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Doc
04-02-2011, 08:52 PM
I'd like to hear from anyone of you who has published on Kindle and your consequent success. I'm about to do so. I am being guided and abetted by a man who has sold 9 different published stories and a novel from Kindle. Is he an exception? My Kindle appearance will be a novel which I shall offer at 5.95. I am a published writer with a number of short stories and 15 narrative nonfictions. One novel way back in 1975 when I was a student. This Kindle directed novel was, some time ago, accepted by an agent who washed her hands of it when she learned I was retired, a social security type BLAH. Her reason -- she could not sell it to a publisher who, for the purpose of profit, would look for novels to come, and at my age, wouldn't I soon be flitting about in wings with a halo. So back to Kindle --what do you say? Doc

brainstorm77
04-02-2011, 08:57 PM
Check out the self-publishing forum.

The Grump
04-02-2011, 08:58 PM
I don't have any experience with Kindle publishing. But around the Northern Colorado Writers group there seems to be a consensus that the more items you have up for sale increase your sales.

Guess the assumption operates on if the price is right and someone like their first purchase, they are more likely to buy a second offering than someone buying print. [No stats to substantiate, though}

tbrosz
04-02-2011, 09:36 PM
...This Kindle directed novel was, some time ago, accepted by an agent who washed her hands of it when she learned I was retired, a social security type BLAH. Her reason -- she could not sell it to a publisher who, for the purpose of profit, would look for novels to come, and at my age, wouldn't I soon be flitting about in wings with a halo. So back to Kindle --what do you say? Doc

I can't think of a sillier reason for rejecting a good author. There are quite a few examples of authors who kept turning out top sellers in their 80s and beyond. One of my favorites, Rex Stout, is one.

rsullivan9597
04-03-2011, 03:18 AM
The most successful Kindle authors have multiple titles - so 9 is not that unusual. Price is tricky - and there are lots of opinions on it. I price my husband's books at $4.95 (and one at $6.95) but he has a pretty well established audience and in his genre that doesn't seem to be a problem. Your milege will vary and alot depends on how active you are at promotion and how the price of your book stacks up agains other similar books in your genre. So not really enough information to advise you if this is good or not - but off the top of my head I think you would be better off lowering it a bit. In general I always suggest less than $5.

Smaddux
04-05-2011, 03:56 AM
I have a couple of books on amazon and they are doing well. It was slow at first but sales have picked up more and more

BySharonNelson
04-05-2011, 04:02 AM
I have one book on Amazon that is also on BN and Smashwords. It has been out for a little over a month but is doing ok. I think if you want to put your work out there go for it. Its really up to you and how much you put in to marketing that is going to decide how well you sell. Good luck.

Norman D Gutter
04-06-2011, 06:01 PM
I have a short story up on Kindle. In seven weeks I've sold a grand total of two copies and received one review. But I've been in a whirlwind at work, and have been unable to do anything to promote it or finish my other items slated to go up on Kindle.

NDG

FOTSGreg
04-07-2011, 02:48 AM
No reviews on Amazon (yet), but my sales since February on 8 titles is 22 with one story accounting for about half of those.

On Smashwords, with about a dozen titles requiring modification still I've had more than 300 samples downloaded in about the same period of time (Smashwords dislikes my formatting severely even though I think I'm doing everything right). However, even with over 300 samplings there have been 0 sales (it may just be that the sales aren't available since few of the works are up in their Premium Catalog due to the formatting issues).

Summonere
04-08-2011, 03:15 AM
Oh, I can't help but pull my own leg. :)

So, I have three titles up right now that have sat untouched for the two weeks they've been on sale. Well, untouched isn't quite right. One of the 99-centers sold once. Of course I'm not doing anything to promote them (this is a qualification I've read many times by many others when writing of their work, as if promotion alone will solve the matter), but I'm not presently convinced that my promotional efforts could do much. Let's take that one sale, for example, to see what I mean.

I originally sold that story to a semi-pro magazine that paid something like 38 bucks for it. I then later resold it to a podcasting outfit that paid something like 40 bucks for it. So from two sales the 5,467-word story made 78 bucks, or about 1.43-cents a word. The initial print sale to Talebones (now sadly defunct) met with a circulation of aroundish (near as I could find) “1,000,” that category of circulation that likely means “much less than that number.” Meanwhile, the podcasting outfit indicated that the story had been downloaded 22,000 times.

So why am I mentioning these things?

Well, in order for this one short story to make off of Kindle sales what it made from its earlier sales, it would have to sell 223 copies. The 99-cent price means I keep 35 cents (and at that number of copies, I'd come out a nickel ahead). In order to reach the same size of audience as it did before, say, collectively, 23,000, well … ah, there's the part I don't get. Reaching audience.

