Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shaken

For the three of you who don't have ereaders yet, SHAKEN, the seventh Jack Daniels thriller, is available in print today.

Amazon.com is currently pricing it at a paltry $7.75.

It's also available in various audio formats.

Those just tuning in might not know that SHAKEN's journey to publication has been a long, strange one.

I'll recap.

Though my previous six Jack Daniels novels are still in print and earning money, my publisher, Hyperion, decided that they didn't want to make any more money and didn't pick up the seventh book.

My agent shopped it around to three or four other publishers. No one bit. I went on to write some other books, got a little bit of traction with ebook sales, and then got an offer for SHAKEN from a major publisher.

I passed on the offer. I figured I'd release SHAKEN on my own.

Then AmazonEncore came into the picture. We struck a deal for them to publish SHAKEN in ebook, print, and audio formats. Encore had more marketing muscle than I did, and the ability to get books into bookstores was alluring.

The ebook version was released in October for $2.99, and I've been pleased with the sales.

Preorders for the print version of SHAKEN have been strong. If will be interesting to see how the book does. Especially since STIRRED, the final Jack Daniels book, will be coming out later this year.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just ordered my copy. Loved your print versions on The List and Origin.
Is Stirred being done the same as Shaken? The ebook first and then the print version.

Sean McCartney
The Treasure Hunters Club
Secrets of the Magical Medallions

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

Read it on my Kindle and loved it!

T. B. Wright said...

Congrats on that, Joe. What sort of royalties are you getting from the AmazonEncore deal, if you can share that? Was it more a financial decision for you, or more of a PR one?

T.B. Wright
www.TheMcClurePapers.com

Joe Konrath said...

Can't disclose royalties, but I'm pleased. The reason I signed with them, however, was for their marketing machine.

Steve said...

Joe, it sounds like a winner. Good that you passed on the offer.

Kippoe said...

Shaken is a great read looking forward to the new one

Coolkayaker1 said...

That's superb that you found a means to get it in print for those readers that have all of your books in print.

I can see, maybe, how other publishers would not want to pick up a book that you've already done a series with another publisher already--their marketing only helps theri cmopetition, who already put out your other J Daniel's tales. But why Hyperion wouldn;t want another J Daniel's tale is beyond me.

Sounds like you keep the rights to the character and the content for future books (and movies), so that's a good thing, Joe.

Murray Roth said...

Did you use a different designer for the inside of this book than on the ebook version?

Sideburns said...

Once the book's out in dead-tree format, I'll be interested in seeing how the print edition does in comparison to the ebook. I'm guessing that the ebook will do better, but either way, it will tell us a lot about current trends in book purchasing.

Sam said...

Barnes & Noble stock is down 12% today after disappointing quarterly earnings.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41717741

Key quote: "The implosion of the physical book business is clearly happening faster than anyone thought."

Sam said...

PS-- I should add, I hope this quote does NOT apply to the hard copy of Shaken!

Kelli Perry said...

Places like AmazonEncore look like the future, but from what I've heard, they're closed to submissions. With that kind of promotional strength behind them, it seems like they'd be able to bring in all kinds of talent if they opened their doors to all authors instead of cherry picking the lucky few.

Joe, in your dealing with them, have they explained what they're trying to do? Why are they doing things in such a strange way?

Helen Hanson said...

Congratulations! I'm sure making you pleased contained a fair number of zeros. Seeing your characters live on must also count in the tally.

Heidi C. Vlach said...

No one bit. I went on to write some other books, got a little bit of traction with ebook sales, and then got an offer for SHAKEN from a major publisher.

Yet another example of the way everything seems too hard to market -- until someone successfully markets it. Then it becomes an obvious Good Idea. Gumption gets people places!

Kendall Swan said...

Too bad you can't disclose the details. But like Helen said, I'm sure if it made you happy enough to not self publish, then it must have been a great deal. The Amazon Marketing Machine would be an AMAZING asset for any title.

I still need to read the rest of the series first. Whiskey Sour is in my tbr pile. But I do look forward to reading it as I have loved your shorter works (including Serial).

Thanks for the blog. I look forward to every post.

Kendall
NAKED Cheerleader and Other Stories

Kendall Swan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
G.R. Yeates said...

Hi Joe,

Congrats on the deal with AmazonEncore. Though I tend to lurk on here more than comment, I just wanted to say thanks for putting all of this information out there for us newbies. After a lot of thought, I've decided to take the plunge. I will be putting out the series of books that I have been working on for the last four years. The traditional route has gotten me nowhere despite much positive feedback on my work so I'm going digital. See you in silicon heaven and keep up the great work with the blog.

