Author Topic: My Story as a Seller of Books  (Read 6314 times)

Moonraker

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 12:31:09 pm »
That was a close call, I nearly mailed it to my daughter and ask her to download it for me.... gonna kick u a$$
Yup, dangerruss. Move to OT.

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2017, 12:40:44 pm »
Ok, I need to apologise. What I did last night was just downright stupid. I should never have done it. This is not the place for it. Nobody likes spam and I gave you filthy, dirty spam. Again, I apologise. I could give you some excuse about sitting in front of my computer from 8 in the morning until midnight trying to hustle and promote and blah blah but what I did was inexcusable. It won't happen again. It was not was this thread was supposed to be. It was supposed to be about me setting up a business and sharing my experiences with you so that maybe someone can learn from my experiences.

Well, lesson 1, be an opportunist but choose your opportunities carefully.

The link has been removed and biggest apology goes out to jaDEB. And to Patrick for turning his forum into something it is not.

Patrick

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2017, 12:49:03 pm »
The link has been removed and biggest apology goes out to jaDEB. And to Patrick for turning his forum into something it is not.
No problem, I'm actually quite keen to follow your progress, as I'm sure many others are too. Keep posting your updates. I've moved it to off topic where it should probably have been all along. You could still post the link but you'd have to have a warning as to what people would be clicking on.

Moneypenny

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2017, 01:18:12 pm »
No need for apologies Fawkes85, it was a link everyone chooses to click or not.  Put it back by the way, just add warning as Patrick suggested.   

Im also interested in the progress, please keep us informed, for example how was the traffic today at Amazon?  I know I was one who downloaded.
Veni, vidi, vici

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2017, 11:29:24 pm »
So let me just say, thank God I don't work in marketing. My plan, yesterday, was to wake up, spend half the day getting the word out about my book and then spend the other half starting to write the next one. How naive was I? In the last 48 hours, I have been doing nothing but marketing except for maybe 10 hours of sleep. In other words I have spent 38 of the last 48 hours just doing nothing but marketing! I have a new found respect for advertisers. It takes a lot of work getting the word out on something new. And for all that trouble today has been my best day for moving...wait for it...ONLY 12 copies! But it is not all doom and gloom. Each day I set myself the target of moving more books than I did the day before and so far I have been successful. Moved 7 on day one, 9 on day two, 10 on day 3 and 12 today. It irks me though that they were all for free. I did the math, and if they weren't free I would have made about R160 so far. It isn't much but it would have been a good start. But like I said, it was all about opportunity cost. Either pay for real marketing or give the books away for free and hope things spread by word of mouth.

Tomorrow is the last day of the free promotion. Bit scared to see it end. So far I haven't had a day where I did not move at least one book. I'm scared that might just start happening the day after tomorrow  :( ??? :-[

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2017, 11:29:02 pm »
It would seem my fears have been actualised. It is the first day since the end of the free book promotion and also the first day that I did not move one single copy. Damnit. Would seem that it is now extra hustling time. I am just hoping that at least one of the 57 people who have downloaded the book will actually read it and give me a review. They are key to moving up the rankings. I have also started writing the second ebook myself. People just kept on submitting complete and utter crap to me so I am going shelve the idea of buying stories from other people until I can offer more money and get the more professional writers to come forward.

For what it is worth, I have made my first money. Amazon has a system where people who have Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime can borrow a book for free and then the author gets paid per page read by the reader(but only if they read at least 10% of your story). Amazon refers to it as Kindle Edition Normalized Pages(KENP) and you get paid out of a pool of money which Amazon pre-sets every month and is shared by all authors. Said pool of money for January is $12 million. It sounds like a lot but I have done the research and it would seem authors get on average about $0.005 for every page of their novel that gets read. That would mean I will be getting $0.15 for the 30 pages that someone read of 'my' little novella. The whole system is very contentious and unpopular with indie writers and especially for those of my genre. Most erotica books on Amazon are apparently of the novella category and thus do not consist of many pages. This means less money every time someone reads your story from front to back. I understand why Amazon uses this system, though. Apparently, they used to pay a set fee every time someone borrowed your book. People who wrote longer novels complained, however, that other people who wrote a 50-page novella earned the same money as them who wrote 200-page novels. I guess it is only fair that you get paid more if you worked more.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 11:54:06 pm by Fawkes85 »

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2017, 05:36:48 pm »
I sold my first copy!

