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The #Wormhole Might Be a #RabbitHole

The rabbit hole of changes on my website.

Sunburst
The view looking southward down the coast from the end of the Chain of Craters Highway in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

Happy Wormhole day! Only this time, the blog is kind of going down the rabbit hole. I’m lifting the curtain and giving you a peek behind the curtain of my business.

You may have noticed that things are still changing here on my blog and really, all over my website.

1. I hit a goal I didn’t know I was trying for: 1,000 blog posts. (I was kind of stunned, and truly, have no desire to try for 2,000. Lol If I live that long, fine, but not going to work for it. Lol) So I dialed things back to 2x a week, which only cuts out one blog post a week, but wow, it has reduced my stress and opened up more time for writing actual books. So win-win (unless you were hoping I’d stop writing books).

2. A massive re-design of my site. I love it. It’s easy to update and it looks pretty and professional, which makes me happy. It also makes me more confident in sending people over to the site to visit and look around. (Many thanks to Author Cats for the awesome template, designed just for authors!)

3. I’m keeping my wormhole posts, because I love showcasing the hub’s awesome photos, but sometimes they’ll get displaced for “why I wrote” guest authors, because I love those, too.

4. But the latest change, you might not have noticed at all. It’s a quiet change, but important to me as an author. I’m now doing direct sales of my books here on this site. I have good reasons for adding the option.

  • I was distributing my short stories (0.99) and one of my big book bundles (18.99) through a distributor called Pronoun. Because they were in the MacMillan Publishing family, I was able to get 65% for those sales rather than 35% that Amazon “offers” authors for products under $2.99 and over $9.99. But Pronoun closed its doors this month and left me with the option to go back to the puny terms or sell them myself. Every time a reader buys directly from me, I get a lovely 95% percent of the sale (even with my “appropriately” priced books, I get 70% at Amazon, less from some of the other vendors. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but Amazon also charges me delivery fees for my larger bundles, eating away at my profit like a mouse with a piece of cheese. Plus there are some indications that Amazon is getting ready to drop that 70% to 50%.

Just to put it into perspective:  A book that sells for 4.99, Amazon takes 1.50, plus potential delivery fees, delivering around $3.49. If they change their percentage to 50%, then I’ll split 2.50 with Amazon, except for the delivery fees, of course. A sale at 4.99 from this site will deliver me $4.74 profit on the book I wrote. And that 5% includes any delivery fees.

For years and years, other people made more off my books than I did (I typically made 30% or less before independent publishing opportunities opened for me). Amazon has a right to run their business the way they want, but so do I. And I plan to continue to try making more from my writing than other vendors.

  • Selling books myself offers me another benefit, and yes, it’s about the money, but seriously readers, if I can’t at least pay my bills, then I’ll have to dial back my writing to the hobby level and perhaps retire entirely with the hubs. I realize that I’m asking readers to make buying one of my books slightly harder than buying from Amazon, or one of the other vendors, but I think I’ve got it set up so that the process is pretty easy and there is technical support for you if you take this leap with me.
  • Going forward, there will be some benefits for readers who buy directly from me. As I noted, some stories won’t be available from Amazon at all, and I plan to release my upcoming books here first, then onto the other vendors if the terms remain fair (i.e. I. make more from my books than they do). I am also able to offer discount coupons that I can’t do at the other vendors. So I’m trying to make it a win-win.

I already have several website-only stories:

  1. The Real Dragon (my first Pets in Space short story)
  2. Time Trap (my second Pets in Space story)
  3. Top Guns in Time and Space (this special bundle includes The Key: Project Enterprise 1 and Out of Time – two books with top gun pilots.)

And I have two coupons running right now for my newsletter subscribers. It’s super easy to sign up for my newsletter AND you get two free books just for signing up, and I’m adding in 35% off coupons for Dead Spaces and/or The Key IF you buy directly from me. You can sign up for my newsletter by clicking the red bar that says “Pick your free book!” right there at the top of my website and entering your email OR you can click here.

If you don’t feel you can buy direct, don’t worry. We’ll still be friends. 🙂 But I hope you’ll understand why I need to make changes to protect my business. If you have any questions, please ask!

Perilously yours,

Pauline