Cheers,

Greg

Robin Sullivan said...

Kelli Perry said...
Places like AmazonEncore look like the future, but from what I've heard, they're closed to submissions.


I wasn't aware they were ever "open to submissions". The way I understood AmazonEncore is they "tap you" based on a solid track record of sales.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

Robin Sullivan said...

Congratz Joe - I found it very interesting that Amazon released in ebook format first then the print later - kind of like the hardcover/paperback days of old.

I'm not sure how much bookstore presense AmazonEncore does - but I'll look for it at some of my local stores just to see if they are stocking. I already bought kindle version.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

dr.cpe said...

congratulations Joe: The Triple crown aint just for horses.

I understand about the propriety of mentioning royalties publicly. I sense they were as some of the old time gentlemanly agents used to say when they'd pulled off a great contract... "it is a nice deal."

dr.cpe

dr.cpe said...

re Amazon fiddling with charges to authors: for those of us who have much graphic content, this may be of interest to stay on top of so we know the field; it's over at publisher's weakly, sorry, I mean publishers weekly.

In the comics world, most of the digital conversation is about comic books as apps for tablets and smart phones, with the iPad and iPhone getting the most attention.

However, while there is a nascent market for comics on e-book readers like the Kindle and B&N’s color device, the Nook, Amazon’s recently introduced digital “delivery fee,” charging publishers 15 cents per megabyte to transfer a book’s file to the Kindle, has forced some comics publishers to rethink using the Kindle platform.

While novels are text-based and unlikely to run up a delivery charge much over $0.02, graphic novels have a much higher bandwidth, and could be forced into a lower payment/royalty rate and higher list price because of their file size, directly because of these Amazon fees. In addition, Amazon also has a recommended file size which affects graphic novel pricing.

An Amazon spokesperson explains that the $0.15/MB charge applies to the wireless charges associated with the Kindle and that the charge “roughly covers [Amazon’s] costs of delivery.”

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/46244-kindle-we-have-a-problem-amazon-s-pricing-policies-affect-publishers-.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly%27s+PW+Comics+Week&utm_campaign=6e92e28585-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email

bowerbird said...

dr. cpe said:
> graphic novels have
> a much higher bandwidth,
> and could be forced into a
> lower payment/royalty rate
> and higher list price
> because of their file size,
> directly because of
> these Amazon fees

the fee sounds fair to me.

bandwidth is a real cost.

so why should authors
who use very little of it
be forced to subsidize
authors who use a lot?

-bowerbird

no-bull-steve said...

Ah this is the novel that infamous PW article claimed you were not quite self publishing, but not "really" publishing. Seems like a different world back then. Or maybe it's just that my eyes see differently.

Stephen Prosapio
author, DREAM WAR

Selena Blake said...

Love this cover, Joe. Congrats! Wishing you many sales.

Amber Argyle said...

Sometimes, I wish I'd had the marketing sense to publish my book on my own. But I don't have the connections that my publisher does.

Maybe someday.

KevinMc said...

Hey, Dr.CPE?
Are comics really that bad on Kindle? Used to do digital art for games, myself, so I did a little playing after reading your post. I'm getting compressed image pages of about 50-70kB per page, which means 14-20 pages per 15 cent charge.

Crank it up to 3mB at 45 cents, and you've got a 50-60 page book. Sell it at $2.99 and you're bringing home $1.65 per sale, which is pretty darned good income at that price point. I'm not seeing a problem with that - am I missing something there?

Bukowski's Basement said...

Hey Joe: I work at a newspaper and recently received your book for review purposes. I was surprised for two reasons -- a) I'm a fan of your blog and I wasn't expecting to see one of your PHYSICAL books on the review pile and b)I saw the Amazon logo and wondered who was responsible for the actual marketing and PR of the title...

In any case, I hope the print version treats you well. I, too, look forward to diggin' in at some point.

dr.cpe said...

@Kevin Mc, not sure, but think you'd have to go direct to the inker guys who seem not wanting to spend one more cent than the download reader charge off/deduction to royalties they say are already in place. Imagine in addition to the link to the long article, there are several articles on the net reflecting pro and con points of view... as well as spec on amateur sites where ink people gather

I tend to lean toward watching all of Jeff Bezos policies with all the many kinds of content providers as Amaz unrolls their latest charges. Here we have a joke, that the Vatican might actually be more transparent and with less subtext than Jeff .

Gotta have some M.A.S.H. humor in our line of business, I think.

dr.cpe said...

@bowerbird... I didnt. (I went back and looked at my comment and for some reason, it didnt take the quote marks Iplaced there. I did have /do have ongoing, some leg wrassling with open id/ name url in comments here. But, the first para of my comment is me speaking, the other four paras should have carried quotes, as they are from the article that I gave the link to.

