Thursday, July 01, 2010

Celebrate Good Times

A few milestones to report on the same day.

I just finished writing my 20th novel.

I earned over $10,000 in June on Amazon Kindle.

Not bad for a mid-lister with over 500 rejections...

62 comments:

Joe Konrath said...

Since I know people will ask, the novel is the collaboration I mentioned a few months ago--the one that I'm getting the big bucks for.

Strangely, with Amazon Kindle and Encore, I don't need the big bucks as much as I once did.

Life is good. I'm having a beer. :)

Krista D. Ball said...

It's Canada Day, so having a beer is not only acceptable - it's expected.

C. Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

That's awesome Joe. Good for you. I'm having a Mike's Hard Lemonade (chick beer).

Rob in Denver said...

"... the novel is the collaboration I mentioned a few months ago ..."

Still dying to learn who.

Signed,

Impatient in Denver

David N Alderman said...

Nice work!

ebookreader4ever said...

I've been following your book successes and your blog. So pleased for your milestones. 10K - not too shabby. ;)

Cherie Reich said...

Congratulations! That's wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations in excelsis! You are admirable, inspiring AND a h*ll of a good writer!

Kathleen MacIver said...

Oh my gosh...

Dave said...

So with your commission doubling, are you expecting $20k in July?

Congrats BTW!

Laura said...

Congrats! That's inspiring. :)

Jude Hardin said...

Congrats!

I've always wondered, when you collaborate with a big name author like that is it a flat fee or do you still get royalties from sales?

Nicole MacDonald said...

Congrats Joe, a very nice income :)

roosh said...

Inspiring

Jack H. H. King said...

20 novels by 40. That's how you kick the door down.

David Wisehart said...

Congratulations on your incredible success. May it keep on growing...

WDGagliani said...

Clinking beer bottles with you, Joe.

Congrats.

I just finished my 6th novel, and I just started reading ENDURANCE on my new Kindle. And I have my next three books plotted out.

Plus I got to see Steve Hackett and Renaissance live last night less than two miles from my house.

Life IS good!

(Well, minus that $10K in June thing... but I'm working on it). LOL

Kick-ass start to ENDURANCE, btw. And it's easy to "turn pages" on a Kindle. Your books make it easy, as well -- to turn pages, I mean.

Take a long sip and anjoy!

-Bill

Anne R. Allen said...

10,000 congratulations. You're an inspiration to more people than you know.

Genie of the Shell said...

Damn! You give me lots of hope that I, too, can make a living at my dream job. Nice work! It sure does pay to live in the current century, regardless of what most of the industry is doing.

evilphilip said...

"I just finished my 6th novel, and I just started reading ENDURANCE on my new Kindle. And I have my next three books plotted out."

Congrats!

If anyone has missed W.D.'s Werewolf series you are missing out on some great books.

Just saying.

Mary McDonald said...

Congrats on finishing your 20th novel. Wow. That's quite an accomplishment.

A bunch of us Indie authors pulled together to do a contest this month. I think that's cause for celebration. :-)

M.J.A. Ware said...

Congratulations!
I second Dave's comment. I'm dying to find out of you can break 20k next month with the new royalty rate (plus, I'm guessing increasing iBook sales).

I'm thrilled to hear about any author who can pay the bills doing what they love.

Ellen Fisher said...

Congrats!

rex kusler said...

That's impressive. I've only written 6 novels, but I just finished my 20th beer.

David Wisehart said...

Joe,

Did you get invited to the beta test for the 70% royalty? Did that boost your earnings last month, or is it all upside for next month?

Thanks,

David

Ty Johnston said...

Fantastic! Congrats. Just came off my best Kindle month ever, though nowhere near $10,000.

And I've only written four novels, am a no-lister and have only had about 300 rejection notices. Only 200 more to go!

Anonymous said...

If your ebooks are listed at BN in addition to Kindle, be very careful. I have a book listed at Kindle and BN for the same price. BN discounted the price by 53%. Kindle then matched that price today, meaning I get only 70% of the LOWER price (.7 x .47). That actually turns out to be LESS than the 35% normal Kindle rate. So far, under the new 70% system, I am actually losing money. I'm in the process of getting my books off BN as quickly as possible.

rex kusler said...

Good luck with B&N, Anonymous. I originally put both my novels on Smashwords for free. Two weeks later, I changed PUNCTURED to 99 cents. It has been five months now, and B&N is still offering it for free. I even tried unpublishing everything on Smashwords, and that did no good. B&N will change the covers, but not the price. It'll probably be stuck there for free forever. With all future books, I'm only dealing with Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Rex, it sounds like BN is getting your books from Smashwords. Go to Smashwords and disengage the "publish to BN." That should do the trick.

JA, BTW, congrats. $10K in one month is pretty cool. Drinks on you?

Zoe Winters said...

@Joe, Congrats!

@Anon

Re: 70% vs 35% and getting your stuff off B&N. Why don't you just opt out of the 70% and take the 35%? With the 35% you'll get 35% of your list price, not the discounted price. (My understanding is that that hasn't changed.)

Then stay in B&N.

More outlets is more outlets. I know Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla, but the power structure could change some day. And even if it doesn't, a lot of people have and love their Nooks. Why alienate those readers or make their buying experience more of a hassle?

If B&N takes your book off sale, you can always opt back into 70%. Then when it goes on sale and Amazon discounts and you start losing money again, you go back to 35%.

rex kusler said...

No, nothing does the trick with Smashwords to B&N. It's like it's been set adrift.

Karen McQuestion said...

Joe,what exciting news! I'm thrilled for you.

Anonymous said...

Rex: Go to "Distribution Channel Manager." Under the box for BN, click "Opt-Out." There will be some lag time (at least days and possible a few weeks) before the book actually vanishes from BN, but it will happen.

Debbi said...

Congrats, Joe! That's awesome. Treat yourself to a few beers. :)

Haleine said...

Congratulations! That is excellent news. I'd say you've more than earned yourself a beer.

Martel said...

Congratulations, Joe! You rock :)

Vicki said...

Way to go, Joe!

Here's cheers to you. *clink*

Anna J said...

Good for you, Joe!! You're a pioneer, for sure.

2 questions: 1. How do you go about getting reviews on an original book published on Kindle?

2. Two of my books have just gone out of print and I've requested the return of my rights. One was published in 2003 and has never been an e-book; however, the other is currently still an e-book and is being presented for sale for $5.99 in all of the e-book venues....Given all that is now going on in e-publishing and e-reading, what are the chances I will *ever* get those rights back on either one of those books?

Thanks for your smarts.

L.J. Sellers said...

Congratulations! You're an inspiration. Have a beer for me too.

Mary Stella said...

Congratulations on all counts, Joe.

I'll make sure to order the top shelf vodka next time you're buying at a conference. :-)

Errol R. Williams said...

A HUGE congratulations and may your success continue.

Moses said...

*Raises his Guinness*

*Looks at Joe when the tab comes*

Des Greene said...

Bubbly all round - great indie success!

It's all in the marketing!

Vincent Zandri said...

Right on Joe...Although I have a traditional contract with a non-traditional indy-minded press, Stone House, I'm also happy to announce that their thinking outside the box has propelled my new thriller The Remains as far No. 47 on the Hard Boiled Kindle bestseller list. The novel has been chiming in at around No 80 in books and also has been appearing in in the top 100 on Romantic Suspense...E-Books and Kindles Rock!!! Anyone who wants to check it out:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Remains-ebook/dp/B003TSEN0I/ref=pd_sim_kinc_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

L-Plate Author said...

Congratulations Joe. 20 novels is a great, no, commendable achievement, especially after all those years trying to get published.

Keep on keeping on, whatever route you choose. Mel

xterm said...

Anything to report on the "steal this ebook" experiment? It's been exactly a month now.

Beth Ciotta said...

Oh, Joe. That's fantastic news all the way around. Congratulations!

Linda Pendleton said...

Good for you, Joe.

Anonymous said...

JA, Shot of Tequila is list $2.99 but currently reduced to $1.59 sale price at Kindle. If the reduction is to match the price of another online seller (which it most likely is), then you're losing money by virtue of someone else putting it on sale. Just FYI.

Coolkayaker1 said...

Joe, your success and the sharing of it with writers is commendable. I certainly enjoy your prose, and second the comment of the above poster regarding Endurance. I’m about ½ way through, and that Rushmore Inn is one creepy-ass place!

Questions about your numbers: the $10k in June is only Amazon e-book sales? Does it include Amazon print sales? Does that number included non-Amazon print and e-book sales (Borders, B&N, etc.)? Just seeing how much a mid-list author with over 500 rejections can muster, financially-speaking. You mention the rejections about every third post on your blog. You’ve proven yourself…the agents and publishers that rejected you are now cowering in the shadow of your e-sales, wishing they’d ridden your coat tails for a stuffed piggy bank. Their loss.

Enjoy the beer. If you do a signing in Chicagoland, I’ll pop one with you. Of course, now that hard cover sales are couch-change for you, your days schlepping product at retailers in-person may be numbered.

wannabuy said...

MJA ware said:
I'm thrilled to hear about any author who can pay the bills doing what they love.
This is a quarter of the reason I read this site. :)

Anon said:
JA, Shot of Tequila is list $2.99 but currently reduced to $1.59 sale price at Kindle.
Interesting... JA, I would be interesting to know if you have alternate sales channels that might be 'undercutting' your sales plan.

I would also like to know, can you have Amazon leave up the normal price and put a book on sale?

A a reader (but lover of books), following the 'trials' of indie authors has been fascinating.

Neil

dr. cpe said...

Joe, congrats, bet your family is happy too

20th novel: amazing

@ rex and Joe, both
are you saying at Amazon you dont/ cant set your own prices? That there's sudden decisions to cut the authors' incomes that are not in concert with authors?

