Archive for the ‘#ebooks’ Category


J Carson Black, thriller author, hits 230,000 eBook sales in July.

J Carson Black, (Maggy) to her kindle-board forum friends, may be self-published, but with her runaway sales success in such a short space of time, surely it can only be a matter of time before one of the big six publishers recognizes both her talent as a writer and the substantial loyal fan base she is building. (In addition, she is a nice person.)

After selling 137 eBooks in February and 1,280 in March, in April 2011, her reported sales were 10,000 for the month and by May; the total sales to date were 73,562. They have now hit a mind-boggling 230,000 sales to date.

When you consider that she has no marketing machine behind her of the kind that traditional publisher can provide, or the many other services, together with their ability to get printed books on the bookstore shelves, the achievement is all the more of a remarkable phenomenon. I would even go as far as to say her success exceeds the remarkable achievements of Amanda Hocking and JA Konrath as her catalogue of books are mostly in the mid price range for self published eBooks. Although the 99c price tag did play a part in the initial traction together with a special summer promotion … pricing alone cannot explain, how her sales have taken off to the extent that they have, or we could all copy her route to success.

I first met Maggy on the kindle-board forum site in late in March, where she is an active member. I had seen her join in discussions offering advice and encouragement to new members of the site and it was there I noticed she was a fellow thriller writer from the book covers on display in her forum signature. All her book covers were attractive and I chose to look at The Shop. The book description drew me in and I downloaded the sample. I didn’t get through the sample fast enough before I clicked the buy button. It was clear from the opening she had a handle on the thriller genre and the narrative voice was distinct for me to want to read all of it. I wasn’t disappointed, the consistancy of voice, great characterization and a knack of bringing the scenes to life was there throughout and with a satisfying plot to put the cream in an already iced  cake, it was well worth the buy. When I started to ponder after the read, I felt like I had read a traditionally published book from a top thriller writer.

With the hustle and bustle of just starting out on a self-publishing career, I put my thoughts to one side, until I noticed her books started to appear everywhere on the also boughts on Kindle. A post followed this on kindle boards that she had sold 10,000 in one month. In a way I wasn’t surprised as I could imagine readers with circles of friends who had similar tastes in thrillers would be recommending her work by word of mouth. I thought her achievement that month was staggering considering up to that point, her sales had trickled along by comparison, although growing from month to month.

I decided as a budding author that I owed it to myself to look further in to her success to see if there was anything I could emulate to hasten my own success. One thing I found was that she had some of her books previously published and wondered if that had helped in the minds of potential buyers as part of their decision-making process. She also had a number of books uploaded; so that once a reader had tasted her work, she had other books on offer for them. However, other than that I was stumped.

I was just building my blog site at the time and I had introduced a Book Buzz page and contacted Maggy to see if she would care to take part and she agreed. I was hoping for some revelation of a secret formula, but there was none, other than the realization that it was attention to basic detail, (Book cover, book pitch and of course a good story, well written.) She had also carried out very little in the way of marketing, so there were no revelations to be had there. This spurred me on to write an article “How not to sell 10,000 books in one month.” with a fable entitled “The Secret” to emphasize the requirement for attention to basic detail for those starting out. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, although attention to detail is a prerequisite, clearly to hit the kind of figures she has achieved it has to be all about the writing and the story, the enthusiasm of her readers to recommend her and the Amazon algorithms taking care of the rest.

Well done Maggy. I can’t see the bandwagon stopping here.

Amazon.com, J Carson Black, Author profile and books America

Amazon.co.uk, J Carson Black, list of books UK

Advertisements

As an author and a reader, living in Brazil, I have to be a member of Amazon.com to buy books. Amazon charge an additional $2 over the .com price for every eBook I purchase. The same is true for customers who live outside their area in places such as Australia etc. I have never really been able to find out why they make this charge. Some say that it is to cover the whispernet charges for 3G kindles, but I fail to see this as I use Kindle to Computer downloads.

If you have a kindle, or you have kindle to computer or any other such device, there is no need to buy from Amazon. This is great news if you live outside the designated area of .com, .co.uk, or .com de. If you buy through smashwords you can download a Mobi file to view on your kindle, computer or device without the additional $2 charge.

