Yesterday, I told you about my online store being open again, and about some content that is already available there. There are some groups of content you’ll find in my store – today we’ll talk about them and why they’ll be in the store, often exclusively.
1. Free stuff is easily downloaded from the store. The family trees and excerpt files are there to stay. There will be more sampler books, including a new one coming next week.
2. Orders for signed print copies of my books are easily managed by the store. We’ll work out the postage issues – I don’t make money on postage, but simply charge you what it costs me to send the books to you. Also, the books in the store are now offered in series bundles – this is how I sell them at booksignings, and you get a free tote bag with your order, too. We also include postcards and other free stuff in all print book orders.
3. The Selz store works in concert with my newsletter – when you buy something from the store, your email address is added to my newsletter subscriber list. This means that my news will reach you in future. Also the Selz store integrates with my Facebook pages, which means you can visit the store, download free content or buy stories without leaving Facebook. As the market evolves, authors and readers need to find new ways to stay in touch – I think these are good additions.
4. You’ll also find digital content in my store that is priced below $2.99US. This week, for example, I’m removing many stories that are less than $2.99 from the other online portals and making them available exclusively in my store. Right now, those include:
• Harmonia’s Kiss
• An Elegy for Melusine
• Kiss of Danger
• Kiss of Darkness
• Kiss of Destiny
The reason for this is simple: at the online portals, digital books priced below $2.99 earn a lower royalty rate. The portals pay me 35% on those sales, while books priced at $2.99 or more pay 70% royalty rate. So, if a book is $2.99, I’d receive roughly $2 for each sale. If it’s $2.98, I’d receive roughly $1 for the same sale. (!!) The portals do this because they think the ideal price for a digital book is in the range of $2.99 to $9.99. That might be true for books (although we can debate it) but for short stories and novellas, that might not be true. In my online store, I pay a % commission for the processing of payments, which is the same regardless of the price point of the book. I think there are a lot of quick reads that are well-priced at 99 cents, but writing and publishing those shorts makes more sense for me if I receive more than 34 cents on each sale. As a result, these stories are on the move to the store, and there will be more short stories offered exclusively there. I have a hard drive chock full of extra stories and out-takes – this is a good incentive for me to sort it all out and share the best of it with you.
5. Serializations make more sense through the store, for exactly the same reasons as above. I’ll continue The Crusader’s Handfast in its current distribution pattern, but will also offer it simultaneously through the store. My next serialization, though, will probably be all in the store, with only the full book available at the online portals.
6. Books priced over $9.99US also earn a royalty of 35% at major portals except iBooks and Kobo. Again, this pricing might make sense for individual books, but for bundles containing multiple books, that price point might be too low. I like to price my bundles that you get one book free if you buy the series: my books are usually $4.99, so a three-book bundle works well at $9.99, while a four-book bundle should be $14.99. My three newest book bundles each include four books, and so they have been available to date only at iBooks and Kobo. This means that Kindle readers are missing out, but there’s no advantage to me in listing those bundles at Amazon – a 35% royalty on $14.99 means I’ll earn less on the bundle than on the sale of two individual books. Dropping it to $9.99 would ensure that the individual books no longer sold at any portal, because it would be price-matched everywhere. The store offers an ideal solution: the MOBI versions of these boxed sets will be available directly from me at the $14.99 price point. Right now, those bundles are:
• The Prometheus Project Boxed Set
• The Coxwells Series Boxed Set
• The True Love Brides Boxed Set (coming in February).
(The files for these three boxed sets are being formatted for MOBI. I’ll post here on the blog when they’re live in the store.)
There will be more, since pricing is no longer an issue. I’m thinking of a seven book (and one short story) bundle for Kinfairlie so far, for example. There are lots of possibilities!
8. And this brings us to promotional codes. One of the handy tools offered by Selz is the ability for me to generate promotional codes. It means that I can give you a discount or a free download or offer some kind of a special, and do it quite easily. (A LOT easier than getting all portals to display the same price at the same time in the same territories for any given book. Trust me on that.) Also, it gives me a way to reward my best readers. 🙂 I’m going to start experimenting with those codes in my monthly newsletter – this would be a good time to subscribe. Also, if you do subscribe, you’ll want to open the newsletter when it lands in your e-mailbox. 🙂 (If the newsletter ends up in your spam folder or doesn’t arrive, try adding my email to your address book: the newsletter is sent from newsletter AT deborahcooke DOT com) I have a number of ideas and over the course of this year, we’ll see which kind of store promotions work best. This is exciting!