Thursday, March 04, 2010

JA Konrath Kindle Sales: 30k Ebooks In 11 Months

I uploaded my first self-published ebook for Amazon Kindle back on April 8, 2009.

As of this morning, March 4 at 9;23am, I've sold 29,224 ebooks.

I'm currently selling $1.99 ebooks at the rate of 170 per day. That means I'm earning around $120 per day just sitting on my butt. If this trend continues as-is, I'll earn $43,800 this year on previously published short stories and novels that NY print publishing rejected.

But I don't expect this trend to continue as-is. I expect it to explode.

In July, Amazon is doubling royalty rates for self-publishers, going from 35% to 70%.

I have no doubt, by the end of the year, I'll be making 5k per month on Kindle. And that's probably a low estimate.

So how am I doing this? What's the secret?

Here are my guesses as to why I keep selling well.

1. Being known. I already have some name recognition from my print books. There are half a million books of mine in print worldwide, and some of those readers go looking for me on Amazon and find my self-pubbed Kindle titles.

2. This blog. I have a blog called A Newbie's Guide to Publishing where I often talk about ebooks. That blog gets over a thousand hits per day, and some of those readers wind up becoming ebook buyers.

3. Low price. I've found the sweet spot for pricing to be $1.99, though that will go up to $2.99 when the royalty rate changes. Perhaps I could make a bit more money selling at $2.99 now, but that would mean some fewer sales, which would negate:

4. Being on the Kindle genre bestseller lists. The bestseller lists are chances for browsers to find you when they're looking for well-known books by well-known authors. In my case, they'll buy a Stephen King, James Patterson, or JD Robb, see me next to that author for only $1.99, and it's a one-click impulse purchase. It's worth a lower price to stay high up on those lists. Last week I had ten titles in the Police Procedural Top 100. I believe these lists become self-fulfilling prophecies. The more you sell, the more you sell.

5. Word of mouth. Or in this case, word of Google. If you Google me, you get a lot of hits. Lots of folks link to me, review me, read and recommend me. I did a lot of self-promotion for my print career, and that foundation still stands in over 100,000 mentions on the world wide web. This extends to Twitter and Facebook, and the kind folks who retweet and link to me.

6. Promotion. Strangely, I don't do much self-promotion for my Kindle books. Especially compared to my print books, where I've signed at over 1200 bookstores. I've posted my titles on a few Kindle forums, done a few Amazon blogs and Listmanias, and been lucky to get a lot of reviews and a few mentions by the mainstream media. But for the most part, my Kindle promo strategy has been hands-off. In fact, I know that Kindlers hate too much blatant self-promotion, and will label you a spammer if you toot your own horn a lot.

7. Cross Pollenation. It's no secret that I write scary books under the pen name Jack Kilborn. I want all JA Konrath readers to know this, and all Jack Kilborn readers to know he's really JA Konrath. So I've tied the two names together by writing the novella Truck Stop, featuring my series character Jack Daniels, and my villains from Afraid and SERIAL. I wrote SERIAL with Blake Crouch, ensuring his fans discover me. I wrote novellas with Tom Schreck, Jeff Strand, and Henry Perez, to make sure their fans know who I am. And I recently put ebook excerpts from my other titles in the back of my ebooks. Plus, I'm now trading excerpts with Robert W. Walker to hook even more readers. Remember my Virtual Paper blog?

8. Decent stories. Name recognition and cheap prices only go so far. If the ebooks aren't any good, sales will drop off. Not only should the writing be stellar, but the Kindle formatting should be perfect. A great story with terrible word formatting won't sell. Period.

9. Good covers and product descriptions. I just improved some of my covers, and saw an immediate uptick in sales. I'm also constantly adding to/tweaking my book descriptions. I've found that more information leads to stronger sales (as opposed to teasers with less info.) I also make sure my first line of description is "Only $1.99 for a limited time." By announcing the low pricing is limited, I encourage impulse buyers.

10. New content. Every few months I try to add another ebook to my Kindle store. The more books you have on Kindle, the greater your chances of being discovered. And if someone discovers you, and likes you, they'll buy more of your ebooks.

Speaking of covers, descriptions, and content, I took all of the feedback that I received when polling you folks for opinions about my ebooks, and I've updated some of the covers and descriptions based on your suggestions. Here is the new JA Konrath line-up on Kindle, with some new ebooks. These titles are each $1.99, except for SERIAL, which is free.

Click on each cover to be taken to its Amazon Kindle page.

A GUTSY ROBBERY
Several million bucks, stolen from the mob...

A PERFECT FRAME
All caught on video, with no chance of redemption...

