Adminis-trivia: Random Organizey Stuff

Ha I invented a word!

So just in case anyone notices and gets confused…  although I suspect no-one will so never mind.  Islands in the Sky is now called Islands, and has a fancy new cover, and is only on Amazon.

Only on Amazon because reasons.

Because I’m selling out.  Because no-one was really reading it other places anyway, and I wanted to try the kindle unlimited thingy, since that maybe seems to be how people are starting to find new books to read.  Maybe.  So says the internets.  Perhaps.

Because I’m wondering if people don’t actually read free ebooks any more, too, because there’s so many free books, so they just download freebies and then download more, so what they have just sits, forever.  Says me.  From watching what a couple of people who actually read do.

As in, someone who apparently had to empty their kindle because it was full of a year’s free stuff they never read.

Which is alarming, a bit, but also which makes me think simply being free isn’t enough to actually get read, any more, and books need to be somewhere that people kind of actively decide to look at them.  If actively decide makes sense?  So either on wattpad, where people are looking for things to read rather than to download. Because looking to read means they look now, but download means they go yay, a download, and then stop thinking about it and go and download something else.  So that, or perhaps somewhere priced cheap-enough-to-take-a-risk, or with subscriptions like netflicks or spotify, or pretend-free like one-off trails coupons so the person who downloads it only downloads that one book, or has picked that book, and so has a reason to start reading right then.  Rather than downloading ten more.

All of which makes me think maybe it’s better to be in kindle unlimited, so people actually actively pick the book and maybe actually try it, instead of just hoarding it forever.

Or something.

But I’m trying.  To see.  And maybe will move other things into it.  Perhaps.  Because I need to be working out how to do all this selling and marketing stuff, because I suck at it, really.  And so I need a plan!

Blah. Anyways.

So those reasons.  And this is all probably more useful for other writers than people just reading, but I’ll actually say eventually if I work anything out.

That was all!

23 thoughts on “Adminis-trivia: Random Organizey Stuff

  1. I’ll be really interested to see how that works out! As you say, there has been a lot of discussion about pros and cons of KU, with some writers saying it’s great and you should do it, others saying no, you’re better off staying out of it, etc.

    Administrivia: n. How I spend half my days at work. Usage: “I’d get more projects done if I wasn’t so bogged down with administrivia.”

    (We actually do use this word at work) :)

  2. Honestly, Tess, I’d rather cut out the middle man and buy from you directly. Amazon don’t write books, they just sell them on while taking a hefty cut for themselves. That doesn’t sit right with me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that a lot of people will pick up your book thanks to Kindle Unlimited, and you may well get some fans off the back of it. Thing is, Amazon gets your book out there like traditional publishers, but they don’t offer any support. No cover design, no editing, and not much in the way of marketing. Doesn’t seem like a good deal to me.

    But, I don’t know, good luck with it. :)

    • i’ve thought about selling directly from here, but the problem is anywhere that provides shopping carts has set a monthly fee, and that’s a cost maybe i don’t get back if there’s nothing new that month. as opposed to a percentage, so you only pay when you sell. although the cheapest cart is $5 a month which is less than hosting so maybe i should just shut up and do it haha… um, here if anyone sees this and cares.

      and also um… traditional publishers don’t really offer support do they…? i mean, not to be rude, but not any more, from what the internet says… and they take a bigger cut… and most important, for me, you have to slushpile with them which is just never going to happen because i’m way too insecure so traditional doesn’t matter anyway… which means amazon, basically.

      so i get how you don’t like them, but them, for me, is kind of the only way this is goign to happen, so i’m really grateful for that.

      and with the fees, i think everywhere takes the same cut as amazon don’t they? as far as i noticed anyway…

      and thank you for good luck! same with yours!

      • You’re right, the bottom line is that it is a) difficult to get traditionally published, b) if you do obtain a traditional publishing contract, you don’t have a big name so they aren’t going to aggressively market your book — but they will expect YOU to aggressively market your book, c) in print at least, once your book is no longer new, it will likely no longer appear on bookstore shelves, and d) your royalty cut from a traditional publisher will be a very tiny fraction of what it will be from Amazon.

        There is a lot of evidence that if you are a new(ish) author, marketing a first book, that you will likely make more money with it by self-publishing, as long as you hustle and have a reasonable marketing plan (which does not mean blast out tweets about it 20 times a day). Since the trad publisher will still expect you to market your book on your own, you aren’t really doing anything you wouldn’t be doing anyway, except you’re doing it more for yourself.