Patrick

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2017, 07:26:22 pm »
Congrats! You can now tell people you're a paid author!

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2017, 12:25:13 am »
Post 2: I Need More.

So let all just address the elephant in the room. I am currently dealing in an industry which can at best be described as morally questionable. Yes, yes, I know, times have moved on and it is not so controversial as it used to be. But at the end of the day, it is still talked about in hushed tones by most people. What I need you to understand, though, is that this is just step one in a multi-faceted plan to get myself on the Forbes Rich List. Preferably position number 1. I do not intend to turn the writing and selling of erotica into a career. It is but a means to an end. Look at these posts as chapters in what would be the first book in a series of books on the life of Fawkes. It will be titled 'My Story as a Seller of (Erotica) Books and you are the lucky ones. You do not only get to read the books, but you get to read them in real time. I know, right? Mind. Blown.

But let us continue. Since the last chapter, I have moved more than 70 free copies and 2 paid for copies. Also, more than 170 pages of my book were read on Kindle Unlimited for which I will earn $0.005 a page. It does not amount to much money, maybe about R20, but it is still no mean feat. About one million books get published on Amazon each year. One million. Do you know how much one million is? It is, like, a lot. That is one big crowd from which to stand out and get noticed. The fact that I managed to move just one tiny little copy of my book out of all the millions that are there, well, I think congratulations are in order. Even if it is being given by myself. I worked my ass off marketing the book. Interestingly enough, that was where I came up with my next moneymaking scheme. But I am getting ahead of myself. So, yeah, marketing. Worked my ass off. Books were moved. Not enough, though. So had to accept that it is going to take a lot more time to make a name for myself and start selling enough books for it to become worth-while. The secret, I think, is that you just have to keep uploading. This is something I learned from those tubers that you. All the big ones give that as their number one piece of advice. You just have to keep uploading and the followers will come. So that is exactly what I will do. I do not think I will buy stories from other people anymore, though. The crap I get is not even worth mentioning so I will be writing the stories from now on. I am going to try and do one book a month.

But what to do in the meantime? It is going to take time and I am not comfortable with this whole not having an income thing. My savings are there, but I really do not like dipping into it. There is no reason for me to touch it. Where there is a will, there is a way, and I need to find a way to get some money in. Yes, I am getting that four digit sum each month from my investment as an angel, but I cannot rely on it. It is not a sure thing. It is invested in a startup and you know what they say about startups. Something like all percent of startups fail within the first minus one seconds. That business can fail at any time and then that monthly four digit sum's arrival will also start to fail. No, I need to get another source of income. I have come up with two schemes.

Scheme one also involves writing. I found this website called Upwork.com where people post freelancing positions for work they need to get done. You bid on the jobs and tell them for how much you will do it, and if your price is good they give the project to you. Well, I got chosen to write 500-word articles on various topics which will then get passed on to websites that require content. You can write as many articles as you want per day, and choose which days you want to work. Now, the money is not good. They are only willing to pay me $1.50 per article as I have no reviews on Upwork.com yet. They did, however, promise to up the amount after two months. I do not think so, though. I reckon I will be able to write one article an hour, and $1.50 per hour is just not acceptable. I am thus going to renegotiate after the first month. I hope I can get them up to $4 per article, which is still not much, but I have a plan. As long as $1 is never less than R10, I will always get R40 per article. I am then going to post on Gumtree and look for students looking to make extra money. I will then pass the articles on to them to write and pay them R20 per article, keeping the other R20 for myself. If I can get at least five people to write one article each a day, except for weekends, that will mean an extra R500 a week for me. That is about R2000 a month. Groceries, covered. Also, with other people doing the writing for me, I will be freed up to spend my time making more money elsewhere.

Such as with scheme two which involves marketing. See, there are these Twitter accounts with 50,000 followers and upward. If you want to market your book, you pay them up to $15 for four tweets! Here is the thing, though, almost none of them want to tweet about erotic books. They are too scared of offending their followers. Thus there is a gap in the market. So I created an erotic book tweeting account. For now, I am tweeting books for free as I build up a solid base of followers. Once I have a few thousand followers, I will start charging. I will start low at about $5. Again, if I can then just get one book to tweet about a day, then it's $5 a day. $150 a month. At the current exchange rate that is almost another R2000 in the bank. Car insurance and petrol, covered, with R1000 left to throw at part of the rent.