Through smashwords you can download files in Mobi, ePub, PDF etc as shown below on the page of one of my books. Hide and Seek (Ghost story)

Cover for 'Hide and Seek'

Hide and Seek

Ebook By Declan Conner
$0.99 Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
(5.00 based on 1 review)
Published: June 03, 2011
Category: Fiction » Mystery & Detective » Short Stories
Words: 13667 (approximate)
Language: English

[add to library]

Ebook Description

Short story, with both American English and UK and Commonwealth English versions available in one eBook

Carl didn’t believe in ghosts.Unless you want to count the Holy one. That was until he had a dream of a young girl and he was invited to play … Hide and Seek. A seat gripping ghost story.

Tags

thriller, crime, suspense, murder, mystery, short story, ghost story, declan conner

Available Ebook reading formats:

You have purchased this book.

Format Full Book
Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser) View
Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy) View
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps) Download
Epub (Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others) Download
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing) Download
RTF (readable on most word processors) Download
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub) Download
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices) Download
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting) Download
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page) View

Reviews

Review by: Kaye George on July 19, 2011 : starstarstarstarstar
Connor has Carl Jones take us on a train trip in an eerie fog. We never arrive at the intended destination, but chilling events whip Carl between reality and fantasy. Or is it fantasy? Connor keeps the reader guessing until a mystery within a mystery is unraveled.

 If you’re used to reading British punctuation, he has included a version for you also. A nice bonus. Check out his many other short stories available.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

********

My advice would be to always check to see if the book you want to buy is available on smashwords. Not all books will be available, but it makes sense to get more value for your $.

Other eBook catalogues where you can find my short stories.

Smashwords

Apple itunes ibooks

Note the Apple link above and below is the one I use for America. For other countries where you are a subscriber, change the “us’ to say “de” for Germany “uk” For the UK, “au’ for Australia. “ca” for Canada, etc.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781458086372              

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Diesel eBooks


Does self- publishing destroy your chances as a route to being traditionally published?

I read many forum posts where people advise that if you self publish, then you are burning your bridges for any hope of being traditionally published in the future. This may have been true a number of years ago, but not anymore.

In this digital age of eBooks and POD technology, combined with a financial crises that has resulted in many publishers reducing the number authors in their stable and new books published, It is no wonder that authors are turning to self publishing.

The cry from the traditionalist is loud and clear … “Don’t do it, or you will never get published by a print publisher.”

In practice, this no longer holds true. There are winners and losers in the self-publishing arena, just as there are in print publishing. One advantage the self-published have over a new talent picked up by a publisher is that they will have a record of accomplishment of sales and for them to be successful they will have established their own marketing base through a web site or blog and made good use of building a social network.

The problem publishers have in the current challenged economic world is to find winners that will ensure a healthy bottom line. Winning a contract from a publisher is no guarantee to a successful career, it never has been. New writers are considered a long-term investment, with many failing to earn out their advance royalties and being cut adrift without that second book ever being considered. Of course, it is not all doom and gloom, publishers still look for new talent in the time-honored fashion and there are success stories.

“Okay, you talk the talk, but where is the proof?” you say. Well all I can give you is examples. However, don’t take my word for it, join the various kindle forums and you will see for yourself. I’ll start with some of the more widely known examples.

Amanda Hocking… multi book deal for $1 million.

J A Konrath … publishing contract with Amazons new imprint.

Dianna Laurence… Foreign rights sold to China for 2 books. Both books published.

Margaret Lake. Contacted this week with regards to Chinese translation rights.

Kate Rowan … Contacted by a Turkish publisher this week for rights to her books.

Lexi Revelliion … Contract signed with Hungarian publisher for hardback, paper and eBook.

Louise Voss and Mark Edwards… Killing Cupid. Four book deal just announced with Harper Collins. The Contract signed allows them to continue to keep their books available until ready for publishing in 2012.

Steve Dunne … The Reaper. Self published and picked up by Harper Collins. (Older event)

There are many more and if you wish please leave details in a comment. In addition to these, there are many threads on Kindle boards in the US of authors turning down contracts.

