The Key to Selling Books on Kindle

It keeps cropping up in the news. I keep hearing about it on publishing discussion groups. The number of authors who are self-publishing novels for the Kindle and then selling thousands of copies of their books is increasing.

Recently, Amanda Hockings was big news in the self-publishing world. Amanda penned novels and received rejection after rejection from publishers. Finally, she made the decision to put her novels up for sale on Amazon’s Kindle. To date, she has sold 900,000 copies of her ebooks and essentially become a millionaire. Now she has received a two million dollar book deal for a new series from a major publisher.

Just the other week, The Charlotte Observer (a newspaper in my home town) had an article about a woman named Elisa Lorello. Elisa is a teacher in North Carolina. She, too, after multiple rejections from publishers, decided to publish her first novel as an ebook for Amazon’s Kindle. At first, she got a modest response, but when she lowered the price from $1.99 to $.99, her sales began to soar. To date, she has sold 52,000 copies of her novel on Kindle.

So what’s the key to selling thousands of books on Kindle?

Well-written novels for the younger generation (16 to 32 year olds) priced at $.99.

I’m not joking. Every success story on selling thousands of copies of books on the Kindle has had the common theme of books priced at $1.99 or below. Both Amanda and Elisa sold many of their books for $.99.

It appears that many Kindle owners have a garage sale mentality. “Here is a cheap novel for $.99. I will pick it up and see if I like it.” When you buy books cheap at a garage sale, you can take a risk. You are not shelling out much money when paying a buck for a book. If you don’t like the book, no sweat; after all, you got it for a bargain.

If you have a Christian novel you want to sell, try bargain pricing it for the Amazon Kindle. You probably will pick up a number of Christian readers who are just looking for the bargain books.

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Have You Heard of This?

It’s called the Flipback book. It is small and light and just the right size to slip into a pocket. It’s not an e-reader, it’s a paper book.

Printed on extra-thin paper, the book is held longways with the spine in the palm of the hand. The pages are read top to bottom and flipped up as you read. The spine is made to stay open so that you don’t have to hold the book open.

The design was first introduced in the Netherlands in 2009 and is all the rage there. It has spread to Spain, France, and now the United Kingdom.

Will this Flipback book make an appearance in the United States? Most likely. When it does, its portability might catch on, but I doubt it will become more popular than e-readers.

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The Global eBook Market

In 2010, the global ebook market grew by more than 200 percent. e-Readers are in-part responsible for spurring the growth of digital books.

e-Reader ownership nearly tripled in 2010. By December 2010, eight percent of the population of the United States owned e-readers. Experts predict that that figure will grow to 13 to 15 percent of the population this year.

Currently, the United States represents more than 80 percent of the global ebook sales. Surprisingly, Western Europe accounted for only 10 percent of global sales, and this was mostly dominated by the United Kingdom market.

Experts predict that by 2014, the United States will only be 50 percent of the global ebook market, as the rest of the world begins to embrace digital books.

I think this is good news for publishers. As the ebook market grows around the world, the reach of your products into other English-speaking countries can grow.

For example, India’s national language is English. There are over one billion people living in India. Many of them speak and read English.  As the Indian economy grows, so does its appetite for books. India currently has one of the fastest growing markets in the world for English-language titles.

With the growth of digital books, publishers will no longer have to seek out foreign distributors to get your books into the hands of English-speaking people around the world. Now, all that can be done from the comfort of your office via retail ebook websites, leading to a growth in your book sales.

Many of you probably already have your books listed on Flipkart.com, the large online Indian bookstore. (Interestingly, the founders of Flipkart worked for Amazon.com before starting this business in India.) It is only a matter of time before sites like this around the world will begin to include ebooks.

I believe that in just a few years, simply having your ebooks in the right distribution channels here in the United States will ensure world-wide exposure to English-speaking individuals.

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Are You a Procrastintor?

Do you have difficulty carving out the time to write? Maybe you want to write your next book, but have been too busy marketing your current one. Maybe you want to post regularly on your company publishing blog, but every time you go to write, something more urgent comes up.

Carving out time to write is difficult, especially if writing is not your main livelihood. If you are a chronic procrastinator or if you easily get distracted by more pressing issues when you sit down to write, there is help for you.

One website, 750Words.com, was developed just for you. On 750Word users are encouraged to write 750 words each day. The website tracks the word count for you. Your writings are kept private unless you want others to view them, and best of all, it’s free to use.

Of course, to use 750Words.com, you do have to make the time in your schedule. However, even if you chose to use the site a couple times a week and write 750 words each time, you may end up doing more writing than you currently are.

Head on over to 750Words.com today and start writing!

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