You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, Part 15


This was my best month of Kindle sales since I began this venture in June. This month I sold about 1360 books and made about $975 (click on the image for a larger view of my royalty statement as of 9:47 pm, March 31st)

I sold 575 copies of THE WALK, earning $420, which is actually slightly down from February, when I sold 573 copies in 28 days, but it's still my best-selling title.

My friend Joe Konrath, who did amazingly well this month, strongly urged me to drop my new covers for MY GUN HAS BULLETS and BEYOND THE BEYOND because he felt they were the reason my sales weren't so good. So I took his advice and temporarily restored the original covers. The result? MY GUN sold 167 copies in February with the new cover (or roughly six copies a day) and sold 204 this month (or roughly seven copies a day) with the old cover. BEYOND sold 85 copies this month (about 3-a-day) and sold 73 this month (about 2 copies a day). My take? It's a wash. Even so, I'm thinking about creating two new covers for the books and seeing what happens. 

Joe also suggested that if I dropped the Jack Webb cover for THREE WAYS TO DIE and replaced it with something bolder, I would see sales go up. Last month, I sold 140 copies of THREE WAYS, or 5-a-day. This month, with the new cover, I sold 201 books, or 6.5 copies a day. My take? It's up, and I like the new cover better anyway, so I'm sticking with the change.

The spike in sales this month came from releasing the Kindle edition of THE MAN WITH THE IRON ON BADGE mid-month, priced a $2.99, a dollar more than my other books. I sold 160 copies, earning $166.95. What's encouraging about this is that I earned more selling 160 copies of BADGE than I did selling 204 copies of MY GUN, which was priced a dollar less. It tells me that raising my prices to $2.99 across the board in July to take advantage of Amazon's new royalty rate may actually increase my profits rather than reduce them.

I also started offering "preview chapters" of Joe's books THE LIST and SUCKERS in THE WALK and MY GUN HAS BULLETS (and he did the same for me) in an experiment to see if the cross-polination/cross-promotion gooses our sales. But it's way too early to judge how that test is working.

But I've accepted a challenge and a little wager from my buddy Joe, who is proposing a radical approach to boosting sales of my VIGILANTE novels. I'll tell you more about that development later…but it should be very interesting, as well as a lot of fun.

UPDATE: Romance writer Ellen Fisher shares her Kindle royalty report and her sales experience.

5 thoughts on “You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, Part 15”

  1. I have THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE in the old-fashioned “book” format, but I strongly urge anyone who hasn’t yet read it to buy the Kindle version. It’s got the same blend of humor & mystery that will appeal to readers of the MONK books.

  2. I find all this fascinating. I raised the price of Capture the Saint from $1.99 to $2.43 and sales have gone up despite price increase. I think the recent excellent review posted by a credible verified buyer helped as well.
    My big question is: How do you promote your books? I’m not getting the numbers you are, but every time I “Tweet” the link to Kindle, or post it Facebook, there are sales. Suggestions? Secrets of a Hollywood Private Eye, recently optioned for TV development, chugs along making consistent sales at $1.99. Promotion is, for me, the #1 issue.

  3. Wow, Lee, thanks for the mention!
    Re covers, I think it depends. I’m a romance author, so my covers are rather different from yours, of course. My first two indie books have sold quite well with nude male chests; my third (a more romantic cover of a bride and groom in front of a sunset) is not doing nearly so well. I’m tempted to conclude that skin sells romances– which is probably not a shocking conclusion for anyone who’s familiar with romance covers:-). For my next indie cover, I’ll go back to the nude male chest style. It’s harder to guess about what might sell well in other genres, though. I do think “bold” is key; most ebook buyers are seeing your cover as a thumbnail, so it has to be both simple and eyecatching to get noticed.


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