This one story is a very tiny needle in an ever-growing haystack. Selling to Talebones put it in the hands of “1,000” people who wanted that kind of fiction and who knew where to get it. Selling again to the podcasting outfit put it in front of an unknown number of people (recent figures show 775 unique visitors per month) who wanted that kind of fiction and who knew where to get it.

Now it sits on Amazon's Kindle Book shelf with, as far as I can tell, no real way for readers to find it.

Naturally, I'd much rather it find an audience who will be amused by it (or repelled, as the case may be), but I have a hard time imagining that it'll find new readers in the same numbers as before.

So, mine is not a Kindle success. At least not with that story. And not with others that collectively earned (pre Kindle) much more than that one.

Does this mean you shouldn't put your book in the Kindle store? Heck no. But it likely means that that will be the easy part.

Oh, here's the subject of my experiment.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SVD8OW

Summonere
04-08-2011, 03:18 AM
(Smashwords dislikes my formatting severely even though I think I'm doing everything right)

Do you have the paragraphy thingy turned on?
Ά
Are you formating in Microsoft Word?

Is the manuscript filled with tricky formatting?

FOTSGreg
04-09-2011, 06:28 AM
Summonere, I've pretty much narrowed it down to the line spacing. MS Word seems to leave in some nasty coding even when I follow Smashwords formatting directions to the letter. I guess I'm going to have to reformat everything as RTF and republish to get it past the meatgrinder (or funnel everything through OpenOffice and reformat therein).

pattyjansen
04-09-2011, 10:49 AM
No reviews on Amazon (yet), but my sales since February on 8 titles is 22 with one story accounting for about half of those.

On Smashwords, with about a dozen titles requiring modification still I've had more than 300 samples downloaded in about the same period of time (Smashwords dislikes my formatting severely even though I think I'm doing everything right). However, even with over 300 samplings there have been 0 sales (it may just be that the sales aren't available since few of the works are up in their Premium Catalog due to the formatting issues).

Hi, Greg (er--where have I met you before? ;-)

You might want to down load the Smashwords formatting guide and start with what Mark calls 'The Nuclear Option'. I've always used that, because I frequently transfer my files between three different text editors, and have become aware of the unwanted and invisible crap that each of those programs inserts. I only have three books on both Kindle and Smashwords, but they went through without a hitch after I followed the Smashwords style guide.

Summonere
04-09-2011, 05:27 PM
I agree with pattyjansen's suggestion to have a closer look at the formatting guide, if you haven't already. The "nuclear option" will clean out all the junk, but I've managed to make my few offerings work fine (well, with one minor exception, which I only just now noticed), editing them first in OpenOffice Word, then checking them and making final corrections in Microsoft Word 97.

What version of Microsoft Word are you using? Seems there's a note in the Smashwords formatting guidelines about certain versions of MS Word not playing well with Meatgrinder.

Sheryl Nantus
04-09-2011, 08:44 PM
Oh, I can't help but pull my own leg. :)

So, I have three titles up right now that have sat untouched for the two weeks they've been on sale. Well, untouched isn't quite right. One of the 99-centers sold once. Of course I'm not doing anything to promote them (this is a qualification I've read many times by many others when writing of their work, as if promotion alone will solve the matter), but I'm not presently convinced that my promotional efforts could do much. Let's take that one sale, for example, to see what I mean.

I originally sold that story to a semi-pro magazine that paid something like 38 bucks for it. I then later resold it to a podcasting outfit that paid something like 40 bucks for it. So from two sales the 5,467-word story made 78 bucks, or about 1.43-cents a word. The initial print sale to Talebones (now sadly defunct) met with a circulation of aroundish (near as I could find) “1,000,” that category of circulation that likely means “much less than that number.” Meanwhile, the podcasting outfit indicated that the story had been downloaded 22,000 times.

So why am I mentioning these things?

Well, in order for this one short story to make off of Kindle sales what it made from its earlier sales, it would have to sell 223 copies. The 99-cent price means I keep 35 cents (and at that number of copies, I'd come out a nickel ahead). In order to reach the same size of audience as it did before, say, collectively, 23,000, well … ah, there's the part I don't get. Reaching audience.

This one story is a very tiny needle in an ever-growing haystack. Selling to Talebones put it in the hands of “1,000” people who wanted that kind of fiction and who knew where to get it. Selling again to the podcasting outfit put it in front of an unknown number of people (recent figures show 775 unique visitors per month) who wanted that kind of fiction and who knew where to get it.

Now it sits on Amazon's Kindle Book shelf with, as far as I can tell, no real way for readers to find it.

Naturally, I'd much rather it find an audience who will be amused by it (or repelled, as the case may be), but I have a hard time imagining that it'll find new readers in the same numbers as before.

