Saturday, May 1, 2010

To self-publish, or not to self-publish... Maybe through Kindle?

I'm not riding in the self-publishing bandwagon, but recently on the Galley Cat website, there have been a couple of posts about successful self-published authors. These authors were both self-published using amazon's digital text platform self-publishing tool for kindle. Their stories are interesting and worth a look, you can find J.A. Konrath's story here. And you can find Karen McQuestion's story here.

J.A. Konrath has something like 20 books available through the kindle store and sells something like 800 per day. Crazy, huh?

And Karen McQuestion sells tens of thousands of books per year and is the first kindle self-published author to land a movie deal.

Now, all of that success involved more than just uploading their books to the kindle store and sitting back. Konrath already had a book or two in print and so already had a following, and McQuestion made sure to keep her name, and her books, out there in forums and other venues.

After reading their stories, I decided to try my hand at the kindle self-publishing. Not with my major works, with which I am still going the traditional route and sending queries to agents and keeping my fingers crossed.

But I have two other works that I thought would make good experiments for the kindle platform. One is a short Christmas story. I actually recently turned down a real publishing contract for this story. I don't have an agent (yet) and the publisher was very small and very niche, and the contract was very bad (for me). They wouldn't negotiate, so I didn't sign. But this gave me confidence that this work was good enough to be published, so it has become my first self-published work on kindle. My Twelfth Christmas became available yesterday and I've already sold four! (One to each of my sisters, one to me, and one to my niece *grin*.)

But the experiment will continue. I have another work which was completed fairly recently. It turned out to be novella length and novellas are a hard sell through the traditional route, unless you are already a popular author. So once I've finished with revisions, The Witch of Starmont will be going up for sale on kindle, too.

I'm not that great at self-promotion, but I'll try. Because if you don't tell people about your stuff, no one will ever know it's there. And you want people to know it's there.

One key to high volume sales is low price. My Twelfth Christmas is priced at $0.99, and The Witch of Sarmont will be priced at $1.99. Right now, the royalty structure is such that I get to keep 30% of that.

They also give you an author page on amazon. Mine is still being created, but when it's up, I'll post about it with a link.

Let the experiment commence!


jo©o said...

Very catching cover page.
I'm sure it will attract buyers.

One problem: you can buy an awful lot of books for 250 dollars. ( for dollars read pounds, which makes it even more expensive.)

ICQB said...

Hi Jo!

That's my daughter on the cover :-)

jo©o said...

She's gorgeous. And of course, so is the photograph. You may have to change from being an author to being a publishing designer. I honestly thought this had been provided by the kindle company.

ICQB said...

Hi Jo!

Thank you! And I'll pass the comliment on to my daughter :-)

adrienne said...

Great idea! I hope your experiment is a success. I don't have a Kindle - and what I've read about Kindle for PC so far hasn't convinced me I could cozy up to my laptop for a long read, but I'd love to read your story one of these days...
Lovely cover, by the way!

ICQB said...

Hi adrienne!

Yikes! As I'm writing this, my cat chased a big spider under my feet........... Gah!

Okay, I think it's gone.

Thank you, my daugther is on the cover, that's probably why it looks so nice :-)