A Note About Book Bombs

A Book Bomb is when you get as many people as possible to buy a specific book on a specific day, with the goal of pushing it as high up in the sales rankings as possible on Amazon, with the goal of getting it onto some bestseller lists, so that more new eyeballs see it. This is a great way to expose an author to new readers.

Lots of people do this, but the ones we do here on Monster Hunter Nation tend to work better than average. I love doing Book Bombs for authors who I think could use the boost. The most important thing about a BB is the author GETS PAID (as a devout capitalist I believe that every artist should put GET PAID in their mission statement). I started doing these to help friends in need, and it’s become a tradition.

I’ve had bitter cranks whine about how this is “gaming the system” because apparently authors are supposed to sit quietly while tastemakers and critics decide what should be popular. No thanks. I’ll game that system then, and appointed myself a tastemaking critic. But a BB ain’t cheating because these are all legit sales using actual money, being purchased by actual human beings, who will hopefully enjoy the book enough to leave a review and purchase the author’s other books. It’s about getting a critical mass of readers, fast, and trying to turn them into long term fans.

If you scroll down you can see an example from the one we did last week. They’re usually pretty darn successful. Even my less successful BBs will move several hundred books in a day, and the bigger ones will do over a thousand.  To put that in perspective, I read that the average (i.e. crappy) book signing in America sells like 8 books. So one of my Book Bombs is like having a hundred crappy book signings. My last tour I probably averaged 100 people at each stop (scroll down past the last Book Bomb post and I put up pictures!) so even at this stage of my career, a BB can be like ten awesome book signings worth of sales, only in 24 hours instead of two weeks of travelling. (But only a fool does book signings to actually make a profit on the books sold there, the reason you go is to meet fans in person because that adds to long term success)

The more people who get enthusiastic about a BB and spread the word, the higher it pushed in the rankings. The higher it goes in the rankings, the more new people check it out. Past experience has shown that whatever number of books we manage to move during the actual BB, a roughly equivalent number of books will be sold over the next week or two, as late comers see the posts, or Amazon picks it up to send out in their emails.

So they’re pretty awesome for the authors.

However, here is the downside.

The reason BBs work is that, A. my fans trust my opinion, and I’ve never shafted them with a book I honestly didn’t think most of them would enjoy. And B. I don’t do them so often that the fans get burned out.

Because of that I have to actually have a chance to read the book, and it doesn’t matter if I personally love it, the book has to be something that I think my regular readers will like. The hard part here is that I’ve got a To Be Read Pile that is taller than I am, and reading uses the same part of my brain as writing/editing, which gets used all day, so I don’t read for fun that often anymore, and when I do it’s usually stuff that isn’t related to my genre at all.

Then because of B, I can only do a Book Bomb about every other month. Tops. The reason they work is because they are special events. Not, Larry’s Book of the Month Club, because sorry, I ain’t Oprah. (her audience was orders of magnitude bigger, so when she plugged a book, it wasn’t a thousand more copies sold, it was hundreds of thousands, or in some cases, millions).

I guess there is actually a C. I never Book Bomb myself. That just seems like begging. BBs are a chance for me to help others. I figure I’m famous enough you guys will buy my stuff when you feel like buying my stuff. (preferably during release week though, because I too like being on bestseller lists!)

Now here is the part of this process that really sucks. Every time I do a Book Bomb I get a deluge of requests from authors and friends of authors. I get a few requests every single week, but the week after I do a BB, I get ten or twenty requests for me to do a BB for them. That’s just what I get. I don’t actually know how many requests Jack (who maintains this blog gets all the CorreiaTech marketing related emails) gets, but I know it is a LOT, and he only passes on the ones he thinks might be a legit good fit.

That isn’t even counting the I don’t know how many FB posts I get from fans, whenever there is any outrage controversy in the writing community (which is about once a week) where people tell me “you should give this person a Book Bomb!” Not going to happen when I can’t do a fraction of the ones where the authors actually ask.  (plus, it extra sucks when you’ve gone out of your way to promote the work of an author with differing political beliefs, and they later throw you under the bus when it becomes convenient for them, learned that lesson the hard way)

So I can only do about half a dozen BBs a year, AND I have to find the time to read them, AND think they’re a good fit for one of those slots, which means the odds ain’t good you’re getting one.

Sorry. I would love to help everybody, but I can’t. I’m just one moderately successful fantasy author with a slightly bigger than average internet following. So the authors who get picked are usually people that I know personally somehow, usually through us attending the same events. But even then, remember that I attend a lot of cons, so even of the authors I’ve met personally and LIKE, it’s still a ton of people to get through.

I’ve got a bunch of writers I want to do BBs for already, including people I’ve known for many years. Which is why I’ve done experiments like doing two books at a time (one regular priced trade and one bargain priced indy actually seemed to work okay, with the bargain impulse buy one getting WAY higher in the rankings).

I’ve had a few authors get really, really, really whiny about this after I told them I just can’t help them. Sorry. And for the handful of socially inept ones who got downright demanding and entitled to my time and access to the fan base I spent a decade building, oh hell no. They can go to hell  (as you may have just guessed, one of these is what caused me to write this blog post this morning).

Will it always be this way? I don’t know. I have to keep changing how I run them, because I learn new things from each BB, and the system is constantly changing. Like I now launch them the afternoon or night before the official date, because Amazon has a delay on its rankings before sales start to register. Back when I started it was like Wild West crazy town of numbers jumping the hour after we started. And the participants really enjoy being able to watch the numbers climb, which means they tell more friends, which means the author GETS PAID.

Speaking of changing rules, Facebook totally screwed me on the last one. It was halfway through the Bomb when I realized how badly they were throttling back who could see my posts and all the shares. (they limit how many of your followers can see your posts, even though those people actually WANT to read your stuff, so that you have to pay them to “promote” you, bunch of greedy bastards who are already mining our data to sell to evil megacorporations anyway).  So I switched gears and started putting up posts without outside links so they wouldn’t get throttled. Despite FB surprise screwing us, we still got Sakura to #1 in several genres and #147 of the millions of books on Amazon.

I might try doing these more often in the future, but I’m afraid oversaturation will make them less effective, which totally defeats the purpose. I’d rather do one thing right, than half-ass two.

Long story short, I love helping authors, I’m going to keep doing these, but I can only do so many, so please don’t get butt hurt if I don’t pick your book.

"Sensitivity Readers" Are Bullshit, and You Are A Sucker If You Believe Them
Noir Fatale, anthology edited by me and Kacey Ezell, eARC is available now!

69 thoughts on “A Note About Book Bombs”

  1. I, for one, have always been eternally grateful for this boost you’ve cheerfully given to friends and professional colleagues alike. We who’ve been the beneficiaries of the bombs can never, ever repay you for the effort–and it is an effort, as well as a form of discrimination. Not the bad kind. Just the fact you have to pick and choose what to bomb, and when. I’ve had three in six years, and was thrilled each and every time. Some day I hope my crowd is big enough I can pay the debt forward, as well as give some back to you in turn. 🙂

    1. Amen Brad. And even though I can’t possibly know how much of a difference the bookbomb Larry did for me made, it certainly was a contributing factor to my first entry into the National bestseller list. And for that, I’m ever grateful – and more magic cow for him.

      I feel Larry’s pain though, it does suck not being able to help all those who ask, but he’s 1000% right. He needs to control how often and he needs to ensure what he bombs is right for his folks. Otherwise, his folks will feel burned, and then that deflated the effectiveness of BBs ever after.

      People need patient and perseverance for this writing gig. If that isn’t you, maybe knitting is a more effective use of time. 😉

    2. Oh, and on gaming the system? Anyone who says that is a f’n moron and doesn’t know how TradPub works.

      The vast majority of folks who land on a bestseller list show up for a week and vanish. Do you [reader of my comment] know why?

      Because most TradPub has a long preorder phase where sales are accumulated and when the book releases, all of those sales count as the sales for the first week.

