You the Writer, a “Full-time corporation”

Okay, something funny happened on the way to cyberspace. I know I hit the “publish” button on Wednesday, and I even saw this post on my email, but it ain’t on my blog. Mistake or conspiracy against pics of kids dressed as skyscrapers? Anyway, I’m reposting this one today. Hope it works this time.

It seems the entire publishing world is buzzing over Amanda Hocking, the 20-something writer who self-published her paranormal romance book, and became an instant millionaire by selling over a million copies of her latest book…in one month. Well, while that quick blurb may make a nice headline, the real story is much less sexy (as most news stories usually are).

As stated in Laura Miller’s excellent article in Salon, Hocking has spent years blogging and marketing her work. She even goes on to state how much she dislikes that portion of the job, and because of all her marketing efforts, she has virtually no time to actually write. “Right now, being me is a full-time corporation,” she said.

Beyond the fact that Miller highlights other authors and how much marketing work they all must do to sell their books, she also states that another big part of Hocking’s success is the price point for her ebook. Her ebooks sold between $1 and $3. Miller states, “Plenty of readers were willing to take a shot on a book that cheap,” and I completely agree. We wouldn’t have tried Oxiclean all those years ago if it was $19.95 right out of the gate. We didn’t recognize the brand. We didn’t know how good it was. We tried it because we got a deal from Billy Mays (God rest his soul) “I’ll give you 3 tubs of Oxiclean for $19.95 plus you get the Ped Egg and the Flowbee for free!”

I recently began the process of dropping the price of the ebook version of my latest thriller, The Brink, to $1.99 from $8.99. My publisher, iUniverse, allows authors to make a one time price change to their ebooks, pending vendor (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc) approval. I got a call back from iUniverse telling me that the vendors would only allow me to go down to $2.99. At that price point, and with the author getting 50% of the sale, that means I’ll get around $1.50 per ebook sale. 

My iUniverse rep also said it will take up to 4 weeks for the $ change to be made, so that means I’ve got 4 weeks to develop a marketing strategy for the $2.99 ebook. So what will work? After almost a year of running online book marketing campaigns, I certainly know what doesn’t work. And that’s probably more than half the battle. Anyway, it’s time to go into research mode and get ready to build the Greatest Online Book Marketing Plan Ever.  As always, your comments, suggestions, and critiques are most appreciated.

To the keyboards!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Check out his novels at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: