The Numbers are in

Unfortunately the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a runaway hit. In its first ten days in release the book version of the script has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America alone. At the times of my original post on here and when I made my video for the script I hadn’t actually read any of the script. But now I have. Just a few bits and pieces to get a feel for the writing itself. My conclusion is quite simple. The writing is terrible. If no one had known anything about how this play came about and read this it would be obvious on page one that it wasn’t written by Rowling.

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Even with the great sales numbers they still don’t come close to the first day sales of Deathly Hallows, which sold more than 8 million copies in 2007. I’d say several factors are at play with the somewhat diminished numbers. First, it’s been nearly a decade since the final book was released. Second, this isn’t really a continuation of the series so many people know and love. Third, (and I saw this firsthand) a lot of people were unaware of this release. Fourth, the reviews. In my video last week I told y’all that it was rated 3.3 stars on Amazon after more than a thousand reviews. That trend is sticking. After more than 3000 reviews it is currently rated 3.4 stars out of 5. I think that number will stop people from buying who wanted to wait and see what initial readers thought of the script.

I’m hoping this doesn’t happen with the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them adaptations. Every one of the original Potter movies (like the books) was well received by viewers and critics alike, but hearing that a sequel is already in the works before the original is even released has me scratching my head. I mean, Warner Bros. just gave everyone the terrible trilogy they adapted from The Hobbit. Let’s hope they don’t make a habit of it.

 

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Audiobooks are Outselling What?

I’ve seen some articles floating around the internet discussing this new phenomenon of audiobooks outselling print books. I know a little about book sales, so I read further.

The main article being cited had the worst example of the audiobook version outselling the print version significantly. Something like four times as much. BUT what they don’t tell you is that it’s a book published by Amazon. Which means the Kindle and Audible versions of the book will be heavily promoted on Amazon’s various platforms.

The notion that audiobooks are going to start outselling print on a regular basis is crazy.

What do you think?

Tsk Tsk Tsk

I could have told you this would happen.

Remember the various disputes over eBook pricing last year between Amazon and some of the Big 5 publishers? They ended when all reached new deals with the company and kept the right to set their own eBook prices. Now they’re seeing what happens when prices are set at ridiculous price points.

The average eBook prices for the publishers involved in the recent contract negotiations is over $10. With most titles selling for nearly as much as the hardcover. Think about that. Why buy an eBook for $14.99 when you can buy the hardcover for $15.30. Those are the kinds of things happening with most major releases.

Now eBook sales are way down. They’ve been fairly stagnant in recent years, but stagnant is obviously better than a drop. I still think publishers are stealing your money when they make you pay $14.99 for what amounts to a tiny file on an eReader. With what I know about the production costs and royalty rates for authors today, I’ll never be convinced that a Kindle eBook is worth $14.99. Heck, it’s hard to convince me that a hardcover is even worth that.

Do you think the publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by continuing to price their eBooks as high as they are? I think these executives have some time frame in mind that they’re willing to go through. And if the sales continue to fall, then I’m certain that lower prices will make their way back into the Kindle store.


On this day in 2014 I published Here They Come.

 

What’s the Worst Book Title You’ve Come Across?

Most book titles are pretty basic. Nothing too memorable. At least not to me. You remember them because of the story and not because of the title. Although some do serve as reminders of what the story was about if it’s been a long time since reading it. For instance, Halo: The Fall of Reach is about the fall of Reach. How easy to remember. And The Cleanup is about a cop who is thrust into action when a local girl he knows calls him for help and there’s a dead body. He has to clean up her mess. Easy. I read that years ago.

But not all titles are like that. Storm Runners. No earthly idea what it’s about, besides the fact that it probably has something to do with a meteorologist or something. A Cold Day in Paradise. No idea. Kisscut. Not a clue. I’m not saying that these are bad titles, but they just don’t set off any bells when I think of them.

I mean, I don’t expect to really remember minute details from every book I ever read. Obviously that’s not going to happen. But maybe these titles aren’t the greatest ever. Maybe.

Anyway, that’s not the point. When you read those titles you’re not immediately taken aback or pushed away from possibly reading the book. So they’re all fine. But some books just ask not to be read. Better yet, their authors force your hand. I know we all have our reading habits and tastes, but let’s be real for a minute. There is not an audience of tens of millions of people in America who want to be reading about incest. No, not a book in which there is some inappropriate sexual contact, I’m talking about books that are basically meant to glorify the practice. So I don’t have a specific title that is the worst I’ve ever come across. But any mention of one’s brother’s you-know-what in the title is about as bad as it gets for me. And then the authors of these books complain when Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Kobo force a title change if the book is to be sold online. What a damn joke. The stories and the authors.

What’s the worst book title you’ve ever come across?

December Sales Report

This will be the second and final time I report any kind of sales figures for my book unless my blog tour pushes a few sales my way in the month of January.

So, if you’ll recall, I sold 74 books in my book’s first month of release in November. And had 206 free downloads that same month for a grand total of 280 individual readers getting their hands on my debut novel. There were a few giveaways as well.

