Archive for the ‘Creating A Buzz’ Category

Kindle eBook sales are going from strength to strength. More authors are joining the 1 million club. The upsurge in eBook sales has rocketed Michael Connolly in to the 1 million club, following news that Lee Child, a fellow thriller author and Charlaine Harris, the children’s author, have joined the club. One of the clubs’ authors’ is reputed to have said that eBooks now account for 45% of his sales.

Whilst this is good news for established, published authors, who is going to be the first indie author to join the club? My money is on Amanda Hocking, who although she has accepted a publishing contract, still continues to sell her self-published work on kindle by the cartload. Another guess is J A Konrath, the indie authors’ champion, who has just picked up an Amazon publishing contract and is no stranger to getting his books in the top 100 at release date. With the weight of Amazon behind him, watch him fly. However, there are many more hoping to join them and I am sorry if I have missed out any likely contenders. If I have missed someone out please feel free to leave a comment.

STOP PRESS. I’ve forgotten someone. Sooo Sorry to John Locke. Apparently he is ahead of Konrath. It will be interesting to see what happens with Amazon behind Konrath.

One dark horse I am crossing my fingers for the future, is former published thriller author turned indie, J Conran Black, who features on myBook Buzz page. Her sales figures are reported in a previous article and were at almost 75000 for 1 month in May this year. It doesn’t take a math genius to work out that if you add the growth she has experienced, then in 12 months time it could be champagne cork popping time.

Kindle eBooks: News . It’s all good news on the eBook front More authors have joined the  million club. Suzanne Collins and  Lee Child have joined the “Kindle Million Club, to become, the 5th and 6th authors to sell more than one million eBooks through Amazon.Amazon’s have announced that, Collins became the first children’s author to achieve this milestone. Other members of the “Kindle Million club” include  James Patterson, Stieg Larsson, Nora Roberts and Charlaine Harris.Thriller novelist  Lee Child added this comment: “I started writing at the same time Amazon first went live, back in 1995, and it has been a thrill to move forward together through the years and through the generations of new technology … I’m really delighted to have hit this current milestone, and I look forward to many more together.”


See the article below for details. Great news for eBook published authors, or click the link. As Ilyria Moon commented on my facebook post. “Not only is it good from a writer perspective, but I like seeing people are reading.”

Apple Sells 25 Million iPad Tablets in 14 months. Good news for eBook sales

5th June 2011. Apple Executives have announced their sales figures at the annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. Scott Forstall, Senior VP of iPhone Software announced the sale of 25 million iPads over the past 14 months. It is incredible to think that for every day during that period, Apple sold 87,000 iPads .

What is just as intriguing for the eBook publishing world is that there are estimates that Apple have shipped and sold around 8 million iPads in the second quarter of this year alone,

All this comes despite production supply problems that dogged them in the first quarter, following the introduction of the Apple iPad 2 in March this year. First they underestimated  consumers insatiable thirst for eReaders, causing demand to outstrip supply. Then just as they started to play catch up, there was an explosion which tragically cost 3 lives at the Foxconn, iPad factory.

Of course, the more iPads that are sold, the more eBooks are going to be downloaded. Sure enough, Apple have also revealed that users have downloaded 130 million Books from the iBookstore. If publishers needed more evidence of the changes in the wind, then these figures should start to cause some twitching in the industry. Unfortunately they failed to split the figures into free and paid for downloads, but none the less, the figures bode well for the future of eBook publishing.

Indie self-published authors of eBooks. Creating a Buzz

I recently wrote an article on J Carson Black, the American thriller author, with the astounding news she had sold 10,000 eBooks in one month following an interview with her for my Creating a Buzz page on my blog. The article prompted me to do a follow-up article, How not to sell 10,000 eBooks in on month. These latest figures show just how her reputation and success keeps growing. It couldn’t happen to nicer person and she frequently joins in conversations on kindle boards to offer advice, or just to chat. Here are the figures reported publicly on kindle boards on her sales together with a list of other author’s random sales figures. The full list is viewable at kindle boards. The higher sales figures represent mostly authors with multiple books and who have been established for some time. The purpose of this post is to show what is possible and that publishing eBooks is a long game.

J Carson Black

“The reason I post my numbers (other than being a complete notice box) is because the Writer’s Cafe taught me what was possible. The first thread I saw when I got here was one where people showed their numbers and how they changed from month to month. And I saw a lot of this:(these are my numbers since January)

I loved that thread! It told me anything was possible. Before I got here, I had no idea that you could start in one place and end up in a completely other home altogether. The first 7 months was a wash – I went from 1 book a month to a high of 17 books a month in November. It was discouraging, so I didn’t put much into it. Then someone suggested I come here—I started on this board just about the time I hit the 135-mark. So I’m here to say that there are many factors that go into this, but it’s possible. Seeing what other writers have done made a difference to me. Knowing that it can happen is a good thing. So, thank you.”

“I’m almost afraid to say this, because it scares the * out of me. Bear in mind, in February I sold a total of 135 books.”


PONY RIDES (short story): 206
THE SHOP: 36161

73,516 total.



Sales on Amazon over the other 5 books: 300 (US), 222 (UK), and 0 (DE).

I’m pretty happy with the May sales for my novelette but then it’s only been out a couple months and I’m hoping the numbers will continue to build.

Amazon – 558
B&N – 29
Smashwords – 2


ADoR (Romantic Suspense, released 4/1/11) = 81 + 2 UK (50 while at $3.99 and 31 over the weekend when I dropped the price to $.99 for a Memorial Day sale)
AUO (Hot Romance, released 10/1/10) = 271 + 2 UK ($2.99)


I’m slightly down this month Just over 5100 on Amazon but I did have sales elsewhere this month that I haven’t had previously. (Thrillers)
Amazon 5100
Smashwords 3
Apple 1
B&N 41
Kobo 48
and Sony 65.

Total 5,255


I released my first e-book on May 4 & my second on May 21 – both short stories.

If You Go Into The Woods (on sale since May 4)

Amazon 88
Amazon UK 15
Amazon DE 1
Smashwords 4

Total 108
Transfection (on sale since May 21)  (Short story)

Amazon 40
Amazon UK 2
Amazon DE 0
Smashwords 3

Total 45

Total Total 153!!!


Falling Star

I was hoping to meet or exceed my April numbers (944), but only made 715, across all platforms. Not that I’m complaining mind you.


Here are my figures for May: (Paranormal romance)

Amazon: 448 (309 book one, 139 book two)
B&N: 30
Smashwords: 1

Total for both books for May: 479


Remix UK 2,572
Remix US 327
Smashwords 2
Total 2,901
Replica UK 4,143
Replica US 152
(Haven’t bothered with Smashwords as Remix sales via SW are poor)
Total 4,295

Both books total for May: 7,196


Had my best month ever.

Just over 2500 total sales at Amazon UK, with 100 or so at Amazon US.

The Mercenary’s Price (novella) – 989 – $0.99
Honor Bound (The Witchblade Chronicles #1) – 599 – more than half at 99c and the rest at $2.99
Kiss Of Ash (The Witchblade Chronicles #2) – 347 – all $2.99
The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate – 158 – all $2.99
A Secret Life (Lord Hawkesbury’s Players #1) – 24 – all $2.99 – released on the 12th.


17,220 sales for May. Down a little from April, but I’m not complaining. About 11,500 of those sales were for The Righteous, but I had four books clear 1,000 for the month.


I was around 7k for the month, and adding a title at $4.99 was a huge difference-maker. I’ll get the exact count early this afternoon once I’m finished writing for today. Priorities!

Edit: 7122


The sales for three of my books were pretty stable or slightly up, but my bestseller was down by just under 30%.

April total 3110
May total 2342


Amazon sales: 93
Smashwords sales: 18
OmniLit sales: 81*
Total for May: 192


2700+ total for all three books on and

Weight: 451
Cost: 735
Death: 619
Shadows: 882
Sliver: 871
Omni: 850
Cloaks: 5529
Blades: 4407
Guardian: 314
Ash: 273

Total: 14,931


4787 for the month, not counting stuff distributed through Smash.

The Patriot Paradox – 4131
Self Arrest – 559
Fire: Elements of The Undead, released on 8 May – 97

Peace Army – 3,868
Peace Warrior – 3,936

Total sales: 7,800


Amazon US –
Never Forgotten: 1660
Good Tidings: 1204
Loose Ends: 1983
G of NO: 632

Never Forgotten: 192
Good Tidings: 214
Loose Ends: 550
G of NO: 24
Amazon Total: 5997

Pubit: Total: 199

Total sales – 6196


2 books (well, one really! Same book, just re-written for US market!) – 17,375. 1 book = 17, 259! Book1 priced at 71p/99c

I put my book out in the first week of May and here are the numbers so far:

Amazon: 34
Amazon UK: 6
B&N: 1

1557 B&N
2080-amazon us
2-amazon DE
154-amazon UK

Total: 3,793


Not What She Seems – 7,483
The Overtaking – 57

Total – 7,540


Amazon US – 4 ($2.99)
Amazon UK – 8 (£1.99)
Smashwords – 2 ($2.99)
Total – 14,69390.100.html.

With many publishers, there is a perception in the public eye and in trade circles, that they are fighting a rearguard action against the new technology that they see as a threat to the established order of the traditional publishing world. The cliché, ‘running around like headless chickens,’ comes to mind. Everyone seems to be talking strategies, but their PR as well as their business models needs some serious overhauling, as the word on the street seems indicates many are acting like spoilt children. The actions I am talking about are such as setting up joint eBook stores and trying to slow down the inevitable, by insisting on ridiculous pricing of eBooks in their fight with Amazon, instead of having a coherent strategy to embrace the new world order that is emerging.

