Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I’m interested in finding out more from readers about what they like and how they find out about new books and authors. I’m starting off with a very simple two-question survey. Please do take a moment to fill it out! When I’ve got a significant number of responses, I’ll publish the results.

UPDATE: Right, well that all went unexpectedly wrong! SurveyMonkey, it turns out, charges £24 per month to access your data as soon as you go over 100 responses, and I was rapidly heading towards 300. That £24 only pays for the first 1000 responses per month which, given the rate at which they were coming in, didn’t seem like it would last long. If you go over 1000, then you have to pay 10p per response, so if it really took off and I got 2000 responses, that would be £124.

Now, I don’t mind paying for stuff online. I buy a lot of independent software and pay for a number of key web services which I think are good value for money. But SurveyMonkey is taking the piss, frankly. I’d happily pay, say, a fiver per month or a few quid per survey if it came with unlimited responses, but I’m not going to pay £24 per month for such a horribly hobbled service.

So, I have been trying Obsurvey which has far fewer options that SurveyMonkey, but so far getting mixed responses from users as to whether that site is usable. If it turns out to be unusable is another option I can try yet, but I know that the more I change things, the less likely people will be to bother to fill things out. All I can say is sorry!

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Today I passed the first milestone in my ebook pricing experiment: I have sold as many copies of Argleton in the first 11 days of January as I sold in the four months it was available last year. However, and it’s a big however, I’ve made less than a quarter of the money in royalties than I would have if I’d kept the price the same. A further big however, however, is that the absolute numbers I’m talking about are tiny: 49 copies sold in the last four months of 2011, and 50 sold in the last 11 days.

Nonetheless it’s a milestone and I’ve passed it. The question remains now is how long it will take to pass the next one: to equal the amount of money in royalties that I made last year, estimated at £54.79. I know that’s a trifling amount but we all have to start somewhere.

Of course, these are actually unfair comparisons for two main reasons:

Once I get to the end of January I’ll publish all my stats for comparison. I have to increase sales by an orders of magnitude or three before I really see a return, but I hope that one day these numbers will be the beginning of a rather attractive graph!

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