Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Ebook Buying Guide

Greetings ereader owner!

There are literally millions of ebooks currently available to put on your Kindle/Nook/Sony/Kobo/iPad/Other Ereading device.

But have no fear. I'm here to help.

The following ebooks have all been vetted by readers just like you. Each of these indie authors is selling at least 1000 ebooks a month on various platforms.

Best of all, most of these are under $2.99.

Happy holidays!


Suzanne Tyrpak -- Vestal Virgin
Kindle US Smashwords Kindle UK

(Introductory priced at just .99 cents through January 1, 2011)


Q: What is Vestal Virgin about?

My debut novel Vestal Virgin is dark suspense set in ancient Rome. Elissa Rubria, a visionary and priestess of the sacred flame, is one of the most powerful women in The Roman Empire, but when the emperor, Nero, brutally executes Elissa’s brother, she’s locked into a deadly game of wits and sexuality.

“A torrid tale of love, honor, and sacrifice pitted against horrific acts of murder, betrayal, and depravity. Rife with intrigue and brimming with exquisite detail.”
— Eldon Thompson, author of The Divine Talisman

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

The advice Terry Brooks gave me:

Write, write, write. Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Repeat.

Also, take your work seriously. You are the writer and the publisher--the editor, the art director, the marketing department. And keep writing--the more books you publish, the more you sell. I've also published a collection of nine short stories Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction).


J.A. Konrath -- Shot of Tequila


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've sold over 100,000 self published ebooks, and am currently selling
around 9000 a month.

Q: What is Shot of Tequila about?

Shot of Tequila, a thriller featuring my series character, Jack Daniels, is
currently my bestselling title.

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.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Make sure it's a good book, professionally formatted, with a good cover. And
price it low, under four bucks.



Blake Crouch -- Desert Places



Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?
I put my first ebook up in March of this year. I now have 12: (3 novels, 2 novellas, a short story collection, and six short stories). I’m selling about 2000 ebooks a month now.

Q: What is Desert Places ebook about?

Here’s the product description:


"GREETINGS. THERE IS A BODY BURIED ON YOUR PROPERTY, COVERED IN YOUR BLOOD. THE UNFORTUNATE YOUNG LADY'S NAME IS RITA JONES. IN HER JEANS POCKET YOU'LL FIND A SLIP OF PAPER WITH A PHONE NUMBER ON IT. CALL THAT NUMBER. IF I HAVE NOT HEARD FROM YOU BY 8:00 P.M., THE POLICE WILL RECEIVE AN ANONYMOUS CALL. I'LL TELL THEM WHERE RITA JONES IS BURIED ON YOUR PROPERTY, HOW YOU KILLED HER, AND WHERE THE MURDER WEAPON CAN BE FOUND IN YOUR HOUSE. (I DO BELIEVE A PARING KNIFE IS MISSING FROM YOUR KITCHEN.) I STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST GOING TO THE POLICE, AS I AM ALWAYS WATCHING YOU."

Andrew Z. Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at his lake house in the piedmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him, Andrew can't get away.


Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

If you’re an established author and you have out-of-print titles, releasing them as an ebook can truly be a resurrection for these books, provided you have professional formatting, a great cover, and a great product description.


Valmore Daniels -- Forbidden the Stars
Amazon US Amazon UK Smashwords B&N Kobo Sony


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

Forbidden The Stars just passed the 4000 copies sold mark, and has sold over 1000 copies per month in the past two months.

Q: What is Forbidden the Stars about?

Forbidden The Stars takes place at the end of the 21st century when a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt leaves two surveyors dead. There is no trace of their young son, or of the asteroid, but a new element is discovered that unlocks the secret to interstellar travel.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Research all aspects of the industry before you put your book out there. Make sure you have a quality cover, a strong hook in your description, and an error-free manuscript.


William Meikle -- The Invasion (Extended Version)
Smashwords Amazon US Amazon UK B&N



Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've been averaging over 1200 a month, and a lot more some months

Q: What is The Invasion about?