The month of December was better and worse. I only sold 59 books but I had 6531 free downloads. You’re probably thinking about the money aspect of selling books, but I’m not. I’d be happy if just ten percent of the 6590 new readers I found in the month of December read my book. I’d like some reviews too, but no need to get picky.

No matter the fact that I’ve decided not to self publish again, I’m still quite pleased with everything that’s happened with my book. Though a number of former professors have grabbed a copy and I’ve yet to hear from any one of them. Yikes. But like they told me before reading it…doesn’t matter if the reader likes it or not, as long as they buy it. I don’t really believe in that philosophy, but it is kind of true.

Lastly, my blog tour starts on Monday! I’ll likely be linking every tour stop to my blog. If there happens to be any WordPress tour hosts then I’ll just reblog the post if not, I’ll just give you guys a link to the post on whatever blogging platform the host is using so you all can see what other book people are saying about my book. I really hope they’re nice. I’m a little scared.

Anyway, wish me luck on my blog tour!

And I added the 2013 Reading List page that lists the books I read last year and updated the What I’m Reading page to reflect my current reading. Take a look!

One last thing. I’ve decided this year to be more active on Goodreads and I just recently posted my first two book reviews! Remember that I am not a book reviewer and will not ever add them on here, BUT I think that being as much a book person as I am that I should share my thoughts on the books I read with other book people. Also, I’m not trying to be super professional with my reviews. They are what they are. I reviewed Valediction (Spenser #11) by Robert B. Parker and Brilliance by Marcus Sakey. The links will take you to the reviews on Goodreads.

Chapter Four in the Books

Divided Within (Andrew Banks #1)

I’d promised to tell you all about a new chapter either this past Sunday or Monday. Well, obviously I didn’t, BUT I have some extraordinary news for all of you! Really.

I’m sure most of you will remember my offering my book for free a couple of weeks ago. It was my attempt to get my book into the hands of as many new readers as possible, and I thought it was wildly successful. At the time. As we all know, this past Monday was Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. I’ll get back to that in a second.

After my one free day a couple of weeks ago I read a book called Winning with KDP Select: 5 Steps to Hit #1 in the Amazon Free Store. This was after I’d sold what I thought was a good amount of books during my free day, 206. This book outlines several sites that really promote Kindle free days, usually for a minimum fee or no cost at all. After reading this book I decided to offer my book for free once again on Cyber Monday because of what I now believed to be a lack luster attempt at utilizing KDP Select my first time. Well, although I chose not to use every tip listed in the book, I used most of what was offered and I managed to sell 6531 books during my two free days! I’ve read stories of authors selling far more and I believe it, but that number is fantastic for me. My goal going in was 1000. I think I reached that around noon the first day.

For those of you wondering what KDP Select is, it’s a program offered by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing that allows authors to enlist their books in the program for 90 day periods. Each period the author is given five free promo days that he or she can choose to use or not. The drawback is that the eBook must be exclusive to Kindle during those 90 days.

Andrew Banks Book Two

I do have a new chapter to talk about with you guys. I mentioned last week that Andrew and Sydney were planning to add to their small family. I won’t elaborate further, but that plays heavily into the chapter that follows. The two of them are literally running around with these giant smiles across their faces and telling any person who will listen. Andrew also comes to realize the importance of the job ahead of him. He’s set to attend a major event with his client and it’s nothing but money, politicians, and celebrities attending.

That’s all I have for now!

Don’t forget that my first book is permanently $0.99 in the Kindle store if you haven’t taken advantage of any of my free days! Get it here! And free for Kindle Owners with Prime memberships!

I’ll have that picture I promised from Andrew’s office for you guys soon!

Lastly, I’ve now come up with the title for the second book! But like I did with the first one, I’ll be revealing that a little later in the writing process. Stay tuned!

I’m Going on Tour!

That’s right, folks, I’ve already scheduled my first nationwide tour to help promote my new book! I’ll of course be starting in my hometown of Houston, then I’ll have two stops in Arizona, one in California, one in Seattle, and then I’ll be flying cross country for two stops in New York and one in Washington DC and finish up in Miami. Isn’t that so exciting?! Well…it would be if it were true. Ha! I apologize to you if you believed every word of that.

BUT I am going on a blog tour to help promote my book! AND I am excited! We’re still in the early early early planning stages so I don’t have much more information for you at this point. I’ll be sure to share any details with you guys as soon as I have them. It probably won’t start until the beginning of the year, so we have plenty of time to hash out the details. It should be between 15-20 blog stops and most will be reviewing my book. I’ll give you guys the necessary links later on in case any of you would like to participate!

I also would like to talk about my current sales numbers. Before I released my book on October 29 I had a number in mind as to how many books I wanted to sell the first month. I’m happy to reveal to you all that I’m nearing my goal! I’m already more than two-thirds of the way there!

Help me reach it! I know some of you have got to be just a little interested in my book. Only $2.99 on Kindle! Come on! Buy it, buy it, buy it!

Take a look at the Amazon product page! And read the reviews!