A RED HOT RECIPE FOR RAMPAGING REVENGE
Now one man must face the entire Chicago Outfit, a group of hardened Mafia enforcers, a psychotic bookie, the most dangerous hitman on earth, and Detective Jacqueline Daniels...

His name is Tequila. And he likes those odds.

SHOT OF TEQUILA by JA Konrath

Book Description:

Shot of Tequila takes place in the early 1990s, and is both an homage to and a re-envisioning of classic action novels by authors like Mickey Spillane, Ross MacDonald, Donald Westlake, and Elmore Leonard, but with a more modern twist.

The breakneck action is intercut with scenes featuring Konrath's series hero Jack Daniels, here as a supporting character chasing the main protagonist.

Edge-of-your-seat suspense, non-stop action, and dark humor punctuate this heist novel/fugitive-on-the-run thriller. Fans of Konrath's police procedurals will enjoy the slight departure from his normal writing style, while still finding familiarity with the setting and characters.

SHOT OF TEQUILA is approximately 75,000 words.

A billionaire Senator with money to burn...
A thirty year old science experiment, about to be revealed...
Seven people, marked for death, not for what they know, but for what they are...

THE LIST by JA Konrath
History is about to repeat itself

Book Description:

THE LIST is a bit of a departure for Konrath. It's a technothriller about a group of ten people who each have tattoos of numbers on the bottoms their feet, and don't know why.

One of them, a Chicago Homicide cop named Tom Mankowski, has had one of these strange tattoos since birth. When he investigates a violent murder and discovers the victim also has a tattooed number, it sets the ball rolling for an adventure of historic proportions.

To say more would give away too much.

Like the Jack Daniels series, THE LIST combines laugh out loud humor with serious suspense and thrills.

THE LIST is approximately 82,000 words long.

A medical investigator tormented by secret guilt.
A beautiful doctor with an illicit desire.
A millionaire businessman indulging a passion for murder.
And a human guinea pig who has been awake for seven straight weeks.

DISTURB by JA Konrath
You’ll never sleep well again...

Book Description:

It's the pharmaceutical breakthrough of the millennium. DruTech Industries proudly presents N-SOM, a pill that completely replaces eight hours of sleep. Feel totally refreshed, both physically and mentally, in just fifteen minutes a night.

The profit potential is boundless. Mankind's productivity will go through the roof. One third of a person's life could be recovered, for only ten dollars a dose.

The FDA sends CDER agent Dr. Bill May to green light N-SOM for American use. The pressure, both political and monetary, is tremendous. But Bill soon harbors fears that N-SOM may not be as safe as early reports indicate...

After meeting brilliant inventors Dr. Nikos Stefanopolous and his beautiful daughter Theena, Bill stumbles into an insidious cover-up that hinges on Emmanuel Tibbets, a human guinea pig who hasn't had a fink of sleep in over fifty days.

Bill's investigation soon unearths a snarled tangle of extortion, conspiracy, taboo sex, hidden secrets, and murderous betrayal.

When N-SOM's deadly side-effects are revealed, along with the shocking truth of how the drug is produced, Bill and Theena find themselves on the run from hired assassins, three letter
government agencies, and a breed of psychopath unlike any ever known.

Billions of dollars, and billions of lives, are at stake. Can Bill and Theena survive long enough to expose the truth? Or will the world succumb to an evil that may bring about the extinction of mankind?

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath, author of the Lt. Jack Daniels series, digs into the vaults and unearths a technohorror tale from the depths of hell...

1906 - Something is discovered by workers digging the Panama Canal. Something dormant. Sinister. Very much alive.

2009 - Project Samhain. A secret underground government installation begun 103 years ago in New Mexico. The best minds in the world have been recruited to study the most amazing discovery in the history of mankind. But the century of peaceful research is about to end.

BECAUSE IT JUST WOKE UP.

Book Description:

When linguist Andrew Dennison is yanked from his bed by the Secret Service and taken to a top secret facility in the desert , he has no idea he's been brought there to translate the words of an ancient demon.

He joins pretty but cold veterinarian Sun Jones, eccentric molecular biologist Dr. Frank Belgium, and a hodge-podge of religious, military, and science personnel to try and figure out if the creature is, indeed, Satan.

But things quickly go bad, and very soon Andy isn't just fighting for his life, but the lives of everyone on earth...

ORIGIN by J.A. Konrath
All hell is about the break loose. For real.

ORIGIN is approximately 76,000 words long.

Masters of the comedy thriller genre, J.A. Konrath and Jeff Strand, team up for the humorous horror novella Suckers.

Strand's perpetually unlucky character Andrew Mayhem, star of the novels Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary), Single White Psychopath Seeks Same, and Casket For Sale (Only Used Once), sets off on a simple mission at the request of his wife: Get some spaghetti sauce.

On his way to the store he meets Konrath's obnoxious private eye Harry McGlade, co-star of the Lt. Jack Daniels thrillers Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, Rusty Nail, Dirty Martini, Fuzzy Navel, and Cherry Bomb.

Horrific violence, bad jokes, and lots of name calling soon ensues. Some sex, too, but not between the main characters.

Originally, published as a very expensive limited-edition hardcover, Suckers is now available as a super cheap ebook.

But the fun doesn't stop there.

Also included in this ebook are six other Mayhem and McGlade stories, many of them rare and long out of print.

Whelp Wanted - JA Konrath
Poor Career Choice - Jeff Strand
Taken to the Cleaners - JA Konrath
A Bit of Halloween Mayhem - Jeff Strand
The Necro File - JA Konrath
The Lost (For a Good Reason) Adventure of Andrew Mayhem - Jeff Strand

If that's not enough to get you to part with your pocket change, this ebook also includes two brand new introductions written by the authors, and an exclusive Strand/Konrath interview.

That's over 53,000 words worth of demented entertainment, for half the price of a kiddie meal at that fast food restaurant with the scary clown. It's also 1/3 of the calories.

Warning: Some of the jokes (mostly Konrath's) push the boundaries of good taste. Don't buy this if you're easily offended.

Before the events of Jack Kilborn's epic horror novel AFRAID...

Before the events of J.A. Konrath's critically acclaimed thrillers FUZZY NAVEL and CHERRY BOMB...

Before the events of Jack Kilborn's and Blake Crouch's #1 Amazon Kindle bestseller SERIAL...

Three hunters of humans meet for the ultimate showdown at the TRUCK STOP.

Taylor is a recreational killer, with dozens of gristly murders under his belt. He pulls into a busy Wisconsin truck stop at midnight, trolling for the next to die.

Chicago Homicide cop Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels is a long way from home, driving to meet her boyfriend for a well-earned vacation. She pulls into the truck stop for a quick cup of coffee and stumbles into her worst nightmare.

Jack's no stranger to dealing with psychos, but she's got her hands full trying to stop Taylor. Especially since he's getting help from someone just as deadly; a portly serial maniac named Donaldson...

TRUCK STOP is a 15,000 word thriller novella that ties together Konrath's and Kilborn's works, with terrifying results.

A prequel to SERIAL, which has been downloaded more than 70,000 times, TRUCK STOP is an eighteen-wheeled ride straight into hell. Not for the faint of heart. Let the reader beware.

This ebook also includes an exclusive interview: JA Konrath talks with Jack Kilborn, plus excerpts from their latest books, CHERRY BOMB and AFRAID.

JA Konrath is the author of the Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels mysteries, Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, Rusty Nail, Dirty Martini, Fuzzy Navel, and Cherry Bomb. Daniels is a Chicago homicide cop with a wicked sense of humor, and the novels fluctuate between funny business and serious suspense.

Tom Schreck is the author of the Duffy Dombrowski mysteries, On the Ropes, TKO, and Out Cold. Duffy is a social worker by day and a semi-pro boxer by night, and he's quick with a left hook as he is with his wit.

Planter's Punch is a collection of Jack Daniels and Duffy Dombrowski short stories. Plus Konrath and Schreck have included a cross-over short that features both of their lead characters.

This 56,000 word compilation features ten stories, an interview, and an excerpt from Konrath's seventh Jack Daniels novel, Shaken.

Contents include:

On the Rocks - JA Konrath
Duffy by Decision - Tom Schreck
Body Shots - JA Konrath
Duffy, Elvis and One Very Special Hound Dog - Tom Schreck
With a Twist - JA Konrath
The Duffy Vinci Code - Tom Schreck
Overproof - JA Konrath
Hounding Duffy - Tom Schreck
Shaken (excerpt) - JA Konrath
The Right Choice – Tom Schreck
Planter’s Punch – JA Konrath & Tom Schreck
Tom Schreck Interviews JA Konrath

Both Schreck and Konrath write funny, laugh out-loud mysteries without skimping on the action and suspense.

This collection of more than one thousand raunchy jokes and funny poems, formatted especially for your Kindle, is easily the best pocket change you'll ever spend on anything, except for maybe some sort of medication that helps keep you alive.

Here are some examples of the over one thousand (did we mention there are over 1000?) gems included in this ebook:

WHY THE FLOOR IS WET
I pissed,
And I missed.

JEFF
No one likes,
My cousin Jeff,
He’s a nice guy,
But has bad breff.

GRANDMA
My Grandma wears a diaper,
I really hate to wipe her.

I LOST MY SQUIRREL
I lost my squirrel!
I lost my squirrel!
It just fell off now I’m a girl!

FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS
Why is it raining?
I don’t Noah.

GIANT HOG
There is a giant hog,
Who lives in my garage,
But I never see him,
Because he uses hamoflage.

DOING TIME
Prison gave me acne,
So I broke out.

HUNGRY GUY
I ate the parrot,
And didn’t share it.

THE PILL
Mary is on the pill,
But it plagues her with doubt,
Whenever she has sex,
The pill just falls right out.

Plus hundreds more bad poems, most of them too filthy to be printed here.

Besides the lousy poetry, this book contains hundreds of Haknort's thoughts and observations, including:

I wrote a book about menopause, but it is hard to understand because it doesn't have any periods.

When the old gypsy cursed me, I laughed in her face. I'm not laughing now, because when she saw me laugh she beat the crap out of me.

I was addicted to nicotine gum, chewing three packs a day. So in order to ween myself off, I started smoking.

Whenever I go fishing, I'm reminded of an old girlfriend. Her name was Annette. She also had a sister, named Smallmouth Bass.

I’ll never forget what my grandfather used to say. I would sit on his lap and he would yell, “Fatty buttocks! Fatty Buttocks!” at the top of his lungs. I guess I never really understood my grandfather. My parents didn’t, either. That’s probably why they put him away.

Yes, believe it or not, there really is a blue six foot chicken named PepĂ© living in my bedroom closet. Either that or it’s the drugs.

It’s much easier to differentiate between a cabbage and a lettuce if you give them names, like Shelly or Jockmo.

Instead of "Mothers Day" how about "Sexy Virgins Day?" It can be nine months earlier.

I never claimed to be a genius. Well, except on that billboard I rented.

I remember Mom’s signature dish. She called it Pork Surprise. It was just a big bowl of dirt with some clumps of weeds in it. When we asked where the pork was, she’d yell: “There’s no pork... surprise!”

It's not fun watching a grown man cry. Unless you have a comfy chair to sit in, and maybe some snacks.

And many, many, so many more. Boy, there are lots more. Lots. Too many, in fact.

So get yours today, before we jack the price up to $9.99 like all the other ebooks on Amazon. Hurry! Do it now!

JA Konrath, known for the Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels thrillers set in Chicago, offers this collection of short stories and novellas from the Jack Daniels universe.

Join Jack Daniels, her partner Herb Benedict, private eye Harry McGlade, and part-time criminal Phineas Troutt, in this omnibus of 15 stories.

These were previous published in magazines and anthologies, and many are long out of print.

On the Rocks - Suicide or murder? Lt. Jack Daniels solves a locked room mystery.
Whelp Wanted - P.I. Harry McGlade becomes a dognapper in order to stop a dognapper, or something like that.
Street Music - Phineas Troutt hunts a prostitute through the dangerous streets of Chicago. Are his intentions pure?
The One That Got Away - The Gingerbread Man (the villain from WHISKEY SOUR) hunts one final victim.
With a Twist - It looked like the man fell from a great height, but the body is in his living room. Jack Daniels solves another impossible crime.
Epitaph - Phin Troutt takes on a Chicago street gang with vengeance on his mind.
Taken to the Cleaners - Harry McGlade tries to solve a difficult mystery, but mostly just goofs off.
Body Shots - Jack Daniels faces her most challenging case yet; a school shooting. But does she know more about the perp than she realizes?
Suffer - Phineas Troutt has taken some questionable jobs, but will he murder a man's wife?
School Daze - P.I. Harry McGlade investigates a private school, but he's not entirely sure why.
Overproof - While shopping on the Gold Coast, Jack Daniels notices traffic has come to a stand-still. When she realizes what the problem is, she's confronted with her own mortality, and the possible deaths of hundreds.
Bereavement - How badly does Phineas Troutt need a fix? What is he willing to do?
Pot Shot - Detective Herb Benedict just wants a home cooked meal. But his plans get interrupted by a very determined sniper.
Last Request - Phineas Troutt picks up a hitchhiker, with deadly results.
The Necro File - Harry McGlade investigates some bizarre murders in this hilarious, gore-filled mini-epic. (Author's note: This is easily the funniest thing I've ever written, but it's also very offensive. Let the reader beware...)

That's about 65,000 words of Jack Daniels and friends.

This collection by J.A. Konrath (aka Jack Kilborn) features scary, gruesome, and even a few funny horror tales, most of them previously published in various magazines and anthologies. Stories include:

Finicky Eater - It's after a nuclear war, and a mother and her son are in a fallout shelter, the food long long...
The Screaming - Van Helsing and vampires, in 1960s England.
Mr. Pull Ups - A body modification tale taken to the extreme.
The Shed - Two burglars find the door to hell.
Them's Good Eats - Rednecks vs. aliens, on a spaceship ride of horrors.
First Time - A coming of age tale where all may not be what it appears.
Forgiveness - A dying serial killer asks for a priest to hear his last confession.
Redux - Ghost story noir, about a private eye and a deadly haunting.
The Bag - What's in the bag? You really don't want to know...
Careful, He Bites - Lycanthrope flash fiction.
Symbios - A sci-fi novella about man's first encounter with alien life, and how
things can quickly turn bad.
A Matter of Taste - Zombie flash fiction.
Embrace - A bit of gothic horror.
Trailer Sucks - Some trailer park jerks kidnap a vampire.
Markey - Flash fiction, from a twisted point of view.
Punishment Room - A horrific suspense tale about a not-so-distant future.
The Confession - Terrible crimes, told entirely in dialog.
Basketcase - Hardboiled noir with a horrific twist.
The Agreement - A gambler pays the ultimate price to get out of a debt.
Well Balanced Meal - The worst restaurant you've ever been in.
S.A. - A werewolf novella about a Shapshifters Anonymous group that must battle Santa Claus.
Dear Diary - A very twisted pom pon girl reveals the secret of her inner strength.
Mr. Spaceman - We've come to mate with earth women.
Appalachian Lullaby - What do you do with a radioactive monkey?
Treatment - A troubled boy talks to a psychiatrist, but are either what they seem?
A Sound of Blunder - A parody of Bradbury's Sound of Thunder, co-written with F. Paul Wilson.

That's over 70,000 words of horror, for less than the price of a coffee. If you liked AFRAID by Jack Kilborn, or the dark parts of Konrath's Jack Daniels series, this ebook is right up your alley.

Twenty crime and mystery stories, some of them series, some funny, some real puzzlers. Most of these were previously published in various anthologies and magazines.

If you're a fan of Konrath's Jack Daniels series, it's worth checking out. Contents include:

The Big Guys - Flash fiction, winner of the Derringer Awar
A Fistful of Cozy - A satire of the mystery cozy genre.
Cleansing - An ancient crime of biblical proportions
Lying Eyes - Solve it yourself, given the clues.
Perfect Plan - Another solve it yourself. Don't you remember One Minute Mysteries and Encyclopedia Brown?
Piece of Cake - Another solve it yourself, originally featured in Woman's World.
Animal Attraction - Solve it yourself.
Urgent Reply Needed - A cautionary tale about dealing with spammers.
Blaine's Deal - A parody of hardboiled noir.
Light Drizzle - A light-hearted send-up of hitman stories.
An Archaeologist's Story - How digging up old bones leads to fresh corpses.
Don't Press That Button! - An essay about the gadgets in the James Bond
universe, and which you need to buy.
Piranha Pool - A writer seeking criticism pays the ultimate price.
A Newbie's Guide to Thrillerfest - Never been to a mystery conference? Here's the in-depth dirt.
Inspector Oxnard - He's either brilliant, or too stupid to breathe.
One Night Only - A sports fan ends up in jail, all for the love of the game.
Could Stephanie Plum Car Really Get Car Insurance? - An essay about Janet Evanovich's famous character.
Cozy or Hardboiled? - Take the test to find out which type of book you're reading.
Addiction - What's the worst drug you can get hung up on?
Weigh To Go - A humor column about health clubs.

When the latest in a series of dead bodies turns up in the Chicago River, newspaper reporter Alex Chapa and Police Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels reluctantly join forces.

Thriller writers J.A. Konrath (Whiskey Sour, Fuzzy Navel, Cherry Bomb) and Henry Perez (Killing Red) and their series characters have teamed up to create FLOATERS, a mystery tale that combines humor with thrills.

Included in this 30,000 word collection are J.A. Konrath's LAST REQUEST, a Phineas Trout story, and FAMILIAR PLACES, a story by Henry Perez about hit man who has seen better days.

This collection also includes a conversation between the authors and excerpts from each of their new novels, CHERRY BOMB, by J.A. Konrath, and KILLING RED by Henry Perez.

Remember the twin golden rules of hitchhiking?

# 1: Don't go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.

# 2: Don't pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be a raving nutcase.

So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?

