Thursday, April 18, 2013

Konrath's Thank You 99 Cent Sale

In 2002 I signed my first 3-book deal for $110,000. My agent got 15%, which meant I cleared $93,500. This was paid out over the course of over four years. It took over six years from the date I signed the contract to finally earn out and start making royalties.

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to regain control over my legacy books was so I had say-so over the price. I felt that publishers price ebooks too high.

When I got my rights back, I lowered my prices to $3.99.

So, how has that worked out for me?

During the 31 days of March, I earned $102,000 on my self-pubbed books. Some of this was from my old titles that never found a publisher. But 90% of it was from the books I got back.

As you might guess, I'm incredibly happy and grateful. So I wanted to do something to celebrate.



For the next three days, my Jack Daniels, Jack Kilborn, and sci-fi books will each be 99 cents (with the exception of AFRAID, which is free 4/19 - 4/23).

So, if you've never tried my books before, now you can scoop up all eleven for about the price of what one used to cost in paperback.

It's something that no legacy publisher would ever do. Which is why I want to do it. Because I can.

This sale ends at 11:59pm Central Time on Sunday night. So get them while they're hot...












Please help spread the word about this sale by linking to this blog, or to the individual titles.


And thanks for reading!

61 comments:

Alan Tucker said...

Congratulations and thank you, Joe. Your success is well-deserved!

Susan May said...

Thanks Joe. I will spread the word. Between you & Hugh Howey (who I was fortunate enough to interview) you have flipped my ideas of publishing upside down. About to go Indie. Everytime I hear about an author signing a publishing deal, feelings of claustrophobia come over me,

Shaun Horton said...

Consider it shared. It's the least I can do for the amount of help I've gotten from your blog in the past six months.

G. M. Frazier said...

Thanks, Joe. I already had most of these. Affraid is showing up at $3.99 not FREE, BTW.

Joe Konrath said...

Afraid won't be free until midnight.

G. M. Frazier said...

Ah, never mind. Just noticed that FREE doesn't start for Afraid until tomorrow.

G. M. Frazier said...

Just tweeted this and I'll post it on my FB page.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the freebie and the other 99 cent books. I really feel we all owe you a debt of gratitude. Heck, I'm still trying to digest that 1,100 page behemoth that you continue to give away for free. That thing is loaded with great info. I'm still amazed that you don't share it for nada. I'll definitely be sharing this sale info with my buds.

Sidebar: Has anyone ever published a book using Amazon DRM, then later re-published the same book on Amazon DRM free? I know most folks on here are probably not fans of DRM. I'm just wondering if anyone has data they wouldn't mind sharing. I was thinking about doing that with a book to see if it would cause a bump in sales. Wondering if anyone else has already tried that.

thanks

Anonymous said...

Correction, I was trying to say, "I'm still amazed that you continue to share it for nothing." My typing is horrible when wearing these mittens. (But they're so darn cute.)

Matthew Haslett said...

Thank you very much for the sale!! And congratulations on the awesome sales and kudos to you for having the courage to self-publish!

I happened by this blog post via a fb post from Barry Eisler. I absolutely LOVE his John Rain series and I am looking forward to your books as well.

Good luck and I wish you much continued success in all of your endeavors!

Matthew Haslett

kathie said...

Congratulations on your sales, Joe. I have most of these--some in paper! I'll load up some more--thanks so much!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Those new covers look gorgeous, Joe.

Jim Self said...

Joe, any idea why the titles you just got back made up 90% of your sales? Do you think it's because they were "new" to your catalog, because they were the best of your backlist, or maybe something else?

Tuan Ho said...

Gotta love that Timecaster cover! lol

:)

Davieboy said...

Congrats Joe.
One thing that gets lost in the posts about rights, prices etc. and doesn't get said enough - your books are excellent reads. Well-plotted and populated by memorable characters. They've given me hours of entertainment (I particularly enjoy the audiobooks, looking forward to the next Timecaster).

Anonymous said...


Quote from blog entry:
"During the 31 days of March, I earned $102,000 on my self-pubbed books. Some of this was from my old titles that never found a publisher. But 90% of it was from the books I got back."


How many books did you get back?