One such publisher, Bloomsbury, seems to be bucking the trend, by coming out of the closet and finally showing some sense by setting out a vision for the future, to embrace the new technology and to alter its business model to harness the demand for eBooks. This relatively new media has shown tremendous growth throughout the recession and is set to explode as we come out of the world financial crisis and consumers spending power is restored. Not since the introduction of computers created such a stir in the printing world when they made typesetting obsolete has there been such a significant change that will affect the future book printing.

By comparison to the big six, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, MacMillan Publishers, Penguin Group, Random House and Simon & Schuster, Bloomsbury is relatively small in terms of revenue, but with catalogues boasting the likes of Harry Potter, they are hardly an insignificant player.

In 2009, Bloomsbury reported 79,000 pounds/$126,000 revenue from eBook sales. Following this, they digitized over 1,900 titles and in 2010, their revenue rose to 1.5 million pounds/ $2.4 million. In the first quarter to March, the results are even more encouraging at, 1.1 million pounds/ $1.76 million … not bad for three months. If I were the chairman, I would include a small prayer area at their new headquarters to pray that J K Rowling favors them with the digital rights.

Their Chairman reports that “This is an exciting time for Bloomsbury: e-book demand is increasing significantly; it will change the publishing business model creating one worldwide market. The recent organizational change is already bringing benefits to the Group, enabling us to better exploit that worldwide market as a global publisher in print and digital. During 2011/12, these benefits will be enhanced by the move into our new headquarters building in Bedford Square, London. We have a strong balance sheet and an excellent management team, so are well placed to exploit future opportunities as we enter our 25th anniversary year.”

Despite their progress in harnessing the advance of eBook sales, it doesn’t mean they are to stop printing books, but they are to pare their efforts into printing a core of likely commercial successes,and moving back catalogues and slow-moving sales to POD. With all the talk of publishers going to the wall It would seem they are making all the right moves to survive in this competitive market. 

Other news is that they are going to continue to seek out new talent to publish. The only news that concerned me was that they were going to use POD as a means of keeping back catalogue in print. I am not sure if this will be good for authors who could normally get their rights back when a book goes out of print. No doubt, the literary agents will be keeping an eye out on those developments. I know if I were one of their author’s, I would be combing through my contract to see if there was a loophole out if this. One thing is for sure, they must be crossing their fingers that J K Rowling, (Who’s agent cleverly negotiated out the digital rights) will favor them if she decides to go the digital route. Until now, she has fiercely refused to go digital, although the rumor mills have been gathering pace of late, with her agent allegedly to have said that, ‘Rowling did not want to cut anyone out of the digital loop.’ (The inference being that she was maybe considering it.) Whilst growth of eBooks sales will grow, with or without Harry Potter, there is no doubt that releasing the series, as eBooks would bring a welcome boost to the sales of eReaders.

How not to sell 10,000 eBooks in one month

I was taken aback, when my article, “J Carson Black sells 10,000 eBooks in April …How did she do it?”, created controversy on kindle boards, in the writers’ cafe forum. The moderator deleted a number of member’s posts. I just wonder if some of those with deleted comments should have read my previous article on, ‘The mysterious ways of Amazon and kindle forums’, as well as the kindle-board forum rules, before diving in feet first and baiting, or rising to the bait of others in full view of readers and buyers of eBooks. The original article has proved to be very successful from the support I have received with private messages from new authors considering self-publishing and the articles intended audience. J Carson Black’s honesty in revealing the reasons for her success to new authors starting out in self-publishing and featured in this week’s Creating a Buzz on my blog, is to be applauded

Some comments on the forum made me step back and think about what I said and for those who misinterpreted what I had to say, or should I say, took from the article what they chose to use as an axe to grind, I decided the turn the article on its head. Hence the title … “How not to sell 10,000 eBooks in one month.” But first let me tell you a story, because that is what I do best … It won’t win any literary prizes, as it only took me ten minutes to knock together, but maybe what it says puts the point across a little differently than the original article.

Read it here, and feel free to comment.


The Secret.

Declan took up a position as the manager of a television rental shop. He loved the notion of renting goods, which involved building a customer base, with plenty of repeat business to secure his long-term future. He set about doing what he was trained to do by Maggie, a tutor on a retail business course he attended and organised the shop accordingly. It came as a surprise, when the area manager contacted him and gave him the good news that his shop had rented more televisions in a particular month than any other shop and he asked Declan to reveal his secret. Of course he didn’t have a secret, he was just doing the job in the way he been taught and put it down to good luck. The area manager continued to press for the secret of his success, which he honestly didn’t know. The shop was full of customers that needed attention and to get him off the phone, he told him he liked to throw open the doors and play loud music to attract the customers inside to buy. It seemed to satisfy him and off he went. The rest of the day, Declan kept dwelling on the area manager’s question and he was desperate to find out the answer for his own good.