The Invasion is my homage to '50s SF. It's an old-school alien invasion story, complete with fleets of ships overhead, plucky survivors, and last-minute rescues. And slime. Lots of slime

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Treat it seriously. Make sure your product is the best it can be, from beginning to end, cover to back-copy. Once that's done, target your audience and you're well on the way.


Danielle Lee -- Inhuman
Kindle Nook Smashwords


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

My total is 3600 since July 2010.

Q: What is Inhuman about?

With tuition fees looming, university student, Cassia Tiponi, is forced to offer herself as a guinea pig to the science department. After much poking and prodding by future doctors and nurses, a blood test reveals something startling...

Cassia does not have human DNA.

While being hunted by a dark faction of the government, she must uncover the secrets surrounding her mysterious birth to discover who...and what...she is.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

My advice to authors would be that it is extremely hard work, but so worth it. The pride I feel for what I've accomplished in such a short amount of time is immeasurable. There are three essentials: a great book, a great cover and belief in your work.



D.B. Henson -- Deed to Death
Amazon Smashwords


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

Deed To Death
has sold a little over 42,000 copies since being published on April 26, 2010. It has already sold over 7500 copies this month alone, and recently made Amazon’s Best of 2010 Customer Favorites list.


Q: What is Deed to Death about?

Real estate agent Toni Matthew's problems begin when her fiancé, Scott, is murdered just a few days before the wedding. Frustrated with the police, she begins her own investigation into his death. Toni soon realizes she didn't know her fiancé quite as well as she had thought. Scott had been keeping secrets. Secrets that make Toni the killer's next target.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Write the best book you are capable of writing. Once the book is complete, hire a professional editor. What may seem like a large investment at first will actually pay for itself many times over in the long run. If you aren’t already familiar with HTML, hire a pro to do your formatting. If you expect to build a readership, your self-published novel must look just as professional as a traditionally published book.


Maria Rachel Hooley -- October Breezes
Amazon


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've sold almost 9,000 books since I started publishing.


Q: What is October Breezes about?

October Breezes is an edgy young adult novel that deals with the aftermath of rape and abortion. Neither pro-choice or pro-life, it's a novel about picking the pieces when life falls apart.


Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Writing is about taking risks, not playing it safe. Sometimes you're going to fall. There's no way around that, but if you don't try, you're never going to publish, either.


Karen Cantwell -- Take the Monkeys and Run
Kindle Amazon print B&N


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I have sold over 7800 ebooks since June of 2010. Over 7500 of those were my novel, Take the Monkeys and Run. I released my short story collection in November and have sold just over 250 of those.

Q: What is Take the Monkeys and Run about?

Take the Monkeys and Run is a humorous mystery about a soccer mom and movie lover named Barbara Marr who finds monkeys in her trees and a severed human head in her neighbor’s basement. When she gets a little too nosy for her own good, she lands herself into the middle of a major action adventure, just like in the movies . . . only these bullets are real.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Now is the time. I say go for it, but make sure you do your research and that you have a quality product: a good story that is well written, great cover, excellent formatting, enticing description. The beauty of self-publishing is that you, as the creator of the art, can keep control. And it’s fun!


Sandra Edwards -- Secondary Targets
Kindle Amazon print Nook Smashwords


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've sold over 1300 books so far this month--mostly on Kindle.

Q: What is Secondary Targets about?

Secondary Targets is currently my bestselling book. My log-line is: What would you do if you woke up one day and found out everything you thought you knew about your father turned out to be a lie?

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Learn everything you can about the process before dipping your feet into the pond to maximize your chances of success.


Tess Oliver -- Camille
Nook Kindle


Q: How many books have you sold?

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 20 I sold 1205 books on Amazon and 800 books on Barnes and Nobles.

Q: What is Camille about?

Sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.

When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study. Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. But as each experiment fails, Camille faces the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart.

Q: What advice would you give to other authors who want to self-publish?

Write what you love. Be your own harshest critic. Don’t be afraid to delete even if you’re certain it’s pure gold. If after a gazillion read-throughs, revisions and edits, you can still stand to look at it and it still makes you smile, then upload, baby! Oh and don’t forget a really cool cover.


