Saturday, March 19, 2011

Math(s) All Up In Yo' Grillz

Here is my formula for success.

Success = (12YIH) + X

Y = progressive year of YA series
IH = static representation of Icarus Helix or "1"
X = non-related works
Success = result in top 100

For example, 6 months into the IH series, assuming no other work:
Success = 12 (1/2 * 1) + 1 (Shackled)
Success = 12 (.5) + 1
Success = 6 + 1
Success = 7
Therefore: After 6 months, Success can be measured by 7 works in the top 100.

Example: 2 years IH and 5 other completed works:
Success = 12 (2 * 1) + (1 + 5)
Success = (12 * 2) + 6
Success = 24 + 6
Success = 30
Therefore: After 2 years and 5 other works, Success can be measured by 30 works in the top 100

Haha, yeah right :)

But I do have a dream one day that IH will be a popular series. I'd like to see the new one come out, then replace the one before it in the top 100 ranking. That would be truly fabulous.

If you're wondering where to begin with the IH series, begin with it's current offering, Season 1, Episode 1 "Cheat". It's only $.99 and worth a try. After all, I just did all that math(s) for you! (And for "Success" to become a reality, it has to start with some kind consumers!) :D



  1. The more I think about it, the more I REALLY think authors shoot themselves in the foot with the $.99 price point. I'll say again what I've said elsewhere (and maybe here too). I've got two short stories up for sale right now (2600 and 2900 words), priced at $.99. I finished each of them in a single afternoon. That means the novella you spent a couple weeks writing is priced the same as the things I spent an afternoon writing, and which are about 1/10 the length. If I were you, I wouldn't go below $2.99. I'll refer you to Zoe Winters, Dean Wesley Smith, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch for some good discussions on this topic, in the context of good business practices.

    That brings up a question: why are you basing success on hitting some arbitrary point on a list? As a business, you'd do better to have a revenue point as a goal, such as the point where you've earned back what you spent to produce the work and are now making a profit. After all, if you price right, you can make good money without ever breaking the top 100.

  2. Actually, I've been reading DWS and KKR for awhile :)

    I think pricing, for me, comes down to personal opinion and experience. What would _I_ want to pay?

    I would not want to buy a single short story, not even for a dollar. I can read a 600 page book in a day, and pbooks are over $7 for that. My book, "Shackled" is about 60k/315 pages. $3 seems okay for that. I originally wanted to price it at $3.99, but as an unknown author I want to build some fans first. (Even at $2.99, only a few are biting. I believe "Shackled" is a good piece, but if no one knows, no one cares!)

    My IH novellas are YA. Arguably, YA's won't have a lot of disposable income/rely on their parents for purchases. For 20k that writes easily for me, I don't mind putting them up at $.99. There will be many of them.

    I have another story that I posted a widget for yesterday, because it's fluttering around in my head. I don't want to make it a full novel, I want it to be a quick, exciting read. At 20k, I think I'd have a hard time pricing it above $1.99. (Though that 70% DOES kick in at a dollar higher, sigh.)

    I look at the big names (no need to repeat them _again_) with $.99 novels in the top 100. I read a sample of "Hollowland" and found a number of errors. These things sway my opinion.

    I see where you're coming from, but I have a pricing chart that I feel comfortable with when I first started my journey.

    This post was made mostly as a joke. There is no Success=... Of course I would like to see my works prominently displayed (such as in the Top 100), and it is a wonderful idea that each new work replaces the previous in those coveted spots.

    My actual goal is to live comfortably. I only need about $600/month to do so :) I'll keep writing until that point and beyond, because it's just what we writers do ;)

  3. Ok, wrangled me in. I have Cheat lined up to read on my puter.

    Enjoy, tony

  4. Sample or full? :)

    I ask because if it's a full, I'm interested to see how long it takes for it to post to the respective site. (I'm guessing you followed the link up top from Amazon).