Hey y’all!

I have good news/bad news to impart today from Snowheresville (where we just had a June snowstorm—what a crazy weather year!).

Let’s get the bad news over first.

For those of you that are devotees of ebook vendors other than Amazon Kindle, I am sorry to announce that financial pressures are making it impossible for me to continue wide distribution of my ebooks. {What a huge bummer!!!} And for those that have followed my Herculean efforts to stay “wide distribution” with my ebooks, you’ll know I mean that times a million.

Starting in early July, ebooks will be available only through Amazon Kindle, with the exception of Saving Grace and my upcoming Series Guide. During a time period of a few short years when author income has fallen by more than 50% due to changes in the industry, I am no exception. It seems the more books I sell, the more it costs.

So, the good news is that if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, my fiction will be available there soon. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s an “all you can read” ebook subscription service on Amazon, like a Netflix for books. And, if you don’t subscribe, my fiction will all still be available to purchase and read via free Kindle apps that can be loaded on just about any device under the sun, moon, and stars. {And the other good news, I think, is that I’m going to keep writing.}

Those of you that were waiting to get my novels on Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, or Google Play, I advise you not to wait any longer. Same goes for anyone who was considering a direct purchase of the MEGA Box Set from me to catch up on your backlist, which you can do HERE (https://pamelafaganhutchins.com/thank-you/)  (readable on any devices/apps). We will be transitioning the fiction soon.

And for those of you that want to have a more direct impact on making sure I can continue to write my What Doesn’t Kill You series and other fiction—and who love getting exclusive extra stuff—please consider becoming a Patron for as little as $1 per month, HERE (https://www.patreon.com/pamelafaganhutchins).

Here’s the dirt, for those of you that want it:

Last year, I spent a lot more than I earned. Why was it such a bad year? I underspent on promo. My covers fizzled. My protagonist was risky (she’s doing better this year, with a new cover). I had too many assets to manage in wide distribution. I had ebooks on KDP, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play (constantly causing headaches with circular price matches with Amazon), Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Overdrive, and Bookfunnel, and I needed to spend a good deal of money just on help with my thirty-headed beast.

This year, after a great protagonist trilogy release (and releasing new books every month for nearly two years), re-tooled covers, and spending a ton on ads and promo while cutting other costs, break even is looking possible. If I stay wide distribution, next year’s budget shows the possibility of a very modest net income, if the stars align. As in so modest that I’m not sure you can call it income.

While my husband appreciates the tax reduction due to my losses, it’s not sustainable. My choice has become simple: quit writing/publishing or try a different method. Isn’t it crazy to hear that from a USA Today bestseller whose writing/publishing success enabled her to quit her job as a lawyer (Before the advent of Kindle Unlimited and ruthless and rapid increase of the cost of advertising coupled with author-unfriendly algorithms–unless you are an Amazon author—amongst other issues like people valuing a cup of coffee over ten hours of reading. Oops, I wasn’t going to go off on that tangent, but, yeah, I guess I did.)? But it’s the reality for me, and for many.

And I’m sorry, because I hate surrendering, and I feel like I am letting readers and other authors down. I think I could still make a go in wide distribution if I could do my own graphics and I didn’t have an assistant, but a) I suck at graphics and b) I don’t mind working full time, but I love my life and don’t want to give up the rest of it to make minimum wage. Seriously, I’m even okay with the idea of capital investment, which is how I view the less good of my years as a published author. (Some were spectacular, too, I’ll admit) But I’m looking for a return on that investment, and I think the only way I can get it is to make a change.

I promise to blog on the transition and progress. This post is step one, as is moving my series lead back to permafree and leaving it wide distribution, along with a new series guide (a lot more fun and sexy than it sounds). The next step is to crank up on the ads on my permafree book to stimulate page reads, then move all the novels except one trilogy to KDP/KU. In order to further stimulate page reads, we’ll run a “last hurrah” wide distribution BookBub Featured Deal for the trilogy lead, then move the trilogy over quick-like to KDP/KU. After that, we’ll be rotating Facebook, Amazon, and BookBub ads on the permafree novel, and making one major promotional push of 5 days each month on one of my trilogy leads or box sets. We’ll keep applying for BookBub Featured Deals, but at 99 cents instead of free (99 cent deals are terrible if you’re wide distribution but work better if you’re in KDP/KU because you get a 70% royalty plus page reads as opposed to the 35% royalty you get if you’re not exclusive) and maybe even try some 1.99 box set deals. Like I said, I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for subscribing and weathering the bumps and storms with me.

Pamela

Pamela Fagan HutchinsUSA Today bestseller and winner of the 2017 Silver Falchion Best Mystery winner for her What Doesn’t Kill You series, writes hilarious nonfiction (What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?), too. She teaches writing, publishing, and promotion at the SkipJack Publishing Online School (where you can take How to Sell a Ton of Books, FREE) and writes about it on the SkipJack Publishing blog.

Pamela resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes and trail rides with her hunky husband, giant horses, and pack of rescue dogs, donkeys, and goats. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound (if she gets a good running start).

Share →

3 Responses to Crying Uncle (and I do mean crying)

  1. Morgan James says:

    Pamela,
    Thank you for sharing. And yes, my sales took a nose dive last year and have not recovered. For the ads I run, it seems I break even. And that may be okay if it’s getting the brand out there. Can’t say at this point. I’m already on KDP/KU and the pages read keep me afloat. I hope it works well for you. But you know, I have a sense that there is something suicidal for authors about the whole KU concept. Amazon makes money but are we devaluing ourselves right out of existence? But that’s your cup of coffee comparison and a discussion for later. My message is this: I see you as one of the most talented and savvy authors I know, and I look to you for information and advice on how to navigate this crazy world of Indie publishing. So, please stay in the game. We need you.

    • Pamela says:

      Yes, that is a a long coffee cup conversation (are we devaluing ourselves out of existence). We need a competitor to file an antitrust suit against the big A. Otherwise, our royalty remains nothing more than their opportunity, as we train the readers of the world that our work should be “free.” I hate giving in to this. But I also would like for my husband to be able to retire and us not to prop up my writing as an expensive hobby. It’s got to pay for itself, ya know? But I think what is most important is continuing to write, to build our shelf on the library, and play the long game. Be *around* for the long game. Who knows what all this will look like in a few years?

      I just salved my depression by starting a new book that was NOT on my editorial calendar and has thrown me until a kerfuffle. That’s a much better thing to worry about than submitting to absolute authority.

      Keep on keeping on, Morgan!! And thank you!!

  2. Clifford Neal says:

    It was obvious to me early on that Amazon is changing for the worse so far as author’s interest is concerned. Bottom line for the company is profit margin, period. Indie publishers have been corralled and restricted to company pastures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *