Big Changes at StoneThread Publishing

In today’s Journal

* Thought of the Day
* “Buy Now” Links
* The Difference Between Direct Sales and Selling Elsewhere
* Free Books at StoneThread Publishing
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Thought of the Day

A friend and writer who’s an interim pastor and who struggles with critical voice handed me an excellent analogy. He wrote

“My best sermons come when I set aside the critical mind. I can really tell the difference.”

I responded, “In a sermon, God is your main character. You trust Him and let Him speak through you. You’re only a vessel, interpreting his words to form them on the page in the best way you can.

“If you let go and trust the earthly characters in your creative subconscious, they (and you) will do the same. That’s why writing fiction is such great fun for me.”

“Buy Now” Links

I’ve started adding “Buy Now” links to the book pages at StoneThread Publishing so readers can buy direct from me without emailing me and all that. I started with the Blackwell Ops series.

Then I created new book pages for the nonfiction books I’m still charging for and added buy links to those too. But I’ve also rearranged the Writing Books page to reflect that several are now free. More on this later in this edition of the Journal.

To see how I fashinoned the buy links, visit StoneThread Publishing and click any cover on the page. That will take you to the individual book page for the description and the buy links at Amazon, Books2Read, and now StoneThread Publishing (costs less).

Speaking of that, it seeems this is the only place I can list a URL anymore. “Vendors” rejected my manuscript for Writing Better Fiction TWICE before I finally removed every URL (even with “[dot]com” instead of “.com”). Be forewarned.

The version of the manuscript I finally uploaded was filled with little tidbits like “I would tell you the URL but the censors at several vendors won’t accept my manuscript if I do, so you’ll have to look up Harvey Stanbrough and StoneThread Publishing on your own. Sorry.”

All of that despite the fact that I’ve published a few HUNDRED fiction works through D2D over the past few years with no problem.

The Difference Between Direct Sales and Selling Elsewhere

When a writer is selling his or her work direct from his or her website, you are NOT doing him or her a favor when you buy books through Amazon or elsewhere.

For example, I wanted to charge $14.99 for Writing Better Fiction. It’s well worth that.
But if I charge $14.99, Amazon will pay me only a 35% royalty ($5.24).

If I charge only $9.99, Amazon will pay me a 70% royalty ($6.99).

That’s when I decided, finally, to sell my books directly to the reader. I can undercut Amazon and all the other sales venues out there, both saving the reader a few dollars and increasing my own royalty to 100%.

So a direct sale costs the reader less, but the writer gets the whole amount.

For example, when you buy a Blackwell Ops book directly from me for $5.00, it costs you a dollar less and I get the whole $5.00

When you buy the same book from Amazon (or whomever else) for $5.99, it costs you more and I eventually get to add only $4.19 to my bank account.

So whenever you can, Please Buy Direct.

For those of you who have your own author website, I recommend you begin selling your stories and books directly to readers from your site as soon as possible.

If you happen to have a WordPress website, all it takes is a free plug-in. You don’t have to struggle through Woo Commerce or any of that.

In a matter of a few minutes, I downloaded, installed, and activated a plug-in called “Easy PayPal Shopping Cart.”

You DO have to have a PayPal account, but that’s also free and easy to set up. Then you add your PayPal merchant ID (which PayPal assigns to you) to a setting in the Easy PayPal Shopping Cart and all payments go directly to your PayPal account in real time.

In other words, you don’t have to wait for a vendor to be in the right mood to send your money to you a month or two or three after the sale.

And best of all, customers can pay with PayPal OR with any of several credit or debit cards.

Of course, I won’t stop publishing to Draft2Digital or Amazon, but I will no longer put all my eggs into those two baskets either.

My buddy, big-deal writer Vin Zandri, is doing direct sales at his website too. So are Dean Wesley Smith and many others.

I only wish I had started selling from my own website years ago. If I had, I wouldn’t have to add buy links to the book pages of 85 novels, 9 novellas, over 230 short stories, 30-some short story collections, my poety books, and all the nonfiction books I’ve written.

Just sayin’: Don’t be me. Be smarter than that.

Free Books at StoneThread Publishing

Over at StoneThread, take a look at the Writing Books page.

Each of the Top 10 writing books on that page now has its own book page and a discounted buy link. Those lower on the page are all free now. (See the list later in this post.)

Stop by and see if there’s something there that you want. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of each individual page to see the special offers. (Later I’ll be updating the free books so you can download them direct in PDF.)

Hint: Also stop by the page for Notes from Writing the World.

That’s a compilation of several other books, including three that I’m still selling. But you can get even those three in that book (plus a bunch of other stuff) for less than you’d pay for those three books alone if you bought them separately even from me. Just sayin’.

I’m now giving away these books:

  • The Essentials of Digital Publishing
  • The Art of Writing Flash Fiction
  • Writing Great Beginnings
  • The Seven Writerly Sins
  • Self-Editing for Writers
  • The Professional Fiction Writer

Quick Guide to Self-Publishing and FAQs

Yes, they’re all still available on Amazon (except Beginnings; it’s available only on Smashwords) but you can get them free in printable PDF, .epub, or .mobi by simply emailing me (and later by direct download).

Some of them are a little dated, but they still contain a lot of valuable information.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

The Truth On Selling Books Direct: Insights from 876 Authors I haven’t read this yet. But given the source, be cautious. Don’t let them talk you out of competing with them. One more sales venue (your own) is never a bad thing.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1130

Writing of Blackwell Ops 21: Johnny Mercer

Day 1…… 4190 words. To date…… 4190
Day 2…… 2599 words. To date…… 6789
Day 3…… 3380 words. To date…… 10169
Day 4…… 2812 words. To date…… 12981
Day 5…… 1726 words. To date…… 14707
Day 6…… 1866 words. To date…… 16573

Fiction for March…………………….…. 9784
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 174376
Fiction since October 1………………… 477431
Nonfiction for March…………………… 11920
Nonfiction for 2024……………………… 111110
2024 consumable words……………… 285486

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 4
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 86
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 239
Short story collections………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

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