• Writing Wednesday

    Writing Wednesday: Price Points

    I’ve released two books back to back so far this year, MAGIC & MANNERS in March, followed by ATLANTIS FALLEN in April.

    As an experiment, I priced ATLANTIS FALLEN $2 cheaper than M&M, to see if the number of sales at the lower price point made up for or (hopefully) outstripped the profit I make off the higher purchase price of MAGIC & MANNERS.

    It did. Just barely. It took about 28 of its first 30 days to catch up to MAGIC & MANNERS’ first month, and in the last couple days it inched into making slightly more money than M&M had, but we’re talking about…$110 more. Which is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s also not a great argument for quantity over…er. Higher price point. Whatever single word we would use to mean that. :)

    There are an overwhelming number of unknowns in this variable, making it pretty well impossible to say whether ATLANTIS FALLEN would have done (financially, for me) just as well at $9.99 as it did at $7.99. Just a few of those variables are:

    – it was the second book I released in a row; perhaps at $9.99 it would’ve sold fewer copies because of that

    – it’s urban fantasy vs historical fantasy, and urban fantasy is kind of what CE Murphy is Known For, so perhaps the price point didn’t matter at all because of Preferred Genre status

    – I promoted MAGIC & MANNERS pretty damn relentlessly its first month but was much more lacksadaisical about ATLANTIS FALLEN

    All of those and other things could be factors. Absolutely no way of telling.

    A thing I’m finding really interesting, though, is that throughout April, and so far in May, MAGIC & MANNERS is only slightly behind ATLANTIS FALLEN in absolute number of sales (and consequently slightly head in actual profit, because of the price point difference).

    The wonderful thing about that, from my perspective, is that although I have a perception that readers feel Urban Fantasy is My Thing, it may be really that CE Murphy is My Brand and that’s what people are buying, more than a specific genre. Which is what a writer hopes for, of course, so yay! (Especially yay because whoo boy do I have a wide variety of stuff coming out over the next several months! :))

    At any rate, I think I’m going to leave ATLANTIS FALLEN at $7.99 and see how the two books play out over the course of several months or even a year, just out of curiosity. All of this is a long-term game

    Oh, and for those who are curious: NO DOMINION, which was released, er, several years ago now, doesn’t seem to be getting any kind of boost from the new books. It’s still selling about what it has been the past couple-three years, which is both interesting and totally fine. If its sales represent the long-term income/sales numbers for any given book then someday that’ll be a modestly decent income to rely on. So that’s cool.

    Obligatory link salad:
    MAGIC & MANNERS:
    Kobo || Kindle || Nook || Amazon || Audible
    & at bookstores near you! (ask them to order you a copy!)

    ATLANTIS FALLEN:
    iBooks || Kindle || Kobo || Nook

  • CEMurphy,  Walker Papers

    Shaman Rises cover reveal!

    I thought I’d start the new year off right, with a cover reveal for SHAMAN RISES, the final book of the Walker Papers!

    ShamanRises_full

    Would you like to know all the reasons this cover is terrific? Let me tell you all the reasons it’s perfect!

    First: the colors. My publisher’s always been very good about discussing colors with me, and I very much wanted the final book in the series to have a light, bright look in direct and deliberate contrast to the first book’s cover. So what do I get? Spring green and whites: *perfect*, and also well in keeping with the time frame for the book, which is set in early April.

    Second: Joanne’s pose. It’s *perfect*. It’s strong. It’s confident. It’s relaxed. It’s looking upward and outward, challenging without being afraid. It is, again, the *perfect* contrast to the dark, clench-fisted tension of the first cover.

    Third: JOANNE HAS A FACE! Okay, granted, the face looks absolutely nothing like Joanne (and we won’t even talk about the hair!) but we actually finally get to fully see her, and it’s as a grown-up, confident woman, which actually–although I know perfectly well this was not the intention of the cover department; it’s just been the evolution of urban fantasy covers over the past eight years–really works beautifully well in terms of slow reveals. I’m just delighted with it!

    So there we go, lads. SHAMAN RISES, the final book of the Walker Papers, coming in July 2014…

    …and if by some chance you haven’t read NO DOMINION, the collection of Walker Papers short stories that fits between RAVEN CALLS and MOUNTAIN ECHOES, I *heartily* suggest you pick it up and read it before reading SHAMAN RISES…! :) (Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N Nook)

  • the essential kit
    Crowdfunding,  Walker Papers

    ElectriCity

    Author Kait Nolan wrote a blog about Kickstarters and platforms (featuring me!), which caused me to go have a look at the most successful fiction Kickstarters.

    NO DOMINION’s still in the top 15, which surprised and delighted me. DINOPOCALYPSE NOW, which I’ll be writing a book for next month, is still in the top 5. (And Tim Pratt’s latest Marla Mason novel is also in the top 20! Yay!) The whole thing made me kinda want to run another Kickstarter.

    Kinda. :)

    I’m not going to (despite somebody asking for an Inheritors’ Cycle Kickstarter the other day), but one of my post-contract plans is to finish the script for Fred Hicks’s ElectriCity graphic novel, which we do expect to Kickstart when we get all those ducks in a row.

    I have a *lot* of post-contract plans, because there’s no known cure for workaholism, but ElectriCity is one of the handful of smaller (for the value of smaller that means “130 pages of comic script”) projects that I think would be hugely satisfying to get written. It’s front-loaded writing work for me, but beyond that it’s sheer flipping fun. I’ve project managed a comic before. I *loved* it. I really want to do it again.

    And when I mentioned it on Twitter, our artist sat up and said, “Yes, please. Now, please!”

    Anyway, so yeah. I have far too many potential projects and still have a book to write under contract before I can go anywhere near even ElectriCity, nevermind the others (which I am not fool enough to detail for you!), but that’ll be fun, when I get to it. :)