concept if you are the only one who thinks it has a value of X. What the MARKET thinks its value is matters more. Fierce discussion then ensued.
Garrett then called in because he’s being really neurotic and comparing Amazon’s actual paid royalties to what he thinks they should be and says they seem low. Dave said that it may have to do with currency differences between the US and people in other countries buying your books, and Sean and I told him to chill the fuck out and stop obsessing over his numbers. I mean, SHIT.
Serials, Series, and Standalones… oh my!
We spent the rest of the episode talking about how you’d go about approaching a standalone novel (like The Bialy Pimps, which has no connection to anything else I’ve written) vs. a series of novels (like Unicorn Western) vs. a true written serial, which is structured more like an episodic TV series (like Yesterday’s Gone).
We get into a ton of detail, but basically the difference between a series and a serial is that in a series, each book needs to truly stand on its own as a whole story even though it may/should depend on what came in the book before and lead into the next book. A serial can have truly assholish cliffhangers and leave people feeling a lot more incomplete from episode to episode. It’s kind of a gray area, but etching out some of the black and white particulars is what we spent a ton of time doing this week.
To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #39 – Series, Serials, and Standalone Books