        In terms of the royalty you can expect from Amazon when self-publishing, it is comparable to all the other major platforms out there (Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, etc).

        As for whether it makes sense to go with Amazon or the other platforms, there is some disagreement out there about this, but since Amazon commands the lion’s share of the ebook market, this is where you will make money. Since most readers are more familiar with Amazon than the others, this is where they will look for your book. Since reviews sell books more than probably anything else, it therefore makes sense to concentrate your reviews in the place where most people will see them, i.e. Amazon. So, for this reason, it may actually make you *more* money to have your book *only* on Amazon. That said, there are some strategic reasons why it still may make sense to have your book on multiple platforms.

        So, if you are going to concentrate on Amazon only, then you might want to take advantage of the deals that being in Kindle Select can offer (like free days, countdown deals, etc). Being in Kindle Select now means pretty much automatically being in Kindle Unlimited, and this is still a very new paradigm, so the industry analysts are still figuring out. However, some analysis has been done, and at the moment it looks like a good deal for authors as well as readers, as long as authors are strategic about how they use it (you can, for instance, selectively have some books in KU and others on Amazon but not in KU, and there are some strategies around this).

        As for the services that trad publishers offer that Amazon doesn’t… well, actually Amazon has their own publishing house, and if you do sign with them, they offer the same services (and higher royalties than most if not all other publishers), but this is not the same as self-publishing on Amazon. It’s true that if you self-publish *anywhere* you will not have someone freely providing editing or cover design. Nevertheless, editors and cover designers are out there to help you — obviously, they are not working for free, but if you are going to be serious about marketing your book, it makes sense to invest a little in professional editing and design. This doesn’t have to break the bank, though. You can, with this kind of help, have a self-published book, both ebook and print-on-demand, that looks every bit as polished and professional as anything a trad publisher can put out.

        I highly recommend looking at ‘Three Tips for Finding the Perfect Publishing Path’ by Kristen Lamb ( (and I also highly recommend her book ‘Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World (, ‘Author Marketing 101: the Verdict on Kindle Unlimited’ by Matthew Kadish (, and pretty much everything in the ‘Marketing’ section of Nicholas Rossis’ blog ( Then, finally, wander over to ‘Giving Books a Voice’ by Eva Gantz ( for social media marketing tips for authors (Kristen Lamb has a lot on this, too).

        And no, I get no kickbacks from them. :) I just found their stuff incredibly helpful to me. There are many others, too, but these are some of the ones I’ve been following.

      • oh wow, thank you for all of that! um, i’m thinking it should really be more visible than down the bottom of this awful comments box where everything is squished in at the sides and hard to read…. so, could i move it to a post of its own and call it guest post? or just a “i moved this from the comments because the comments formatting is ugly” post? or do you want to put it on yours maybe?

        becuause anyways, there’s lots of useful information here and it shouldn’t be relegated to comments-land, says me!

        and i’ll twitter you too in case you don’t actually see answers to comments…

      • Well, what I’ve heard about publishers from the writers I follow has been quite positive

        [this is tess – i snipped a bit here because i’m the imaginary meanness police sorry]

        I could relate a couple more good examples but I think maybe you should ask around yourself, see what’s what.

        I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with throwing a story Amazon’s way every now and then, but there’s got to be some niche competitors out there that you could try, might even be better at attracting readers.

        The thing that you have to contend with at Amazon is not just the low royalty rate though, it’s the sheer volume of titles out there. I don’t know (or I don’t remember) what your sales record has been like with them in the past, but I didn’t even get one sale when I tried them out earlier this year. I don’t even know how many people looked at my book and ultimately bought something else. :P

        And I think I’m going to take my own advice and go ask questions of my own. Fingers crossed!

