Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Your Universe

After debuting my self-pubbed ebooks on Kindle in April of 2009, I've sold over 100,000 of them.

One of the reasons I've sold so many is because I currently have 29 Ebooks on Amazon. Just like a brick and mortar bookstore, the more shelf space you take up, the more likely you are to be discovered by browsers. You can't be read if you aren't seen, so try to be seen in as many places and as often as possible.

When you're an author, you're a brand. A certain percentage of readers who like one of your books will seek out other books written by you. My goal, from the beginning, was to make the Konrath brand instantly identifiable. I did this in three ways.

First, I wrote a series. Mystery readers are loyal to characters, and I knew if I hooked a reader with one book, she would be likely to read everything featuring the same character. In this case, it was a female cop named Jack Daniels.

Second, I made the books stand out from the crowd by making them both suspenseful and funny. There are scares, and there are laughs, often on the same page. I knew this would turn some folks off (the early reviews for my first JD thriller said I had no idea if I wanted to be Thomas Harris or Carl Hiaasen) but that some would get it.

Third, I made these books easy to find, by naming them all after drinks. That way, a reader could go into a bookstore and not remember my name, or the title, but could still find my novels by asking the bookseller "Who does those books with drink titles?"

The seventh Jack Daniels book, SHAKEN, was just released yesterday. It's currently the #14 Kindle Paid Bestseller.

Now, as expected, a lot of the folks buying SHAKEN are fans of my previous books. But there are also some newcomers who are meeting Jack Daniels for the first time with SHAKEN. And what are those folks doing?

You guessed it. They're going back and buying the other six books in the Jack Daniels series.

WHISKEY SOUR, the first JD book, is currently #173 on the Kindle Bestseller List. That's the highest it has ever been.

BLOODY MARY is at 681.

RUSTY NAIL is at 1214.

DIRTY MARTINI is at 735.

FUZZY NAVEL is at 739.

CHERRY BOMB is at 728.

Why is RUSTY NAIL the only ebook not in the Top 1000? Because my publisher is charging $5.70 for it, and is charging $4.80 or less for the others. But then, I've told them many times they should all be $2.99 or less, and my pleas fall on deaf ears.

These books are all part of the same series, and the same universe. But rather than stop there, I realized I could expand this universe even more.

JACK DANIELS STORIES gathers fifteen shorts featuring Jack and her supporting cast.

THE LIST, though a technothriller, has a Jack Daniels cameo (and the hero from THE LIST, Tom Mankowski, is in both CHERRY BOMB and SHAKEN.)

One of the characters from DISTURB also has a cameo in CHERRY BOMB.

SHOT OF TEQUILA features Jack as one of the supporting characters, and it is referenced in SHAKEN.

More on Jack Daniels in a moment, because I want to switch gears and talk about another brand I'm building. I write horror under the name JACK KILBORN.

Kilborn came about when I sold my horror novel AFRAID. Because this was a different genre, and style, from the Jack Daniels series, we went with a different name. This allowed me a fresh start with new fans (and the potentially bigger pre-order numbers from booksellers), while also allowing me to write stuff that some of my JD fans might not like.

So Kilborn became my horror alter ego. He wrote the novels TRAPPED and ENDURANCE, which have become two of my biggest bestsellers.

Even though Kilborn fans might not be Konrath fans, and vice versa, I knew that some would. So I never hid that I was Kilborn, and have always encouraged the Jack Daniels readers who liked the scary parts to check my pen name out.

Since Kilborn has been outselling Konrath lately, I also wanted Kilborn's fans to know that the Jack Daniels series had some real horror chops to them as well.

How best to do this?

Have them write a story together, obviously.

TRUCK STOP featured Jack Daniels, and the serial killer Taylor (from AFRAID and TRAPPED.)

Here's where things get interesting.

TRUCK STOP also featured a serial killer named Donaldson, who was in a novella called SERIAL that Jack Kilborn wrote with Blake Crouch.

Blake and I expanded SERIAL into SERIAL UNCUT, which encompassed SERIAL, TRUCK STOP, and his novella BAD GIRL. SERIAL UNCUT also featured Mr. K, the serial killer from SHAKEN.

Confused yet? It gets more convoluted.

SERIAL UNCUT also features the serial killer Luther Kite, who appeared in Blake's thrillers DESERT PLACES and LOCKED DOORS. SERIAL UNCUT ended with Luther thinking about seeking out Jack Daniels. Which he did, in SHAKEN.

Blake and I are now writing STIRRED, which will be the conclusion to the Jack Daniels series and his Luther Kite trilogy.

So what have I done here?

I've not only tied the J.A. Konrath and Jack Kilborn universes together, I've also brought Blake Crouch's universe into the mix. So Blake's fans (he's also written many short stories, plus the excellent thrillers SNOWBOUND and ABANDON) can discover me through him.

So let's get back to Jack Daniels. Seeing the advantage of cross-pollination with other authors, Konrath wrote a Jack Daniels novella with Henry Perez called FLOATERS, featuring Jack and Henry's main mystery character, Alex Chapa, from his novels KILLING RED and MOURN THE LIVING.

Konrath also wrote PLANTER'S PUNCH, where Jack Daniels teamed up with Duffy Dombrowski, from Tom Schreck's series (ON THE ROPES, TKO, OUT COLD.)

Konrath also penned a Harry McGlade novella called SUCKERS with Jeff Strand, teaming Harry up with Jeff's character Andrew Mayhem: GRAVEROBBERS WANTED (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY), CASKET FOR SALE (ONLY USED ONCE), and SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME.

So now Blake's fans, Henry's fans, Jeff's fans, and Tom's fans, can all be fans of Konrath and Kilborn as well.

My universe has gotten a lot bigger.

Recently, Kilborn, Blake Crouch, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson wrote the horror novel DRACULAS (with an introduction by J.A. Konrath.) Paul is a NYT Bestseller and the other of more than 40 thrillers. More cross-pollination.

Leaving no stone unturned, I wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure-type novel featuring Harry McGlade called BANANA HAMMOCK. During the course of the narrative, the reader can have Harry appear in some of my other books, in scenes where he shouldn't. So Harry gets to wreck ORIGIN, ENDURANCE, DRACULAS, SUCKERS, WHISKEY SOUR, and many other books in my oeuvre. It not only makes fun of my writing, it also introduces readers to some of my other novels, albeit in a skewed way.

Finally, I'll be unveiling my new persona, Joe Kimball, next year. Kimball writes sci-fi thrillers with some humor. New genre, new audience. But, of course, I want my old audience to be aware of it as well, and I want to make sure it's tied in with my other books.

The main character of TIMECASTER is Jack Daniels's grandson. Harry McGlade III is a supporting character. An elderly Phineas Troutt makes an appearance in TIMECASTER SUPERSYMMETRY.

So what's the point of all this?

The point is, I've currently got ten ebooks in the Kindle Top 1000, and the rest aren't ranked much higher than that.

Writing good books, with good covers, good product descriptions, and low prices, will help you sell. Writing a bunch of them will help you sell even more. But you should also consider biggering your brand by having cross-overs with your characters, and cross-pollinating with other writers.

BTW, I'm dedicating TIMECASTER SUPERSYMMETRY to J.A. Konrath. He works hard, and I think he deserves it.


51 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope this finally puts an end to those who say, "Sure, but Konrath had a fan base before publishing on Kindle..."

You've obviously worked hard and worked smart, and it is paying off. Congratulations, you deserve it. You are a real pro.

Joe Konrath said...

Sure, but Konrath had a fan base before publishing on Kindle...

I'll never hear the end of that. But I have stopped caring, and no longer feel the need to prove otherwise.

A major flaw of mine is my need to prove I'm right. I'm coming to the conclusion that it's okay to be right without having to convince others of it. I'm happy to pass on what I've learned, and will continue to recount my journey on this blog, but I think I've finally outgrown the need to show others that they are wrong.

The affection and approval of others isn't nearly as important as getting paid.

Simon Royle said...

Got it. Back to work ;-)

"I'm happy to pass on what I've learned, and will continue to recount my journey on this blog, ...

... And we're happy too. What you're doing, and have done, is great. Another thing that you can add to that post? You've shown a lot of people that they can, and should publish their writing. In other words, release their creativity for others to value how they will.

That's a lot of good karma ... a truck load, 40FT, refrigerated to, Cool. :-)

David Barron said...

I have to thank you for putting The Numbers up. It really helped me as I was trying to make a business plan.

Obviously, I don't have a following or a backlog, but I now at least know the a few of the basics of the Business Side, and that's enough to muddle through. I'm a stubborn jackass, so I'll at least get a glimpse of the other side before I give up.

msthriller said...

Anytime you want to cross-pollinate with me...just let me know. ;)
Traci

John Harmon said...