David Dalglish -- A Dance of Cloaks
Amazon Smashwords B&N


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've sold over 10,000 ebooks on Amazon, plus another 3,000 or so on the iBookstore. Overall my sales have really taken off recently, on pace for more than 3,000 sales in December alone.

Q: What is A Dance of Cloaks about?


A Dance of Cloaks: in a dark medieval city, thief guilds wage war against the wealthy Trifect who control the nation.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?


Take it seriously, and go all out. Don't limp into the marketplace with a mediocre cover, rambling product description, and no idea of how to promote. Find those who are selling well in your genre and then do your best to learn from them. Hit the ground running.


David Derrico -- Right Ascension
Kindle Nook Smashwords CreateSpace


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've sold over 9,000 e-books, across 3 titles. My best-selling title has sold over 5,500 copies. I reached a high point of #188 in the Kindle Store, and #1 in "Technothrillers." My best sales month was over 1,500 sales, although my sales have dipped since then.


Q: What is Right Ascension about?

Right Ascension is a science fiction novel that combines action & adventure with the exploration of serious underlying ethical dilemmas. Set in the year 3040, Right Ascension examines mankind's place in the Universe, how we ascended to that lofty position, and the horrifying price of that ascension. It tells the story of one highly virtuous man who comes face to face with an invincible adversary and is forced to choose between honor ... and humanity's very survival.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

I would echo many of the things that Joe has said: work very hard on honing your writing craft, and get some good editing help. Polish your work before you release it for public consumption. Act like a professional. Also ensure that you have a good-looking cover, well-written description, and pristinely-formatted e-book files. Then understand that you'll spend as much or more time promoting the book as you did writing it.


H.P. Mallory -- Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

Since uploading my two books on Amazon in Jul 2010 and Barnes and Noble on Oct 2010, and adding a third book on Dec 1, 2010, I've sold over 21,000 books. So far from Dec 1-Dec 20 I've sold over 11,000.

Q: What is Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble about?

My bestselling ebook, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, is a paranormal romance (the first book in a series) about a woman who realizes she's a witch and consequently becomes a pawn in an Underworld war. And of course there's lots of flirting and sexual tension between the witch, her warlock boss and a vampire who isn't what he seems.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Make sure your book is in as good shape as it can be--proper grammar, spelling, etc. Then make sure your covers are awesome. Ebooks are definitely judged by their covers. Lastly, spread the word. Don't be afraid to approach book bloggers or introduce your books in the forums.


Richard Jackson -- The Gift of Fury
Kindle


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

Last month I sold over 2256 copies of my book, The Gift of Fury. That doesn't include copies given away for free by Amazon. Last week, I released a new book called Fall from Grace.

Q: What is The Gift of Fury about?

The Gift of Fury follows the adventures of Count Albritton, a paranormal investigator, who helps people with supernatural problems the authorities are either unwilling or unable to deal with. It's dangerous work. Luckily he has Kara, a beautiful guardian angel to help him.

Q: What advice can you offer author thinking about self-publishing?

Take care of your readers and they will take care of you. Give them a good story. Listen your fellow authors, you'll learn a lot of things that can help you. Most importantly, keep writing and reading. It's the only way you'll get better.


David McAfee -- 33 A.D.
Kindle Nook Smashwords Kobo Amazon print


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?
I published my first book on March 9, 2010 and so far I've sold about 6,500 eBooks. It started out very slow (in March I only sold 11), but for the last few months I’ve been selling 1,200 or so every month. Not a bad way to start, and it hasn't even been a year yet. I'm looking forward to even more growth next year.

Q: What is 33 A.D. about?
Vampires in Biblical Jerusalem who try to assassinate Jesus of Nazareth.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Make sure you have a quality product. This is a trap too many self publishers fall into. Edit, revise, edit revise, etc. Run the work by a few trusted beta readers, by which I do not mean your mom or your spouse. Send it to people who aren’t invested in your happiness. Most readers will not know you, and they won’t be squeamish about telling you if they don’t like your work.


