Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is 99 cents the key to Kindle sales? Are JA Konrath and Co. right?

Well, I'm not sure, but as JA Konrath has posted so much, it may be a big chunk of it.
To recap, I'm doing my own scaled down version of the Kindle experiment JA Konrath is doing, because I wanted to see this for myself. Since I have two books that are out of print [and yes, yes, have been "vetted" edited, yada, yada, yada] since these books were from smaller, traditional publishers and have been out for several, several years, royalties have dwindled, so I felt I had very little to lose.

So this month, I wanted to make more of an effort to sell them. I tweeted them the link to a sample on the Carraway Bay Press website: , lowered the price and started posting on the Amazon Kindle boards.

In its category, this is what I'm getting,
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,491 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#14 in Kindle Store > Books > Nonfiction > Psychology & Counseling > Mental Illness

Once again, not clear where the non-fiction is coming in because it clearly has been tagged fiction, unless these are books that are being bought by folks who are shopping in these categories?
Just to be safe, I placed "novel" more prominently in the book's description..and hey, it's tagged that way. Obviously this is not a counseling book.

Basically, this morning, it started at #40, the climbed to #38 and then one of my friends e-mailed me to let me know it was #14.

Then I discovered that as a result, my short story collection [also lowered to 99 cents] had started to sell as well. I'm hoping kind of as a crossover effect.

So, what I'm seeing is:
1. lower the price
2. post on forums / tweet/ whatever
3. Make sure you use your tags and labels---i.e. when people search for "bipolar," this blog should come up.

Once it gets in the top 100, I think it has more of an impulse item effect---i.e. "I wasn't getting a Snickers bar, but hey, since they're 3 for a dollar, why not?"

And of course, write a good book. I'm not pretending that I'm Faulkner, but "Saint Jude" got a "we love this, but close but no cigar" from several big houses [including Rondom House] before it was picked up by a smaller, regional publisher. so this was vetted.

What does the royalty at 99 cents equal to? Not much. But it's already earned more in these last few months than it did all last year as an out-of-print book.

Conclusion: putting up an out-of-print book on Kindle should be a no-brainer.

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