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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7 thoughts on “The Key to Selling Books on Kindle

  1. I guess I don’t get your point. These authors are selling books–something they probably wouldn’t be doing if they continued to wait for the “approval” of a legacy publisher.

    Most people preceive the value of an e-book to be less than the value of a dead tree book. This is a correct perception. So why should it matter to you or me what they charge for their work. After all, it is THEIR work.

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  2. Andy: Sorry you missed my point. I must have not made it clear. My point was that if you want to sell books on the Kindle, make sure you price them right. It appears books priced low (below $1.99) sell better than those priced high – especially for fairly unknown fiction writers. Hope that clarifies it for you.

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  3. Three years ago when I knew I’d publish my book in electronic form I said to myself, only charge one dollar. For pete sake it’s only a computer file. If I sell a thousand I would be excited. Glad to see there are other people out there that care more about exposure than profit margin.

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  4. Wow, not sure if I agree…doesn’t it cheapen the whole authorship attitude? What value do you place on your, in many cases, Life’s Work? Just because one chooses to electronically publish over traditional means doesn’t devalue their creativity, does it?

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  5. Leira, you are completely free to disagree. My point was that to sell large numbers of books via the Kindle, the lower price appears to be one of the factors. There are many authors who are choosing not to “cheapen” their works by lowering the ebook price. You might be interested in reading my blog post “Rising eBook Sales-Declining Revenues.” https://marketingchristianbooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/rising-ebook-sales-declining-revenue/

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  6. True! What you have stated is a fact based on statistics. It is okay to sell for a lower price until you get some loyal regular readers or fans and some good review. After that you can increase the price a little later.

    Setting a high price initially means you sit there wondering for months (or probably years) about what went wrong. Thanks for the nice post. Love and hugs.

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