      Hmm, sounds like a BookBomb with a very very very long fuse. What Larry’s doing is what everyone in the industry does for pretty much ever release of every book.

      Get a clue complainers.

      1. And then there are the people who do phony sales, buying lots of books in the first week, and quietly dribbling them back in subsequent weeks for refunds. But it boosts the first week’s sales very handily. Instant “best seller.”

    3. Amen Brad. And even though I can’t possibly know how much of a difference the bookbomb Larry did for me made, it certainly was a contributing factor to my first entry into the National bestseller list. And for that, I’m ever grateful – and more magic cow for him.

      I feel Larry’s pain though, it does suck not being able to help all those who ask, but he’s 1000% right. He needs to control how often and he needs to ensure what he bombs is right for his folks. Otherwise, his folks will feel burned, and then that deflated the effectiveness of BBs ever after.

      People need patient and perseverance for this writing gig. If that isn’t you, maybe knitting is a more effective use of time. 😉

  2. Two months .. counts on fingers .. oh great, 1st of April falls on the edge of the circle of error of the time on target… Makes you wonder if ‘Duffleblog’, ‘TheOnion’, or ‘BabylonBee’ count as authors. 😉

  3. Larry, I love that you do them. I’ll likely never see a Book Bomb myself, but why should that matter to anyone besides me? I’d rather have you Book Bomb a dozen good authors and boost them than decide that since you can’t BB everyone, you’ll BB no one.

    There isn’t enough good in this world. Your Book Bombs make the world better. Please keep them going as best you can!

    1. I’d bet the BBs also have a spillover effect. I know whenever I finish a book, I always look at the author’s website, etc. to see who they are reading. If a selection looks interesting, I’ll pick one up as a Kindle, or a PB if it is not available otherwise.

  4. Well, I just added my Book 2 to your To Be Read pile (assuming HotMail didn’t eat it), but I did it _before_ this latest Book Bomb hit.
    I do hope you are able to read them eventually, if nothing else because I’d love to hear what you think of them. But I’ve done the “insanely busy” thing for fifteen years (2000-2015) with L5R, and your schedule makes the one I had back then look tame by comparison. 🙂

    1. Rob,

      I was unaware the second book in your Empire of the Sun and Moon series was out! It’s now #1 on my too be read list!


    1. Top of the blog, right side. Shows what the current top of the To Read pile is, or was and he thinks we should all know about it.

    1. Oh, we could fix that.

      Gun-lovin’, libertarian types (space cowboy or not) could use their own Oprah. Thing is, we also want the literachur faucet to keep drippin’. So we can’t carve into the writin’ time.

      Just spitballing, so don’t bite my head off: What would it take to turn the Writer Nerd Game Night into the Libertarian Space Cowboy Revolution podcast? Do what you’re going to do anyway, do the nerdy funny, play a game, rope in some poor shlub (Adam Baldwin or Cam Edwards or Ben Shapiro or flavor of the week) to be that episode’s humble cleric-equivalent, and have a small platform at a level above a blog.

  5. Ok, but can we at least get a list of your author friends who don’t mindlessly buy into the current SJW hype?

    I need a conservative/libertarian/tea party book club where I can actually find authors who publish books out of a love for the story and not a social agenda! 😉 Every time I read a particularly bad book, I end up coming back to your blog to stalk your recommendations.

    1. This book club you’d like – it sounds like the Dragon Awards might be a close fit (from what I remember of them).

    2. Jennifer, the FB page also does a Writer’s Promo Post on the 3rd weekend of each month. It’s a chance for various writers who are also fans of Larry’s to present their works. There are usually lots of good suggestions in there.

  6. I just think it’s cool you do it at all. As the author of several different series with multiple books in them, you’re probably busy of your gourd with plotting, writing, and editing books. Not to mention you have a family, are in the middle of building a house (and not a small one!), still make time to make it to church on Sunday and, oh yeah, attend at least a half-dozen cons every year. A normal (I won’t say lesser, as somebody who has made it to this point definitely has earned the right) man could (and probably would) kick up his heels, look back on his hard work, and enjoy what little free time they have left. Lots of authors already do.