So, mine is not a Kindle success. At least not with that story. And not with others that collectively earned (pre Kindle) much more than that one.

Does this mean you shouldn't put your book in the Kindle store? Heck no. But it likely means that that will be the easy part.

Oh, here's the subject of my experiment.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SVD8OW

I hear what you're saying.

I've put up two short stories, reprints which mean I've already made some good coin off of them and now am just looking for extras.

I've gotten about eight, nine sales over two months, netting me about $2.50 in sales.

Whee.

I wouldn't risk putting original work out there because of the slush factor and the risk of not making anything at all. At least with "The Project" and "Fool's Gold" I've already made money (one sold to GRIT magazine for three digits of payment) so everything else would be gravy.

So far I've got slushy dirty rainwater.

Which is strange, because according to all the self-pub gurus out there I should be a zillionaire by now...

:roll:

Summonere
04-09-2011, 09:40 PM
Yeah, one of those presently posted stories of mine (6,161 words, for about 4-cent per) raked in a whopping $250 a whopping 14 years ago (a whopping $327 to $440 in todays dollars, at least according to these guys (http://www.measuringworth.com/index.php)). I just noticed how enamored of "whopping" I am in this post...

Meanwhile, I'll eventually post some other old stories on Amazon, where I can only expect a subsequent tidal wave of Konrathian success. :)

FOTSGreg
04-10-2011, 02:21 AM
One of the first things I did when I got started with Smashwords was download the Style Guide. I've consulted it almost religiously for every work ever since.

It's most likely something so dirt simple I can't see it for the trees. I'll figure it out - eventually. Just gotta' sit down and work on it a bit when I have more time.

FOTSGreg
04-10-2011, 02:22 AM
Patty, you probably know me from the Analog forum.

FocusOnEnergy
04-10-2011, 05:33 AM
So, I have three titles up right now that have sat untouched for the two weeks they've been on sale. Well, untouched isn't quite right. One of the 99-centers sold once. Of course I'm not doing anything to promote them (this is a qualification I've read many times by many others when writing of their work, as if promotion alone will solve the matter), but I'm not presently convinced that my promotional efforts could do much.

So, what, you think that just publishing your work online is enough? Do you believe that "if you build it, they will come"? Or that some sort of magic is involved?

If so, your experiment is going to fail, unless your intent was to see what the results would be if you did absolutely nothing.

No product sells without marketing. So, if you are expecting no sales and doing nothing to make those sales happen, you have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Congratulations.

It is clear that self-publishing is not for you. In order to successfully engage in that type of publishing, you really need to have the skills and the understanding of how to produce and sell the product.

Marketing is what creates the market for your product. Promotion is a significant part of that, in this type of industry. Without marketing, you have no market and no sales. If you don't believe that, well, don't expect sales.

Self-publishing is merely one way of publishing and selling a book. For some it works, for others it doesn't. YMMV. It is neither a guaranteed get-rich quick scheme, nor a guaranteed path to failure.

Focus

rosehips
04-10-2011, 09:15 AM
One of the first things I did when I got started with Smashwords was download the Style Guide. I've consulted it almost religiously for every work ever since.

It's most likely something so dirt simple I can't see it for the trees. I'll figure it out - eventually. Just gotta' sit down and work on it a bit when I have more time.


In the Styles, where you pick "Normal," have you checked to make sure it's not set to add spacing anywhere? I use Win7, so it's probably a bit different for me, but there are TWO spots where you have to kill the extra spacing.

FWIW, I'm having a formatting issue, too. I did everything in the SM guide *except* the Nuclear Option because I have a lot of italics in my novel and so far can't face having to go page by page to put it back in. (I say so far, because I'm starting to think I'll have to bite the bullet). What my readers are reporting is 3/4 symbols turning up in weird places. I don't know why this is happening. It's always the .mobi version from what I can tell. When I dl it and check it out on Kindle for PC there is no problem. I also made it into the premium catalogue despite this issue, which suggests to me that it's not pervasive. Does anyone have any advice?

On marketing: I echo Focus.
I pubbed 1 novel on 3/26/11, 1 novella the following day, and 1 novel on 4/4/11, and so far I have already sold 22 copies (in two weeks). I sold 8 copies the first week and 14 the second. I have been marketing on Twitter and FB (oh, and on my blog, which has 9 followers). That's it so far, although I'm pursuing book reviewers. Marketing makes a difference.

Summonere
04-11-2011, 12:25 AM
... unless your intent was to see what the results would be if you did absolutely nothing...

