By now, many of you have heard of Amanda Hocking, the 26-year-old who self-published her e-books on Amazon and soon became a bestselling author. In January 2011, she sold nearly half a million books! Like many writers, Hocking tired of the long, discouraging process of trying to find a traditional print publisher to take on her novels. So she did it herself––like many writers before her, including Benjamin Franklin, Gertrude Stein, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf and, more recently, Stephen King, Deepak Chopra, and John Grisham.
E-books and Amazon’s Kindle program let writers of all types speak directly to readers, without going through the middleman. In 2010, 20 million people read e-books. Not only are e-books convenient, cheaper than print books, and instantly available, they’re environmentally friendly, saving trees and waste.
One of Hocking’s keys to success was her price point. By selling her books for $.99 to $2.99, she encouraged readers to take a look. She’s not the only author to utilize this method––or the only one to succeed. When you sell your e-book on Amazon for $.99 you only receive $.35 in royalties per sale. That’s not much, but if you sell 500,000 copies it adds up to big bucks. And in case you’re wondering, many authors only get about that much from the sale of a traditionally published paperback.
So, I decided to give it a try. My mystery Hidden Agenda, which in print form won the Kiss of Death Award (given by the Romance Writers of America’s mystery chapter), is now available as an Amazon e-book for $.99. A colorful mix of murder, magic, astrology, and romance, the novel has gotten great reviews, both online and in the print media. I hope you’ll choose to read it. Please share your thoughts with me if you care to do so. And please consider writing a review on Amazon.com if you feel inspired.
By the way, you can still purchase signed, first edition trade paperbacks from my website for $9.99 (quantities limited) if you prefer.
Eighty percent of people say they want to write a book, but few ever do. Twenty-four million adults in the U.S. consider themselves creative writers, but less than 5 percent have ever published anything. Some believe they don’t have time, others think the process is too daunting. Kerrville’s published authors insist that’s not the case––and they’ll share their secrets of success with you at this event.
You’re never too young or too old to start writing. Kerrville’s Robert Norris, a Delta pilot who retired 15 years ago, recently published his first novel The Barrett Solution with Arctic Wolf Publishing. A page-turning thriller, Norris’s book gets a 5-star rating on Amazon. Norris’s advice to aspiring writers? “Don’t give up.”
I’ve just finished my first experiment with putting a book on Kindle. My first published novel HIDDEN AGENDA should be available to download by Friday, May 27, 2011. The Romance Writers of America’s mystery chapter gave this unique mystery the “Kiss of Death Award” for Best Book of Romantic Suspense––it features an astrologer sleuth, along with a cast of colorful characters. Lots of people have asked where they could get copies, because it’s been out of print for a while, so I’m excited to bring HIDDEN AGENDA out again in this new format. The original print edition got some great reviews (see a few on Amazon.com), and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, too. I’ve priced the slightly revised and updated Kindle version at $5.99, but you can still purchase signed, first edition trade paperbacks from my website for $9.99 (quantities limited).
Fellow writers, if you’re considering putting your books on Kindle, the process involves some work and a little savvy, but not as much as I’d expected. If I can do it, so can you. It’s a great way to give new life to your books. Amazon.com’s program walks you through the necessary steps. During the first quarter of this year, industry reports showed that sales of e-books topped print paperbacks for the first time in history, so the market is definitely expanding.
Other reasons to buy e-books? You can store dozens of them on a computer/reading device, so it’s easier to travel with e-books than print books. Plus they’re “green”––no trees get sacrificed, no ink pollutes the earth, no used or unsold books end up in landfills.
Please share your thoughts with me if you care to do so. And please consider writing a review on Amazon.com if you feel inspired. You might even encourage me to finish the next book in the series.