It is still not enough, but it is a good start. We will have to see how it goes. It is all very doable. There is only one thing that is going to be hella hard, and that is going to be giving up my first love, smoking. My disposable income is just not what it used to be since I quit my job and I can use that money better. The plan is to throw the money I blow on cigarettes every month into a tax-free savings account instead. That would be a good R1200 a month to invest. Let it start growing for the day I need it instead of it just lying there in the bank doing nothing for me. I guess I am coming back to the JSE much sooner than I thought.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a difficult conversation I need to go and have with a pack of Marlboros. I think I am going to take it harder than she will.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 12:30:16 pm by Fawkes85 »

gcr

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2017, 12:10:57 pm »
I have read through this thread and the things that strike me is are not only the comments but also the dreams of some or their families who wanted to write, or at least try the writing trip.
However if I look at this thread pragmatically then other issues strike me, these being that there seems to a compulsion for the end result monies that one hopes to generate by having ghost writers or articles/writings released under there own name. There is also a sense (I get) of doing as little as possible for maximum financial returns, and that in essence you are more into what you can skim off for your own financial well being. In other words there is very little writing that you really want to do yourself, and if you can get others to write for your account

So maybe what you should consider doing is to set up a web page wherein you firstly appeal to aspirant writers to write into the web page (they cn't publish on your web page unilaterally the articles need to be vetted by you as the moderator) with their articles and or books which you will vet and then publish making a financial recompense for each article published on the page.
This may take a bit of pain to get it up and running but as they say no pain no gain - it is a fact of life that no business was ever created from a dream - there was always research, testing, planning, dipstick testing and planning, launching as part of the journey.

So without busting your bubble you need to do more work around how to get from your dream to the launch of the product and some very specific planning and understanding what the touch points are to realise the dream and let me say that, that talks effort and sweat and more importantly huge sacrifices, and keeping your eyes wide open
Nevertheless good luck on your journey 
Not everything that counts, can be counted, and, not everything that can be counted counts - Albert Einstein

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2017, 12:40:51 pm »
Well, that was the plan initially, to make other people do the writing while I enjoy the rewards. I mean, why not? Why do the work when you can make someone else do it for you? Like I mentioned in the last post, let someone else do the work for you and then your time will be freed up to do other work somewhere else and increase your income. If you ask me, that is bloody genius. However, you have some good points. It is not an error free plan, which I learned when people started submitting garbage after garbage after garbage. I very quickly learned that I cannot rely on someone else to write me stories and I will have to do it myself, which is exactly what I am doing now. As for the the articles, that will be simpler. To do that, they will just have to do a bit of research on the Internet regarding the topic, and then throw is together in an article. I am more hopeful concerning that one.

But, please, do not think that I do not appreciate the mountain that I still have to climb. I am very much aware that this will be a slow, painful process and that it will probably take months, if not years, before I will start to see any real proper return. I know that. I appreciate that. And I am in it for the win. I have the right motivation and that is all that truly matters at the end of the day. How badly do I want it?

Nevertheless, I appreciate the constructive criticism and advice. That is exactly the reason I started this thread, to here from the more experienced and wise ones amongst us.

Mr_Dividend

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2017, 03:13:51 pm »
Enjoying this thread!

I gave up using champix - was seriously hooked and had tried countless times before. Well worth it BTW - might be easier if you did a bit of a lifestyle change - you know, take up a sport, eat well, moderate the drinking.

Good luck in all your ventures. Many have ideas (me included) but never take it much further than the idea phase. Kudo's to you for not getting stuck there.

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2017, 04:01:03 pm »
Post 3: Thinking is for the dreamers. Goals are for the realists.

Goals, you need them. Milestones need to be reached. I need to move forward in life. And every step I take should have both rewards and punishment. I measure up to my own standards, and I get rewarded. I do not, and I get f*cked. As I rightly should for not giving it my all. The time to stand up and be noticed has come and I cannot let the opportunity slip away. Who knows when it will come around again? Will it even come around again? Do not know, and do not care. I, myself, am not going to wait around to find out. It is now or never, everything or nothing. There are no buts, or ifs, or yeah-but-maybes. Either or and nothing more.

So I have moved out of the house. Live in Joburg now. Goal is to move to Cape Town six months from now. Call that my medium-term goal. For now, though, I will have to focus on my two short-term goals. I moved in with a friend and I have to say that he is doing me a big favour. He is only charging me R2000 a month because it is all I can afford at the moment. I have made a deal with him, however. After two months he can add R500 to that amount no matter whether I can afford it or not. Two months after that, he can add another R500. Same terms. Those are my two short-term goals. I have to start making R1000 a month from this writing thing within two months, and another R1000 a month by the end of May.

