Tag Archive: E-book


While it is true, there has been a major decline in physical book sales and a massive upswing in digital or e-books, there is still a very good reason to offer your book in paperback.

While most people will opt to buy your book in the e-book format because it’s cheaper and they get it now instead of waiting for your “real” book to ship to them and with an e-book they also don’t have to pay shipping charges. But they dones’t mean you should ditch offering it in paperback all together. Some people feel it’s not a good book if it doesn’t exist in the other format. It’s a strange yet popular belief that a book isn’t at least available on paperback, then it probably isn’t worth checking out in the first place.

While I agree that may seem strange, there is no explaining the consumer mindset and well, why even try? If offering your book in paperback can help increase your e-book sales, why not do it?

There is also another distinct advantage to doing this, especially with Amazon because they take the list price of your paperback book and then show the e-book version of the book as a discounted price. For example,

Digital List Price: $0.99
Print List Price: $5.97
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $4.98 (83%)

Who doesn’t want to save 83%? I mean come on … that’s a great deal, right? People love bargains and if it looks like you are saving them 10%, 20%, 50% or 83% in this case, it makes them feel like they are getting a good deal and that has been proved time and again by marketing experts as a great sales tool.

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Paperback is a general term which includes both mass-market paperbacks–that’s the small ones about 4 inches by 7 inches–and trade paperbacks, about 7 by 10 or so. (There’s some variation.) Mass market often cost about $6.99 or $7.99. Trade paperbacks cost more, usually $13.99 – $16.99. They’re somewhat easier to read, with a larger font, bigger gutters, and more widely-spaced lines, and are usually on better-quality paper which won’t yellow as quickly as mass-market paper, and made with better glue so the pages stay put.

Hardcover is better quality paper, and of course the hard cover which protects the pages. It’s often no easier on the eyes than trade paperback, though, and it costs substantially more.

Since I’m not hard on books, I usually opt for trade paperback unless it’s a book I’m sure I want to own indefinitely and will probably reread many times. Then I go for hardcover.

Mass market paperbacks tend to have cheaper paper, no (or very few) illustrations, smaller print, and a smaller page dimension.

Trade paperbacks (what your program is referring to as simply “paperbacks”), on the other hand, are usually printed on better paper, have easier-to-read print (even if the font size is the same, there’s often more spacing between the lines) and are more likely to have the illustrations that the hardcover version has.

Since there’s nothing definite about most of this, consider how big the book is and how much it costs.  We’re all familiar with that standard pocket paperback book size.  I don’t have a ruler handy, but I’d estimate it as being about seven inches tall by about 4 inches wide.  That’s a mass market paperback.  Those larger, odd-sized paperbacks that don’t fit neatly on my smaller bookshelves are trade paperbacks.  I’ve also noticed that mass market paperbacks all tend to cost either $6.99 or $7.99; trade paperbacks are usually over $10.  (I’m sure that’s not an absolute rule, but it certainly applies to most of the books I own!)

For posterity: “Mass market paperbacks” (or “MMPB”) are small, (relatively) inexpensive paperbacks sold through venues other than traditional bookstores: drug stores, convenience stores, gift shops, and so forth. The biggest giveaway is the bar coding: in a traditional book, the bar code on the back is the EAN “Bookland” code. It will typically have the ISBN written above it and will begin “978” or “979”. In a mass market paperback, the bar code on the back will be a UPC code, and the Bookland EAN will be inside the front wraps.

That’s a bit technical, but try this: if you have a paperback, open the front cover. If a bar code is there, on the reverse side of the cover, it’s almost certainly considered by the publisher to be a MMPB. If the bar code on the back begins “978” or “979”, the publisher almost certainly does not consider it to be a MMPB.

Someone once said that to be a successful author it’s like 10% writing,  90% marketing. This isn’t exactly all that off. I mean think about it … if you are the best writer in the world, how will anybody know if you don’t properly market your book?

That being said, today’s indie author question is, should I use Google Ad Words to promote my book?

Google will allow you to pay them money for every click they send you. So in theory that sounds like a great way to get people to find out about your book, right?

Well in theory, yes it does. But as I said before you should never spend more money than you could possibly make on your book to try and promote it.

