Thursday, July 05, 2012

A New Approach

I had lunch with novelist and story writer Brendan DeBois last week, and we got to talking about e-books and e-rights. He told me he thought he'd see what all the fuss was about Kindle Direct Publishing. After all, he's been in the game 40 years and had an unpublished book he liked in the desk drawer. Why not throw it on Kindle and see what happens?

So he had a cover made by a friend, put it up on KDP for $2.99, and announced it on his Facebook page.

That was all.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "The book sold over two hundred copies the first month." Brendan went on to mention Jessica Park's 150,000 e-sales of a novel no one in New York City wanted and her wonderful "Huffington Post" article.

Now 200 sales a month is not in J.A. Konrath's league. (Konrath says he makes $4,000 a month on e-books.) But it's a car payment. (Maybe I'm giving too much away here, but it's also more than enough to cover soccer, figure skating, and the latest Abercrombie and Fitch sweatshirt, too.) Amazon takes 30%, but that is much better than the industry standard of 75% right now, which, as I have said on this blogspot previously, I find absolutely offensive.

All of it got me thinking.

I just began negotiating--agent-less, as I said last week--with Five Star/Gale for my new book, THIS ONE DAY. It's written under the pseudonym K.A. Delaney (my daughters are Keeley, Audrey, and Delaney). Logistically, cyber speaking, two author names is problematic--it means two domain names, which, in turn, means two domain fees and trying to use my VERY limited Website-design skills to have the two domains lead readers to the same site.

But I did what I had to do: I went to and bought the domain name to go with

Then I got to thinking. My Website doesn't look all that great to begin with, and, if I am honest with myself, I don't have the skills to make it look much better. Do I want to hire a professional? Can I justify the expense? Also, do author Websites sell books? I'm starting to doubt it. E-book buyers are on Kindle forums and the like, and I'm more much concerned--at this stage of my career--with selling e-books than I am selling print copies. I called back, cancelled the oder, and gave up both domain names.

Armed with an improved my Amazon author page, an updated Facebook page, and an improving knowledge Twitter, I'm making a conscious effort to meet e-book readers on their turf, not insisting they come to mine.


Charlotte Hinger said...

John, I hope others share their experiences. I'm thinking through conference fees, personal appearances and all the other time and money drains. It would help if we really knew what works the best for marketing.

John Corrigan said...

Thanks. When have a new book out, I will promote it, but right now, with control over my Ebooks, I'm focusing on those. And it seems the Amazon author page is pretty effective--and free. For a future blog: do author Web sites work? For mid-listers?

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