My third month of Kindle sales has ended (click on the picture of the Amazon Royalty Report for a larger image).
My out-of-print novel THE WALK , priced at $1.99, is my biggest selling Kindle title (not including my MONK books, of course). I sold 444 copies in June and 373 copies in July. This month, I sold about the same, 380 copies, earning me a royalty of $266. I have sold 1197 copies of the Kindle edition so far.
Sales have actually ticked up a bit for my short story collection THREE WAYS TO DIE. I sold 69 copies this month at 99 cents each, for a royalty of $24… that's up from 40 copies in July and 54 copies in June. So sales of both of my "premiere" Kindle titles have remained more or less steady.
In mid-July, I added two more of my out-of-print novels and one non-fiction book to my list of Kindle editions.
My novel MY GUN HAS BULLETS, priced at $1.99, sold 65 copies this month, earning me a royalty of $45.50. That's down from last month, when it sold 95 copies in 17 days earning me $65 in royalties. The sequel, BEYOND THE BEYOND, is also down, selling 21 copies as compared to 29 copies in 14 days in July.
TELEVISION SERIES REVIVALS was only out for two days in July, selling 17 copies at $2.39 each, earning me $14.28. In its first full month of sales, however, it sold a mere 16 copies, earning me $13.44. That's a steep drop…and yet its consistently listed as the #1 bestselling TV reference book in several Amazon categories (History, Direction & Production, Guides & Reviews) on the Kindle. Clearly, that isn't saying much.
This month, I made several more of my out-of-print titles available in the Kindle format.
I added Unsold TV Pilots: The Greatest Shows You Never Saw on August 2, priced at $2.39. I've sold 28 copies for royalty of $24.36. Those sales are pretty weak…and yet that book is consistently listed as the #2 bestselling book in three categories: TV reference, TV direction & production and TV Guides & Reviews. TV reference books clearly don't sell well on the Kindle.
I added a Kindle edition of my out-of-print 1985 paperback .357 Vigilante: #2 Make Them Pay on Aug 5, priced at $2.99. I've sold 25 copies for a royalty of $25.26 . On Aug 19, I added .357 Vigilante #1, also priced at $2.99. I've sold 21 copies for a royalty of $22.05
All together, I earned $436.45 in royalties on my out-of-print books in August, up from $375 in July. As I've said here many times before, that's found money on material that wasn't earning me a dime before, so I am very content with those figures.
I intend to add the two remaining books in the out-of-print ".357 Vigilante" series to the Kindle in the next month or so, even though, as you can see, there really isn't much of a financial incentive to do so.
9 thoughts on “You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, Part 9”
“Unsold TV Pilots” is a must have for any baby-boomer who, like me, grew up watching all those TV movies and summer pilot dumps and wondered what the heck was going on. It’s a good read full of fun trivia (and well worth what I paid for the dead-tree edition a while back). Just sayin’.
Thanks for posting these reports, Lee. Chris and I are getting ready to do some e-publishing experiments of our own, and this is very informative.
I guess the first thousand in royalties is the hardest to earn. But if you write a hit in a stand alone story, maybe your backlist will become hot and sales might take off. In any case, you are positioned for this now to happen, which, to me, is a great step forward.
That’s roughly equivalent to a car payment, so I wouldn’t knock the income. And it’s far better than the Happy Meal I might be able to afford with my royalties for Dancing In The Dark.
That would have almost covered my July air conditioning bill. Of greater importance, you’re earning the royalty on something someone would have had to hunt to find in a used book store. As you’ve noted, it’s found money. And it makes your work more accessible. Probably more important than the initial profit.
“Unsold Television Pilots – 1955 through 1989” (McFarland, 1990) is one of the 15 books permanently on my desk, like “The complete directory to Prime Time and Cable tv shows” (Brooks & Marsh), “Total Television” by Alex Mc Neil or “The ITV Encyclopedia of Adventure” by Dave Rogers.
Even in this Internet era I still use these books as references for research, like my Epi-Log magazines. Anyway, if you don’t have “Unsold TV Pilots”, folks, get it asap.
The big question now is whether BN’s new eBook store (which is adding new titles by the truckful–from publishers, not authors–and which will officially be rolled out in full force this fall) will cut into the Kindle market. Anyone not familiar with what BN is doing in the ebook market should get informed. It’s a big bold move that will definitely have an impact on the publishing landscape. Unlike Kindle, the BN eBook reader is a simple app that you download for free to your PC, MAC or iPhone/iTouch, no doubt with more apps to come. BN prices are competitive with Kindle, equal to or cheaper. BN has recently added free WiFi to their stores so people can get excited about a book and buy the eBook version right there on the spot.
Lee, another thing you might consider is bundling books at a reduced overall price. I’m in the process of bundling my books into 3 volumes, each volume to have 3 books, at a cost of $9.95 per volume. This is a savings to the reader who will basically get 3 books for the price of two. I recently noted that Michael Connelly is doing this (3 books for 9.95).
That’s a good idea!
I wasn’t aware of the B&N, free, e-book reader so I looked it up and it looks great to me. What’s not to like? Free reader, much lower prices for books. So could sales of novels take off due to lower prices the way songs took off due to lower prices on iTunes? My guess is, yes. Books for $1.99 give much more value than a song for $1.99 as long as the book is a good one. So who is going to be the first, million-copy, bestselling e-book author?