When Blake Crouch (DESERT PLACES, ABANDONED) and Jack Kilborn (AFRAID, TRAPPED), face off, the result is SERIAL, a terrifying tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong. Like a deeply twisted version of an "After School Special," SERIAL is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides.

Beyond a thrilling piece of horrifying suspense, SERIAL is also a groundbreaking experiment in literary collaboration. Kilborn wrote the first part. Crouch wrote the second. And they wrote the third together over email in 100-word exchanges, not aware of each other's opening section. All bets were off, and may the best psychopath win.

F. Paul Wilson says, "SERIAL reads just like a Crouch or Kilborn novel: Full speed ahead, no flinching, no blinking, no brakes."

SERIAL contains the 7500 word novella, SERIAL, a Q&A with Kilborn and Crouch, author bibliographies, and excerpts from their most recent and forthcoming works: Kilborn's AFRAID and Crouch's ABANDON.

And finally, a note/disclaimer from the authors:

SERIAL is a horror novella written by two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction.

But just because it is 100% free doesn't mean you should automatically download it.

This is disturbing stuff. Perhaps too disturbing.

If you can handle horrific thrills, proceed at your own risk.

But if you suffer from anxiety attacks, nervous disorders, insomnia, nightmares or night terrors, heart palpitations, stomach problems, or are of an overly sensitive nature, you should read something else instead.

The authors are in no way responsible for any lost sleep, missed work, failed relationships, or difficulty in coping with life after you have read SERIAL. They will not pay for any therapy you may require as a result of reading SERIAL. They will not cradle you in their arms, rock you back and forth, and speak in soothing tones while you unsuccessfully try to forget SERIAL.

Yes, it's free. But free has its price.

You have been warned.

# # #


So there you have it. Pictures and descriptions for my Kindle books. Five of them are currently ranked in the top 1000 Kindle bestsellers. The majority of the rest are in the top 5000. Not bad when competing against huge bestselling authors and 420,000 other ebooks currently available on Kindle.

Can you duplicate these results? Some already have. There are authors with less name-recognition than I have, who are equal to or beating my sales. It shouldn't be a surprise that they all seem to be doing many of the things I've mentioned above.

The ebook world in general, and the Kindle in particular, has leveled the playing field for self-published authors.

It's going to be an interesting year. If you're a writer, you can watch from the sidelines, waiting for the publishing industry to get a clue. Or you can carve a niche now, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and it gets much harder to succeed.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I have another ebook coming soon to Kindle. An ebook that hundreds of people have been asking me about for years. One that contains almost 400,000 words of publishing tips from yours truly, all organized by section and fully searchable, updated to include all of my blog posts about ebooks.

Can I get a hell yeah? :)

40 comments:

Chuck said...

Hell yeah.

-- Chuck

Joe Konrath said...

Can I get a hell yeah with an exclamation point? :)

Scott Marlowe said...

Here (bolded, even):

Hell yeah!

Nice work. I've followed your blog for years. Thanks for the great advice and congrats on the success thus far. You've earned it.

rex kusler said...

This is an idea Ruth Francisco came up with: "I think we should start thinking about buying an island in the Caribbean. We'll only let Kindle authors live on it. Everyone will work on their books during the day, and in the evenings we'll gather on the beach to roast boar and drink ridiculously potent tropical beverages."

My thoughts: We'll name it Konrath Island, and Joe will ring the bell each afternooon to commence happy hour.

Cheers,

Rex Kusler

Karen from Mentor said...

"It's no secret that I write scary books under the pen name Jack Kilborn"

Made me laugh. Rusty Nail and Fuzzy Navel weren't scary?

You might need a new dictionary, Joe, because those two JA Konrath books live side by side in my freezer with AFRAID by Jack Kilborn.

Admittedly, AFRAID also has rubber band restraints...



[shudder]

Stephen said...

To add to my signed first edition mystery book collection I ran across your works at the Printers Row Festival about two years ago, when you were signing, and bought all your books (remember walking to your car to pull the books out of the trunk! And you signing them in the rain under an umbrella!) Since then I have not only tracked your career but have been an avid follower of your e-book advice. As an author facing changing technologies, and with the turmoil of digital publishing confusing the big NYC houses against a down economy, you have been perhaps the only one who has best understood the business model on how to make money. Insightful advice from $1.99 pricing thus springs major sales, to how to build your fan base. On your direction I posted a short story about author book signing, on sale for $1.99 and it has done well. I wish you the best and hope we can someday again visit socially. Stephen Grogan, author of Vegas Die, a Quest Mystery.

Chuck said...

Exclamations added -- take a handful. They're small.

--> !!!!!!!

Double-barrel "Hell yeah!" straight to the dome. BOOSH.

-- c.

