Anyone aside from me working on Kindle editions of books?

I have been busy and away from Crimespace for a while as was putting several --well a lot of--my work up at Kindle Book Store. I found it rather liberating being my own "publisher" or partner in publishing with some controls over the material and some expectation of making some of that green stuff everybody believes writers ought not need or concern themselves with. They say publishing is a business when your contract is tossed out or when your series is cut, so if it is a business, why shouldn't we writers have more of the results of the so-called business? The digital tech platform might just be an answer as I am hearing from other authors who are getting actual checks in the mail or rather downloaded to their accounts.

Anyone else going the way of ebooks and kindle books?

Rob

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Oh, it is most definitely not exclusive to Kindle. You can also put your e-books out through the Scribd Store, too. Like Smashwords, an alternative to Amazon. I have my book up on all three. Lots of Kindle sales (121 and counting since June 2) and 7 on Smashwords. None on Scribd, but it's up there, FWIW.
Addendum: I finally made my first sale on Scribd. Was notified shortly after posting this. :)
OK. I have a couple questions.

First, I'm a noob at the Kindle/Smashwords/Scribb, etc.

Are you putting up books with which you've given up on the traditional publishing path?

If you publish an "original" on Kindle or elsewhere, are you giving up or hurting the opportunity for traditional publishing down the road?

If you do not have a "name," how are you marketing your book?

What do you consider sales success?
For my own part, my novel was published by a small press that went out of business. I got my rights back.

When I saw Joe Konrath put his backlist up on Kindle, I figured, "What the hell. Why not? I'll get a bit more exposure and make a few bucks."

If you publish an "original" on Kindle, I think whether it hurts you or not will depend on the quality of your work. My novel had been edited and readers liked it when it was originally out in print. So I felt confident in the book's quality.

As for marketing, you can do it online through email lists, blogging, newsletters, your Web site, social media (the usual suspects--Facebook, Twitter--plus Kindle and e-reader forums are particularly good places to post notices about your book--but be aware of posting policies and only post announcements where appropriate, lest you be accused of "spamming" the forum).

Also, where possible, engage with readers who buy your book and like it. (Request that they write an Amazon review or a review in some other venue, if possible. I've had 4 new positive reviews go up on Amazon since I made the book available for Kindle--one requested, the rest unsolicited.)

As for sales success, any sale makes me happy. It costs nothing to upload your work. And any exposure you get is good, in my opinion.

FWIW, as of today, I've sold more than 140 downloads in a month and a half (through Amazon, Scribd and Smashwords). That's more e-books than print books I sold during the nine months my novel was first in print.

I suppose you could call that sales success.
FYI--Lee Goldberg's latest blog post on his experiences with publishing e-books for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/lc9dhh
You are inspiring me to finish the process. I'm about halfway done, but got delayed by the excitement tonight when I picked up my author copies of Killer Career at my brother's house where they were delivered. Hard to concentrate on a day like this!

Anyway, for now I plan on a regular price of $7.77 because it sounds like a lucky number, also because the new paperback is $13.95, so it's about half that price. I'll see what happens.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://www.morganmandel.com
Wow! That's awesome, John. Kindle forums have been kind to me, too, sales-wise, but not that kind!

So, well done!

I think you may be right about some really bad stuff being made available for Kindle and animosity toward self-published authors, as a result. One woman in a Kindle forum posted an Amazon review praising my book, but saying that I had done a great job for "an indie author" and that my work was "publishable." (She also mentioned that my book wasn't like those of other indie authors who tried their hand at mystery writing and often had plot holes in their books you could "drive semis through"--so readers are noticing the lack of quality in a lot of self-published work.) I posted a polite correction, letting her know the book had been originally issued by a publisher, but that I'd gotten my rights back before it went out of business.
I started using the Mobipocket Creator to translate my book to Kindle. It seems pretty simple, but it's asking if I want to encrypt. Is that something Amazon requires? Does anyone know? What does deplay mean? It mentions that also.

So near, yet so far finishing.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
Morgan, address your questions to my son, Stephen who knows everything (and I know the rest). Kidding aside, he can help you. He can be reached at stephen@srwalkerbooks.com - tell him I sent ya.

I have just begun putting books up on Kindle so so far it's been slow going in the sales department; have earned about 170 bucks since I began posting in June, but it has only been a few weeks. Would like to know how I can get on the Rector scale.

rob
The numbers do have a tendency to level off--or, in your case drop. But they'll probably revive at some point. Mine numbers have been much smaller, but highly variable.

You mentioned doing a "signature banner." What is that exactly and how did you do it?
Really nice. I'd love to find someone who could do this--maybe your friend?
I think it is destructive to one's liver, spleen, stomach, and mind to watch those numbers at Kindle; reminds me of watching the stock market swings from moment to moment, day to day. Could drive one to jump from a tall building. I try to stay away and give it time, but there is this pull I can't explain. I just put up my 8th title. Going for volume. Am working on editing and redoing a 9th title - this not counting the overpriced HarperCollins titles of mine that are up at the Kindle Store. The secret really is keeping the price down as Kindlers do not want to pay even 9.99 for a book but rather .99 and depending on the book and how much trouble it was for me to recondition it -- as some older titles have had to be revamped entirely--I have priced my books from 1.99 to 8.99.
Hey I got featured on B&N this week along with coupons and summer reading online - top of the page going out to anyone who has purchased any of my earlier books - this one Dead On out now!

Rob

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