Wednesday, September 5, 2012

IWSG: A Dilemma

 

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means. It's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group created by the awesome ninja leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. For a list of participants, click here.

Well, I have a dilemma and could use some advice.

The good and bad thing about having a publisher is that they make all the decisions for your book. The good and bad thing about self-publishing is that you make all the decisions for your book.

This involves Gravity: The Complete Trilogy. I'm working hard to format my Defying Gravity, Fighting Gravity, and Pull of Gravity together with added epilogues into a print book. (The epilogues were originally added for further incentive to purchase the collection and to move the book's length to over the 50k word mark.) I want to offer an ebook copy to every person who buys a print book (instructions would be on a page near the back on how to get a free copy). I plan to create a special email address for that and have the ebook up on Smashwords, so I can create coupon codes for people who purchase a print book and want to have the ebook for themselves or for a friend.

My dilemma comes whether or not to publish the ebook (Gravity: The Complete Trilogy) elsewhere. Should I leave the individual ebooks as is and publish the complete trilogy on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc., so people can decide whether they want to purchase the books individually without epilogues or the complete collection with the epilogues? Or should I add the epilogues to the individual ebooks and have the collection up on Smashwords only and the print book on Amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble, etc.? Or my third option: add epilogues to individual ebooks and have the complete collection up everywhere too in ebook and print formats? There is also a forth option of taking down the individual ebooks and just having Gravity: The Complete Trilogy out, but I don't think that's necessary and I'm not really considering that option.

I am also considering putting Defying Gravity for free and raise the prices of Fighting Gravity and Pull of Gravity, so they're the same price as the entire collection. 

Although it's time consuming, I'm not worried about formatting for each of those circumstances. I'm just trying to think what the reader would like best. Would a reader be upset to buy the individual ebooks and not get the epilogues? Or would a reader take the free Defying Gravity book (if I make it free) and then purchase the collection?

I do plan to put out a call for those who have purchased the three individual ebooks to get the free ebook collection, if they want. I want people to have access to the epilogues without having to purchase the entire book, if they've already bought the individual stories.

As you can see, I have many decisions and would enjoy hearing your advice.

What are your writing concerns?

27 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Can I turn my brain on first?
I think offering them both individually and as a set is a good idea.

Kyra Lennon said...

I agree with Alex! :D

Elise Fallson said...

Wow. I wish I could be useful here... I think which ever way you go, you'd have to be very clear with the reader so they know exactly what they are getting (or not)- version with or without epilogues and where they can go to get the desired version/set. You have a lot of different options here and it's a bit confusing to me, but that stems from the fact I've never self published and have no experience with anything other than Amazon from a consumer standpoint. Sorry I can't be more helpful. ):

Miranda Hardy said...

I wish there were easy answers to your questions. I know other authors who have combined trilogies and sold at a higher price.

The decisions on self pubs are not always easy to make. Good luck with your choices.

Ava Quinn said...

Whoa. That's a lot of choices. I don't have any real experience in this type of dilemma, but my general advice for many things is the k.i.s.s. rule. Pick one, maybe two options and leave it at that.

Also, haven't I heard that Amazon will match prices of an ebook that they offer that is offered for a cheaper price elsewhere? So if you offer it for free on another platform while publishing it with Amazon. . . Not sure if that is true, but it's something else to muddy the waters, I mean take into consideration.

Lots and lots of luck to you on this one!

Patricia Lynne said...

I agree with Alex. Offering them individually and as a set is a good idea. Also, I don't think many people will pass up the opportunity to download the free version. The nice thing about publishing yourself is you can play with it and test out your options and learn what works and what doesn't.

Julie said...

I am clueless myself on all of this so I'm not a good one to offer advice, but I agree with Alex as well. Whatever you decide to do, I know it will be a success because these books are excellent! Good luck with your decision making.

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

I vote for both. Some new to your work can get all the books in one go, and others can buy the book they need to complete the series.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, I can tell you've been giving this a lot of thought. Go with your gut is my advice. If you were a reader looking to buy these books, what options would you want?

Allison said...

Tough decisions... maybe give the readers the choice? This is why I think I'd prefer getting published traditionally... I don't have to make those decisions, then!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Tonja said...

I think it's a great idea to give the eBook with the paper book. I don't know about the epilogues. I'd do whatever you think feels right.

It seems that with self-publishing in particular that generosity is appreciated by readers/buyers. I would want the epilogue if I was buying the eBook if it was included in the paperback.

Heather Murphy said...

I'm in no position to give advice but good luck with your decision. I would think you can't go wrong by offering it as many ways and places as possible.
It is a good problem to have! Congrats on the trilogy!

Nick Wilford said...

I would think option 3. Just have everything everywhere! Not sure about the epilogues, though I think what you say near the end sounds about right.

Cathy Keaton said...

Hmm... I think not having the epilogues is a bad idea, especially if the reader has to find out after they've purchased your novellas that pieces of the story are missing. I just know I wouldn't like that.

Anything you can do to simplify this would be best. Weird incentives might just backfire, so a free 1st book is probably the simplest incentive to use. Oh, and having everything everywhere is good, too, because then the novellas are available to more people.

Tara Tyler said...

i love the idea of giving an ecopy w/ the print, it's like movies are doing w/ the dvds lately.

lots of options! wow!
my suggestion, give the most options, if possible. sell the separate books and sell the trilogy, in whichever formats & prices you choose. but that lets buyers decide for you

a single epilogue on the trilogy should be fine, too. not crazy about them, but it doesnt matter. if i liked the book, i like to read on =)

Angela Brown said...

I apologize for being so inadequate in this area. I still can't decide how to price my novel so your dilemma is one that is a bit above my head at the moment. *hangs head in shame*

Ellie Garratt said...

I can see your dilemma. So may options! I suggest selling them individually and as a set. Rather than offer one free and upping the price of two and three, maybe do a free day for the first book to push it up the Amazon sales ranking?

Mina Lobo said...

I'm with offering individually and as a set. Offering the first of the series for free for a limited time might be a good way to spark sales for the rest of the series, no?

PS: My blogfest has been announced on my bloggy-blog, if you're interested in checking it out. Thanks again for that polling tip you gave me for it!
Some Dark Romantic

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Cherie,
Lots of things to think about indeed. I think you could sell the books as standalone storiess and then do a set as well.

Hard to say if making the first one free will work since there are so many hoarders downloading free stuff they'll never read. Maybe selling the first one at a lower price might work. Having paid for it, readers will be more invested in it.

Hope you work things out in the best way possible.

Christine Rains said...

Difficult choices. I like offering them individually and as a set. I also like it if someone bought the print book, they could get the ebook for free. That's a nice bonus.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Offer them individually and as a set all on Amazon. That's what I would do.

Ella said...

wow, this is a tough decision! I love the set, but I think offer them individually~ I love the print/ebook offer...very cool!

Gwen Gardner said...

I think separately and as a set, adding the extras in for buying the set. Good luck!

Donna K. Weaver said...

What decisions! I know that amazon won't do free except as a price match. That may help with your decision about placing it in other places. Good luck!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm a little late weighing in on this - but I think you should offer them both individually and as a set.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm a little late weighing in on this - but I think you should offer them both individually and as a set.

Tia Bach said...

I'm embarrassingly late getting around to September IWSG posts (especially since we are due another one tomorrow!), but I concur with most of your commenters... individually and as a set. Some people really like to try one first. Best of luck!