I'm always working on cross pollinating my stories. I'm not working with other novelists, but I am working on a series of epic fantasy trilogies which will also eventually connect with a series of horror novels. All in all, I'd say the connections run into at least 40 potential novels, of which I've only got 3 novels and one novella currently available. I'm starting to sound like F. Paul Wilson or Stephen King (wish I had their talent).

Geez, I've got a lot of writing to do. I shouldn't be online!

CJ West said...

Congratulations Joe.

I saw Tess' review yesterday. A great endorsement of your work.

Keep it up.

CJ West

Nick said...

Since you're publishing primarily online now, couldn't it be argued that having so many different pen names is a bit of a detractor from sales, since you're segmenting your fans into so many different areas? You're the first to point out that many mystery readers are coming to check out your horrors books, and vice-versa.

After all, wouldn't it be easier to make sure the blurb and cover clearly portrayed that "this is a horror novel" or "this is a mystery" instead of having to maintain all the different pseudonyms?

I'd be interested to hear how you think things might be different if you'd gone this route instead. I'm not saying you should've, but I'd like to hear your reasoning. Thanks!

Joe Konrath said...

I dunno, Nick. On one hand, one name would make me easier to find. On the other hand, if Konrath is known as a mystery writer, and AFRAID came out, Konrath might not get any new fans, but could lose fans.

Dan Simmons and Joe Landsdale are two authors that write in many genres, and I'd say in both cases it has hurt them, because they gain fans for certain genres and then lose some of them when they write something totally different.

F. Paul Wilson has played with pen names, but he's also published horror, sci-fi, and medical thrillers under his real name. He has admitted this hurt him when the horror market died in the 80s (hence his need for pen names) but now his fans seem to be able to sort out his various genres.

Personally, I don't mind three names in three genres, because it seems to give me a greater reach than I might have with just my own name.

But if I ever become a huge success, I might just republish everything under "Joe Konrath" and go that route. Though that didn't work with John Camp (aka John Sandford.)

The decision to go with pen names, though I agreed, ultimately resided with my publishers. They wanted bigger preorder buy ins than I was getting for Konrath, and the only way to do that was with a new name. Silly, and wrong, but true. If I had to do it again, I'd do it the same way.

Barry said...

"A major flaw of mine is my need to prove I'm right."

If this is a flaw, I'm in serious trouble.

Dawn said...

Seriously, you're one of the hardest - and smartest - authors I know. This is brilliant.

schreck said...

Proud and grateful to be included on that list.

You left out that in PLANTERS PUNCH the characters are actually reading Kilborn's AFRAID as part of the plot.

Of course, the blood covered basset hound is such a cliche...

A Book Inside said...

Thought you might be interested...Blog Jog Day is a one-day event where we all post links forwarding to each others Blogs--most are author and book sites. You can read more about it at http://blogjogday.blogspot.com. Our next Blog Jog Day is November 21st. Warm Regards!

Jamie D. said...

I *love* this strategy...and I'm borrowing bits and pieces of it for my own future plans. I've also plotted out ways to put my pen names for other genres into my "real name" books - so my thriller pseudonym will be a character in my romantic suspense novels, as will my erotica pseudonym. So my romance readers who are intrigued by the writer-characters can go find books by them (if I do it right, anyways).

This sort of thing is what really makes writing fun and exciting for me. It really is my own universe, and control-freak that I am, I love playing with it. :-)

Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks. Your blog is, as advertised, a How-To manual for the new publishing paradigm. I've been following your success for a while, and it helps to see some of your strategies. I'm about to work on covers, and now I see how important it is to link all my titles and make it clear there are recurring characters.

John D said...

The affection and approval of others isn't nearly as important as getting paid.

Definitely the right attitude for someone who actually wants to make a living in this business. Your success (and your work ethic) are inspiring.

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."
-Samuel Johnson

author Scott Nicholson said...

A salute, Joe--a writer who thinks like a business owner. There's more to brand than a name--I released a YA series under LC Glazebrook because I wanted to separate it from the people who don't like "horror" books (or think they don't, or think I write horror). But building a second identity is hard, too, so I came out as both and let them cross-pollinate. We'll see how that goes.

JR Rain has never published in NY, does hardly any promotion, and he's currently got two in or near Top 100.

Conventional wisdom is for those who don't like to believe what they're seeing, or are afraid to take steps themselves. But I fully believe it is now MORE professional to self-publish than to go with a "pro" publisher.

Scott Nicholson
http://www.hauntedcomputer.com

Nick said...

Thanks for the reply, Joe. I guess my hope is that in this transparent digital age where customers can google you or head to your wiki or blog in ten seconds or less, the segmentation may not be necessary.

Then again, maybe I'm giving potential customers too much credit. The vast majority may have no clue what's going on behind the scenes. Thanks again for your follow up!

Sean said...

Re: Serial Uncut-- that's a whole lot of serial killers for one novella!

Cool about the scifi novel. I've been following your blog for a while, and meaning to read some of your books, but I'm not really a mystery guy, and definitely not a horror guy. Scifi? Sure, why not.

See, it's working already!

Joe Konrath said...

Then again, maybe I'm giving potential customers too much credit.

That's the thing, I think all writers tend to erroneously believe that when a reader buys their book, the reader is a least a little familiar with the author. But I'm starting to think the opposite is true. Readers have no clue who I am. I'm not selling because I have a platform. I'm selling because people are discovering me for the first time.

A few of those folks who discover me, like me, then buy my other books.

But the majority of people buying Shaken right now don't know about this blog, or that I'm also Jack Kilborn. Nor do they care.

D.D. Scott said...

You're a genius, Joe, JA, Jack and Joe Kimball!!!

It's that simple --- D. D. Scott

P.S. And thanks as always for sharing your genius methods!!!

P.S.S. I'm trying like Hell to do for the Romance & Cozy Mystery genre what you've done for Mysteries, Thrillers, and now soon Sci-Fi too!!! Thanks for the inspiration and information too!!!

Karen McQuestion said...

Woo hoo! I just checked and Shaken is number 10 on Kindle. This does not surprise me in the least and I predict it will do even better. Congratulations, Joe! You're smart and you work hard--a winning combination.

Linda Acaster said...

Thanks for explaining the pseudonyms and your business plan. You are certainly leading a lot of us horses to the water...

T. B. Wright said...

I am doing a similar things with my series, The McClure Papers. Thanks to the wonderful world of e-readers (and possible enriched e-books) I have been able to tie many strands together, though somewhat minimally, throughout the course of my first novel, The Fall of the House of Burne. Tying multiple storylines together like what you have done is a fantastic opportunity for readers to seamlessly read an array of your work.

Spot on, Joe.

Ian Pattinson said...

That's universe building worthy of Marvel or DC you've got going on. It's impressive, and I'm going to dip my toe in as soon as possible.

When it became possible to publish for the Kindle from here in the UK I decided that a series would be the way to go. I've only got one novelette out so far (gratuitous plug- it's called Tiger and it's about an MI6 operative being called out of retirement to catch some kidnappers), I'm working on the next one now. If Jack Daniels is ever in Manchester she should team up with Irwin.

I've written across a few genres, but I'm using the same name on everything I publish. Maybe I need to get past my ego and come up with another identity for my SF, romcoms etc. I suppose I could invent a middle initial like Iain (M) Banks and use it to distinguish different genres.

Tuppshar Press said...

Excellent advice, Joe. So is your next book going to be titled NOT STIRRED?

There are a number of advantages to having a series, and still more to having multiple series in the same universe. This is because the more of a work that people read, the more comfortable they become with both characters and settings. Some of our best-selling titles are in a four-book erotic space opera series called "Slave Harems of Xhagia", and we have been told by readers that they like the feeling that they are on the world of Xhagia as they read. Once a place becomes real to them, and they've vicariously had adventures there, they often find that they want to return (this is a big reason so many people write fanfiction). So think of your setting as another character, and one that appeals to your audience. Your readers are tourists, and the first rule of tourism is to make sure your guests enjoy themselves.

Here's another point with a series: try to give it a unique name. If you Google "Xhagia" you are immediately taken to Teagan Rand's series at Amazon and Smashwords, and the only other hits are for the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, which is clearly not a novel. Make it as easy as possible for people to find your work; readers will appreciate it.

Backlist, of course, is also helpful. Think of it as a net; you want your author's name to pop up at Amazon as much as possible and catch people's attention.

Of course, none of this is any help at all unless you've written a good book. Readers will check your previews, and they will notice bad writing, and they will remember you if you disappoint them.

Jude Hardin said...

Great stuff, Joe. Congratulations on all your success!

Earlier today I discovered that my debut thriller Pocket-47 is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Pocket-47-Jude-Hardin/dp/1608090116/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288219658&sr=1-2

I have one sale so far (that I know of) which put me at 147,120 in the rankings for books. Not bad for a title that won't even be available until next May. :)

Never Say Never said...

Joe, congrats on all your success. You worked hard and deserve every bit of it. Keep rockin, dude.

JMH

Marie Simas said...

A few of those folks who discover me, like me, then buy my other books.

They discover your books because you promote intelligently. I get the daily digest from Red Adept and I wasn't surprised to see you there, as well as featured prominently on her home page.

That woman is a powerhouse. She's agreed to review my book next month--I am FUCKING THRILLED.

It's already charted in the Kinlde store with very little promotion and the paperback sales are NIL (which I expected, by the way).

Joe knew that paperbooks were going to die 5 years ago, so now he's miles ahead of most of us.

KUDOS for having your shit fully together, bro. By the way, I changed my name from "Portuguese Cunt" because I guess a lot of agents don't like that word posted on their blog. Knock me over with a feather.

chris bates said...

Shaken @ #8

You appear to have a good work ethic, so are being justly rewarded. Congratulations.

This climb into the top 10 should give you some good stats on what those big sellers are earning up there.

Tess Gerritsen said...

SHAKEN is now number eight on Amazon, Joe!

( Geez, I'm now obsessed with checking YOUR Amazon numbers.)

Mary Stella said...

An elderly Phineas Troutt makes an appearance in TIMECASTER SUPERSYMMETRY.

Good to know he gets elderly. *g*

Joe Konrath said...

I changed my name from "Portuguese Cunt" because I guess a lot of agents don't like that word posted on their blog.

You have to expect that. A lot of folks are offended by the word "Portuguese."

Joe Konrath said...

Good to know he gets elderly. *g*

Parallel universe. In this one he's long dead. :)

Joe Konrath said...

(Geez, I'm now obsessed with checking YOUR Amazon numbers.)

I owe it all to your generous review. Lee Child endorsed my previous book, and it tanked. :)

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks all for the kind words. :)

Anonymous said...

Seeing the book sitting at number 8, I wonder how many books you need to see to reach #1? Still hard to believe that enough people are paying $9.99-$12.99 for an e-book and the sales are consistent enough to keep some of the e-books at the top of the charts for months, and even years. But the authors of those books are only pocketing 25% and not 70%. Imagine how many more they could sell if they were priced lower?

bowerbird said...

joe, you're like a mad scientist
who has been inserted into a
well-stocked laboratory, and
your productivity is astounding.

and seeing your joy is infectious.

as for the various pseudonyms
and story-worlds, it won't hurt
your success in the long run...
(nor will it help... the long run
has a way of averaging it out...
and ultimately, each book must
stand on its own quality-level.)

one small quibble:
> Just like a brick and mortar
> bookstore, the more shelf
> space you take up, the
> more likely you are to be
> discovered by browsers.

i know what you're saying, but
it's best to break people of the
mistaken notion that the world
of brick-and-mortar has lessons
that apply in cyberspace, where
shelfspace is unlimited for all...

in the context of this big ocean,
it doesn't really matter, at all,
if you are one bucket or 39 --
you're insignificant, regardless.

having more books available is
good because if people like one,
they are zeroed in on you, and
they'll come buy another, and
if they like that, then another...
the more you have, the better,
if the people keep liking them.

but a bad one can cut the chain,
and 2 or 3 almost always will, so
focus on quality, not quantity...

i know you know this, but i fear
some others will misunderstand
the "shelfspace" note, and suffer
ugly unintended consequences...

again, just that small quibble,
so as to help in steering others.

but you, joe, are _in_the_zone_,
so do proceed with godspeed...

it's a pleasure to see you work.

-bowerbird

Tess Gerritsen said...

Anonymous asked:

"Seeing the book sitting at number 8, I wonder how many books you need to see to reach #1?"

Earlier this year, I had a book (THE SURGEON) at #1 for three days, when my publisher offered it at a special price of $1.99. They told me it was selling about 5,000 copies a day during those three days.

The numbers needed to reach #1 will vary depending on which other titles are on sale.

Errol R. Williams said...

Incredible, just incredible. Keep up the excellent work Mr Konrath.

I live in the UK and went to purchase your new novel Shaken and was put off by the price (£5.79). Why? Because I know the american price is $2.99 (equivalent to £1.78. And if you add VAT at 17.5% = £2.09.

Joe Konrath said...

Still hard to believe that enough people are paying $9.99-$12.99 for an e-book and the sales are consistent enough to keep some of the e-books at the top of the charts for months, and even years.

I liked this observation so much I'm blogging about it...

The Vampire Years said...

This was a good post for me to read. I knew in my bones releasing a SF short under the same name my "popular" (relatively speaking, 3k+ sold year to date) vampire story was not a good idea. Time for me to rethink that and think about what supporting SF titles I can do to have more than one title out there on the bookshelf.

And, wow, you must have "ass in chair, fingers on keyboard" engraved on your office door with all the current and future work!

Joe Konrath said...

Shaken is DRM free--I just confirmed. If, by some mistake, you got a DRM protected version, I'll be posting some customer service contact info so you can have Amazon swap it out for free.

Helen Hanson said...

Congratulations and thanks for carrying the torch!

Absolutely agree that moving characters to other works helps cross sales. Scott Turow promoted a minor character in one book to main character status in the next. Having an investment in the character already, I read on.

Marcus Blakeston said...

I haven't read any of the Jack Daniels books, will I need to get up to date before the Locked Doors sequel comes out or will "she's that cop from Serial Uncut" get me through it?

P Dugan said...

I love the concept of creating a vast universe of character that interact and appear in assorted stories or novels. I've been addicted to this idea since I started reading Balzac's "Human Comedy" stories and Zola's "Rougon-Macquart" books.

P
www.humanparade.com

Joe Konrath said...

If you got a non-DRM version of Shaken, and want a DRM free version, you can reach Amazon by phone directly and toll free from many countries by clicking the Contact Us option in the right-hand column of the Kindle Support pages at: http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport. On the website, Amazon will have you enter your phone number so they can call you right back. Contacting them through the website allows you to verify security before a call is placed and ensures they have your account information ready when they call you back. If your country isn’t listed or you’re unable to take advantage of the Contact Us feature, you can call Amazon directly at 1-866-321-8851 or 1-206-266-0927 (if you're calling from outside the U.S.).

You could also contact me--email me the version you bought, and I'll email you the non DRM version.

Anonymous said...

"Rusty Nail" isn't over 1000, it's at 603 over all. And * #8 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
* #10 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
* #32 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Women Sleuths

So I think the 5.70 price point is probably not hurting you too much (though since this one isn't a 70/30 split for you, that's probably doing some damage in terms of what you are losing by it not being yours alone).

Hopefully publishers will start to wake up a bit more and realize that ebooks should be under 10 bucks, and preferably under 5 or 6 (my personal impulse buy point for ebooks is 5 dollars or less, but not generally .99 cent ebooks unless they've been recommended because I expect .99 books to either be awful or short).

The Tales of Jonathan Iveron said...

Hi there Mr. Konrath,

I'm an aspiring writer from Indonesia and I have just published my debut scifi/fantasy novel 'Rise of an Angel' on amazon recently.

I thank you so much for blogging about self-publishing, I learned a lot from you and the info in your blog is one of the reasons why I went the route of self-publishing.

I just like to ask what is the good price to set for an ebook? Currently I set it at $4.99 is that too high?

Again thanks so much beforehand, as a thank you I listed your name in the "dedications" page for my debut novel. :)

And here's a link to my ebook btw, in case you're interested to have a look.

http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Tales-Jonathan-Iveron-ebook/dp/B004A8ZVH0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1288662032&sr=8-1

Regards,

Oscar Simanjuntak

Timothy Hallinan said...

Hi, Joe --

E-publishing is a no-brainer, especially from a creative standpoint. After my first four Bangkok thrillers (Morrow) had me marked as someone who, in my editor's words, "deals with serious issues within the thriller genre," I wanted to write something that was a little more -- uh -- fun. So I came up with a character who's a burglar in the exotic San Fernando Valley and who moonlights as a private eye for crooks. Wrote two books while working on the fourth and the upcoming fifth Bangkok books, and the publishers said, (a) "This isn't what your readers expect from you," and (b) "Nobody wants to read funny thrillers."

So I put up the first one, CRASHED, and am selling okay -- not like you, but okay -- and the second, LITTLE ELVISES, will go up in February. And I'm writing the third. This is insanely liberating. I agree with you -- if you can get $750K or up as an advance, grab it with both hands. Otherwise, go e-book.

Susan Hare said...

A year later, this is still a wonderful post chock full of great advice. Thanks for sharing, Joe. I am going to embrace your series title criteria. Do you think pies are taken? :)