Thursday, June 02, 2011

More Kindle reality

A few days ago I posted my Kindle sales numbers, sharing my experience near the bottom of the market because I hadn't seen anyone else do that.

Today I discovered a topic thread on the Kindleboards where other electronic self-publishers share their sales figures, and the figures--the good, the bad, and the ugly--are enlightening.

Read the thread here.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Here is a question. If I am an unknown author is there an advantage in having someone else do the heavy lifting and take on some of the publicity. I have a split vote from friends who have done this. I know I lose 40% of what little money I earn, but perhaps having an ebook publisher put their stamp on it validates it a bit.

Brian Drake said...

Pattinase, From my experience, being a *total* unknown, I have found no reason to involve anybody else in my projects other than my editor and cover designer, both of whom are happy for me to buy lunch in return for their efforts, and I sell very steadily. I am happy with the results and I know with time and more product the results will be even better. It won't hurt to try a few on your own before making up your mind.

Michael Bracken said...

Patti, I generally agree with Brian's assessment.

I have several titles available from a variety of publishers for a variety of electronic devices, and I have several I've designed, formatted, and uploaded myself strictly for Kindle.

One epublisher began selling one of my books electronically even before there was a Kindle, later offered it POD, and now offers it in Kindle, Nook, and other formats. The royalties earn me less than what I'm earning from my best-selling self-published Kindle-only title.

A small press that published several of my books in hardback and/or trade paperback now offers them in various electronic formats. The royalties vary wildly each royalty period, though I haven't seen a three-figure royalty check in several years, and most of the sales these days are electronic formats.

One epublisher that paid advances went out of business before I earned out the advances. I will rerelease those titles on my own.

So I think the decision comes down to how confident you are in your own ability to do the jobs necessary to self-publish (edit, proofread, format, design covers, etc.) or hire the work down by others vs. how confident you that the epublisher can do those same tasks professionally, will treat you professionally, and will remain in business long enough for you to reap the benefits of the relationship you may enter into.

Me? I'm doing a little of both.

Why? I don't think any writer should rely on a single revenue stream.

So I sell to ink-on-paper magazines, ink-on-paper anthologies, pixels-on-screen epublishers, and have started self-publishing as well.

Only time will tell which is the best bet, and by betting on them all, I might not win big, but I should come out ahead in the end.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think it comes down to this: if someone else shows enough interest in my writing to help format, publicize and validate it, it has to help so I am willing to give them 40%.
Brian mentions an editor, well that means he is not putting it out there alone. And Michael is far, far more well known than me. So I guess I have answered my own question.