    You don’t. You get off the couch and do things like book bombs instead, and you don’t even charge the author a penny for the time you invest in them (which makes you slightly less of a capitalist than a lawyer, but it also means you’re not a bellend, so it’s okay).

    That’s where you distinguish yourself, Larry. You don’t just stand on the summit of Yard Moose Mountain and crow about how you got up there; you reach down and pull another climber up, so -they- can be up there too. That’s admirable, and admittedly not something you see too much of these days.

    So, kudos. Thank you for giving us aspiring folks a role model to look up to. If I could be half that awesome, I’ll have led a life well lived.

    1. Ditto on what The_Hankerchief posted. I’m significantly older than Larry and I don’t have half his horse-sense. Definitely admire his work ethic, personal ethics, and his insights. And darned if he doesn’t write great books, too!

      I may never write the “Great American Novel” but I sure have read a bunch with Larry’s name on them!

      Thanks Larry!

  7. Larry, you’re the man. And anyone who gets butthurt about not getting chosen deserved to NOT be BBed to begin with. Kinda like karma, huh?

    I love seeing the BBs and being part of this community who
    bands together to support fellow authors.

  8. That you are willing to help others is yet again a credit to you. That you are willing to take time away from your own work to read others, in addition to all the anthologies you invite people into is going above and beyond. And yes, getting paid IS the goal of all (most?) authors. 🙂

  9. Speaking of the horrendousness that is FaceBook, have you seen the complete screwjob they’re presenting as an alternative to Patreon?

  10. I preordered Sakura and I was so pleased when you book bombed it. The generosity that you have shown and continue to show, despite the constant barrage of crap people throw your way, is humbling.

  11. (they limit how many of your followers can see your posts, even though those people actually WANT to read your stuff, so that you have to pay them to “promote” you, bunch of greedy bastards who are already mining our data to sell to evil megacorporations anyway)

    So… Facebook also has GET PAID in their mission statement? 😀

      1. Welllll, Facebook has the right to do stuff, but they have an ethical obligation to inform customers of what they are doing. They usually don’t, because they do not want informed objections or decisions.

        The “deboosting” video by Project Veritas is very informative about Facebook thinking and business practices.

        1. FacePalm needs to be sued, and found in violation of its “common carrier” classification.

  12. Jennifer and maybe some others, read the entries and comments. A lot of authors show up here – hint: Niemeier, T,orgerson, Rothman, OldNFO. Don’t forget Shadowdancer for art. Read them, and (at the least) liked the books. Search for their websites, and check their links for other authors that they know and promote. Also look at the authors in Sad and Rabid Puppies. Any one becomes the root node you can build a search tree from. Bookmark them too. Suddenly, your ebook reader will whine about being full, and your eyes get sore from reading good books. In many cases, expect to laugh out loud or snort, because they put humor, real, 1 ea in many books.

    1. Thank you!

      I have only recently began to see just how annoying the agenda is in many of the books I read. I am not sure if it has suddenly gotten worse or if my tolerance has plummeted. I’ll definitely go back and search through for those folks. I appreciate it.

    2. Psychokitteh: Why thank you! I am quite humbled to be listed among those more prolific folks. I try to fit commissions for art around baby’s naptimes, feeds and medical appointments; I have one for a poster at the moment. If I may also suggest looking up Mad Genius Club, as a fine posse of authors not only promote their works there as they come out, but also write about the business of writing and the work of authoring.

      As an aside: I do write books too (the last book I put out is called Blessed Hope); just not very frequently as Life(TM) tends to eat my time. Larry was so very kind as to put up my short kid’s read Sparrowind up on his side bar a few years back and it brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face when I really needed it the most.

      Folks here are good people, and Larry is one of those upstanding rare finds that restores hope in humanity.

  13. Tried to get a couple more MHI patches, but the mhiswag – myshopify link asks for a password, and asks if I am the Store owner….

    I have an MHI patch that I velcroed to a tactical cap, and wanted to get some more for my gun bags. Please let me know if the patches are still available.

    By the way, love the books!

  14. Okay, I can see how some might think BB is “gaming the system,” but at the end of the day, like Larry says, it’s real people buying a copy of a book which someone who’s tastes they trust has recommended to them.

    And I think it’s right to limit them, and to accept the fact that you can’t do a BB for everyone.

    Anyway, I looking forward to reading my copy of ‘Sakura: Intellectual Property.’

  15. I don’t get how people feel entitled to help. You are tremendously supportive of other writers, Larry, far more than so-called “real authors” who mostly whine on Twitter and don’t even support their own writing careers.

    Some advice for writers: instead of hoping for Larry to BB you, you can book bomb yourself.

    The easiest way to do it is to build a mailing list. Put a note at the end of your books with a link to a mailing list signup. You can use a free service like MailChimp to set it up. Then, on your next book release, you can contact all those readers. Presto: instant book bomb. Building up a list takes time but it pays off. You can also team up with other writers in similar genres and trade mailing list announcements. Book bomb each other!

    There are lots of other ways to promote yourself; that’s just one. They all work better than complaining.

  16. Great post, Larry. Your position is perfectly understandable and reasonable. You have zero obligation to help anyone out, and the fact that you do shows what a big heart you have. You’re a credit to an industry that, let’s face it, doesn’t always cover itself in glory.

    I’m deeply grateful that you took a chance on me back when my first book Nethereal was new. Time sure flies! But I’ll never forget everything you’ve done for me.

    Stay awesome!

  17. Larry said: “I’ve had bitter cranks whine about how this is “gaming the system” because apparently authors are supposed to sit quietly while tastemakers and critics decide what should be popular.”

    They’re bitter because they can’t do what you do. Listening to them is like reading what China Mike says. Painfully cringy waste of time.

    I enjoy watching you tell people like that to frig-off almost as much as I enjoy the books. I also like that you set your own rules for how you expect things to be done, and you won’t back off them because some cretin whinged about it.

    No need to explain to me, just keep on doing exactly whatever you please, and I’ll keep buying the books.

    I also liked the MHI branded 9mm ammo, that was hilarious. ~:D If I didn’t live in Kanuckistan I’d have bought a box or two.

  18. The same people who complain about Larry gaming the system are doubtless equally fine with nonsense like the exceedingly odd method the NY Times has come up with to calculate their bestsellers’ list. As in, like him or hate him Jordan Peterson has sold a book or two by this point, but has never appeared on the NY Times bestseller list. Funny how that happens.

    And beyond that? Dunno. On the one hand I guess it can’t hurt to ask to get book bombed here, but nobody should do so with any expectation of being picked up for such a thing. FWIW, I honestly figured the only people Larry did this for are people known to him personally.

  19. As a long time gamer, my thoughts on gaming the system are “If you aren’t cheating(or accused of it) you aren’t trying hard enough.” There are only two kinds of people I’ve seen with systems: Those who cheat and those who haven’t been caught yet. I think the book bombs are a great way of getting exposure to authors who do not have the resources to give themselves exposure (or are too humble to try) and I commend your efforts.

  20. “The hard part here is that I’ve got a To Be Read Pile that is taller than I am”

    I’ve met you. I know how tall you are (which is one of several reasons why I look up to you :D). I also know how thick the average book is.

    That is an impressive TBR pile. I need to work on mine.

  21. From a strictly practical point of view, do Book Bombs increase overall sales ? Obviously, they front-load a major spike in sales at the time of the Book Bomb — but does this merely tend to exhaust the available pool of buyers early on ?

    I don’t mind either way, I’m just curious from a purely statistical point of view.

    1. At least on Amazon with it’s recommendations, there’s probably an increase for longevity. Especially since Larry only boosts quality books. Amazon favors books that have a bit of a longer boost tail vs. a single day jump than a fall. (it’s why self-pub authors are advised to space ads over a week on a new release vs. all on release day.)