After a few days, Declan was inundated with angry calls from other managers. Apparently, a memo had been sent to all the other shops to open their doors and play loud music. With winter setting in and most of the shops located in high streets, well, you can imagine their displeasure, especially as their sales failed to increase.

The area manager moved on to new pastures and Declan was elated when he was promoted to take over the area manager duties. He set off on a tour of his new empire, full of hope.

The first shop he arrived at, he looked for the hot spot in the window as he approached in the manner of a customer passing by, to see if the display attracted his eye. There wasn’t a hot spot; it looked more like something representing his ten-year-old daughter’s redesigned bedroom after a sleepover. At the next shop, he listened into a sales person going through his routine sales pitch with a customer. His opening was to say the least, uninteresting and not thought out to grab and hold the customer’s attention. The customer gave his excuses and left. At the third shop, he was more encouraged. The window display was attractive and his eyes were drawn to the television in the hotspot. A sales person was holding the attention of a customer and was almost at the point of closing the sale, when Declan’s heart sank and he followed the customer’s eye line to the source of her apparent displeasure. She frowned, turned and left.

The reason for the customer’s displeasure was clear. The display she had glanced at, revealed a television with a picture that was rolling. Another television had a picture that was dull. Even worse, the hand written advertising caption over the television read “Bargin of the Day.” When Declan confronted the manager about the state of the goods on display and pointed to the television with the dull screen with the misspelt caption, all the manager could say was, “Well … it is a bargain price.”

With time to inspect one more shop, he crossed his fingers and headed for the location. Everything seemed to be perfect, from the hot spot to the display. There were not many customers, but the sales people seemed to be alert to their needs. As he approached the manager, all hell let loose as the manager started to argue with one of his staff in full view of the customers. The few customers that were there, made their excuses and left. Declan’s face flamed and he interrupted the argument and demanded he talk to the manager in his office. A customer, paying their account at the cashier’s desk grabbed Declan by the arm.

“He’s always arguing in front of customers, I’m thinking of taking my account elsewhere, you should sack him.”

After he reprimanded the manager for the altercation he had witnessed and made it clear that what he had heard would not be tolerated, it was down to business, Declan took out a spreadsheet of the sales figures and laid them out on the desk.

“Your shop is perfect, other than curtailing your arguing in front of customers, is there anything else you can tell me why think your sales are so poor and what you can do you increase them?”

“Competition. The other outlets in town have been going longer than my shop and have a much bigger customer base, so I can’t see how I can increase sales to their levels.”

“Have you looked at the competition and thought about what made them successful in the first place?” Declan Asked.”Maybe you could pick up some ideas. I’m not expecting overnight success, but we need to set out a plan to up the sales.”

“I’m not sure, I know some of the names, but I never get chance to leave the shop to find out what they are doing that makes them successful.”

“What are you doing with your local advertising budget?”

“I advertise in the local monthly upmarket magazines. It saves time having to prepare copy for the daily newspapers.”

“Really. Do you think people with disposable income to buy televisions are likely to be your target market for renting televisions? Then there’s the question of the frequency of the publications? I think we need to change that towards your target market in the daily newspapers.”


Declan sat in his car and made a list of his findings and the steps he would need to put in place to make things right. He knew it wouldn’t be easy and it would take time to rectify, but with determination, hard work and a will to succeed. He knew what had to be done.


Twelve months later and Declan sat at his general manager’s desk, reflecting on the attention to basic details that had gained him his success from the simple advice given by Maggie during his training. He opened his mail, surprised to see an application for a management position and a C.V. from his old area manager. He recalled the phone call when the area manager asked for his secret of his sales success and considered what would have happened if he could have given him the answers that he now knew… as simple as they were.

Declan sighed and reached out to put the application in his IN tray. He wrote out a note thanking his old area manager for writing to him, but declining his application and moved the file to his OUT tray. A moment’s hesitation and he retrieved the application, having decided he owed him the truth of the secret he had asked for and gave him details of Maggie’s training course.

“God bless you Maggie and thank you,” said Declan as he placed the application in his OUT tray and prepared for another hard day of work.


Please send editing suggestions on a post card C/O … CIA listening post, Alaska.

If you need to know what this story has to do with the price of potatoes, then we are reading from a different page. lol.

Copyright notice … This story is fictional and any inference taken that Maggie is portrayed as the author, J Conran Black, I can assure you is entirely intentional.

Creating a Buzz page, featuring J Carson Black, Simon Swift and Black Shadows and Joanne Ellis of Spoilt fame.