Thoughts On Publishing- Topic 2
I’m a pretty big stickler about comparison shopping. Standing in the grocery store, I’ll take my time comparing the prices of ketchup and figuring out which sized bottle, which brand is the best deal. Sometimes–and thankfully–they have those price-per-ounce stickers which saves me tons of time. Are you like that?
I hate being wasteful, especially when it comes to money. I know I’m not alone.
In my writing, I might not be comparing which brand of pineapple rings is the cheapest, but I am certainly thinking about how I can work the least and make the most money. That’s the name of the game, right!?
Topic 2- Word Count Sweet Spot
In my last segment, I spoke of writing quickly and being prolific. Since not everyone can write fast, or faster–job, life, slow fingers, whatever the reason–consider adjusting your writing so you can deliver more.
I wrote a 112,000 word Romantic Suspense (under a different pen name), that sells for $4.99. I had this story that was itching to get out and it took that many words to get it done. So it’s A LOT of words! My book, Submitting Sarah, is around 40,000 words and sells for $4.99. If you were comparing books like you do ketchups, which price-per-ounce/word is a better deal for me as a writer?
RS book at 112,000 words = .000044 per word
Submitting Sarah at 40,000 words = .0001 per word
It doesn’t look like much, especially to a non-math person like me, so let me put it a different way:
2.8 Submitting Sarah’s = 1 RS book
$13.97 ($4.99 x 2.8) = $4.99
By writing 2.8 books, almost 3 books instead of 1, I can make almost $13.97 instead of just $4.99 in the same time period. This means I get 2.8 books in front of fans instead of 1 book. I get 2.8 books in Amazon’s algorithm instead of 1.
There’s a writing sweet spot on pricing ebooks. You probably know this since you buy books to read yourself. As an author selling on Amazon, you want to sell your book for at least $2.99 so you get the 70% cut, otherwise you only get 35%. Boo.
This isn’t official, just my take, so give me a little leeway or send me email about how wrong I am. I’ve seen some erotic books with 7,000 words selling for $2.99, but those aren’t the norm and usually involve farm animals.
Up to 25,000 words- under $2.99
25,000 words-40,000 words- $3.99
40,000 words and up- $4.99
Like I said, this isn’t official, just a pseudo-average. I’d check with your editor on what your word count vs. pricing is and write to that number. My point is this: You can’t write a 112,000 word book and expect it to sell at $8.99 unless you’re with a New York publisher and they get most of that money anyway. Or you’re Sylvia Day or Nora Roberts. (If you are, call me!)
If you can’t write faster, write to a length that gets your book to the price point you want to sell it for, then STOP. Learn to plot a book to that length. Get all the details, all the conflicts, all the resolutions started, finished and The End in that length.
This is the Sweet Spot. Perhaps it is even the G Spot (which I said otherwise in the last post) as when you get to this point, you’ll scream for joy!
Once you go over this in word count, it’s wasted words. They are inefficient words. They should be going toward your next book. For those who can’t write faster, then writing shorter will mean it takes you less time. So in a backwards sort of way: You’re writing faster. And you’re more prolific.
***Again, so no one at Blushing kills me, be sure to check with your publisher about what your writing Sweet Spot is.
Next up: Topic 3- Marketing — this might be Topic 3, 4, 5 & 6!