August 31 2015 Editor Assistance Newsletter
The autumn issue of Mused is ready for its typo hunt! If you have a few minutes please take a peek at the testing-only version of our upcoming issue. Even if you only have time to glance at a few poems, every set of eyeballs helps!
I also wanted to relay a cautionary tale, to help you with your own self-publishing projects.
I've written a number of book series. In each series I offer the first book for free to lure in readers. A free book is the #1 marketing tool an author can use on the web right now. Then that book drives the reader hard into books 2, 3, and so on. Those subsequent books are where I earn my income (or proceeds for a charity).
One of my novella series is a six-book series. So book 1 is free, then books 2 to 6 are for-pay. I also sell a bundle which includes all six books. I always offer a bundle for my series once I complete them. Some readers like standalone books and others like bundles. It's good to reach both types. I charged $6.99 for that bundle.
Amazon got it into their head to set that bundle's price to **FREE** - two months ago - but because they never alerted me about the change and I've been insanely busy, I never noticed. It never occurred to me to go back through my library and see if any prices had magically changed on their own. It was sheer luck that I was looking at something two days ago and realized with shock that the bundle was being downloaded for free.
I immediately wrote Amazon to ask them to fix it. They said they were price matching a book on iTunes and linked to it. Turns out they were price matching the entire bundle to book 1's entry. Yes, book 1 is free. Just as book 1 is free on Amazon, too. But just because book 1 is free doesn't mean the entire series is free :).
I wrote back yet again to lay out the situation far more clearly and asked for a manager. I was told one would get back to me by end of day Monday. When I checked last, the price had indeed been set properly to $6.99.
I have a feeling that those two months of income are wholly lost. Even though it's Amazon's fault they mis-set my price, and they gave it away for free without my permission, they have bigger lawyers than I do. So undoubtedly they figure there is little I can do to try to reclaim that money. Which is, of course, right.
So I felt at least that this could be a learning lesson. Don't assume just because everything was correct last week that it's still correct. Make a routine to double check entries weekly. The sooner you catch an issue, the sooner you can rectify it.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Lisa Shea, owner
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