Self Publishing versus Traditional

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When it comes to competing in the eBook market, without exception, all Indie writers struggle to keep their heads above water. While my efforts sell relatively well each month via Amazon.com, when it comes to the Amazon outlet here in the UK, the same cannot be said. All you have to do is look at the Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store List as well as the Top 100 Free in Kindle Store List to see what the UK based Indie is up against.

The former list is mostly inhabited by traditionally published writers like Bernard Cornwell – Sharpe’s Rifles, or David Boyle – Allan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma. As for the free list, you are once again in competition with the likes of Messrs Cornwell and Boyle and a whole host of others, none of them Indies.

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I offered Goblin Tales for free from last Wednesday 3rd December, until yesterday, Friday 5th of December. As usual the greater number of free copies were taken via Amazon.com – 80. Compare that with 31 here in the UK, 13 in Germany, 3 in Japan, 1 in India, 3 in Canada, 1 in Brazil and 3 in Australia. It would have been nice if the figures were for bought copies. Whatever the case may be, the figures above don’t lie. This is a fairly typical worldwide spread for me when it comes to give aways. The really interesting thing is when I look at actual sales, so far its just 1 via Amazon.com and 1 via Amazon.co.uk.

Why didn’t I publicise the fact that it was free? There is no need these days. The ‘Get It For Free Brigade’ are always trawling the Amazon eBook list for their next free book.Β These are people who don’t believe in paying for the priviledge of reading your book, preferring to wait until it becomes free. Whether or not they actually read them is an entirely different matter. It’s as if somehow or other these individuals perceive the Indie as not a real writer, just because we are not published by a major publishing house, therefore why should they actually buy a copy of your book(s).

No Indie can fight that peculiar kind of mindset, especially here in the UK, meaning that even giving away copies is difficult. Had I conducted the give away from today (Saturday) through to Monday, undoubtedly more free copies would have been taken. But the figures would remain in the same proportions. As far as the literary establishment of this country is concerned, Indies are lower in the food chain than pond scum. Plus this is a nation that still likes to hold a book in their hands and not an eReader.

All I can say is, thank goodness for the enlightened US market, and countries like New Zealand and others who buy through it. As you saw above, actual worldwide sales for Goblin Tales, are practically non existant. Not to worry, once a few more people have read their free copy, hopefully its sales will pick up if they liked it and spread the word.

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Click on the picture below to go to my Amazon. com Author Page

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Click on the picture below to go to my Amazon.co.uk Author Page

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Thoughts on Cataclysm’s three day giveaway

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Well, its finally over. After three days a mere one hundred and nineteen free copies were taken up. That may not sound like much. But believe me, from my point of view it’s good. Loosing US$246.26 in royalties is a worthwhile financial sacrifice to bring the novella to the attention of a wider audience. Plus, with such a low number of free copies out there, means that the book stands a better chance of it not being targeted.

Had I set the three day period from Friday until Sunday, there would have been far more copies seized upon, meaning that my financial loss would have been far greater. Plus with the increase in numbers it would also mean that inevitably it would be subjected to far more vicious one star reviews by trolls, armchair critics and pedants than it will now.

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If you are interested, here is the distribution breakdown by Amazon outlet:

Amazon United States – 89

Amazon United Kingdom – 15

Amazon Germany – 6

Amazon France – 0

Amazon Spain – 0

Amazon Italy – 0

Amazon Netherlands – 0

Amazon Japan – 1

Amazon India – 1

Amazon Canada – 6

Amazon Brazil – 0

Amazon Mexico – 0

Amazon Australia – 1

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The above is a fairly normal distribution when it comes to free copies. As you can see in six of the countries where Amazon has outlets, there were no copies taken. That is also normal as English is generally not in use, not even as a second language.

So, if you are thinking of offering any eBook of yours for free, and you don’t want your book to be bombarded by one star troll reviews, choose Wednesday to Friday to minimize the chances.

PS – Knowing the number of free copies are out there, it will be interesting to see how many of them generate any kind of review…

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