Bob said...

Thank you for sharing. I've had 40 books published traditionally and just started bringing my backlist out on Kindle and other platforms. I think it's changing the face of publishing. I'm releasing my first original work next week and am excited about. A thriller that publishers couldn't place. And a book on being an author, titled Warrior Writer: Going from Writer to Published Author. It still amazes me that publishers and agents have no formal training for authors. So we have to do it ourself.
Who Dares Wins Publishing has only been alive a month, and we just got our 6th title up, but already we've sold hundreds of copies and I only see the synergy getting stronger.
Thanks for the post.

Jim said...

Of all the things you said, the most pertinent is to be sure the book is good (followed closely by good cover and good product description).

It's becoming more and more true that the book itself is the promotion, and the author's "promotion" on the side (via blogs, signings, etc.) is becoming less and less relevant.

This is because the internet is making it easier for readers to find the genres and types of books they are looking for as well as instantaly see what other readers think of those particular books. The internet also allows for immediate sample chapters and purchases.

My kindle sales in February 2010 were almost $7K retail with no promotion whatsoever other than the books themselves.

PS: The SHOT cover is 200% better. Good job.

Mike Dennis said...

Great post, Joe. I especially liked the SHOT OF TEQUILA cover.

Will you be at Left Coast Crime next week?

Igotnothing said...

'That means I'm earning around $120 per day just sitting on my butt.'

I've just started reading you blog and while I have not read all of your post I know that this is not true. You deserve all the credit for your success. Congratulations on the numbers and hope you have continued success in the future!

Oh yeah, and great blog!

Christine Macdonald said...

Hard work and talent really does pay off.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Cecilia Tan said...

Way to go, Joe! More power to ya!

Karen_McQuestion said...

Your blog posts just get better and better. :-)

"Can you duplicate these results? Some already have."

I'm one of them, I'm happy to say. By doing many of the things you mentioned, my six Kindle books have done very well. Of course, these are novels which had been critiqued, revised, edited, agented, and (in some cases) had close calls at publishing houses. Like you, having multiple titles has been to my advantage. If a reader likes one, they often move on to the others.

"The ebook world in general, and the Kindle in particular, has leveled the playing field for self-published authors."

I couldn't agree more.

In the last seven months I've made more money and had more doors open to me--a movie deal for one of my Kindle novels, speaking engagements, etc.--than I had freelance writing during the previous seven years.

Your advice has been invaluable, Joe, so I'll gladly give you a "Hell yeah!! and I'll buy your new book too. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Or, you know, you could just be really, really good....

Graham Storrs said...

Someone asked me today who is the most inspiring writer I know and I said Joe Konrath without any hesitation - and I've never read a single one of your books! (My wife certainly has though.)

I'm a newbie writer with just a single published book to my name and you are showing me the way to make a career of this.

Cheryl said...

Wow, you are amazing!!!! And that's with 4 exclamation points. That is some wonderful info you posted, lots to chew and digest. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Jude Hardin said...

Love the new Disturb cover!

Dave Bara said...

Started reading your blog a couple months back, and just bought one of your mmpb's. That's the first time I've ever bought a book based on an author's blog.

And can I just say for the record YOU ARE FUCKING BRILLIANT.

Thanks - db

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words. And thanks for the links and retweets. This blog entry has been retweeted 50 times in less than 24 hours. I'm awed that so many people are interested in this topic, and it isn't hurting my sales either. :)

Maria said...

Joe--it's great to see your success and thanks for sharing the stats with us. I hope it does explode!!!

I've been on a few of those genre lists and you're right, it does help sales. I write cozy mysteries though--and try as I might, the one list that eludes me is the MYSTERY list!!! Thrillers beat me out every time.

But I'm not complaining. I'm doing better than I ever thought I would.

Oh--love the new covers. There's only one that I don't like, but don't worry, it's a horror title and I'm not partial to horror...eek!

:>)

Maria

Zoe Winters said...

This is fantastic, Joe! I just don't understand the authors who refuse to "stoop" to self-publishing on kindle Are they in this for money or the vanity of only having "approved" work out after being "fully vetted" by the "appropriate people?" I mean hello? THAT is vanity. Getting your work out there and picking up a bunch of found money is SMART.

I'm FINALLY gearing up to get more out there. I have the novella trilogy coming out in e and print in the next couple months, as well as an ebook under a diff pen name, and a nonfiction ebook I'm working on under the Zoe name.

Jim said...

