You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, Part 21

The_Walk_FINAL This was, far and away, my best month ever for sales of my out-of-print backlist on the Kindle.

I sold 3075 books and earned $6624.40 in royalties.  My biggest seller was THE WALK, which sold 1083 copies and earned $2230.98.  

I also did nicely on Createspace with the trade paperback editions of my books, earning $483.94 but not-so-well on the Nook, earning  just $211.46 (though I am told B&N was having accounting problems this month and may be adjusting those numbers upwards, as they did in December).

The grand total in royalties for January, not including Smashwords (Apple, Diesel, Kobo, Sony) or Amazon UK sales, is $7319.80.

By comparison, in January 2010, I sold 536 copies and earned $775 in royalties.


(My poorest selling books are the four JURY titles, formerly known as the .357 VIGILANTE series. I blame that, in part, on the negative reviews they've received due to sloppy proofreading. No matter how many times I've gone through the books, errors still seem to slip past me. So the books are now in the hands of a professional copyeditor…when she gets them back to me I will relaunch the books, give way free copies for fresh reviews, and update the product descriptions). 

14 thoughts on “You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, Part 21”

  1. Congrats on the lively second revenue stream (and probably an unexpected one just a year ago). Looks like a sweet deal for authors with backlists; I wonder how new authors will fare as the ebook market becomes confusingly crowded, and price pressures keep things moving downward.

  2. John,
    My royalty on THE WALK is $2.06. Amazon takes a small, additional fee based on the size of the file, if I am not mistaken. But my figure is just an approximation… I will know more on the 15th when I get the actual royalty and sales report from Amazon.

  3. What do you think you owe your success to? Is it those free copies you offered to give away in exchange for reviews? Is it blogging about it regularly? Is it that new group you formed of other oop authors? Is it being mentioned on Konrath’s blog …?
    Inquiring minds want to know. I’ve got those five out-of-print books that got good-to-great reviews and some awards and I don’t make anything like what you make. I’m probably getting 100 bucks a month or so.
    In fact, since sales are so small, I just raised prices from 2.99 to 4.99 figuring it couldn’t hurt.
    April Henry

  4. April,
    I think a lot of it is pure, dumb luck.
    It’s also work-of-mouth.
    And it’s me, reworking the titles and the covers, tweaking the descriptions, tags, etc. I don’t just post the books to Amazon and hope people will find them. I do whatever I can to get the word out.
    You might want to redo your covers, for starters. For instance, BURIED DIAMONDS is a rock wall, CIRCLES OF CONFUSION is a piece of wood, etc. Not very compelling images. I also think that raising the price is definitely NOT the answer..if anything, it’s actively driving people away.

  5. I love “work of mouth.”
    I repriced my books back to 2.99.
    Maybe I should re-do the covers, but then I get torn between the two books I write a year and working on the Kindle books – and only so much time in a day.

  6. Deal Lee,
    Yours is a really insightful blog. I have a question.
    My debut novel is about to be released in India. How can I or my publisher make it available on Kindle?
    Please advise.
    Many thanks
    Hemant Kumar
    New Delhi, India


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