Business Decisions / by Josh Guess

As many of you know, I'm a pretty devoted reader of J.A. Konrath's blog. He's the writer whose experimentation with e-publishing drove me to try it myself. What success I've had, I attribute to the things I learned from him. I know how to read my sales, know to change things when needed, and a hundred little things. Most important, I know how to learn from my mistakes and keep my eyes open.

Writing is a process, and it's also a business. Today I'm beginning a path that is unfamiliar but exciting. I may be making a mistake, but if so I'll treat it like any other experience and grow because of it.

Two important changes will be going on. The first is that very soon, the prices on all my work will be going up. I'm not one to gouge, and I will never charge anything like $9.99 for my work, but the available evidence right now suggests that my price point of $2.99 for my books (and $3.99 for the combined first two LWtD books that make up Year One) is too low. The facts and research seem to suggest that a higher price will bring more sales than I currently make, and the higher royalty means extra income.

This is a business decision. As is the second portion of my news: I'm taking Year One and the two individual books that comprise it, With Spring Comes the Fall and The Bitter Seasons, off sale on the Nook. Those books will be gone from the Barnes and Noble store within the next several days.

The reason is simple: Amazon is offering publishers a chance to enroll in an exclusivity deal that will give us a chance to do more with our work. I will, for example, be able to offer my work for free for up to five days during a 90-day period. I'll also have my books available as part of the Kindle lending library. It's a complicated situation to explain, but what you need to know as my readers is pretty simple.

I'm not abandoning you! I simply have some options with Amazon that I want to explore. Powerful tools to get my name out there. I don't like having to pull my work from the Nook, not that all of it will be gone, but the math is pretty simple. I make about 95% of my income from the Kindle. This new program will give me the chance to get my name into more people's reading lists, which will help me toward my goal of writing full time.

I'm trying it for the initial 90 day period. If it works out, I may continue my enrollment. If it doesn't, I won't. I'm not keen on leaving the small but dedicated group of readers on the Nook high and dry, but the good news is that it's only my old stuff that is being pulled. Newer works will still be available, including Beautiful and book three of LWtD, The Hungry Land. And it's likely this won't be a permanent thing.

If I get to the point where I've built a self-sustaining following and can write full time, I'll probably drop the program. I'm not holding my breath for that.

Basically, that's the deal. I'm sorry for any of my fans who use the Nook and promote me heavily there. Your support means the world to me, it really does. I hope none of you are upset by this. I have a chance to use some new tricks to market myself, and I think you're all reasonable enough to understand that I have to consider the long term here.

I'll probably be doing many updates over the next weeks and months once I get into the program and see how it does. I'll certainly be doing promotions once I can set up days where my work will be free. Come on back and check me out to see how it's working. Readers may be interested to see inside my world a bit. Writers may find some of their curiosity about how the new Kindle Select program works sated.

It's bound to be interesting.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, consider this an open thread. The comments are open to you!