This is my intent. :)

(Of course I've also just slightly botched it by mentioning it here, but I'm pretty sure that'll change nothing. This experiment has two components -- well, a third one, too, but that third one will have to wait the right tick of the clock. No, this isn't rigorously scientific.)

rosehips
04-11-2011, 10:48 AM
I just spent the better part of the day fixing my formatting, and I wrote a blog about how to do it. So in case this can help you:
http://sophia-martin.blogspot.com/2011/04/fixing-formatting.html

Sargentodiaz
04-11-2011, 08:40 PM
I just spent the better part of the day fixing my formatting, and I wrote a blog about how to do it. So in case this can help you:
http://sophia-martin.blogspot.com/2011/04/fixing-formatting.html

Well, I've bookmarked your blog to check it out later.

My only questions come about downloading jEdit and calibre to my computer. I worry about such stuff as it often just clutters up my system and doesn't really work.

I downloaded Mobipocket creator and reader and both seem quite helpful in ensure my epub is done correctly.

Why should I add more?

[not being snide]

my blog: http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com :welcome: (http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com:welcome:)

efkelley
04-11-2011, 09:57 PM
Tobias Buckell was talking about http://www.bookbaby.com/ in some tweets earlier today. Flat fees for listing on the major markets, no royalty (unlike Smashwords). Smashwords has access to a couple other distributors, but they do take their 10%.

The downside is a larger initial investment ($99 to sign up, $19 per year). ISBN's are cheaper though, and they offer a few other services like cover design, etc.

Looking at their sample covers, I'd classify even their 'deluxe' covers as 'okay'. I'd still go with a slightly more expensive freelancer to get precisely what you want.

I don't know how well they'll fare against Smashwords, but that flat-fee model has definitely got my attention.

rosehips
04-12-2011, 12:16 AM
I downloaded Mobipocket creator and reader and both seem quite helpful in ensure my epub is done correctly.


I'm not familiar with Mobipocket creator: it sounds like it allows you to convert to formats other than MOBI? Because if not, that's where Calibre would be better. Unless you don't plan on uploading to anyone other than Amazon.

FYI, if you only plan to upload to Amazon, you don't need to convert the html file, you can just upload that as is. So no need for Calibre at all. Calibre's advantage is its ability to convert your book into a nicely packaged MOBi, EPUB, or other formatted eBook. But from what you say, it sounds like Mobipocket does the same thing?

JEdit is a Programming Editor. I use it to create an html document that is the basis of the MOBI and EPUB final products. I am a beginner at this stuff--there may be far superior Programming Editors out there, but JEdit was a free download and so far it's been great. It lets you know when you have glitchy characters in your text, for instance.

The blog I wrote goes through every step I worked out for formatting a clean version of the html. It took a lot of trial and error and some help from Guido Henkel to create. I've listed every step exactly as I found it necessay to do (replacing em-dashes in Notepad, for instance--because in Word, the Find/Replace somehow still managed to miss a bunch, and in JEdit, it couldn't deal with the glitchy characters). So I hope it's helpful. Chances are not everyone will have a problem with glitchy em-dashes, but doing those steps should ensure a clean html either way.

Sargentodiaz
04-12-2011, 09:10 PM
I read [and followed] your blog and thanks for the effort you took to explain the process.
Mobipocket appears to ONLY make files for Kindle [although I had to use the html version to upload the latest].

My worst problem came in one novel where I used characters in names that didn't appear in any MSWord fonts or special characters.

I'll go ahead and download the two files to see what happens.

Again, thanks for your time and effort.

rosehips
04-13-2011, 06:27 AM
I'm so glad it was helpful! It's such a daunting process. I hope my steps work well for you. :)

Sargentodiaz
04-13-2011, 08:24 PM
I just ran into a real quirk - I've uploaded a couple of short pieces to Kindle and Nook with a picture in them and I had no problem. Then, I tried to upload another with about 8 pictures and only a few of them took. I could probably get the whole thing if it was a html doc but I can find a way to edit one I've created that goes into my Firefox browser.
Ah well, I'll just post it on my blog.

http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com

Summonere
04-14-2011, 02:27 AM
Smashwords lets you offer freebies. You could always post the story there.

rosehips
04-14-2011, 07:41 AM
lv, have you read Guido Henkel's guide? He has a whole section on images.

Google "Guido Henkel Take Pride"
Or go to my blog and follow the link I have embedded there to Henkel's guide.

Sargentodiaz
04-14-2011, 08:46 PM
lv, have you read Guido Henkel's guide? He has a whole section on images.

Google "Guido Henkel Take Pride"
Or go to my blog and follow the link I have embedded there to Henkel's guide.

Thanks. I've got him bookmarked and will check it out.


http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com

AmsterdamAssassin
04-20-2011, 09:48 PM
For those who have trouble formatting their .doc to .mobi: if you go to the download section of my website [see signature], you can download a .pdf on how to convert .doc through .html to .epub or .mobi.
If you need examples on how it's supposed to look, the first ten chapters of Reprobate can be downloaded from that same page, in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub.