Home General June 2022 Review: Loss and Changing Prices

June 2022 Review: Loss and Changing Prices

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June has been a tough month. I lost an old friend on the 7th. In case you missed my newsletter, my friend, Kairos Erasmus, passed away earlier this month. He was 26. The month has been full of mourning, funerals, memorials and just reminiscing with old friends.

Kairos loved Magic: The Gathering, and I designed a set of cards in his honour and printed them for his closest friends. I know he would have loved them.

June was meant to be filled with fanfare as Fall of Zona Nox was released at an amazing price of 99c. I expected a lot from this release. Sadly, reality didn’t achieve my expectations. But I did learn some things.

Kairos MTG Cards

A bad month financially

This has not been a good month financially, and unless the final few days do something spectacular, June 2022 is going to be my lowest income month since before I released the Kat Drummond Series in 2019. This is not good.

Usually, release months are bumper months. I was expecting a lot from Fall of Zona Nox. Especially at the price-tag of 99c and with over 480 ARC readers to pack Amazon and Goodreads with reviews.

I still haven’t broken even yet on marketing or cover costs for Fall of Zona Nox. That isn’t a tragedy, but at least according to some fellow authors and ad consultants, I should have been selling a hang of a lot more than I have been.

Perhaps, it’s the economy or that I chose to release this during summer break (holidays are different in SA, so I always forget every year!). Kat Drummond isn’t selling so well either, so can’t blame Warpmancer entirely.

But it has been disheartening that of the 480+ ARC readers, only around 30 have written a review.

Maybe, it’s because this is a re-release. I’ll have to see how the sequels fare. But as it stands, I’m pretty demoralised.

Additionally, the audiobook for Part-Time Monster Hunter isn’t selling as well as I’d hoped. Again, probably due to the economy.

Lessons learned: Changing Price Structure

A lot of what’s happening is universal. People aren’t buying books. People are not reading. People are unsubscribing from Kindle Unlimited. Advertisement platforms like Facebook are becoming more expensive and less effective.

I can mitigate some of these problems, but they’re ultimately out of my control. What is in my control is how much I write and what I charge for it.

For this reason, I am changing how I structure my pricing.

Releasing Fall of Zona Nox at 99c was a mistake. It signalled that it was a bargain-bin book and not an epic read. Rather, I should have released it at full price.

And I fear that my repeated 99c sales on Kat may have lost me income rather than gained me.

At the same time, I’ve realised that completing the entire Kat Drummond Series can be really expensive if a reader isn’t on Kindle Unlimited.

So, I’m implementing the following changes:

  • No more releases at 99c. If there is a pre-order discount, it will be $2.99 and above.
  • I’ll be phasing out 99c sales and replacing them with $2.99 sales.
  • All my short stories will be available for 99c or free.
  • All my novel-length books will be between $4.99 and $6.99.
  • All my boxsets will be $9.99 (because Amazon won’t let me charge more) and may drop down to as low as $2.99 when on sale.

While the lack of 99c sales may put off some readers, the total drop in prices actually makes the series overall cheaper for readers committed to finish it.

My goal isn’t to find bargain hunting readers, but to find genuine fans who love my books. I want the incentive to read to be that the books are great – not a temporary discount.

What do you think of this change? Do you like it? Hate it? Please let me know in the comments.

Conclusion

I’m hoping July gets me back into writing. I miss writing Kat and would like to wrap up Warpmancer soon so I can get back to the Katverse. I still need to finish book 4 of Warpmancer, and then I have two books left.

But, I have to admit something. If Warpmancer isn’t selling well at all by October, I may have to cut my losses. Kat Drummond is easier to write and more lucrative. And, while I am finishing Warpmancer for its fans, I don’t plan on writing sci-fi again after I finish this series.

I would like to finish the series that started my career, but I do have limited time and energy, and would like to write something I enjoy and know will make me money.

But don’t lose heart now. Share Fall of Zona Nox on social media. Tell your friends. It’s not too late yet.

Terra Protects and the Hunt Continues!

1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t like your new prices at all. While I might pay 2.99 for a Kat box set, I will never pay 9.99 and 4.99 for a novel is too much for me. I understand you need make a living but I also understand that I must hold to a reading budget. I have not had a problem yet finding plenty of really good stories for free or 0.99. And there is always the library although I prefer to own ebooks. I am 79% through Zona and will finish and file the review I promised but it is hard going. To be honest I am not enjoying the book. It is simply too complicated, has too many plot lines going and has to many characters. Not many of the characters are likable and If they are you kill them off. I keep reading in the hope that you will tie it all together in a satisfactory ending. I enjoyed the 4 free SF short stories and looked forward to Zona, but so far it has been disappointing.