Wednesday 31 July 2019

Why are box sets doing better than this single titles?

Years ago when I started out on the author-publishing route I was one of the first to put out a box set. I sold literally thousands, but once other writers saw the benefits of this, sales slowed down. I still put my single titles into genre related boxes and usually take down the individual books once this happens.
This year individual title sales on Amazon are 60% of what they were last year, but for some reason the box sets I've put out are doing really well.
The Barbara's War box set was the first to take off so I packaged the Nightingale Chronicles series and this too is now selling really well. The individual books in these box sets have been removed from sale.
Later this month I'm going to publish The Duke's Alliance series, this will have all six books in, and it's got one of the new 3D covers. However, as the single titles are still selling quite well I'm not taking them down. I'm hoping that readers who haven't tried the series will think that £3.99 for six books is a bargain as each one costs £1.99.
Strangely I never buy a box set myself – what about you? Do you prefer bargain box or to download your choices one at a time?
 Until next time

Fenella J Miller

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Hybrid Author - good or bad?

Aria -Head of Zeus
I don't know about anyone else, but sales and page views of my published books – mainly Regencies now – have fallen this year. Last year I had a runaway success with The Reclusive Duke which made a huge impact on the last months of the year but up until that point both sales and page views have not been great.
I was keeping my fingers crossed that something similar would happen this year but unfortunately it hasn't. The amount of well produced and well written author published books is growing at twice the speed that the reader pool is increasing.
Obviously, this means that although a writer's sales rank remains constant their royalties are falling as their slice of the "reader pie" is now much smaller.
Those that are still doing really well were already massively ahead of me in the marketplace or are spending a small fortune, and hours and hours of work on Amazon ads and Facebook ads and other promotions. I don't have the time or inclination to do any of those things.
When I was picked up by Aria – Head of Zeus last year I was ambivalent about signing the contract. The company restructured and my editor was made redundant which exacerbated my frustration and I was regretting my decision. However, the new team is even better than the last and everything is now very good. The CEO actually offered me back my rights with no strings attached and this made me decide to stay with them and I've not regretted it since.
This leads me to the question: Is hybrid the way forward for writers in the mid-list?
After receiving five times the royalties this month than I expected my answer is a resounding yes. My editor told me the that as more books in my series are published then readership grows and so do sales. She is absolutely right.
I'm also enjoying having a team behind me, knowing that my books are being well edited and will be better than they would have been without them, and love not having to do promotion myself. Another reason for indie-publishing is that I write between five and seven books a year and no publisher wants that many from one author.
I will never give up writing my Regencies and publishing them myself as I have a loyal reader base and look forward to my next book and I'll never disappoint them.
What I'm wondering is should I go, as a friend of mine has, entirely with my publisher for all my books or is it better to remain half and half?
Hybrid or totally traditional? What do you think?

Fenella J Miller