OK so I’ve run the numbers on all my titles, and made the decision on which stories stay in Select and which do not. Fortunately, I went “all in” on most stories on January 1 or so, which means my 90 day renewal on most of them is…July 2, just as Amazon’s new reimbursement program starts! Huzzah for the shopkeeper, as he’s just in time to take some things off the shelf before they rot on it.
So you’ll need to blow this up but here it is, and I’ll run through my thinking below.
So these are all my titles, plus Adam Vance’s only story so far. I start with the page count Amazon’s giving me now for each title. I subtract 16 pages for “back matter,” the links to all other titles, to get a firm number of “readable” pages.
From there, I’m using a number that My Guru gave me as a reliable bottom PPP (which I hereby copyright and TM Colbert-style), or Payment Per Page. This x Readable Pages = the amount (or close enough for forecasting) I can expect to get for a fully-read title if I keep it in Kindle Unlimited/Select.
As my benchmark, I’ve pretty much used the current borrow rate, $1.33 , as the threshold. If a title is coming out below that, especially way below that, it’s “red” and no longer practical to keep it in Select. The Kyle stories are my “short shorts,” and you can see the market crashing on those, @ .20 a copy. Even pricing them at .99 in other stores, I’m still going to see .35 a copy, or nearly 2x as much.
At around .30/.40, the Sam stories are at parity with what I’d make on other sites pricing them at .99. And even though “Sam and Derek: The Whole Story” is above the threshold, it has to go out. Because of KU regulations, I can’t list the individual titles elsewhere and keep the bundle in KU. (Same story for the Kyle bundle.) I can make $2.10 on the bundles at other sites, but only if all the Sams and Kyles are out of KU. The Colum stories are also at parity with what I’d get at Google Play, AllRomanceEbooks, Nook, etc.
But the *only point* of Select for these stories was that I was making enough in borrowbux to justify excluding them from other sites. Not any longer. Parity is actually a loss if I do that.
The green dates are the dates that the stories “age out” of Select, and I’ve unclicked auto-renew on all of those. The aging is weird on the Kyles, Kyle VI was auto renewed on May 25, so the Kyles aren’t fully out of the system until the end of August. Which means Amazon’s Witchfinder General can punch me in the wallet if I try and repub the bundle before then. Fuck!
I’ve left all the novels in Select, even the “novellas” like “A Little Too Broken” and Adam’s “Scarcity.” They’re taking a hit for sure, but I’m going to wait with crossed fingers on those, to see if the newbux are worth keeping shorter titles in the program. It makes sense for “Scarcity” to stay regardless, because of Amazon’s massive SF audience in KU. Adam is a long term investment, so in he stays.
The last columns are my reminders to repost at Draft2Digital (for Nook, Kobo etc…no point in even thinking about the bluenoses at Apple ever taking anything of mine ever, they blocked “A Little Too Broken” for FSM’s sake), Google Play and AllRomanceEbooks. ARE is the least of my priorities – new books sell big for a month or so, but backlist does shit there. Google Play is good for $100 a month or so, not great but nothing worth leaving on the table.
The bitch of leaving Amazon-exclusive is back matter management. When I have a new book out, I need to (or should, I don’t do them all TBH) update all the back matter in each of my 27 titles with fresh links. Now…multiply those 27 titles by three more channels, each with its unique sets of links. Fuck fuckity fuck! Until I’m Emperor of Everything and have a minion, I just can’t deal with that now, so I’m going to leave my back matter “flat,” i.e. no hyperlinks, when I repost.
So! There’s my busy schedule for July and onward. All of which sucks away precious writing time and energy, but poverty also sucks away PWTAE because it could lead to reincarceration in a veal pen in Cubiclestan and that would be no don’t even think it.
This is pretty much the death knell of my short works. I’m going to wrap up Colum’s adventures with one more story and close it out, then bundle it. Rob and Sol? Kaput unless the Werewolves turn me into a popular paranormal author and they get new life.
Given the amount of time and energy it takes for me to create *anything,* since I’m the idiot who has to actually research Vikings before writing a Viking story, instead of just saying “he’s a Viking trust me on that now here’s some sex,” well, there’s no longer any point in researching, plotting and executing *anything* that’s less than 50k words.