Invading Spaces

Posts about my old books (Commodork, Invading Spaces) as well as new books and projects can be found here. Want to find out what's coming out next? Check in here!

Invading Spaces

Postby Flack » July 5th, 2010, 8:36 pm

If you have any questions about Invading Spaces, feel free to ask them in this thread.
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Re: Invading Spaces

Postby Kurri » August 30th, 2010, 10:58 pm

Hey Flack, when are you planning on releasing Invading Spaces on the Kindle format?
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Re: Invading Spaces

Postby Flack » August 31st, 2010, 2:07 pm

Good question. It's something I should probably do sooner than later.

A little background. When I originally wrote Commodork, I was dead set against releasing digital copies of the book because I was afraid of it being pirated. I know, I know, the irony is thick -- the book is essentially all about all the software I grew up pirating, so having my own book pirated would probably be listed in the dictionary under "karma".

What I decided with Commodork was, once sales leveled off, I would release it in eBook format. That way, if it did end up being pirated, I would have already made my money. Sales of Commodork began to slow down around the 500 mark, so I decided it might be time to release the book electronically. Originally I thought people would prefer the PDF version, so I made it available for five bucks. Adding the book to the Kindle and iTunes were definitely afterthoughts. I honestly thought PDF would be the most popular format. If it were me, I would buy the PDF (especially since I didn't include any DRM) and then convert it into other formats (mobi or whatever). My other reason for originally doing it this way (releasing the PDF) was because if you pay me $5 for the PDF, I make $5 (minus PayPal fees). If you pay $10 for it on the Kindle, I make $3.50. Oh, and when I put it on the Kindle for $10, I sold 0 copies. I eventually lowered the price to .99 just to say I had sold some. I now sell a few copies a month. At the end of the month, they PayPal me my profits -- .35 a copy, minus .35 for PayPal plus 3% for PayPal fees.

Now, a funny thing happened with Commodork. Jason Scott started selling bundles of my book with his BBS Documentary. Jason is much better at marketing than I, and along with all the attention his new documentary is getting, his sales of my book are much greater than my own. He is selling probably 25 copies of my book every 2 months, whereas I sell 5 or 6, half of those physical and the other half PDF. The last I checked, I've sold over 1,000 copies at this point. About 800 of those were physical copies and the rest have been PDF copies. I haven't kept track of iTunes or Kindle sales but combined I would say it's less than 100 copies.

Wow, that's a lot of typing and I haven't even mentioned Invading Spaces yet.

Based on the success/sales of Commodork, I had hoped to start selling e-copies of Invading Spaces at around the same mark, about 500 copies or so. Problem is, Invading Spaces never got there. I'm sure I've sold less than 100 copies of Invading Spaces. There are multiple reasons for that, the biggest of which is that Commodork was reviewed on Slashdot and Invading Spaces wasn't. That was a huge push for me the first time around, one I wasn't as lucky to get the second time. Additionally, reviews of Invading Spaces haven't been quite as positive. Some people complained because the book is a combination of technical information and arcade-related stories. Some people were looking for technical data only while others were looking for stories only. I was hoping to please both camps by combining the two but ... I guess you really can't please everyone, even when you specifically attempt to please everyone! :)

So going back to the days before Commodork, what I wanted -- no, wait; what I thought I wanted -- was to make a living writing books. And I did make some money off of Commodork, although to put it in the real world context, I've made less off of Commodork in four years than I make in two months at my day job. And really what I found out was, I liked people reading my stuff as much if not more than I liked the money. That doesn't mean that I'm quite ready to start writing books for free yet, maybe someday.

Wow. I guess I had a lot of stuff to say about this; I just didn't know it when I started.

I'm going to work on getting a PDF copy of Invading Spaces online for sale by this weekend, and will start the process of getting it added to iTunes and the Kindle after that.

I would really like to start marketing more eBooks than physical books, but after finding copies of Commodork all over the web this past weekend, I'm a little disheartened.
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Re: Invading Spaces

Postby Kurri » August 31st, 2010, 9:32 pm

Thanks Flack. If it were not for the Kindle offering of Commodork, I probably would not have visited this site, or even heard of you. You may not have made much money on my sale, but you did gain a reader for future offerings.

I can't advise you to sell short to gain an audience for futures sales. If that worked, I would have purchased your second book as it is. I bought a used Kindle 1 and no longer buy physical books. I wanted a digital copy but with the easy of a Kindle whisperet purchase. If you were to list Invading Spaces for Kindle at $9.99 or less, you would likely have a sale with my purchase. It is difficult to pirate the Kindle format. Have you tried to read an SD card that you may have used on a Kindle? I find that the content is locked. Let us know when it hits Amazon.
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Re: Invading Spaces

Postby Kid Ice » August 31st, 2010, 10:13 pm

Flack wrote:What I decided with Commodork was, once sales leveled off, I would release it in eBook format. That way, if it did end up being pirated, I would have already made my money. Sales of Commodork began to slow down around the 500 mark, so I decided it might be time to release the book electronically. Originally I thought people would prefer the PDF version, so I made it available for five bucks. Adding the book to the Kindle and iTunes were definitely afterthoughts. I honestly thought PDF would be the most popular format. If it were me, I would buy the PDF (especially since I didn't include any DRM) and then convert it into other formats (mobi or whatever). My other reason for originally doing it this way (releasing the PDF) was because if you pay me $5 for the PDF, I make $5 (minus PayPal fees). If you pay $10 for it on the Kindle, I make $3.50. Oh, and when I put it on the Kindle for $10, I sold 0 copies. I eventually lowered the price to .99 just to say I had sold some. I now sell a few copies a month. At the end of the month, they PayPal me my profits -- .35 a copy, minus .35 for PayPal plus 3% for PayPal fees.


Wow, I'm honestly surprised Commodork hasn't sold better on the Kindle, I'm always searching for vg books on there. I guess e-books aren't as popular as I thought. I might pick up a second copy on the Kindle at that rate, but it sounds like it would cost you money. :o
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Re: Invading Spaces

Postby Kurri » August 31st, 2010, 11:37 pm

I wish I would remember where I saw the link to the book. It was a great trip down memory lane. After reading it, I began to search out some folks from a couple of boards back then. I found one guy and was able to put his face to his handle. We chatted online about the first SysOp (Mort Goodman) of an elite Apple site in the early 80's.

Hey, anyone remember reading 'Boardwatch' magazine?
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Re: Invading Spaces

Postby Flack » September 2nd, 2010, 7:54 pm

I never heard of Boardwalk Magazine, but what's funny is I remember a Boardwalk BBS ... and after doing some searching, it appears that was a fairly common name! I wonder if all those people read the magazine!?
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