>>I think I might just start charging like $3 or something, considering it might actually attract more people.
But are you sure $3 is enough? That's still an "amature self pubbed book by an author with no self confidence in their work" price range. Readers tend to gage the value of an author's confidence in the quality of the book, by the price the author charges, so yes, high priced self-pubbed books DO sell more then the freebies and cheapies.
If you are talking about short stories, then $2.99 per short is fine.
If you are talking about novels $2.99 is still too low to attract the "normal" ebook readers.
Did you know you can self publish comic on Kindle now? You might want to check that out.
I've found that readers tend to not trust any self-pubbed author who lacks the confidence to price their book competitively. The mind set seems to be "All these ebooks are $7.99 to $12.99, why is this one only $2.99? There must be something wrong with it. Bet it wasn't edited."
many newbie self published authors contact me with similar questions. They'll give me some story of how they were told to have a perma-free book for a "lead in" and then only publish the rest of their books for .99c. Then they say how they did this and can't get sales.
They then ask me how in the heck I can possibly get so many sales when my books are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO expensive.
What are my book prices?
I'm kind of living proof that readers are more likely to buy an expensive book then read a free book. And if you look at other self pubbers who get sales, they have similar prices; but you look at the ones who struggle for sales... they are the ones doing the freebie/.99c/$2.99 novels.
The thing is, if the author thinks it's not good enough to even TRY to make a living off it, readers immediately assume there must be something wrong with the book. People who buy eBooks are used to paying $5 for a King short story and $20 for a King novel.
Look at the price range of trade pubbed ebooks in your genre and price match your books to them.
>>however much it takes to get on the New York Times bestseller list.
a book has to sell 1million copies within the first 6 months of publication to be a NYTBestseller.
Most books on that list are all by 3 mega giant publishing houses.
Most of the books on the list, DID NOT sell 1million copies to HUMAN READERS to get on the list.
It is a common book marketing practice for the mega giant publishing houses to order a million copies of their book, to be delivered to a book store warehouse, then buy back those 1 million copies first day of release and simply toss the books is a paper shredder.
If you are not with one of the publishers who does this form of book marketing, you'll never become a NYT Bestseller.
>>When it comes to piracy or libraries, I don't think it makes a difference.
except libraries don't pay bookstore retail prices for books - they pay several hundred dollars for the exact same paperback that everyone else bought for $5 at a bookstore. Same goes for ebooks. Library not only buy the book, but they buy the right to distribute it for free as well. This is why so few self-pubbed books get into libraries...self pubbed authors neglect to get their books listed in the catalogs that sell books to libraries. Legally libraries can't even take a donated copy of a free book the author hand delivered to them either.
>>I'm lucky to get double digit views.
I'm guessing for your OP that you own your own website and it still very new/under a year old? If this is the case, then I think I might know what is wrong and how to fix it.
It sounds like your website has not been indexed by Google Search Engine yet.
Do you own the website (own the domain/.com address) or are you putting them up on some place like Wattpad or Medium or DeviantArt or Tumblr or some other type of site?
I ask because often an issue of views has nothing to do with the writing itself and is instead an issue of SEO.
If you own the url of the site, try changing the titles of each page to something like:
Then be sure to have that same thing in the description, the meta tags, and the sub-headings.
>>Weirdly enough, random chapters deep into an arc get a hundred reads somehow, but my personal favorites stay under ten.
Pay careful attention to the titles, headings, sub-headings, and meta tags on each of those pages. How are they different?
Chances are that the ones getting a few hundred views have something in the title that is good SEO juice and getting them into Google's search results, while the ones with only 10 views are lacking those things.
Again, try changing the titles and see if that helps.
Also, if you own the domain, then you should have access to the .xml file. If you do, this is VERY important.
It'll look something like:
something of that nature.
for example mine on my own site looks like this: https://www.eelkat.com/sitemap.xml
This is the single most important thing a website needs for SEO, and it's often the thing neglected by the bulk of webmasters because so few SEO "guru"s ever mention it, as they are too busy trying to sell you keyword lists and email lists..
I've been doing SEO for sites since 2007 and one thing I've learned is you can go without keywords and you can go without email lists, but you CAN NOT go without submitting your .xml file to the Google index. This is an absolute MUSt.
Google CAN NOT find your pages unless one of 2 things happens:
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!
If you have NOT manually submitted your .xml file to the Google index, then you are NOT in the Google index and you will NOT receive site traffic from Google search engine!
This means you will ONLY be getting traffic from direct clicks on links you shared via Twitter, FaceBook, etc.
If your site us under THREE YEARS OLD Google WILL NOT send search spider bots to find it; ALL sites under 3 years old are BLOCKED by Google UNLESS they manually submitted their .xml file to Google!
Once you have done this, wait about 24 hours for your site traffic to start showing up on each of these 3 dashboards...
now, on each of these dashboards, you'll find a place that says "Submit Site Map", click that link, and paste your .xml file into the box.
Now in each of those 3 dashboards, look for the "Fetch As Google" "Fetch as Bing" ""Fetch & Render" links. On each of those pages, again submit your .xml url.
Now, you've one more step.
On your website, build a new page, and title it something like "Site Map Index". On this page, type the title of EVERY SINGLE PAGE of your website, into a long list. It doesn't matter if your site has 1,000+ pages, this is a MUST, if you want to be indexed by Google. Once you have done this, now turn each of those titles into a link to it's page. (The one I built for my site looks like this, to give you an idea of what it is you should be doing: https://www.eelkat.com/SiteMapIndex.html ) When you get done you will have a long list of links, linking to every page on your site.
Now go to Google Search Console > Crawl > Fetch As Google
Select "Fetch As Google", it'll open a popup asking you which option you want to use. Select the option that says"Request indexing for URL and linked pages"
Submit this list of links.
In most cases, within 48 hours of doing these steps, your site will be added to the Google Index, and spiders will start going out every 3 days to search your site for updates and new pages.
After a week, go to Google Search Console and check your dashboard, to find out how many pages have been indexed. It'll also tell you which pages were NOT indexed and what violations the page is doing to prevent it from being indexed. It'll tell you how to correct the issue, and then provide you with a place to re-submit that page so Google can index it.
Once you are in the index, it'll take about 6 months, before your site will be fully sorted by keywords and such. However, at around 6 months after you submit your .xml and site map link pages to the Google index, you will start to see a dramatic increase in traffic to your site.
You'll go from a few hits a day to hundreds of hits a day. Within a year of submitting these 2 pages to the index, you'll start getting 1,000+ views a day.
If your site is under 3 years old, Google will place "rank blockers" on it, so you will never rank on page 1 of a Google search result. However, once your site is 3 years old, Google removes this and you'll suddenly on the 3 year anniversary of your site, find yourself ranking on page 1 of Google and getting tens of thousands of page views.
Once your site hits 5 years old, and again at 10 years old, you'll get Google rank boosts again, and each time you'll see traffic doubling.
In most cases of a site getting low views, it is nearly always because they did not know about the requirement of manually submitting the .xml page and the link filled site index page to Google.
In most cases, once a site submits those 2 pages to Google, it'll see a dramatic increase in traffic about 6 months later.
Hope that helps.
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