As of right this very moment, Google is charging $1.68 (on average) to send a single person to your book sales page. If your book is only selling for say $.99 then how much did that one person just COST you – not _make_ you, but COST you?

And that $1.68 you spent to get that single person to view your book sales page, doesn’t mean they will actually buy your book, it just means they will look at the page. It may take on average about 400 people to view  a page to make a sale. That means at the current going rate of $1.68 a click you’ll have to spend about $672 to make a single sale. I don’t know about you but I could think of a lot of better ways to spend $672.

Of course these numbers are just estimates. Sometimes you can find a keyword that is as low as $1 a click instead of $1.68. Sometimes out of 400 people you’ll get 3 sales instead of just 1. Sometimes those people who don’t have experience in PPC (pay per click) advertising don’t write a good ad word summary and their sales are even worse than 1:400.

So to answer your question, do I think you should use PPC advertising to promote your book? No, I don’t. It’s just not a cost effective method for marketing your book. It’s great for other things, just not for this specific thing.

This is not one of those ethical conversations about the merits of buying a book review. There are more than enough sites that debate this subject to death.

This article is to answer the question, “How do you buy a book review?” And the answer is simple  … there is pretty much nothing you can’t buy at http://www.Fiverr.com for $5.

Fiverr was started in 2009 and has become the largest market place for all  kind of things for $5.  There really isn’t much you can’t get there including book reviews, positive ratings on book review sites and more.

So there you have it. Now you know how you can buy a book review.

How simple was that?

With the massive success of 50 Shades of Grey there has been a huge influx of indie published books in the erotic fiction category but that begs the question, in the world of self published fiction, which actually sells better, romance books or erotica?

The answer is ROMANCE and the reason is because sites like Amazon remove “erotica” from their basic search results. So if someone wants to search for an ‘erotic’ novel they have to actually type in the name of the book.

There is a massive erotica market out there, but unless you have a huge budget to market the book yourself, what are you going to do? Of course there are other places to sell your book besides Amazon but in the end we all know that Amazon has become the largest retailer of books.

Price point is a hot topic with indie authors. When I published my first book I took a look at 5 other books in my genre that I liked and then priced my book around the same. That turned out to be a mistake, at least in terms of pricing my e-book.  Turns out those who use traditional publishing channels charge more for their ebooks because they have to, because when you use a traditional publisher there are more hands in the pie so they need to charge more to pay off those expenses.

Since they have a lot of extra marketing behind their products they tend to move more books than the average indie author so I guess it’s easier for them to sell books that are a tad more pricey but for the rest of us, we have to compete with a huge and highly competitive market so we can’t afford to lose so many customers for overpricing our books.

So how much should you charge for your e-book?

  • If your fiction book has less than 50,000 words then that’s easy, $.99.
  • If your fiction book has more than 50,000 words but less than 150,000, which is the average book, then you fall into the $1.99 to $4.99 category.

If you have a really great book cover then you can probably get away with charge $3.99 to $4.99. If you paid to have someone edit your book and clean up the grammar than you can also probably get away with the higher price range of $3.99 – $4.99.

If your cover is only so-so but you do have proper editing then maybe try $2.99.

If you don’t have a great book cover, and you didn’t get a professional edit, especially in terms of cleaning up your spelling and grammar and you still insist on publishing your book, then stick with the $1.99 range. I however really really really strongly suggest you go over to odesk.com and hire an editor. For a 60,000 to 100,000 word book you can get someone to edit it for $100 or less.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone ask the question, “How many words are in a book“. Here is what I’ve been able to find out with a little bit of Googlized research. 10,000 to 50,000 words is a novella. These are your typical $.99 type books. 50,000 to 150,000 words are in your standard book and tend to do best around the $1.99 to $4.99 price range. Anything more than 150,000 words is considered epic and can limit your readership. I personally love to get lost in a great book but some people just don’t want a really long read so keep that in mind. But just to be clear this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t publish an epic novel, Twilight was considered “epic” in terms of how many words it had. So it can be a success.

So instead of asking yourself, is my book to long or is my book to short, focus instead on the overall story. Don’t worry if you are writing to much or not enough. Worry if what you are saying will entertain and delight your readers because in the end that is really all that matters.