Tuesday, January 13, 2009

With book sales slowing, look for new outlets

There’s been quite a bit of talk lately in the newspapers, on TV, and across the web about the deteriorating state of the publishing industry. Publishers are cutting staffs and accepting fewer manuscripts, booksellers are selling less, many are folding their tents. A Waldenbooks in the mall where I walk is closing in a week or two.

Sounds bleak for writers, doesn’t it? But there are still lots of mystery fans out there, buying books and reading them. And one area that continues to buck the trend is the ebook market.

I now have all four of my Greg McKenzie mysteries in the Kindle Store, where they can be downloaded for reading with Amazon.com’s Kindle device. I haven’t done any promotion yet to encourage purchases, but I sold 30 books last year.

I priced the Kindle versions at $8.94. Amazon sells them for $7.15. I get $3.13 per sale. I’m obviously not getting rich with it, but the $93.90 I made last year buys a lot of postage stamps.

I don’t have my mysteries with any of the ebook publishers, but I am looking into that as another alternative. I’ve heard Fictionwise is one of the top ebook publishers, but they want you to have at least ten titles before they will take you on.

Meanwhile, I’m looking to ways to promote sales of the Kindle version. If you have come across any good schemes to do the job, I’d like to hear from you. I’ll pass along via these pages whatever I find.

These days an author must use every available resource to get his or her book out there. If you own the ebook rights, exploit them.


Beth Groundwater said...

I have a contract to publish a novella with Virtual Tales in eBook, eSerial and paperback form, so that will be my first experience with electronic publishing, and I'm looking forward to getting my feet wet. I'm hearing more and more from readers of my gift basket designer mystery book that they would like to see an electronic version. Now, if only my agent could sell the rights! I admire you, Chester, for publishing your own Kindle version, but I'm not sure I want to take on that task myself yet.

Jim and Karen Overturf said...


Hiik up with Sunny Frazier at Sunny69@comcast.net. She is doing a study of Kindle marketing. From what I've seen, she is onto something.


Jim and Karen Overturf said...


Arthritic fingers: my message should have read: Hook up with Sunny Frazier.

Sorry, Jim

BillieJohn said...

Great moxie, Chester! That's the best promo tool ever!


Chester Campbell said...

Hi, Beth. Uploading to Kindle is fairly easy. I need to pursue other ebook avenues though.

Chester Campbell said...

Thanks, Jim. Sunny sent me a list she had compiled, but I haven't had time to check them out yet.

Katie Hines said...

LOL! You can certainly buy a lot of stamps. But, you've gotta watch that sneaky post office - they're subject to raising prices of the stamp willy nilly. Hang on to that money!