Kindle is a goldmine for independents, no question. The question as to whether Apple's ibookstore will be a similarly good venue is slowly being answered. A recent job posting at Applie Corporate is for the following position:

"Independent Publisher Account Manager
Responsible for building and growing relationships with small and medium-size book publishers, self-published authors, and other content providers for the iBookstore. Also responsible for growing revenue by proactively increasing the number of titles in the iBookstore, by implementing innovative marketing campaigns, and for continually improving the sign-up and content management process.

Identify and build relationships with independent content providers, helping them get their content onto the iBookstore.
Help grow the store's catalog, identifying and sourcing content in a variety of niche categories.
Maintain and continually improve processes related to new content provider sign-ups and content management.
Drive traffic to the iBookstore by managing and communicating the iBookstore's Affiliate program to publishing partners."

David Wisehart said...

After reading your blog I took the plunge and put my fantasy novel on Kindle.

It went live this week, and debuted at #17 on Amazon's bestseller list for historical fantasy on Kindle.

Thanks, Joe!

David Wisehart
Author of Devil's Lair

Chris Bauer said...

Every time I read something by you -- Twitter comments, FB info, writers tips, bad jokes, good jokes, about you, by you, other people shilling for you, you shilling for other people -- every bit of it makes me smile. You're doing so many things right it's freaking scary. Glad to see it.

Ruth Ann Nordin said...

Hell yeah! I'm looking forward that ebook.

And the new covers are very appealing, so the technique worked.

I love this blog. :-) It's been a big help to my sales too.

Linda Pendleton said...

Thanks for the tips. I now have serveral books at Kindle, including my late husband, Don Pendleton's Joe Copp Private Eye series and they have taken off with good sales in a little more than a week. I am now preparing his Asthon Ford Psychic Detective series of six books for Kindle. And have designed new covers for them all with my webdesigner.

Congrats on how well you are doing with Kindle. I've not dropped the price on mine, but will give it thought for the future.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Thanks for listing these--a couple I haven't got yet, Joe! And I love your success with the kindle sales--great news for all writers!

author Scott Nicholson said...

This is very inspiring, Joe--I look forward to your new expanded guide (especially with all the newer ebook information).

I think the question is no longer "Should an author self-publish?" I think the question is, "Is there a reason for me NOT to do it?" No matter what level you're at. Not just for the direct money, but for what Joe calls "the long tail." If you tend it, it can literally be your retirement plan.

In fact, I just approached my publisher about buying back most of my old rights. And, depending on the cost, I will cash out an IRA to do it. I think that's a much, much better investment than Wall Street.

Hell Yeah with seven circles of exclamation points!

Scott Nicholson
http://hauntedcomputerbooks.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

LOL, Zoe, vanity non-publishing!

Aimless Writer said...

When do you sleep?
I've been following you since your first article in Writer's Digest about how you published your first book.
I think you must be a vampire....

Portuguese cunt said...

Hey Joe-- I LOVE the new cover of Shot of Tequila. It is SUPER-Badass. Great design, really. I've become a bit of a design snob and this cover looks really sharp.

I don't like the cover for Floaters-- it doesn't seem to fit with the others in terms of continuity. I don't know if that's intentional or not.

The new DISTRUB cover is great, but I liked the old one, too.

The cover with the dead woman seems really, really, creepy-- like bordering on offensive. Maybe because her eyes are open. It's gross- but I'm a woman. It might have appeal to male readers.

I'm really happy for all your success, Joe. You really deserve it.

Esther said...

I too, found the cover of Crime Stories creepy, however, it didn't stop me from buying. What attracted and intrigued me were the clever descriptions for some of the stories and pieces. Can't wait to read them and I usually don't buy short fiction or essay collections. But, since I love your blog, I figured I would like the collection.

Theresa Milstein said...

This is an impressive list of books. I'm glad you're getting paid to sit and do nothing.

Joe Konrath said...

My brother Mike shot the cover for Crime Stories. I found it creepy as well. But that's all Photoshop. The model is alive and well and living in Florida. :)

mai-ling said...

Hey Joe,

After reading this I can see why
digital is a good way to make a decent income. I'm almost completely
convinced that digital distribution
is a good thing.

almost, not completely yet.

potenta said...

good job. i really like your blog:)

DED said...

Congratulations on your success!

R.J. Edwards said...

Joe, the information in your blog has helped me more than the dozens of self help books I've paid for over the years. You're an amazing guy and an amazing writer. Thanks for sharing your success with the rest of us!

Used Kindle said...

Amazing collection of e-books ! My favorite is SHOT OF TEQUILA by JA Konrath. This book was action packed While it’s not on the same line as the Jack Daniel’s series, it does have her in it and a few funny lines. It also has her partner – When he as SKINNY!

As usual for Konrath, this is of publishable quality.