Less than halfway through the month, two more sales yesterday, royalties now at $51.55 so far this month, so it is already my best month ever, within a couple of days of being exactly two years into this business venture. HOW TO BUY A CAR Without Losing Your Shirt is ranked #11 in one category, 27 in another, and 55 in a third and is well below 100,000 overall in the store, while PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION, which came out October 1st, is ranked 107th in one, 161 in another, and 412 in the third one and better than I might have expected overall. I have now started advertising through AMS, Amazon Merchandising Services. It's a pay-per-click ad, with a bid of 25 cents per click, but they have been charging me a lot less than that, and apparently the charge is based on the keyword that the customer clicks on, and how well it merges with your book. So far, they are claiming 2 paperback sales and 2 eBook sales for Photographic Composition as a result of that ad, with an ad spend of $5.08 and gross royalties of $17.40 against gross sales of $47.96 for PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION, which had zero sales before I started advertising it. The ad spend for the CAR book was $3.54, against gross royalties of $10.70 and gross sales of $19.97. Organic sales were somewhat higher, at $44.94, but that was the first book I published two years ago, and has four 5-star reviews. So the advertising has been a success! I don't consider ROI in terms of gross sales, like it is normally calculated, by the way. My royalties are what matters to me, particularly, since I tend to sell more paperbacks than eBooks, and the royalties are a whole lot lower percentage on paperbacks than eBooks, especially since Amazon has shut down the CreateSpace store, so they take 20% of every sale, in addition to the profit that their own division makes on printing the book. In fact, until the last sale, the CAR book was barely holding its own against ad spend, and I was thinking of halting that campaign. But as long as the book AT LEAST covers the ad spend from the royalties, it can't hurt to run the ad, since it gets more people to notice my book. So while Facebook ads have not been at all successful for me, the Amazon ads have been indeed. I initially ran a two-week test ad, and then copied that and changed it to continuous run. I am told, by the way, that some people are getting in the 400% to 1600% ROI range on Amazon book advertising, and I am getting nowhere near that, and of course, I consider the standard ROI spec to be useless, because you can get over 100% ROI, (that's against gross sales) and still be losing money based on royalties. But against royalties, I am getting over 300% on one book, and close to that number on the other one, though as I noted, those figures change greatly with every sale, and until that last sale I was considering dropping one of the campaigns. Hope you find this information useful, fellow authors.... Check it out at www.cpubfl.com, where you will find links to all resellers for those books.
While doing a little housecleaning the other day, I came across a tattered copy of the ABATE Of Alachua County Newsletter from May of 1994, which I edited. I browsed through it, and found this, which, given the current state of our government, bears consideration. I wrote this shortly after returning from my mother's funeral--and I should note that my father had followed the best legal advice he could find, when he structured his will, which would have divided the six-figure estate equally among the three of their children on the passing of our mother, and then Medicaid changed the rules, that enabled them to force their way into our trust funds, to deplete them, before they would start paying for her care, because she had control over them until she passed. You have to keep up to date on legal matters like that, or our government, particularly when control is in the hands of the republic party, will invade your estates.
THE RIGHT TO LIFE
by John Waaser
I recently made a trip up north to bury my mother. Spare me the condolences. She had Alzheimer’s Disease, and had been in a nursing home for four years. Before that she had alienated almost everyone who knew her by making false accusations of one kind or another, probably due to paranoid delusions brought on by the disease. There were only a handful of mourners—seven family members and about the same number of folks from her old church—including a couple of “professional” mourners, like the local insurance agent, and the soloist from the church choir. Her care had reduced a 6-figure estate to just about $10,000 in the four years she had been in a home. As my brother so aptly put it, “I mourned the loss of my mother four years ago. There’s no mourning left now.”
Yet we prevent Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting people with their own suicides, and we outlaw the act of suicide itself.
On the trip, while passing through South Carolina, I saw at least two people riding sport bikes without helmets. One was bent over on the ragged edge, racing around a traffic circle, and had a color-matched helmet strapped to the back of his bike. Yet our benevolent government would like all states to pass helmet laws, in order to prevent motorcyclists from killing themselves. We hear a lot these days about the “right” to life. But is life really a “right?” Those who espouse this concept really seem to be considering life more as a “duty” than as a “right.”
If life is really a “right,” and not a “duty,” then it must go hand-in-glove with the right to terminate that life—whether it be with the assistance of someone like Dr. Jack Kevorkian, or by riding a ZX-7 at the ragged edge around a traffic rotary in Spartanburg, without the comfort and protection of a high-quality helmet.