Beth Orsoff -- Romantically Challenged
Amazon B&N


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I uploaded Romantically Challenged less than six months ago and have sold 2000 copies. I've uploaded two more books since then, Honeymoon for One and recently How I learned to Love the Walrus, and between the three I'm selling over 1000 e-books a month.

Q: What is Romantically Challenged about?

Romantically Challenged
is the story of Julie Burns, a single thirty-something lawyer who after being dumped and disgraced by her boyfriend, decides to reenter dating hell in search of that one elusive commodity—a decent guy...who steals her heart, of course. When Julie becomes convinced that finding The One is "just a numbers game," she sets out to increase her numbers by any means necessary. From chance meetings and blind dates to dating services and the wonderful world of the Internet, Julie will try anything to meet her man.


Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Do it. Why some books sell and others don't is a mystery. It was a mystery to me when I was a writer, and now that I'm my own publisher too, it's even more of a mystery. All you can do is write a good book, a great blurb, and design (or hire someone to design) an excellent cover. Then cross your fingers and hope for the best.



Victorine Lieske -- Not What She Seems
Kindle Nook Smashwords CreateSpace


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?


I’ve sold over 10,000 ebooks, mostly through Amazon. I’m currently selling over 200 ebooks a day on the Kindle, counting both the US and the UK.

Q: What is your ebook about? (List your best selling ebook)

Here is a brief description of my book: Steven Ashton, a billionaire from New York, and Emily Grant, on the run from the law... and when they meet he can’t help falling for her. What he doesn’t know is that interfering in her life will put his own life in danger.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

1. Don’t skip the critique group process. Get other writer’s eyes on your work, and learn how to critique their work as well.

2. Your cover will probably be the first thing that attracts people to your book. Make sure it is good.

3. Network with other authors who have self-published on the Kindle. Kindleboards.com is the best place for this. Hang out in the writer’s cafe and you’ll learn a lot of great tips.


Terri Reid -- Loose Ends
Kindle Nook Smashwords


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I am selling three e-books--Loose Ends, A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book One), Good Tidings, A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book Two), and The Ghosts Of New Orleans.

Loose Ends - released in August - 2925 books sold

Good Tidings - released Thanksgiving 2010 - 1158 books sold

The Ghosts of New Orleans - released October 2010 - 815 books sold

Q: What is your eBook about?

Mary O’Reilly, Chicago cop, dies in the line of duty. On the other side, she’s offered the chance to come back to life. When she returns, she discovers she can see and communicate with ghosts. She moves to a small town and opens a P.I. Agency investigating cases that involve ghosts. Solving the twenty-five year old murder of a local girl makes Mary the target for a serial killer tying up his loose ends.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Make sure you edit and edit again. You should only publish your very best!! Give your book to people who aren’t afraid of hurting your feelings and have them edit it for you. Don’t give it to someone who is going to tell you how they would have written it--that doesn’t help you. If you are part of a writer’s group - be sure you send each other your work--reading it out loud doesn’t give you the review you need.

Market your book--through your local paper, Facebook, interviews, forums, blogs--whatever it takes. Be bold!! Believe in yourself! Ask your friends to post the links to your book on their Facebook page too. Be available to speak at local libraries or at writer’s groups or book clubs.


Ellen O'Connell -- Sing My Name
Kindle Smashwords


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

My first ebook was published in February of this year; the second in April; and third in late November. In those 10 months I have sold 6,500 ebooks. Average sales for December to date are 45 a day.

Q: What is Sing My Name about?

Sing My Name, a historical romance, tells the story of Matt Slade, who fought in the bloodiest Civil War battles under Robert E. Lee, and Sarah Hammond, who avidly followed war news with her abolitionist family. Matt and Sarah should never have met, never have fallen in love, but they did, and the consequences nearly destroyed them both. Years later, Matt and Sarah meet again. Can they put their lives and their love back together?

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Use information from other authors for encouragement, ideas and support, but find your own path. I published my first ebook at an older age than many and will never have the body of work of someone who started younger. Necessarily, my ambitions are different than they would have been at 30 or 40. Even so, my first goals are already specks in my rearview mirror.


C.S. Marks -- Elfhunter
Kindle


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I have sold over 12,000 eBooks, but I've only joined the "Thousand-book-club" recently, mostly due to sales in the UK. We've been averaging about 60 books a day.

Q: What is Elfhunter about?

There are three books in a single trilogy; the best-seller is, naturally, the first book. Elfhunter is a classic epic fantasy suitable for readers of all ages. It concerns a monstrous entity, known as Gorgon Elfhunter, and heroine Gaelen Taldin, who has vowed to rid her world of the Elfhunter even as she is hunted by him. The resulting conflict blurs the line between light and darkness, love and hatred, free will and fate.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Don't rush your books into print before they are ready. Be ready to make the investment in proofing/editing, quality cover art, and formatting. Remember, self-publishers must assume all the roles of a traditional publisher, including promotion and marketing. This will require investment of time and money--the higher your sales goal, the greater the investment. If you have produced a quality product, the return may also be great. :-)


Chris Graham -- Free Books for Kindle


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

My first and, so far, only book has sold around 4,000 copies since October. Sales have really taken off in the last few weeks though after it made it into Amazon.co.uk's top 20.

Q: What is Free Books for Kindle about?


Free books for Kindle: The secrets of how to get the world's greatest books for a radical price
is a short guide to getting free books. I originally wrote it for a couple of friends with new Kindles. One of them said I should publish it - so I did.

It's very much aimed at new Kindle owners who don't want the hassle of trawling Google or get to grips with lots of ebook jargon.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?


Being found is perhaps the hardest thing. If you're listing your book on Amazon - then it's worth thinking about what people might type into the search tool if they were looking for your book. Then you might use these words in your title, description and even tags.

Think carefully about pricing and experiment to see the impact it has on sales.

Finally don't forget Amazon.co.uk - most of my sales and reviews have come from there.


Keith Lenart -- Simple Word Find
Kindle


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

My top title sells at a pace of around 900 copies/month. My whole portfolio (of 14 offerings presently) is ~ 1400/month with steady weekly growth. I've achieved these numbers in an incredibly short period as I only started self-publishing about 5 weeks ago.

Q. What are your eBooks about?

All of my offerings are focused on puzzles & games. My top seller Simple Word Find is word search puzzles custom tailored for Kindle displays. The puzzles are simple and fun and that's why I think the series (I have 7 volumes now) has become a hit so quickly. They provide a nice break from reading or a quick time-filler when you only have a few minutes available.

Q. What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

1. Not every offering will become an immediate hit, so don't get discouraged. (One title in my portfolio accounts for nearly 65% of my total sales.)

2. Focus on the formatting of your material so that the reader has a great eBook experience. Know the ins and outs of eReader technology or partner with someone who does.

3. Serious consider pricing at the 0.99 price point to gain more exposure for your content.



Michael J. Sullivan -- The Crown Conspiracy
Kindle Nook Smashwords Amazon print


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?
In just over 2 years I’ve sold almost 26,000 ebooks. With the release of the fourth book (April 2010) sales were around 1,000 per month. In October I released book 5 and sales have jumped to 7,500 a month.

Q: What is your ebook about?
The Riyria Revelations is a six-book epic fantasy series starting with The Crown Conspiracy. There is no ancient evil to defeat, nor orphan destined for greatness, just two thieves in the wrong time and place—accused of murdering the king. This series harkens to the roots of fantasy presenting light, fast-paced reads filled with drama and humor. Conceived as a single tale, it is divided into individual episodes each with their own conflict and resolution.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?
Develop an exceptional product and present it with the same professionalism as any produced by a major publisher. Pay close attention to title, cover design, and back of the book blurbs as this is the first thing that captures a buyer’s eye. Make sure you have a compelling story that excites people to become your cheerleaders and recommend your books to others. Encourage fans to leave reviews to provide independent validation of the books appeal.

