Daily Archives: May 31, 2014

Kobo versus Kindle Scratch and Sniff…

All right – so going by the title of this blog I expect that you are hoping to have some heavily-researched uber-technical exploration of the benefits and shortcomings of Kindle versus Kobo.

Sorry, that’s some other guy’s blog.

All that I am going to talk about today are my own current experiences.

So far, I have made MORE money from Kobo than I have from Kindle.

I know that’s hard to believe. Everyone I tell that to sort of looks of me as if I am either telling a lie or else merely delusional.

Just this week I had a fellow writer at a pitch-the-producer workshop I was attending tell me that I just HAD to be doing something wrong – and I expect that I am. She told me to focus on getting four or five books into Kindle Select and watch the money roll in.

Well – this month I did have ONE book in the Kindle Select program and it did raise my Kindle sales to a high enough degree that I actually thought that this month was going to be the exception. I actually thought that this month I would make MORE on Kindle than I did on Kobo.

However, two of my books were part of a Kobo thirty percent off promotion.

Once that promotion kicked off my Kobo sales climbed through the roof. I made more this month than I had in any month of indie writing.

I made almost three hundred dollars this month on Kobo and about forty dollars on Kindle.

I know that a lot of you folks might consider that poor wages – but in 2013 my record month was about one hundred dollars. I have been aiming to hit the three hundred dollar a month mark this year and now I have done it. I figure my next step will be to get to the point where I am making three hundred a month – EVERY MONTH.

That won’t be easy. Kobo WON’T have a promotion that I fit in every month. That would be convenient – but life doesn’t work that way.

So what do I figure I need to do?

I need a few more e-books out there on the market – for starters. I have thirty independently-published e-books available on Kobo and about the same on Kindle. That’s a goodly number to start with – but I am pretty sure a few more would help in a big kind of way.

They can’t be just any sort of a book. They need a good story and a good cover and they need to be a good size. My top selling e-books are ALL full-sized novels and I need to keep building on that.

I need to generate a few more reviews as well. Kindle and Kobo alike – to help encourage prospective customers to buy my e-books and also to qualify for certain book promotions such as ENT and BOOKBUB.

I also need to promote my work a little more efficiently. I had some very good luck this year with some of the smaller promotional tweeting services – but I really want to try to get one of my upcoming novel releases available through BOOKBUB.

And lastly, I need to break that Kindle wall that somehow seems to be holding me back.

Let me be clear about this. I am STILL a staunch Kobo advocate – but if I want to tap into that big fat US marketplace I have got to somehow figure out what I am doing wrong on Kindle.

If any of you folks have any ideas I am more than willing to listen. Right now I have come to the point of believing that my Kindle e-books all smell funny.

Do me a favor and take a whiff and see if either of these books smell any different to you.

This is the Kobo version. It's currently ranked #15 in Kobo's horror section.

This is the Kobo version. It’s currently ranked #15 in Kobo’s horror section.

This is the KINDLE version. Give it a sniff and see if it smells any different than the KOBO edition.

This is the KINDLE version. Give it a sniff and see if it smells any different than the KOBO edition.

While you are sniffing your computer screen I am going to keep my fingers crossed that no one walks into your writing office and catches you at it.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

 

First Drafts NEED to be F*cked Up!

Blog ButtonI found this picture on the BEGIN WITH YES Facebook page today and it started me thinking about first drafts.

Sometimes the single biggest obstacle towards completing a first draft manuscript is that overpowering urge towards perfection.

“I don’t want to f*ck this up!”

“Every word HAS to be right!”

“Oh my god, I better not screw this up!”

Gets to sound like a drill instructor after a while.

You remember that movie FULL METAL JACKET where drill instructor R. Lee Ermey totally warps the mind of a young Vincent D’Onofrio? Well – sometimes that is what a drill instructor will do to you. A drill instructor’s job is to you yell at you in a creative fashion in order to achieve a certain degree of learned instinct. Now, a drill instructor can be a useful muse – but you cannot let that urge towards perfection prevent you from completing what NEEDS to get done.

Just remember – writing is like sculpture. First thing you need is a big old hunk of stone or a mess of clay. That is all that a first draft is supposed to be. So don’t freak out and worry so much about getting the job done right. Put a little duct tape across that drill instructor’s mouth and just get it done.

Say it with me.

It’s just a first draft.

First drafts NEED to be f*cked up!

So get it done FIRST, damn it!

Just remember – nobody is marking you on this – and it is awfully hard to revise a blank page.

Remember – when you find yourself stuck fast two-thirds of the way through your first draft manuscript –

keep-calm-and-just-do-it-1660

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon