I am 15 days into my Kindle experiment and here are the results so far…
Today, THE WALK is ranked #901 in the Kindle Store and:
THREE WAYS TO DIE – 38 copies sold @ $.99. My royalties: $13.30.
Today, THREE WAYS TO DIE is ranked #15,365 in the Kindle Store and:
#74 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Hard-Boiled
I've promoted the books here on my blog, my Facebook page, to my Facebook Monk Fans, on Twitter, and on the Amazon Kindle forums (as well as several other Kindle forums, like this one).
Those sales are nothing to get excited about. I haven't come close to reaching the astonishing and impressive Kindle sales that folks like Joe Konrath and John August have achieved.
On the plus side, I have been getting some very nice, enthusiastic reviews (publicly on Amazon and privately in emails) for THE WALK and I think that's led to some good word-of-mouth. I have seen the daily sales steadily increasing from one or two copies-a-day to 10-15 copies-a-day.
On the down side, Sales of THREE WAYS TO DIE are flat. I haven't sold a copy in two days.
And several readers have reported some irritating formatting problems with THE WALK. Some paragraphs seem to switch to italics at random. I have looked at the manscript, as both a Word document and in html, and I can't figure out why those paragraphs are changing format…so I have no clue how to fix it. But I will keep trying to figure it out.
I'll give you another update at the end of the month.
UPDATE 6-18-2009: Sales are definitely trending up for THE WALK, though it's still nothing stellar. As of tonight, THE WALK has sold 219 copies @$1.40. My royalties: $136.49. The book is now #410 in the Kindle Store and:
It doesn't seem to take many sales to become a top-ten "bestseller" in genre categories on Amazon, does it? Oh, and I have sold two copies of the PDF version of THE WALK at Scribd, bringing me $1.50 in royalties.
THREE WAYS TO DIE has sold ten more copies, 47 copies to date, @.99 each, earning me $16.45 in royalties.
Financially speaking, I don't see this as the future of self-publishing, at least not yet. It would take a lot of promotion to reach a wide enough audience to create enough sales to make this financially lucrative (unless you're already an established author … like Joe Konrath…or well-known in other circles…like screenwriter John August). There's a reason Stephen King, John Grisham and Michael Connelly haven't forsaken big New York publisher and "the printed page" for the e-publishing world just yet (or for print-on-demand paperbacks either).
But one clear benefit of self-publishing/epublishing with the Kindle is that you don't have to shell out any money upfront to do it…nor do you have to go through some vanity press scammer. You don't even pay an unfront listing fee (the way you would with, say, auctions on ebay). You pay at the register…or, rather, your reader does. Amazon and Scribd take a cut from the sales.