Stephan Windwalker -- Kindle Free For All

Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I have about 25 ebooks available for download from my Amazon Author Central page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001J919XI, ranging from fiction to a Kindle guide that was the #1 bestselling book in the Kindle Store for the entire calendar year 2008, and, most recently, KINDLE FREE FOR ALL and the Kindle Nation Daily blog. And, oh yes, my senior honors thesis from college, Vision and Revision in the Fiction of D.H. Lawrence: A Consideration of the Manuscript Development of Lady Chatterley's Lover, has sold over 600 copies in the Kindle Store, which has more than paid my Gnomon Copy bill from 1973.

Q: What are your eBooks about?

My current bestselling book was released just this week and is averaging over 500 copies a day so far! It's called KINDLE FREE FOR ALL: How to Get Millions of Free Kindle Books and Other Free Content With or Without an Amazon Kindle (For Use with the Latest Generation Kindles and Kindle Apps), and with excellent editorial help from April Hamilton I think we've hit the sweet spot for the most complete resource yet for finding free Kindle content.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

The five most helpful things I can say in less than 75 words are (1) read Joe Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing blog; (2) read Joe's book of the same title; (3) connect with readers; (4) be grateful when people try to help you, because it's a smaller world than you think; and (5) cast a wide net, because it's a larger world than you think. Case in point, I'm making five grand a year from the Japanese paperback translation of my Kindle guide, and who knew?

Scott Nicholson -- Disintegration
Kindle
Kindle UK B&N Smashwords

Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?
I averaged 2,500 ebooks a month overall for U.S. Kindle last year, with most of the sales in the last few months. Disintegration hit #30 on the overall Kindle bestseller list and sold about 9,300 copies in November. I also have books that sell few copies.

Q: What is Disintegration about?
Disintegration is a mystery/romantic suspense novel. Identical twins vie for control of a family empire built on deceit, dark secrets, and blood, and two women vie for their place on the family throne. It's been praised and condemned for having no redeeming characters. Sort of like real life. Only with more sex and less violence.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?
Start yesterday. Get professional help. Have standards as high as New York's. Realize the reader is your customer and your boss. Serve the reader.


Ellen Fisher -- In the Mood
Kindle

Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

I've sold over 12,000 total since February. The amount sold every month has remained fairly steady, but this month I've gotten a nice boost from B&N. It's the first time I've sold any significant amount o
f books there, and as a consequence this will be my best month for sales since I started.

Q: What is In the Mood about?

In the Mood is a light and fluffy contemporary romance. It's about a boy who meets a girl... stop me if you've heard this before:-). Seriously, it's about a male romance writer and the female fan who helps him grow more comfortable with writing love scenes by, er, tutoring him. I honestly can't guess why this one has sold more than my other romances, but I'm not complaining!


Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

Make sure your manuscript is perfect. That's the most important thing-- to make sure your book is truly worth reading. Publishing poorly edited junk doesn't show respect for your readers, or for other indie authors, for that matter. Respect your readers, and yourself, by creating the best product possible-- a good manuscript, a good cover, and courteous behavior wherever you promote.

Vicki Tyley-- Thin Blood
Amazon B&N Smashwords


Q: How many ebooks have you sold/are you selling?

30,069 since May 2010 (@ 22 Dec 2010)

Q: What is Thin Blood about?

A stockbroker’s wife disappears. Blood on his hands and an adulterous affair with the missing woman’s younger sister sees him charged with murder. With no body and only circumstantial evidence he walks free. Ten years later, journalist Jacinta Deller decides to investigate, only to become embroiled in a warped game of delusion and murder.

Q: What advice can you offer authors thinking about self-publishing?

1 - Make sure your book is the best it can be, from the cover through to the editing and formatting. If you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, pay someone to do it. It’s an investment in your future.


2 - Believe in your product.


3 - Learn from the experiences of Indie pioneers.


4 - Have fun!

37 comments:

Moses Siregar III said...

Great job on this, Joe. I hope to join the list for the holidays next year :-)

Lexi said...

Good advice from all these authors, which I would echo. Good product, well-presented and promoted = sales.

My novel, Remix, has sold more than some on your list, less than others, and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2011 brings.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Chris Graham said...

