Oh… you though that I’d turned this into a full-time soccer blog? Well, I suppose I can’t blame you for that. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted on anything other than the World Cup, and now that we’re getting to the knockout rounds (with the U.S.A still alive, no less), I don’t imagine I’ll be shutting up about it any time soon. Probably not the best way to build my “brand” or my “platform,” or whatever else I”m supposed to be doing with this website, but sometimes you need to have a little fun. I hope my readers will forgive me for indulging in this passion project for a little while longer.
My head may still be in Brazil, but the publishing business doesn’t pause for the World Cup, and Peripheral Involvement continues to make its way in the world. I’m happy to report that it continues to sell, certainly not in any kind of earth-shattering numbers, but enough to make me feel like I’m slowly finding my audience. Reviews continue to trickle in (we’re up to seven on Amazon, and three on Goodreads), and they’ve been very encouraging.
When I first released it, I made the decision to sell the e-book version exclusively on Amazon. There are a couple of benefits that come with that, namely the ability to offer your book for free for a limited number of days, and the ability to run “Kindle Countdown” deals, where the e-book is offered at a discounted price for a limited time. I don’t ever see myself giving my work away for free, on principle, but I was intrigued by the idea of the Countdown promotions.
Author blogs and forums are full of opinions an the usefulness of Amazon’s free/discount tools. There are plenty who swear by free promotions, saying that it generates exposure and reviews which lead to bigger sales after the free promotion ends. Others scoff at them, and point out that every book you give away is one less that you’ll sell. Similarly, some have sold thousands of copies during Kindle Countdowns, while for others it turned out to be a damp squib.
My (very broad) takeaway from the experiences that others have shared is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to any of this. It depends on whether or not an author already has an audience, whether or not they have multiple books on offer, and whether they’re able to combine their price promotions with advertising tools that let readers know what’s going on. Dropping your price by 60% won’t get you very far if no one hears about it.
At this point, when I’ve still only got one book out there and I’m trying to attract new readers from scratch, I think that the benefits of making my work available on as many platforms as possible outweigh anything that I would get by remaining exclusively on Kindle. So, once my agreement with Amazon expires on June 30, I’m going to make the e-book version of Peripheral Involvement available on Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and elsewhere. It should start popping up all over the place next week (and, just to be clear, it will continue to be available on Kindle, just as before – it just won’t be only on Kindle).
Finally, on the contest front, a couple of months ago I entered Peripheral Involvement into Kindle Book Review’s 2014 Best Kindle Book Awards, and I understand that they’ll be announcing their semi-finalists on July 1. Of course, I will let you know how it goes. You’ll just have to wade through my thoughts on the U.S.A – Belgium game to find out.