      The other retailers aren’t as good at putting recs directly in front of the consumer every day, but it’s easier to keep a book “sticky” there so sales will find a certain consistent level.

      And then if the next book is anticipated and equally good? The author is on their way to a stable series.

    2. They do. The sales spike makes the book’s rank on Amazon stand out, which means that Amazon will “show” the book to more prospective buyers (like the “Also Bought” list and also, if the Book Bomb is successful enough, the book’s category Best Seller and Hot New Release list). That means thousands of people who never heard of either the author or Larry’s Book Bomb will see the book. Some of them will pick it up, further increasing and extending the boost on sales.

      Those are people who likely would have never seen the book, people who may try the authors’ other works. So yeah, a BB has effects beyond the initial sales.

    3. Yes. Duh.

      Your question is so off base and disconnected from the realities of how book sales work I can’t tell if that is a serious question or if you are yanking my chain.

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. For most books outside of the mega sellers, there is no such thing as an available pool of buyers. There aren’t X number of buyers in the world, and then you find them faster or slower until X is depleted. The pool of buyers is a shifting variable that ranges somewhere between 0 and 300,000,000, and your job is to get as many of them as possible to see it. Some percentage of those who see it will decide to purchase it. The more who see it, the higher the number who buy it. Period. If you don’t get the initial spike, or attention some other manner, then it will flounder around somewhere in the millions rank on Amazon, and nobody will see it. If nobody sees it, nobody buys it.

      1. You might be right; however, my impression (which could be wrong) is that, in the USA at least, relatively few people actually read books for pleasure. Obviously, many people do, but books appear to be less popular than movies, video games, and even comics. Sci-Fi books especially are less popular than fantasy (again, AFAICT). Hence my comment about a limited market. Admittedly, I’m not factoring in international sales.

        On a personal note, though, if I ever write a comment that is designed to be some sort of a personal attack on you, trust me, you’d know it. So far, I’ve not done so, IIRC (and no, hypothetical SJW reading this, disagreement is not attack, go back to Tumblr).

        1. *looks at Amazon’s book sales*

          *looks at you with utter bafflement* Where in the hell do you get the idea that ‘relatively few people read books for pleasure’?! Compared to where? The population of China?

          And no, this is a serious question here, because I’m honestly curious: I’d like to know where you get that idea, based on what, and if possible, explain.

        2. We have already established that your impressions are usually wrong, and frankly I am getting very tired of you wasting my time with profoundly ignorant yet smug comments masquerading as questions. I might be more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt, but having just read the ridiculous ignorant bullshit comment you posted in the Sensitivity Readers post, I’m fresh out of patience.

          Yes, books are less popular than the biggest and most successful entertainment products in human history. But “relatively few” is still millions. Relatively few people drive motorcycles compared to cars, yet there are still a bunch of companies which produce motorcycles.

        3. Marvel and DC comic are dying, kept afloat only by the fact they are owned by massive conglomerates that see them as IP farms. Image, that used to have the best known Western indie comic in the WORLD with “The Walking Dead” has dedicated themselves to publishing works deliberately aimed at teeny niche audiences, for some very silly reasons. The best selling Western comic these days makes numbers that would be considered mediocre, barely above cancellation level back in the 80s or 90s. The number of direct market comic shops have fallen dramatically and show no signs of improving. The trade paperback collections that used to make up for the loss no longer move as they used to in many cases and it’s hard to tell whether digital sales are expanding the audience…or just dividing up the remaining audience who’ve given up on print. Manga’s doing decent, but that’s imported. So, no, I don’t see how you could think comics are doing “better” than prose.

        4. “…in the USA at least, relatively few people actually read books for pleasure.”

          Doubt it. From what I’ve seen, there’s a veritable plethora of books in the recreational genres like mystery, romance and action thrillers, that still sells well enough to keep writers fed. What I found interesting was that a lot of it is set in, themed for, and hence likely aimed at the American South and Midwest. Apparently, people in flyover country can read. Like, for fun. Shocker, I know.