And how many books were never trad published?

It would be interesting to see if the 90% was from a group of books that are less in number than your books that were never trad published.

Ruby Binns-Cagney said...

Congratulations on your publishing success, very inspiring.

Cool countdown clock, please can I have it?

Best regards, and continued success to you.

Wayne Burman said...

Well done Joe. Have them all in paperback and a couple on Kindle already. Will get the rest now and share with my Facebook friends.

More Jack Daniels please!

Robert Brumm said...

Thanks, Joe. Shared on my FB page.

Anonymous said...

I have 14 novels out, all self pubbed in the last 26 months. Thus far, my numbers parallel Joe's - albeit with a smaller number of offerings.

These days a new release, which I have every 8-10 weeks, sells 125-175 copies a day (at $3.99) for the first 30 days - generating roughly $10k in profits. Never does that book get ranked higher than about 500 Overall. I would imagine several of Joe's 'new' titles are doing that well.

Long term, each new release slows to about $2000 in profit in Month 2, $1000 in month 3, and $600 or so every month after.

Of course I spend $400 with Bookbub every month and dip my toes into the Select Free pool too, which goose sales on my older titles periodically. Joe does too, I assume. Those 2 practices have dramatically boosted my reader base.

I may be wrong, but my 2013 new release sales are DOUBLE what my 2012 titles brought, and I've heard rumors that the great Amazon algorhithms are currently more heavily weighted to new releases.

Nice timing, Joe!

Kathy said...

Is there any way public libraries can take advantage of this, even at a slightly higher price?

Joshua James said...

posted on my FB wall as well!

Jude Hardin said...

Interesting that FUZZY NAVEL has pulled way ahead of the pack...

Any theories on that?

Anonymous said...

I love your books and have read a couple but want to read them all in order to understand and enjoy the whole story again. So before I ask my question, let me first say THANK YOU. You are an amazing person and writer who really thinks about your readers and cares about getting your books out there to be read... not just caring about the all-mighty dollar. I noticed that SHAKEN and STIRRED werent on the list of discounted books - is there a reason they were left out? They are a BIG part of the J.D. story and was just wondering why you chose to keep them at their current price during this promotion?

Summer Daniels said...

Consider yourself "spread" on my What To Read After Fifty Shades of Grey page Joe ...

Good luck and congratulations!

And as always - thank you for the wonderful information to be found on your blog. It was the impetus for me (along many others I am sure) to stop dreaming and start writing.

All the best,

Summer

Daniel said...

Susan May's interview with Hugh Howey is well worth reading, people. Unlike Joe, Howey claims he's been into self-publishing almost from the start. (Of course, he may have gotten that idea from Joe.) In any case, you'll learn a lot from the interview. Go up and click on Susan's name. It's the second comment in this list.

Also, WOOL (Part I) is still free at Amazon. Maybe it's always free; don't know. Literary and smart. The book, not me.
Daniel Berenson
Freaky Dude Books

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks to everyone helping spread the word. :)

Has anyone ever published a book using Amazon DRM, then later re-published the same book on Amazon DRM free?

I've never used DRM. In fact, I should probably mention that in my product descriptions.

Joe, any idea why the titles you just got back made up 90% of your sales?

A combination of low prices and newly published and KDP Select and BookBub/ebookbooster helped them become visible on Amazon.

How many books did you get back?
And how many books were never trad published?


The ones on sale are the ones I got back. I have a backlist of 40 other ebooks, 9 of them novels.

Is there any way public libraries can take advantage of this, even at a slightly higher price?

I'm still working on a plan to sell directly to libraries. Real life intruded, but I'll get back to that soon, hopefully.

Interesting that FUZZY NAVEL has pulled way ahead of the pack...

I'm going to blog about this when the sale is over. I have some theories...

I noticed that SHAKEN and STIRRED werent on the list of discounted books - is there a reason they were left out?

Those are published by Amazon, so I don't have the ability to change the price. But they're currently $2.99 each, which is a bargain.

Daniel said...