That sounds devastating.

How can someone else decide to sell your work for $0?

Why would authors ever bother to sell through amaz=barnes if they work in tandem in lowering prices without permission?

Hope you all who understand this way better than most of us, can tell us how to avoid this happening. Or is it a crap shoot somehow?

thanks

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks all for the kind words.

I've always wondered, when you collaborate with a big name author like that is it a flat fee or do you still get royalties from sales?

I'll be getting royalties. But that's really rare, if not completely unheard of.

How do you go about getting reviews on an original book published on Kindle?

http://dtp.amazon.com.

what are the chances I will *ever* get those rights back on either one of those books?

Depends on your contract. But once they're out of print and you've sent them a latter, you should have the rights back within a few months.

Anything to report on the "steal this ebook" experiment? It's been exactly a month now.

I'll have a detailed report in a few days. In a nutshell: my sales went up.

Shot of Tequila is list $2.99 but currently reduced to $1.59 sale price at Kindle.

Several of my Kindle books are being discounted to match prices on Kobo, which put them on sale.

We're currently working to straighten this out. As Zoe said, it doesn't make sense to start pulling titles from retailers. Especially since my Kobo numbers aren't in yet. I need to know how many I'm selling before I decide what to do.

the $10k in June is only Amazon e-book sales?

That's for only my self-pubbed Kindle novels, nothing else. And it's closer to $12,000.

You mention the rejections about every third post on your blog.

Twelve years of struggling and hoping is tough to let go of. Especially since it seems like I was busting my ass to get into an industry that is quite obviously broken.

Traditional publishing has huge successes, but many more failures. If a self-pubber can take a failure and make it a success, then the problem wasn't with the book. It was with the industry.

I would also like to know, can you have Amazon leave up the normal price and put a book on sale?

If you choose 35%, it stays list price. If you choose 70%, Amazon can discount it to match competitor's prices.

How can someone else decide to sell your work for $0?

Don't allow your ebooks to be sold with any retailer that discounts, if this bothers you.

Right now Smashwords is talkign with Kobo to get them to put my ebooks at list price. If they don't, then I'll have to decide if it is worth staying on Kobo.

rex kusler said...

dr. cpe, Amazon's price reduction for me, I believe, is due to a 20% off sale price at Kobo books. Amazon is matching that. I had my books distributed to Kobo, B&N, Apple & Sony via Smashwords. I can request to have those books pulled from any or all of those sites, but there is a delay (in my case 5 months and counting). I've sold almost 6000 copies of PUNCTURED at Amazon in 5 months--at Smashwords, 1 copy. For me, Smashwords isn't worth the trouble. But I don't do this for a living.

Maria said...

Joe,

You got taken--the x-ray specs I ordered worked just fine! You should demand a refund!

Maria

dr. cpe said...

Thanks Joe and Rex,
appreciate it. I understand better now. I see Joe also wrote a post just now on pricing at Amaz. Will read.

Rex, those are great #s for you at Amaz. Poor 1 little soldier at Smashwords. Wonder what Amaz is doing so differently than those SW feeds?

5 months to hear back re request for take down? English not my first language, but did I understand this rightly? That seems rude.

Coolkayaker1 said...

Wow, Joe, your answers are super candid and kind. Thanks for taking the time to reply to your readers.

Robert Burton Robinson said...

Rex, Joe, and Anonymous,

I lowered the price of one of my books on Smashwords from $1.99 to $0.99 4 or 5 months ago. The price changed on Kobo and it is correct on Sony, but it is still stuck at $1.99 on B&N. I don't think this is a Smashwords problem. I believe it is B&N.

I have six Kindle books, all priced at $0.99. If I raised them to $2.99 on Amazon and Smashwords, it would take a while before the Smashword version updated on Kobo and Sony, which is understandable. But on B&N I suspect they would stay at $0.99 indefinitely.

I'm considering opting out of B&N for my next novel if they don't correct this issue. It's just not worth it.

Also, Joe, Congratulations!!!

Bicycle Shop Murder
Hideaway Hospital Murders
Illusion of Luck
Fly the Rain
Sweet Ginger Poison
Classical Revenge

Zoe Winters said...

@Robert,

You can opt out of B&N and then put your books on B&N directly through PubIt, I'm betting with direct access it'll be easier to get things done.

Robert Burton Robinson said...

@Zoe, thanks. Any idea what their royalty terms will be?

Zoe Winters said...

@Robert I have no idea, they haven't released that information yet. I'm on the newsletter thing from them to be notified when details are released, though.

Dawn said...

Congrats Joe. I know that you've worked your butt off on this.

I love your voice on this blog and it has proven an inspiration for many of us. Very obviously a labor of love (and a profitable one).

Let's have a glass of wine to celebrate. What? You can't travel to NC for a glass of wine. Oh well, more wine for me. :)