Most of you probably don’t realize that Amazon has a two-tier royalty system. For books priced $1.00 and up, Amazon gives the author 70% of the cover price. But for books priced below $1.00, the author only gets 35%.
So, if you pick up all 8 installments of Celeste and Stephen’s story (with the first installment free), I make
7 * $0.99 * 35% = $2.42
Keep in mind that each installment is over 15,000 words (60 pages), so the whole series weighs in over 120,000 words (480 pages). That’s a good size for contemporary romance when you consider that the average Harlequin only runs about 50,000 words (200 pages).
Now, if I released the whole thing as one large 480 page novel at $5.99, I would make $5.99 * 70% = $4.19.
Since $4.19 is obviously more than $2.42, I think we can lay the whole “money hungry author” silliness to rest. I’m actually making a good deal *less* by releasing the story in installments.
The reason I chose to do it that way is because the story is designed using a soap opera / TV miniseries structure rather than a novel structure. I wanted to do something different, not just write “Yet Another Billionaire Assistant Romance Novel.” Releasing it in installments first rather than bundling seemed to be more “true” to the format I chose. For readers who don’t enjoy that format, or who prefer to get the whole thing and read it through at once, I will release a bundled edition at some point after the series is finished.
For those of you who have enjoyed the series being presented this way, thank you for coming along for the ride. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how well the series has been received. In the writer communities it’s common knowledge that readers *hate* serials and cliffhanger endings. Well, I’ve been self-publishing since 2011 and this series has been by far the most popular and successful story I’ve published. Like, 100 times more popular. So the conventional wisdom once again falls afoul of reality.
The final installment in Celeste and Stephen’s story, Winter’s Touch, will be out July 9th. I’m going to work on another project while I mull over Andrew’s story, but then I’ll come back to the Winters. When I do, it will be in the same serial format, but I think I’m going to cut it to six installments instead of eight. The pacing feels better with six, and that’s still a hefty length when it’s all bundled together.