Here's more kindling on Joe's fire, not that many people here doubt him when it comes to how publishers treat their clients. Nevertheless, it's a good read. Amy Chavez, a Huffington Post writer, details her experience with a small publisher and says, "Next time, I'm self-publishing."
http://indiereader.com/2013/04/next-time-ill-self-publish/?utm_source=IndieReader+List&utm_campaign=7f39a9e1e1-Newsletter_1_copy_02_4_18_2013&utm_medium=email

Daniel Berenson

Adrian said...

Logistically, how do you schedule sales and price changes with such precision? Each of the main sellers (Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords) make only weak promises about how quickly they'll apply a price change. (Last I checked, I think B&N said it could take as long as three weeks.)

And given that they're all checking to make sure you don't price your book cheaper somewhere else, what happens when one site drops the price days before another one?

Joe Konrath said...

Logistically, how do you schedule sales and price changes with such precision?

I'm in KDP Select, so I'm currently not on any other platforms.

In Amazon's case, I change the price the day before I do the promotion, to make sure it gets through their system.

Ryan Schneider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Schneider said...

Thanks, Joe, for the deal on the books. I'll pick up the ones I don't yet have. Out of curiosity, why $0.99 instead of free?

Ironically, I discovered your 2-day sale this weekend while I was writing a new blog post on my site to advertise that I am having a two-day free ebook promotion this weekend in honor of my new release EYE CANDY.

Synchronicity.

I'll be sure to mention your sale in my post.

Thanks again for everything you do and have done for writers, readers, and the indie publishing movement.

Anonymous said...

.99 is the new free, LOL. Thanks, Joe, I bought all that I didn't already have. At $2.99, I will buy a book that I want to read immediately. At $.99, I'll buy books I want to read in the future, without stopping to think about the money. But since I spent a buck, I *will* read them. With a free book, I may download it but never read it. Unless it's a Konrath, of course.

Joe Konrath said...

Out of curiosity, why $0.99 instead of free?

I've already used up my free days for this KDPS period.

Elisabeth Lohninger said...

Thank you! And congratulations! I just bought a couple of your books and am looking forward to reading them, once I'm done with the rewrite of my novel. Cheers!

Suzanne Anderson said...

Joe, I really believe one of the reasons you're so successful is you are relentlessly generous. To your readers, through these book bargains, and to other writers (like me) for showing us the ropes.

Thanks to your good advice on how to promote and price books (and to keep creating new books for readers), this month I will be able to begin writing full-time.

Thank you!
Suzanne

Tad said...

Joe, when you give your books away for free or a discounted price like 99 cents, can you take a certain amount off of your taxes for marketing/ promotional purposes? The way I figure it is, the normal price is 3.99, if you give it away for free to make your way up the Amazon sales chart, then it was a promotional price. Lost sales for more visibility. And thusly a tax deduction. Or am I off base?

G. M. Frazier said...

Joe, when I posted this vid on my blog, I couldn't help but think of you and your "rejected" titles that are now making you tons of money. Cheers.

http://gmfrazier.blogspot.com/2013/04/responsding-to-rejection-letter.html

Joe Konrath said...

Hilarious GM.

Martin said...

Do you see an increase in sales because the books are 99 cents or is it due to the select freebie giveaways. Or can you tell?

Geraldine Evans said...

Thanks, Joe, Downloaded my copies!
And thanks, too, for all your advice over the past many months. You're awesome. If it wasn't for you, I'd still be earning peanuts with my last traditional publisher. Now I earn a LIVING!

Have tweeted and fb'd.

Your generosity to other authors will ensure you good karma in your next life. :-)

David L. Shutter said...

G.M. Frazier...

What movie is that from? That was awesome.

I was hooked at "Dear motherfucker..."

G. M. Frazier said...

It's from "Big Bad Love," the movie based on Larry Brown's book of the same title. This movie captures Brown's writing better than any movie adaptation of an author's work that I've seen. Brown was one of the greatest southern writers of the last 100 years, IMO. I was lucky enough to get to meet him when I was at Ole Miss.

Tony said...

Congrats on your success and freedom from the publisher's out of touch control!

Chris Mauns said...

I loved your whiskey sour!

This promotion is awesome, I was just trying to figure out how to afford the rest of them! :)

There seems to be some glitches though, they still show up for $2.99 on Kindle (except for one book for one minute yesterday, don't know why i cant buy them for 99c... anyone else have the same problems?)

Giving them away for 99c is truly a show of love for your readers!

Then there was one more thing...
Before i even heard about this promotion i was going to email you a free copy of my book, (because I've learned a lot from your Newbies guide to publishing) and want to give back too.

I'm sure you get free books sent to you every day, but i wouldn't do it if i wasn't quite sure you would like it.

In the same spirit (and of course to get the word out) I would like to put a coupon to get my book for FREE here, (for all your fans too). Can i do that or would that be spamming? Up to you Joe!

My coupon would expire on the 24th as well.

Either way, thanks for doing this for us!

Sincerely
Chris Mauns

Newbie author that just published his first book "Men are from Mars, Women are INSANE"

This is my pseudonym said...


The covers do look nice, but why is the smiley face drawn the same on all the covers?

Joe Konrath said...

The smiley face is a long story. It's a tattoo I have, connected to my career, and these covers were meant to convey the opposite of my Hyperion covers.

The reason they're all the same is because I like that smiley drawing, and continuity. Different types of smileys didn't seem needed.

Joan Hall Hovey said...

Thanks for all you do. Your wonderful success is an inspiration to all of us, Joe. We hang on your every word. ¸-:)

Joan Hall Hovey

Steven French said...

No DRM? Does that mean those of us with NOOKs can download them, then side load them onto our devices?

Thanks as always.

Anonymous said...

Joe, big fan of your first two Kilborn novels but have Nook...when can we purchase more ebooks (not on Amazon hopefully...no offense)?

Joe Konrath said...

Does that mean those of us with NOOKs can download them, then side load them onto our devices?

Yes.

Apologies to Nook, Sony,and Kobo owners that they have to jump through hoops to get these ebooks, but right now I'm exclusive with Amazon, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Frank Sergeant said...

> Joe,

I'm not Joe.

> when you give your books away for free or a discounted price like 99 cents, can you take a certain amount off of your taxes for marketing/ promotional purposes?

This question shows a woeful lack of accounting understanding.

You can deduct your expenses. So, yes, you can deduct $0.00.

> The way I figure it is, the normal price is 3.99, if you give it away for free to make your way up the Amazon sales chart, then it was a promotional price. Lost sales for more visibility. And thusly a tax deduction. Or am I off base?

You are off base.

Think about it. If you want to deduct the lost revenue, you must also *report* the lost revenue, thus a wash.

Frank

M.L.Plouffe said...

Thank you for the awesome prices, Joe. I just purchased 6 of your ebooks and pre-ordered Haunted House. Much appreciated. Congrats on your self-publishing success. Way to go!

Clyde said...

Thanks for the $.99 sale Joe. I picked up the titles that I didn't already have. I also got Shaken and Stirred.
Stirred by the way has DRM. You might want to check with Amazon on that.

Merrill Heath said...

Just checked Amazon and all 6 Jack Daniels novels are in the Kindle top 100.

Tad said...

Frank,

Thanks for the info.

And you are correct, I do have a woeful lack of the understanding of accounting. -As well as astronomy, social cues, and punctuation;.?!"

But that is why I asked. If you don't ask you don't know. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question. I will adjust my taxes accordingly.

Frank Sergeant said...

>And you are correct, I do have a woeful lack of the understanding of accounting

Sorry. I retract that part of my answer.

> I will adjust my taxes accordingly.

If you will tolerate one more piece of advice: I think it does not mean you should adjust your taxes. I think it means you should have a professional do your taxes. This can sometimes be surprisingly inexpensive.

Frank

Tad said...

Frank,

Advice is always welcome.

That is one of the reasons I like coming to this blog. Joe and the visitors here form a great community to get advice and information on self publishing as well as encouragement for those same projects.

Again, I appreciate the info. An accountant is the best way to go, and something I should've considered from the start.

Being a micro-business I was trying to figure out the rules while saving any money I could. But mistakes can be expensive too...

Thanks again.

Janet Stanislav said...

Joe...I love your boooks...just had to tell you. I was out of town during your .99 book sale, but I have most of them anyway. I would buy them at any price. Thanks and I hope you keep writing for a long time.

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