          More to the point, ever notice how action thrillers are frequently denigrated as airport trash? Or how romance novels (bar the trendy British ones, natch) are invariably associated with emotionally unsatisfied housewives? Is it just me, or is precisely the fact that these books sell quite well, that tends to elicit such scoffing from the self-styled highbrow critics?

          All in all, I find that the actual popularity of entertainment products has little to do with the picture presented by mainstream journalism… Much like everything else these days. Another shocker, I know.

    1. You say that like it is so simple, yet my scrappy little blog and gang of wrongfans is more effective at this than the marketing departments of major publishers. 😀 (and yes, that has happened because I’ve bombed authors who’ve had both)

  22. I don’t understand why saying “Hey look a cool thing! If we all get the cool thing today, more people will learn about cool things!” is problematic.

  23. I have a question that may have been answered before but I have personally not seen an answer to. In the case of Sakura, the book was available for free to Kindle Unlimited members. Do authors receive the same royalties if someone gets the ebook that way?

    1. The way I understand Kindle Unlimited is the Amazon decides that it will make a pool of X amount of money from which to pay KU authors. How much each individual author is paid from that pool depends on how many people read at least a portion that author’s books.

      I think I remember that is how it was set up at the beginning. The method for determining payment has probably gone through many iterations since then, but should still be similar in principle.

    2. Kindle Unlimited pays on a page read basis, with a rate that varies from month to month based on how much money was generated by subscriptions. The rate per hundred pages is a bit under fifty cents; a 100,000-word book tends to be around 400-450 pages (formatting will affect that) and will generate a little over $2.00 for the author if someone reads the whole book.

      I make about 60% of my writing income from KU borrows; other writers I know in the program make anything from 40-60% that way. While you don’t make as much as from the sale of a $3.99 or higher ebook, it’s close enough and there is a very large pool of readers who mostly use KU for their ebook reads. There are lots of problems with the program but going through all of them would take a full article and this is already approaching tl;dr territory.

      Reading Sakura on KU would (assuming a page count of 660 as mentioned in the book description) would generate about $2.80-3.30 in income (if you read the whole book) depending on what the per-page rate turns out to be. If you buy it at $4.99, the book would earn about $3.35 (70% of cover price minus a small fee of usually 8-10 cents). So buying usually makes a little more money than ‘renting.’

      1. Thank you for the info. I am not enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. I was just curious as the KU membership seemed like a pretty good deal.

      2. Thanks for explaining that so well C.J.!

        Wife and I have a single KU account we share but I pretty much buy any of my books outright instead to get just that extra few more “GET PAID” cents into the authors pocket. A lot of time I just don’t get a chance to read the ones I one on KU or something else shiny comes up to distract me.

        Like one of your books. Shiny!

  24. Tangentially, when you mention the FaceBook Throttling or “De-Boosting” Larry. On the 24th, Steven Crowder of “Louder with Crowder” on Youtube and now BlazeTV just last week had a huge kerfuffle with ABC/Disney over getting a hard copyright strike on a livestream of the Oscars. Literally an “anti-Oscar” name/parody.

    Check out the fight if you care or want a chuckle. They’re usually pretty funny folks on there, it’s basically a Late Night show.

    The reason I mention all that is that later last weekthey then did a show (#439 with James O’Keefe who has screenshots of multiple pages being “De-Boosted”) as well as their lawyer how they probably are going to be going to court for suing these giants for breaking the law on this stuff. Multiple times.

    And you sir, surely sound exactly like one who has been “De-Boosted” / Throttled back so that folks don’t see your notifications on Facebook book on purpose. Its not just conjecture now. It’s whistle blown, screenshot etc for it.

    Sorry to go off into the weeds on this, you probably were already aware, but maybe some other fans & authors weren’t.

  25. A note on the ongoing benefits of a Book Bomb. I bought Sakura during the last one. Yesterday I got an email from Amazon saying that since I bought Sakura I might be interested in other books by Zach Hill. I liked Sakura enough that I’ll buy at least one more. So it’s not just a single book Larry exposes us to, but the author’s whole catalogue.

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