If I succeed I will have an extra R500 in the pocket every two months. If I fail, I will be out of pocket R500. So how am I going to do it? In a nutshell, I am going to stop being a cheap bastard. Those five days my book was free, I had 75 downloads. Since it stopped being free, I had only two. I clearly need to make a name for myself first. I need to create a following. People do not want to pay for an unknown. So I shall let them know me, and it will not cost them a dime. I shall be free. See what I did there?

Anyway, I have decided to start publishing a weekly (perma-free) series of short stories of about 3000-5000 words. I also went to a subreddit that has about 50,000 subscribers and asked them if they would mind if I post links to the new, free book on their subreddit every week. They said as long as it is free, they do not mind. On top of it being free, they will have the added benefit of engaging with me as the author, as I very much intend to be an active member of the subreddit.

Then, every month, I am also going to publish a novella which will not be free. Hopefully, through the free short stories, I will have gained enough of a following that by two months at least some of those people will buy the novella. I mean, if only 1,000 of those 50,000 people buy my novella each month...well, let us just say I will easily be able to bring the rent up by R1000, and Cape Town will be within reach.

So, those are my short- and medium-term goals. What are yours?

P.S. Attached a photo below. My first workstation if you will. Humble beginnings.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 08:08:34 pm by Fawkes85 »

gcr

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2017, 10:42:49 pm »
Fawkes - I don't wish to burst your bubble but my opinion is that you need to separate the writing from the financial - it just seems to me that the driver is the income you need to derive. I don't think there is an author that has not struggled initially before their books started paying the bills. I am not saying you should ignore the financials, but the real reason you are going down this path is the enjoyment of writing, there are things like writers block and if this occurs it could have a significant impact on your financials and what's you back up plan or contingency in this situation, because the costs will keep coming at you month after month and if you don't meet these commitments it will impact on your writings. You will end up writing to meet the bills and enjoyment will float away.
Consider stabilizing your financial position and have enough contingent funds to meet expenses for say 6 months and then do your writing knowing full well you have enough funds to see you through this window period.
I agree whole heartedly that you must have milestones, but you need something more than that what you need are tasks that assist you in achieving these milestones as these are checked quarterly/half yearly or even annually and for your set up this is too infrequent to review. With tasks you can be definitive like, "writing four hours each and every morning except Saturdays and Sunday"; "writing 2000 words a day", and other such tasks which keep you on the straight and narrow daily. The human is a unique creature they can find all manner of reason for not be disciplined and for deferring a commitment.
I would also suggest that you do an internal uniquely to you mind map where you set out the plot of your article, this will bring structure, thread, timing and conclusions.
I would also speak to subreddit and try and get a sense what articles are popular and once you establish that try and find out who your target market really is do you want to do travel doccies, drama, theatre, humour, serious stuff, text books, or read and throw away type articles
Could go on but may exceed forum word count

But most of all I wish you success with your chosen endeavours       
Not everything that counts, can be counted, and, not everything that can be counted counts - Albert Einstein

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2017, 11:05:25 pm »
GCR, as always I appreciate the advice and guidance. I will definitely take it to heart.

But just to allay some of your concerns, my financial position will never be better to do this. As long as I get that monthly amount from my investment, I can support myself for two years. Without that monthly payment, I have enough in the bank to keep myself going for a year and a bit. I understand that it can come across that I am obsessing about the money a bit too much, but, I mean, yes and no. On the one hand, I have only ever had two things I truly enjoy doing and for which I have ever had any passion. Well, actually, three. But I am sure we do not have to talk about that one. The other two are writing and obsessing about money. So, yes, I am obsessing about the money. But only because I enjoy it. On the other hand, no. I am not just obsessing about it for the sake of obsessing. I see it as a challenge. Something real that can be achieved. For so much of my life, I did nothing but dream. Dream, dream, dream. All day long. And what do I have to show for it? Not much. Just a lot of wasted time and opportunity. So, yeah, I am obsessing about the money. But not because I need it. I do not. I just want it. Just like I want to write. Because I like it.

But, again, I will take your words to heart. I will heed them.

P.S. My daily schedule is my background on my desktop.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 11:06:57 pm by Fawkes85 »