      • um, except, the point is more, i can’t deal with the slush-pile rejection thing, so i’m never going to be submitting to publishers that way, so basically, i wouldn’t be writing, or at least publishing, if i couldn’t put stuff up myself like i do :)

        so it isn’t amazon or a publisher, its amazon or not.

        so basically, i’m grateful for anything that happens anywhere, because anythign is more thna nothing, which is what i’d have if i wasn’t doing this.

        and i just checked, too… amazon is actually better royalties than itunes or b&n through smashwords, because they’re all 70% but smashwords takes another 10%… which i’m fine with btw and its completely ok, i just thought i should point that out.

        and with sales on amazon and kindle unlimited… with islands, i’m not sure on how its selling becuase someone else does my amazon because blah no EU or US bank account, but from the current sales rank, 570k-ish, i’m guessing its sold 1 since it went up? maybe? or two? but i don’t know how borrows change that… like i think borrows and sales are the same, so it might actually be 1 borrow… if that helps to know?

        but i’m starting to think sf is really hard to sell if you’re unknown, like much, much harder to get noticed in than romance or erotica… so whatever knowing that is worth, but it’s been the same on wattpad and smashwords with islands. but i just put debt collectors war up, so we’ll see :)

      • I guess we will. :)

        I’ve decided that I will at least try to seek out a publisher with the readership I’m looking for. You never know, maybe when I’m in good with one I can tell them they need an ‘Accidentally, Love’ line of books for readers to follow. :)

        Success or lack thereof with Amazon seems to depend on luck, marketing, and how much effort you put into the book. I sort of wish they had a curating system like Steam has for games.

        Anyway, I’m here if you need help. Don’t know quite what I can do, but give a holler if you need me for something. :)

      • oh thank you, that’s really kind! and also same, and i mean, obviously i hope it works out for you too!

        although. honestly? i think in some ways i like that it’s luck…. because if i put something up on wherever and no-one reads it then i can tell myself it’s bad luck and no visibility and about how it didn’t get seen, rather than it being an actual rejection or whatever… like to me, apathy is better than dislike! if that makes sense?

        which is partly why slushpile horrors… because even though that’s luck too, it feels more personal somehow?

        so anyways, i don’t know if that helps, but the visibility and luck thing is what i tell myself when stuff seems not to work.

        but since the slushpile just isn’t really possible for me, i have to do it myself, and also i think maybe it works better with the smut, or at least i was lucky and it did last year when i started, so yeah… but i really hope you find a publisher, and lots and lots of good lucks!

      • Tess, absolutely, move it around as you think best. :) I have been thinking I’d eventually write something along these lines on my own blog, but that’s probably a ways off (something of a “here are the books and blogs that have really helped me, etc” post), so there’s absolutely no harm from my point of view in you formatting this however you wish. In fact, I’m honored you find it worthy! :)

    • Heh, I wondered if you saw that. No, you don’t have comment likes on, and obviously they don’t actually show up publicly. However, it appears that I can ‘like’ your comments when they show up in my WordPress notifications. I always wondered what happened when pressing that ‘like’ button when likes are not actually enabled on the related site, and now I know!

  3. Hello, l’m just a reader. I found “Evie’s job” on Amazon a few months ago, and I thought it was incredibly well-written, in addition to being a very nice story. As soon as I finished it, I started looking for more. More was “Islands in the sky”, which I bought too. And it’s only because the sequel is not available yet that I’m visiting your website. I’ll gladly pay to read the sequel on my Kindle, because reading on a tablet is not as comfortable, nor as convenient when not at home. Besides, it’nice to have the books in a private library and be able to read them (again) anytime anywhere. Anyway, I for one am really glad you put your books on Amazon, otherwise I ‘d never have known about them. Looking forward to finding “Islands 2” on Amazon sometime soon (I truly hope you’re working on it!!!), thanks for writing and sharing,

    • thank you so much! that’s incredibly, incredibly kind of you, and i’m really sorry how you just walked into the middle of weird conversation about writer stuff here… but its also strangely appropriate since what we were all just talking about!

      so, um, thank you!

      and i’ll try and do more on islands, because even on wattpad its kind of unfinished… maybe earlier next year? and i completely get about tablets and wattpad and everything… maybe if i put chapters on here as ebook files to download or something too? i’ll have a think…

      anyways, thank you heaps, it’s really nice of you to say and i really appreciate it :)

  4. Okay, at least two reasons for not putting ebook files on your site:
    1. no sense in studying the best way to promote and sell your books on Amazon if you’re going to hand out the e-chapters for free as they come along;
    2. creating the files will take time away from your writing – or other things you’d rather be doing – which is a no-win situation both for you and your avidly waiting readers :)

    And now I’ll get out of your writers’ space.

    • haha its not really a writers space, more a me wingeing and having meltdowns space with stories sometimes :)

      but thank you! um, for saying about not putting chapters up. because yes, good points! and also especially useful too because how you’re kind of the person its aimed at, if that makes sense… so thank you heaps!

      um, ok. and now i shall go write… :)

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