Cyndy Aleo

Four Little Bees Writing & Editing

author, freelance writing, editing, and a little bit of web development, helping clients with content development, book editing, and blog set-up and customization

Self-publishing when you are broke, part 5

ubtitled: goals

We had a little break in the action here while I was busy and um… on my soapbox for a bit.

But I want to return to the topic of self-publishing with no money, especially since I had the laughable experience this week of trying to set up UNDYING in paperback form (coming soon to an Amazon screen near you!) and didn’t realize I’d have to BUY a copy, and I didn’t have enough money to even buy the copy at cost. So heh.

But I’ve watched a few promotions recently by self-published and micro-published authors, and to be honest, I felt a little squicky.

Promotions are a great way to get your book higher on Amazon (B&N, Kobo, iBookstore, etc.) charts. We all know this. Amanda Hocking showed us the way. And tying that promo into a contest or another sort of promo may boost the book higher for a short period, with some remaining holdover once it’s over.

That being said, I’ve also seen the research that says discounting your book is devaluing your book. That you are better off using the free days with KDP, for instance, than discounting your book to, say, 99 cents.

Obviously, I don’t have all the research in front of me. But I’m willing to buy into that theory.

Here’s my goal: to have steady sales.

I’m not concerned about being high on lists all the time or selling hundreds of discounted books over a weekend. I’m in this for the long haul, and the long haul requires regular sales, right?

The things I’ve read about discounting say that once you’ve done that, your book is then mentally valued at that lower price; if you started out at $4.99 and discount it to $0.99 for a short bump, what is the likelihood people are going to go back to buying it at $4.99 when the promo is over?

I’m going to level with you; I haven’t checked my sales numbers. For all I know, I’ve sold 10 books overall. But what I do check is my salesrank on Amazon. If it’s not drastically dipping, I figure I’m probably selling at least a book a day. And that’s more than I anticipated when I started out here, so I’m okay with that.

I think it’s important to set those goals when you start out so you aren’t lured into the shoulds and shouldn’ts once you get started. What are your goals for self-publishing? And what are you willing to sacrifice to get there? And how much does it cost?