About subsidizing, dont know if should or could. Although the 'utilize blockbuster income to subsidize smaller runs of any kind of book, including comix,' seems a venerable, time-tested, and still viable premise, not sure that applies to bandwidth use in ebks... though I'd like to see how this plays out as prices go down-- if they do-- and royalty rates go down-- if they do.

Most everything Bezos and Co is of interest, I think, to stay on top of the newest policies at Amaz, so we know the field. I sense all the no-nos, fees, deductions in all their varigations ought be analyzed together rather than as only those that apply to what one kind of content provider is concerned with.
Just my .02

JD Rhoades said...

Congratulations, Joe! Diversification is a good thing.

Rose said...

I occasionally have personal documents sent to my Kindle. Sometimes books that bought elsewhere. Amazon charges me $.15 per MB or any part thereof. I just looked at the charge I paid for Netgalley book-- $.30 for 1.2 MB.

Jude Hardin said...

Congrats, Joe!

Does Amazon Encore hire freelance editors, or is everything done in-house? Just wondering.

Library999Cat said...

My copy came yesterday. Although I'm a new Kindle owner my husband still likes the print versions so I ordered it for him. We are both huge fans of the Jack Daniels series and will be sad to see it end. I've especially enjoyed listening to the audio versions of the books.

I'm currently working on a project of my own that I hope to self publish someday. The information in this blog has been enormously helpful.

Wishing you continued success,
Cathy Neumueller

Christy Pinheiro said...

Does Amazon Encore hire freelance editors, or is everything done in-house?

I wonder about this, too. My educated guess is that Amazon Encore is using the old BookSurge staff to launch this imprint and provide all the book design and formatting, etc.

This may have been Amazon's master plan all along when they bought out CreateSpace and Booksurge in 2009.

Gary Ponzo said...

Joe, maybe you could explain how Amazon markets their products and how they decide which products (ebooks) to promote through their recommended list program. If you know.

bowerbird said...

dr. cpe said:
> the first para
> of my comment
> is me speaking,
> the other four paras
> should have carried quotes,
> as they are from the article
> that I gave the link to.

ok, duly noted. :+)


> About subsidizing,
> dont know
> if should or could.

i strongly believe that _no_
subsidizing should be done.

this will become a big deal
once people start putting
audio and video in e-books.
(amazon's overall costs will
go up, dramatically, when
that starts happening...)

and if amazon's costs go up,
it means that amazon has
less money to give authors.

so the only _responsible_
course of action is to
recover those costs from
entities who cause them,
rather than force everyone
to share the burden under
the label of "overhead"...

this is of special concern
to self-publishers, who
probably tend toward the
all-text books, which are
cheap to download, who
would thus be expected to
share the higher costs of
the video that big houses
will undoubtedly try to use
to "enhance" their e-books.


> Although the
> 'utilize blockbuster
> income to subsidize
> smaller runs of
> any kind of book,
> including comix,'
> seems a venerable,
> time-tested, and
> still viable premise,

that works for _one_
publisher, to a degree.

but it is unfair when
that one publisher is
expected to subsidize
_another_ publisher...

so, if your book costs
just 5 cents for amazon
to download, whereas
my book costs 95 cents,
why should we _both_ be
forced to give up 50 cents
out of our "royalties"?

that's unfair to you...


> though I'd like to
> see how this plays out
> as prices go down--
> if they do-- and
> royalty rates go down--
> if they do.

there is absolutely
no reason to expect
that "royalty" rates
will go down. none.

if anything, they will
go _up_. in that vein,
it's wise for amazon
to recover its costs,
which is what it is
doing with this fee.

amazon _does_ do
things that we should
be upset about, chief
among them being
the paltry 35% "royalty"
for items under $2.99.

but this download fee
is _not_ such a thing...

***

now, having said all that,
there is one thing that
people here should know.

the kindle converter now
automatically saves a copy
of the original file _inside_
the kindle file it generates.

that means that it contains
_two_ copies of the file...

which, of course, doubles
the size of the file, and thus
doubles the download cost.

you can turn that option off.
and if your download cost is
too high, you should do that.
the only down side is that --
if amazon switches formats
(e.g., to .epub, but please no!)
-- then your customers will
have to re-download... but
that is a down side for them
and for amazon, not _you_.

-bowerbird

dr.cpe said...

thanks bowerbird, I can see your points, and thanks for your comment to all re 2 copies contained within K, and option to turn off switch, and caveats about same. Not at that point yet personally, but useful to those who are ready to launch, I think.