Thanks so much for the mention, Joe. Hugely appreciated. It's also fascinating reading other author's tips too.

CJ West said...

Great List Joe.

This is some of the strongest encouragement for new Kindle writers yet. These authors are all making it!

I'll second your recommendation for 33 AD. I'd never heard of David until I met him on Kindleboards and this is a very well written book.

Merry Christmas all.

CJ
The End of Marking Time

JL_Bryan said...

This is a great list. I've already been looking forward to reading several of these books.

Robert Burton Robinson said...

Congratulations to everyone! Great advice. Thanks for putting this together, Joe.

I am looking forward to another great year for my seven books.

Edie Ramer said...

This is very encouraging and great advice! It's good to see such diverse books doing well, too.

williemeikle said...

Thanks for the name check Joe... here's to another great year for us all in 2011.

And a Merry Xmas to all those here.

Ruth Harris said...

As a brand-new ebook author (but an experienced trad author), I'm so encouraged by this & appreciative of the advice. Thank you for bringing these terrific writers and their amazing variety of great stuff to our attention.

Thanks again, Merry Christmas & Great Reading for the New Year!

Ruth Harris
NYTimes bestselling author of
Husbands And Lovers

Carl said...

It seems ironic that "Kindle Free for All" and "Kindle Books for Free" each cost $0.99.

Joe Konrath said...

It seems ironic that "Kindle Free for All" and "Kindle Books for Free" each cost $0.99.

Indie authors can't release free ebooks. Only publishers can.

That said, it is kinda funny.

Marie Simas said...

This is a really nice gesture, Joe.

Sarra said...

I definitely see a few on this list I'm going to check out over the holidays. Thanks!

Rob Walker said...

Yes, my wife, whose novel - ABSOLUTION - a serial killer chase novel after she put this up, she wanted to put up an article on how to rid oneself of MIGRAINES in a list of do's and don'ts as she has been trouble-free for two decades, and as she is an ER nurse...well, she just wanted to give it away FREE but not being a publisher but an Indie author, she could not place it up for 0.00 so she placed it up as cheaply as Amazon allowed -- .99 cents. It's a steal if it ends your bouts with Migraines, I can tell you. This is found on Kindle under Miranda Phillips Walker for those who are seeking worthwhile advice on this subject.

By the way, I have three times now made 2000 dollars in ebook sales thanks to my 46 Kindle titles.

Robert W. Walker
www.robertwalkerbooks.com

Christy Pinheiro said...

Robert, I went to your website and it looks great, but the embedded music is a dealkiller-- it's a pet peeve for many because it can crash browsers and make a page very slow to load. There's a long thread bout this issue on BookBlogs.

Just an FYI.

Ty Johnston said...

Yep, some great authors there. From my own reading experience, I can personally vouch for Dalglish, Konrath, Crouch and McAffee. Seems I've got some more reading to catch up on.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget M. R. Mathias whose FULL LENGTH fantasy novels have sold over 4 thousand copies in the six months they have been available. or Michael Robb, whose new release The Butcher's Boy has been compared to King, and Koontz by Amazon Vine reviewers. I love you Joe, but your list is thin.

www mrmathias com

Caroline said...

Interesting, Jon. One thing that struck me is how diverse these fast-selling ebooks are.

More generally, thanks for the consistently thought-provoking posts on this blog.

wannabuy said...

Merry Christmas!

Authors, I'd love to know how busy your sales were yesterday (Christmas Eve), Christmas, etc. I wonder if this year (or the future) that we see, due to ebooks, peak sales for books at this time.

I just bought one of the books on this list:

Caroline said:
One thing that struck me is how diverse these fast-selling ebooks are.
That is the joy of books. If we all wanted to experience the same story, that is what TV is for. ;)

Good luck to all of the authors,
Neil

Anonymous said...

just bought two of the ebooks listed. happy to know of them! merry christmas to those who celebrate it.
amanda

jUST PLAIN SICK said...

Well done to all the folks mentioned in the post for achieving the title of best seller author!

I hope to join the ranks someday.

Perhaps you could help out by viewing my book Shades of Green by Ian Woodhead on Amazon

Jude Hardin said...

Just got a new Kindle for Christmas, and the first book I bought was 33 A.D. by David McAfee. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the list, Joe!

Terri Reid said...

wannabuy asked:
Authors, I'd love to know how busy your sales were yesterday (Christmas Eve), Christmas, etc. I wonder if this year (or the future) that we see, due to ebooks, peak sales for books at this time.

My sales slowed a little on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - the last week before Christmas I was selling 100 per book per day. However, I can see the difference that you readers of Joe's blog made in my sales. :)

Thank you for giving a new author a chance!

Terri Reid

Ty Johnston said...

My recent sales experience has been the same as Terri's. Up until Christmas Eve, my sales were up quite a bit, but have slowed since then. We'll see how it goes after the holidays.

David Wisehart said...

Great list, Joe. Good to see so many authors doing well with ebooks on Kindle and elsewhere. Keep the inspiration coming. :)

Layton Green said...

Thanks for the list -- what a great resource for new authors to get tips from those who are doing so well (as well as a short list on what to buy).

Happy holidays!

Layton Green said...

Thanks for the list -- what a great resource for new authors to get tips from those who are doing so well (as well as a short list on what to buy).

Happy holidays!

author Scott Nicholson said...

Thanks for the mention, Joe--I've read several of the authors and met others here online. Another common denominator of success is those authors tend to stay active and interested in this new community.

Mr Mathias, Joe put out a voluntary call for some successful authors. NO ONE will be able to track every bestselling book of any kind. The NYT ebook bestseller list will be a complete farce. And no one is revealing all sales from all outlets. Even if Joe had access to that data (not even Assange could compile it), he could hardly be expected to track down every single successful writer.

It's like 100,000 different cottage industries working in one giant village--some will never met, others are neighbors. But all can live happily ever after in peace.

The question I keep coming back to is "Where in heck did all this money go to before?" When you realize how little the author makes under the "traditional" structure, you realize all the big chucks of profit being torn away by people who don't create the content or add to the experience in any meaningful way. I doubt if most readers care how much money the writer makes, but they sure appreciate lower prices.

Thanks, Joe, for all your generous help and support of the indie community, writers, and readers.

Scott Nicholson

Morgan Mandel said...

That took some doing, putting your list together so nicely.

My goal for 2011 - to make your next list!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Ruth Harris said...

"Where in heck did all this money go to before?"

Lunch at the Four Seasons, Michael's and the Union Square Café. Sales conferences in Florida and California. Car + driver for the execs. Trips to Frankfurt, London and Paris in the pursuit of foreign rights.

You know, like that.

Free books for Kindle said...

"Where in heck did all this money go to before?"

There is probably some displacement going on. If you don't buy one $9.99 book - you can buy 10 books at 99c. This is pretty striking at Amazon.co.uk especially. An awful lot of the books in the top 30 or so are around £1.

Self-publishing means the author can cut prices and yet still make a living. I reckon Amazon is playing a similar role for authors as MySpace did for bands a few years back.

evilphilip said...

Great list. Congrats to everyone on that list. There are some great covers up there from indie authors.

evilphilip said...

"Michael Robb, whose new release The Butcher's Boy has been compared to King, and Koontz by Amazon Vine reviewers."

He needs to come up with a new title for his book. When I did a search for it, his book was the 4th book to come up on the list with that title.

I found the sales of my short story on the Kindle were steady right up until Christmas and then I had a landslide of sales on Christmas day and the day after.

I obviously need to get more than a single short story up there, but it is still fun to watch the story sell.

Lindsay B said...

What a great-looking collection of books. Congratulations to the authors!

Vicki said...

Thank you for the mention, Joe. Your support is much appreciated.

Cheers
Vicki

Katgirl Studio said...

Just bought my first ever Kindle book and it was your A Newbie's Guide to Publishing =^.^=

Thanks for making such a great blog! Hope to launch a few of my books after I'm done with some client work.

Here's to an awesome 2011!

jtplayer said...
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