August MacGregor

Celebrating Sensuality. Intended for mature audiences, 18 and over


12 Comments

May Plans

Once again, several months have passed since I last posted here. As before my previous post, I’ve been quite busy with writing, working, and family. But everyone I know is quite busy, so I’m certainly not alone with that.

One of the projects that’s been keeping me busy is River — the working title of a novel I finished writing last year, and I’ve been editing it this year. I’m pleased to say that I plan on self-publishing the novel in May. The editing process  seemed to take longer than it did, but I’ve grown to I appreciate the process of re-shaping of the story. Compared to the first draft, it’s more stream-lined and tighter. Hopefuly, making it a more enjoyable read.

I’ll give more info when the book becomes live on Amazon, as I’m still working on making it a little tighter. But it feels good to be almost finished. With the warmer temperatures of spring, it’s like the book is coming out of hibernation.

Advertisements


5 Comments

Amazon’s New Payments Per KU Pages Read

Last week, Blondewritemore’s post That magical moment when you decide NOT to quit writing was a great description of those times when a writer — and other artists, I would imagine — has a build-up of doubts that lead to wonderings whether he or she should continue writing. And when you decide not to quit, that moment is indeed magical — as you rediscover the magic that made you fall into love with writing in the first place.

It happens to me lots of times. I wrote about self-doubt back in November, after I ran across a quote from Neil Gaiman in which he describes doubts rising as he was working on a novel. He called his agent to share these doubts, and she illuminated him with the fact that he had called her with doubts after every novel — as all her other clients did.

That quote helps me in times when doubts start creeping into my writer’s house, like an invasion of little robbers. The quote is one of those helpful things to get me back on my feet. Or, rather, back on my butt — and my fingers back to tapping on my laptop’s keys.

Amazon recently changed the way it pays authors who have books in their Kindle Unlimited (KU) program. KU is a subscription service where customers pay a monthly fee ($10, I believe), and they can dive into an orgy of reading, to inhale as many KU books as they like. Authors who include their books in the KU program give their solemn oath that the books are not available in electronic form anywhere else.

Yes, this is a monopoly on ebooks for Amazon. You’ll find advice out there giving benefits and drawbacks of including your book in KU. The piece of advice I found valuable was that having a book in KU is good for beginning authors, since a customer doesn’t have to risk money on an author they’re not familiar with, since the monthly fee covers all the KU books the customer wants to try.

I have several books in KU, and I’ve found that it has led to more books being read. The KU borrows have added to sales. And that’s good stuff to an author who hopes to eventually make writing a career.

So back to Amazon’s change in its payments for KU books … Used to be that authors were paid a portion of the monthly KU fund based on how many of your KU books were borrowed.

As of July 1, authors are now paid by pages read. The proper, initial-capped term is Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read.

At first, I didn’t know what to make of this. But now, I like it. Because of the chart showing me, each day, how many pages of my KU books have been read. And that’s sweet stuff. Previously, I never knew if a KU book was being read. Just because a customer borrowed a book didn’t mean they actually read it. Now the data tell me that, yes, pages are being read. And how many.

It’s a boost to an author’s confidence to see the chart and say, Hey, 5,000 pages of my books were read yesterday! Sure, the numbers go up and down daily. But they provide feedback of being read. Similar to receiving comments on a blog post and reviews on a book.

I don’t know how the payment change will turn out financially for authors. If an author has mostly short stories on KU, I can see the change lowering their payments. For me, though, it wasn’t as if a hundred of my books were being borrowed every day — so the financial change won’t be significant. However, the change in feedback certainly is.


19 Comments

Surprises and Surprises

I’m floating on cloud nine right now because my novel is on Amazon’s bestsellers of erotica for Kindle ebooks! This past week, Tara & Steve: A Tale of Swingers entered the top 100 list at #100, and it has fluctuated around the list. This morning, it reached #84! (The list is updated hourly, so the position will definitely keep changing.)

How the hell did this happen?

I haven’t written a blog post showcasing the book, and I’ve tweeted about it a couple of times. This was far from the strategy I’ve read that authors should do, in carpeting all available social media sites to get the word out about your book.

Because once the book was published on Amazon, I felt elated about finishing it — and then I went to work on another story. That’s been my mindset of late: not blogging and promoting as much on Twitter, but focusing more on crafting stories.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that something clicked with this book. It has easily out-sold my other two novels — Bavarian Beauty and An Eager Audience: A Cuckold Erotic Romance — as well as my various novellas and short stories.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been surprised to see my book among the list of bestsellers. To put it frankly, it’s a place I didn’t imagine being. I simply hoped people would buy my books and enjoy them. Enough to someday bring in an income where I could write full time.

Here’s the cover of the book:

Tara & Steve ebook cover

Another surprise is that my book isn’t selling thousands of copies a day to get on the bestseller list. The number is actually fewer than 60 a day — when you add in the Kindle Unlimited downloads to the actual sales.

I’m thrilled to sell that many. I certainly haven’t expected to sell thousands of books a day. That atmosphere belongs to E.L. James, whose Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy looks to be firmly in the top three slots of Amazon’s erotica bestseller list.

I have to mention one other surprise here, because I’ve been scratching my head about it for a while. Every day, the most popular post on my blog is How to Talk Dirty (and Romantic) in German. It’s caused me to ask the same question: How the hell did this happen? The post is from the two weeks of Octoberfest 2014, when I blogged every day about some of the landscape, music, food, and history of Bavaria — all to promote Bavarian Beauty. Out of those posts (and all my other posts), the one on talking dirty in German stands at the top of the heap.

Maybe the post’s popularity is due to a link at streettalksavvy.com, where I got a few of the phrases. Maybe, maybe not. But while I can’t figure out the reason, I have to hope that people out there are using the list to do some sexy talking in German 🙂

Until next time, meinen Lieblings!