***

I had no sooner posted this article than I found this just now on Kindle Boards from Sibel Hodge.

“I’ve had an email forwarded to me from Createspace from Bliss Publishing in Thailand, asking about the foreign rights for My Perfect Wedding. Does anyone have any advice about this? What do I need to do if they want them? “


The answer is yes, as I know from my own experience. But don’t just take my word for it. Indie author and short story writer, Suzanne Tyrpak confirms what is possible, with over 10,000 sales of her short story compilation, Dating my Vibrator. I met up with Suzanne on kindleboards and asked her about her experience and her new release, Ghost planes and other disturbing tales, published on the 4th of July. She talks about her success in this weeks Creating a Buzz page. A sample of Suzanne’s work also features on the Short Story page.

Ghost Plane an other Disturbing tales vailable on Kindle and smashwords.

 Free promotional offer on smashwords. Ends this weekend10/7/2011 10/7/2011 

Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales


Free guide: How to add covers/ logo’s/ pictures to your Kindle / smashwords file for your eBook

Adding your cover or a logo to your eBook file is not that difficult. For smashwords, adding the cover is automatic, but if you want to add extra images such as a logo to give your eBook that professional look, or a thumbnail book cover for other of your catalogue content at the end of your book, there are certain steps to follow. Although images on kindle show as black and white, it should be remembered that many people use them to download eBook to devices that use color. One thing to bear in mind, is that on kindle you can view the pages with a black background and white text, therefore any logo with stand alone black writing on a white background will be invisible. I have added the process to the end of my free ‘ Free: How to format for kindle guide.’

For full detail click this link

 


I keep asking myself this question and seem to be something of a lone wolf when I approach the subject on writers’ forums and hardly ever win the debate. When I first published my eBooks through Amazon Kindle, I thought it would be easy to publish both my American edited versions and UK and Commonwealth edited versions. Everything went smoothly when I started to fill in the details to upload my manuscripts to kindle. The process was quite simple. That is until I came to the question of language choice. ‘English,’ it said. I scrolled down to look for the different versions, but there were none.

It struck me as odd. How is the reader to know? Okay, you could say that the reader has the opportunity to sample first and that would be true, but many don’t. Of the ones that do sample, I just wonder how many decide not to buy because the read jars when not in their native English. After much head scratching, I decided to upload the American version to .com and the UK English version to .co.uk … problem solved. Well that’s what I thought, but then I thought, what of the countries such as Canada and the other countries that can only buy from .com and use English spellings. Then what about expats?

When I contacted Amazon customer services, they sent me a nice email back, basically the only way round the problem was to maybe upload both version with world rights and to say put the Stars and Stripes on the front cover of one and the Union Jack on the other. Ughh.

The usual answer I receive from American authors when I bring up the subject seems to be. “There are 300 million potential customers in America and the UK market is small. Why should I care about the rest?” The answer from UK English authors seems to be “English is English, they’ll understand.” It’s no wonder to me that some American authors claim their sales are poor in the UK and vice versa with the British authors; although I admit there are exceptions. My answer to the authors who have a different opinion to me, I would ask them to trawl the Amazon readers’ forums and look at the debates where the posts mention poor spelling. Alternatively, maybe to read some of the one star reviews, where some readers assume that spellings are in error when they are in fact correct for the authors native English. Don’t think this situation just exists with just self-published authors; it is the same for traditionally published eBooks.

What am I doing about it, you may ask. In my own case, I have made a start by splitting my short stories into individual eBooks and including both versions with links for the reader to make the choice of language. I have already up loaded these to Smashwords for distribution to B&N Kobo and Apple, also to Amazon.com de, in Germany. This week I should have a German translation completed for The End, or a New Dawn, one of my short stories and I will upload it to Amazon with the German translation and the two English versions in one eBook, with links for the customer to make the choice. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but I intend to do this with all my short stories on all eBook platforms. As for my full-length books, I will be re formatting them to include both English versions.

For a more in-depth article and links for American v UK English words and an example of quotation mark differences, follow the link below

Translation page.

Declan Conner: Smashwords profile and books page.


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.