Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

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mikeyboy_esq
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Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby mikeyboy_esq » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:19 pm

I'm thinking about writing a 2nd edition for one of my non-fiction books (I want to update my self-publishing guide to include a new chapter on book marketing), and I have a few questions:

1) Once I publish the 2nd edition, should I immediately remove the original edition from Amazon/other sites or leave it there and drop the price to 99 cents (with a NOTE at the top indicating this is the old edition)? Seems like having both editions available for sale will increase visibility and keeping the old version for sale means that listing can retain its book reviews (which are good).

2) Should I wait until my original version has been on the market for at least a year before publishing the 2nd edition? Seems like the longer I leave my original version on the market, the more likely I'll earn back the costs to write/self-publish that edition. But maybe I'm overlooking something.

3) Should I mention the book awards that my original version received in the Amazon listing for my revised edition?
Mikeyboy_esq
proud author of:
1) Engaging College Students: A Fun and Edgy Guide for Professors
2) 14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book
http://www.engagingcollegestudents.com

plughmann
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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby plughmann » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:35 pm

1 Why remove it. Rename it first edition. If its kindle just add the chapter and let the people get the updated version for free. Drop the price to 0.99 anyway.

There are a plethora of books on self publishing and most of them are mediocre at best fighting for sales against a small handful of good ones.
Too bad Dan Poynter died, his book was the best and had gone through like 30 editions over almost 50 years.

Note: If you make substantial changes you need a new ISBN on the new version. If you are using ASIN do whatever your ethics allow.

2 A new edition in less than a year is unusual if it is not a best seller. But if it's an ebook then that may be the new norm. What do the costs have to do with anything except to some accountant and the IRS. Do you really care about allocating your time and effort plus publishing costs to a given edition?

3 Maybe. If it is a major award then for sure. If it was one of those everybody got for entering a book contest designed to make money for the sponsor in return for giving out awards then maybe not. Some folks become suspicious about hyped awards they never heard of. Some may get sold by them.

Amazon says your item 14 is marketing. So why not just enhance that chapter and mark the book updated and let the current readers get the new version to use. If you have significant useful items then spin off a new ebook just on marketing.

You have a good basic list of steps. The sales question is what makes you an expert on doing them.
Why your book instead of the hundreds of other ones on self publishing.

I would tend to question buying reviews based on what I have read elsewhere. How did that work out for you.

As to formatting, I thought kindle did that formatting from your basic text document if you met their specs for spacing and line returns. If you have a universal solution to the kindle layout problems then I would spin that off as a separate book for 1.99 or more. I have seen too many kindle books that had scrambled text, others with links that fail, some that would not get to the last page, yada yada, along with other odd problems.

As to covers, they just need to be legible at Amazon thumbnail size. So called professional cover designers are way overpriced from my experience with them. These days you can get decent covers from fiverr and similar sites if you really can't do basic photoshop or even paint. Did your cover pay for itself in extra sales?

Editing is good. I would question paying $1400 or so for it unless you thought you would have a best seller or the book was for self promotion to give away at seminars that did pay well.

Most self publishers are doing it because they can't get published traditionally, and want to do it with minimum expense witness the vast numbers of unedited ebooks with terrible writing and grammar to match.

If you are serious then editing is mandatory. If you just want to say your novel got 'published' then why waste the money.
Covers that win some artist awrd don't sell books. Bad DIY covers can hurt sales. If you are smart enough to write a book then you are smart enough to download a template and make a decent cover. Non fiction like yours do not benefit from fancy photos on the cover. A bodice ripper might.

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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby mikeyboy_esq » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:55 pm

Thanks for the feedback. That was way more of a response than I was expecting, but I do appreciate the info.

To respond to a few of your extra points...
I have tried lowering the price of my 14 Steps book to 99 cents a few times, but it didn't move the needle on the # of sales. So that is why I went back to the regular price (at 2.99, I can keep 70% royalties vs. only 35% for 99 cent pricing). You are right... it is a crowded market. That is why I was considering doing a revised edition/2nd edition to this 14 Steps book by adding more material on how to market the book. Another alternative is just to write a whole new book on marketing, but I'm not yet sure if I will have enough material to write a whole book or not. We'll see.

As far as your points about the need for professional editing, book cover design and graphic design work, I stand by my advice to get those services done professionally. But this advice assume the author intends to sell books. If the author's purpose in writing the book is simply for vanity sake or to leave a legacy for his grand kids (e.g., publish his/her memoirs), then I agree there is little point in spending the $ to make it look perfect. As far as my 2 books, I spent way too much on my first book and it may take a few years or so to get my $ back based on my sales thus far. But I learned from that experience and spent much less on my 2nd book (but still followed the same 14-step process to ensure quality). At the end of the day, it's not all about the $. I wrote a book b/c it was a long-time goal and wanted to be proud of the books I published. After all, they have my name on them.

Just my 2 cents.
Mikeyboy_esq
proud author of:
1) Engaging College Students: A Fun and Edgy Guide for Professors
2) 14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book
http://www.engagingcollegestudents.com

plughmann
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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby plughmann » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:53 pm

[quote="mikeyboy_esq"]Thanks for the feedback. That was way more of a response than I was expecting, but I do appreciate the info.

To respond to a few of your extra points...
I have tried lowering the price of my 14 Steps book to 99 cents a few times, but it didn't move the needle on the # of sales. So that is why I went back to the regular price (at 2.99, I can keep 70% royalties vs. only 35% for 99 cent pricing). You are right... it is a crowded market. That is why I was considering doing a revised edition/2nd edition to this 14 Steps book by adding more material on how to market the book. Another alternative is just to write a whole new book on marketing, but I'm not yet sure if I will have enough material to write a whole book or not. We'll see.

As far as your points about the need for professional editing, book cover design and graphic design work, I stand by my advice to get those services done professionally. But this advice assume the author intends to sell books. If the author's purpose in writing the book is simply for vanity sake or to leave a legacy for his grand kids (e.g., publish his/her memoirs), then I agree there is little point in spending the $ to make it look perfect. As far as my 2 books, I spent way too much on my first book and it may take a few years or so to get my $ back based on my sales thus far. But I learned from that experience and spent much less on my 2nd book (but still followed the same 14-step process to ensure quality). At the end of the day, it's not all about the $. I wrote a book b/c it was a long-time goal and wanted to be proud of the books I published. After all, they have my name on them.

Just my 2 cents.[/quote]

It is a free country. Folks can decide how they want to spend their money if they have any left after taxes, rent, food, yada yada.

My experience is most writers won't recover their expenses, which is why I stand by my advice.

Look at the millions of books on amazon and the sales curve that drops off very very fast into a very very long tailed distribution with many books that have sold zero and most under 5 print or 30 ebooks.

Do your own cover and save hundreds or even thousands. If you must buy a cover get it from fiverr not some overpriced amateur who declares themselves to be a professional cover artist. Especially for non fiction books. Look at the ones at the stores. Most NF books do not have fancy covers.

Editing is mandatory if you expect sales. Find ways to minimize that expense. Editing is mandatory even if the book is just a resume builder.
Some editing is always needed but is it worth paying for it to publish a novel?

If it is yet another kindle novel spending money is a total waste if profit is the motive. Pride may make it worthwhile even if it does not sell.

I think we all want to produce the best book possible, but a big constraint is the money and how much is it really worth to get that book published.
Or how much more is it worth to make that book better aesthetically. Too many amateurs spend way too much on self publishing especially if they get taken by some 'self publishing' 'service' that is really just a vanity press.

So how much did you spend on your two books. Break out by time, publishing, marketing, services bought for editing ,formatting ,and covers would be useful to us.

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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby mikeyboy_esq » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:33 am

I also thought it would be useful for authors/aspiring authors to hear how much it cost me to write, self-publish and market (through the first 90 days) my two books. That is why I spelled out that data in great detail in Chapter Two of my self-publishing guide. I hope my readers find that info interesting and/or helpful.

I agree with you that many self-published books will never earn back their investment. Whether my books do or not, I'm still glad I wrote and published them. It has been a long-time goal of mine to become an author and it has led to other interesting opportunities (such as speaking gigs) and bolstered my confidence to try new things (performed my first stand-up comedy set at an open mic night this past summer in front of about 50 people, which was great fun!).
Mikeyboy_esq
proud author of:
1) Engaging College Students: A Fun and Edgy Guide for Professors
2) 14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book
http://www.engagingcollegestudents.com

plughmann
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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby plughmann » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:57 pm

[quote="mikeyboy_esq"]I also thought it would be useful for authors/aspiring authors to hear how much it cost me to write, self-publish and market (through the first 90 days) my two books. That is why I spelled out that data in great detail in Chapter Two of my self-publishing guide. I hope my readers find that info interesting and/or helpful.

I agree with you that many self-published books will never earn back their investment. Whether my books do or not, I'm still glad I wrote and published them. It has been a long-time goal of mine to become an author and it has led to other interesting opportunities (such as speaking gigs) and bolstered my confidence to try new things (performed my first stand-up comedy set at an open mic night this past summer in front of about 50 people, which was great fun!).[/quote]

Look at the data. Millions of books on Amazon have so few sales, some have none, that they will never pay back a large expense for editing, covers, marketing, yada yada.

I see three reasons to write a book and self publish it:
1 -- to make money
2 -- to establish credentials for seminars or other business endeavors
3 -- to be creative and say they were 'published'

Anyone else see another reason to write a book and self publish it?

As to Mike Kowis books: Based on the sales rank number a number of sites estimate actual sales at about 5-10 copies a week for the teaching book and less for the self publish book. Only Amazon knows for sure, and Mike only knows what Amazon tells him which should be close. Of course if he sells books at the back of the room like at his two upcoming talks on self publishing that messes with the data but generates a lot of profit if he had a batch printed by a book printer instead of ordering the PODs from Amazon.

Ten books a week, say 400 a year, at $10 , assuming he keeps 70% , would be $2800 a year. That would pay for a cover and editing etc., but if sales drop off as he indicated the actual profit may not be worth the effort financially although it may pay well in other ways.

Mike is spending time, presumably a lot, promoting the book by going and give talks to groups. Clearly it is worth it to Mike. But for novelists the odds are very very long against making money.

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ostarella
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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby ostarella » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:45 pm

The odds of making a significant amount of money is small for most novelists. Such is life.

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Dreaming Imrryr
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Re: Questions about Writing 2nd Edition

Postby Dreaming Imrryr » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:20 pm

I don't think I would wait to publish the second edition.


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