LDStorymakers Presentation

I’m at LDStorymakers this weekend. Had a wonderful time yesterday facilitating idea generation for the magic systems of eight writers who all had some really cool stuff.  Today I will be giving my presentation on banishing writer’s doubt, fear, and block using cognitive therapy.

For those who want the slides, here they are.

Banish writers fear doubt and block with cognitive therapy (PDF)


Audio narrator selected for Bad Penny

I’m happy to announce that Mikael Naramore has been selected as the reader for the audio performance of Bad Penny.

You can listen to his work on Audible. But I really love the samples showing his range here on Bee Audio.

I cannot wait to see what he does with the material.

Hope to have it out in June for all you audiophiles.

Announcing a collaboration with NY Time bestselling author Larry Correia

So I signed the contracts and put them in the mail today–I’m officially doing a collaboration with Larry Correia.

This is an extension of the novel that we sketched for the 2015 LTUE presentation we did together called “How to Build an Action Plot.”

Basically we took pirates and smugglers, put them in space, added in a nice helping of giant robots, huge aliens, space ships, nasty warlords, organized crime, and a government you don’t want to mess with, then stirred.

It’s going to rock.

You can see the materials for the presentation here. And read more about the collaboration in Larry’s post.

Please note that we started our novel sketch by asking Larry’s ten-year-old son, “Hey, what’s awesome?”

He replied without hesitation, “Giant robots, bandits, and murderers.”

And we took it from there.

I’m done being Amazon’s fool

Do you see this picture? This is Jeff Bezos laughing at John Brown. Because John Brown was a fool.

Let me explain.

When I sell my ebooks on Amazon for $2.99 to $9.99, Amazon charges me 30% of the price. I keep 70%. That’s a decent deal. I’m happy to do business with them as a partner with my ebooks.

But Amazon’s got some alter ego going when dealing with folks selling used books. When I sell used books, Amazon somehow thinks it’s a swell deal for all of us little guys if they take a huge chunk of the pie. Look at the numbers below.

Order date: 04/08/2017
Price: $3.98
Shipping: $3.99
Amazon fees: -$3.99 (100% of sale price)
Your earnings: $3.98

Order date: 04/05/2017
Price: $5.50
Shipping: $3.99
Amazon fees: -$4.21 (77% of sale price)
Your earnings: $5.28

Order date: 03/23/2017
Price: $3.50
Shipping: $3.99
Amazon fees: -$3.91 (112% of sale price)
Your earnings: $3.58

Order date: 03/15/2017
Price: $1.49
Shipping: $3.99
Amazon fees: -$3.61 (242% of sale price)
Your earnings: $1.87

You might think, hey, John, you’re making a few bucks on each. But no, what you see above is what I get from Amazon. I still have to ship the product. And if I purchased the book somewhere, I have to cover those costs as well.

For example, look at the last one. Amazon feels that not only do they need to charge me the total sale price of the book, they also need more than half of the shipping costs. That book cost over three dollars to ship plus a little for a bubble mailer because I actually care that the book is in great shape when the buyer opens the package. So I lost money. But Amazon did just fine.

And Bezos was laughing because John Brown, the fool, was paying Amazon for the pleasure of taking time to list the book, shelve the book at his house, package it, and then post it. It was as good as going to Disneyland!

The fees used to be lower.

Order date: 06/26/2014
Price: $3.59
Amazon fees: -$2.88 (a mere 80% of the sale price)
Shipping: $3.99
Your earnings: $4.70

I hated the fees they were charging then, but after postage, we could still make a buck or so on books priced at this level. Not anymore.

So adios Amazon. I’m done being your fool. And shame on me for taking so long to recognize it. I’m moving all my used book stock to because they actually have a good thing going. Look at what they charge for their services.

$0.75 – $50.00: 25.0%
$50.01 – $100.00: 22.5%
$100.01 – $250.00: 20.0%
$250.01 – $500.00: 17.5%
> $500.00: 15.0%

That means on that $1.49 book, they would have charged me a whopping 37 cents.

Hey, profit for them AND me. And a great price for the buyer. Win-win-win.

How nice.

Presentation for Brandon Sanderson’s class

Here is the PowerPoint that I used in my presentation for Brandon Sanderson’s class at BYU, March 23, 2017.

2017 Sandersons Class indie vs publisher

And here’s the Excel spreadsheet you can use to compare revenue numbers.

Author earnings as Indie vs working with Publisher