How many of you have been considering taking that multiply rejected manuscript to KIndle?

I myself went straight to it. I did try the classic route with some of my short works and had a little success and one novel did catch the eye of a New York agent...but alas, she turned it down.

 

So, Kindle came along and I formatted my stuff and now I have a series running there. Two books (well, actually a collection of shorts and a novella of 200 pages) have been up since September and I have sold nearly 50 copies  to date.

 

Now, the biggest advantage (to me) is that IN those 3 and a half months I have sold 47 copies to people whereas if I had sent the material to New York I would have to be waiting another 4 to 5 months before hearing anything.

 

So I was curious if any of you have a battered old manuscript that you KNOW will sell a couple thousand copies if you could just get it out there if you can just get past the gatekeepers (agents/editors)

 

well, Kindle is hot right now and depending on the genre, you could be making some money by January. My own work is a mystery thriller series about a Detective who encounters people with paranormal problems in between his usual job as a cop. From what i have seen, much of Kindle is fantasy and romance but there are some thriller writers in there too.

 

Anyone here want to tell their tale?

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Well my history is I had a thriller that was shopped by my literary agent but never sold. I put it up on Kindle and it's sold 7,000 plus units over the last 15 months with very little marketing effort on my part at prices ranging from 99 cents to $2.99, and it has a nice set of legit reviews on Amazon. I took down another self-pubbed book recently when I found a new literary agent to represent it.

My impressions: Yes, virtually anyone can now make a bit of coin with a book posted online, but most authors aren't even covering their light bills with their incomes.

And I wonder what will happen in the long run, once an ereader is no longer a new toy and the machines have been filled up with cheap offerings. (I know of many Kindle owners with literally hundreds of unread books in their queues.) Will most readers who are now testing indie books turn away from them soon because it's too much of a slog finding a good one? Or will some sort of improved system emerge for identifying the best of the indie books?

Maybe Amazon's collaborative filtering system will improve, or a host of trusted indie book bloggers will emerge. Amazon's rating system is currently being abused by self-pubbed authors who enlist friends, relatives, and fellow authors to provide great reviews, so the number of stars an indie book has earned has to be taken with a shaker of salt. There is the free sample feature, but a book's strong opening can fall apart later in unskilled hands. There are also some indie authors who are so adept at marketing, or work so hard at it, that they have propelled some really bad novels into the upper rankings and kept them there, I think, largely because the market is growing by leaps and bounds and so there are new readers who don't know any better entering the market and buying them up.

Still, as an author, it's always nice to have options...
Excellant point Eric
For now- all readers have as a reference IS the Amazon starred system (and the sample of the actual opening pages of the book)

I think many people, who might be bored and curious about buying the newest toy, in this caes, a Kindle (or the APP to place on thier phone) will spread bad word of mouth much faster to everyone than any continuued good news about good books and in the end, we might all suffer. Especially literacy, which is getting a long overdue boost what with sales and constant exposure in all media because 'reading" is suddenly the "in" thing to do.

..... and isn't that a sad state of affairs in and of itself?
But then, i could go on and on and on about the state of literacy but I'll stop here for now. (grin)

Hey Eric, I'm surprised the literary agent was interested after you'd pub'd it to Kindle. So that wasn't a problem? I'd always heard once it was self-published, no one would be interested. Can you tell me more about that?

Frank, what worries me about Kindle is that if I go that route I can't then go back to main stream publisher with that novel later. Also, does Kindle do anything to market your book or are you just placing on the Kindle bookshelf and hoping that someone sees it? My 1st novel - Adrenalin Rush - has made it to 3 acquisition meeting at publishing houses without making that final selection. Do I give up on them and give it to Kindle?
What royalties do you get from Kindle?

Steve
Steve, I don't think its an either/or. I believe that the smart money is to do both, put some stuff up on Amazon, also don't ignore B&N's Nook and Smashwords for independent e-pub, while you continue to push things through (and wait) the traditional way, through NY and smaller presses. If editors/publishers want writers to have a platform, what better way than to have a number of short stories, novellas and even novels up with a proven sales record, and maybe even the start of a fan following.

As for royalties it depends on price of the book. Either 35% or 70% from Amazon.

Good luck
David DeLee
The 70 % royalty depends on giving Amazon an exclusive, i.e. not underselling them anywhere else. As for the rights: you've given up electronic rights, not print rights. However, most publishing houses will balk at buying a title that's been out on Kindle.

Having said this, I am waiting to hear that we have a deal with Amazon Encore on a trilogy and on a short story collection. Alas, it seems to take forever, but I'm going through an agent.
I.J., I'm not familiar with the Encore program, might be different, but to put a novel or short story up on Amazon there is no exclusivity, nor does the royalty rate depend on such exclusivity, it is based on price. If the sale price is 2.99 or over it is eligible for 70 % royalty, less than $2.99 it is 35 %. There are some other determining issues, file sizes, etc. that affect the royalty rate, but there is no exclusivity. I sell on Amazon, BN.com and through Smashwords on Apple, Kobo and Diesel.

As for giving up electronic rights, your not. Self-publishing means you still own the rights. They're yours. If a print publisher is interested in your novel, simple agree to take it down. Now its not on sale, its not an issue. Sell the rights at that point to the publisher, electronic, print or whatever, you still have control of all rights up to that point.
Ah, yes. You may be right. I suppose 2.99 is the lowest Amazon will go. You will have to make sure that none of the others undersell.

Also right on being able to take back electronic rights, but the fact still remains that print publishers don't want books that have already been widely read.

Encore is a special Amazon program that specializes in authors who have books in print but perhaps not enough sales to please the big houses. They also do reprints. Otherwise, they operate like all publishers (wanting as many rights as they can get).
I.J. wrote -- Ah, yes. You may be right. I suppose 2.99 is the lowest Amazon will go. You will have to make sure that none of the others undersell.

Price is set by the writer and Amazon (as well as the others) sell below 2.99. I have my two short stories up for .99. But the royalty goes down to 35%.

Good luck with your Encore program.
Thanks, David.
They do work with agents. They did for Joe Konrath.
I'm not sure how this went down. I found out about Konrath's deal and asked my agent to explore it. Their response was that they were very interested. Now we hassle over rights. The point is still that they consider the author's track record. I think they also look at reviews, including reviews from their customers.

Are you sure they approached Konrath first? It could be, since he had been making major waves with his Kindle publications and his blogging about it. But the whole business is in a state of flux, so they may be exploring other options.

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