March Kindle Sales Top $4200 and 5850 Ebooks

As of 11pm March 31, I made over $4200 on Kindle this month. That's over 5850 ebooks sold in just under four and a half weeks.

Here's the screen shot. It doesn't include the money earned on FLOATERS and SERIAL UNCUT, which are listed on Amazon by my co-writers Henry Perez and Blake Crouch.

I'm pretty surprised by this number. And it has lead me to some startling conclusions.

Back in October
, I looked at my ebook sales and said I'd never sell a book to a publisher for less than $30,000.

I've revised that a bit. I added a "1". My new number is $130,000.

This actually isn't as outrageous as it seems. Let me break it down.

Of my five best selling Kindle titles, four are original novels, and one (the novella TRUCK STOP) was written expressly for Kindle. Their average unit sales for this month were 880.

In June, Amazon is switching to the agency model, which means ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99 will earn the author a 70% royalty, minus a 6 cent delivery fee. Instead of making 70 cents per ebook sale like I'm currently doing, I can make $2.04 per sale.

If I put an original ebook novel on Kindle, going by my current average sales, I'd earn about $1800 a month on that title, or $21,600 per year.

That means, in six years, keeping my erights and steadily selling on Kindle alone, a single title could earn $129,600.

My first novel, Whiskey Sour, came out six years ago. During that time it has appeared in hardcover, and has had multiple editions in paperback. It has sold to ten countries. It's been an audiobook on cassette, CD, mp3, and download. It has also been an ebook, released by my publisher.

I've earned, with everything combined, around $50,000 on Whiskey Sour.

I think my royalties on Whiskey Sour are pretty good for a midlist author. The fact that it is still earning money six years later is rare, especially when I look at many of my peers who were also published in 2004 and are now out of print.

And yet, it's less than half of what I predict I can do releasing a Kindle-only title.

Of course, Kindle sales aren't a sure thing, even though mine have been steadily rising. Sales could begin to drop. The Kindle may become obsolete, like so many other technologies.

But my prediction for the future is I'll actually sell MORE ebooks than I expect, not less. I base these predictions on the trends I've seen in the industry, coupled with my own experiments. I've been blogging about Kindle for a year now, and my current numbers have exceeded my wildest expectations from back then.

And Kindle may be just the beginning.

My ebooks aren't up on Sony yet. They were just recently put up on Barnes and Noble. And naturally, I'll also sell my ebooks on the iPad. That's all extra income.

Plus, I believe the Kindle hasn't come close to critical mass yet. Over the next few years, the Kindle will get better, come down in price, and sell a lot more units.

Not only that, but I should still be able to exploit non-ebook rights. I could still sell print rights for novels, and audio rights, and foreign rights, and movie rights. I'm only talking about ebook sales here. And it makes no sense to give them to a publisher.

Let me repeat myself, because I've spoken with a lot of my peers who don't seem to grasp this point.


Now there's always a chance my sales might drop if I raise my prices from $1.99 to $2.99. But I've been thinking about this a lot, and here is what I foresee:

1. The ebooks that my publishers own the rights to are priced between $4.70 and $9.99, and they're all doing well because readers are getting hooked on my $1.99 books and then buying the more expensive titles. I know this for two reasons. First, because my traditionally published ebooks didn't spike until I started getting popular with my self-published cheap ebooks. Second, because I've gotten dozens of emails from readers telling me that's what they did.

2. As an experiment, I raised one of my ebooks to $4.99. It made more money this month, even though it sold fewer copies, than last month at $1.99. And this is without the new agency royalty rate. Even if my sales dip, I'll still be more than doubling my current profits.

3. The difference between $1.99 and $2.99 isn't that big a deal, especially in comparison to what the major publishers are pricing at. Once the agency model takes hold, Big NY Publishing is going to sell ebooks at $12.99. I predict fewer sales for Big NY Authors, more for indie authors, even if we go up to $2.99.

4. If enough indie authors go up to $2.99, then it's the new bargain rate.

I've been part of the traditional publishing world for over a decade, and what's happening right now with ebooks is unprecedented. Not only do authors have a chance to directly reach a large pool of readers for the first time in history, but NY Publishing is so short-sighted they're making it easy for us to compete with them.

My ebook THE LIST has sold 12,000 copies in a year. At the agency rate, that's over $24k annually, assuming my numbers stay the same.

But I don't think they'll stay the same. I think my sales numbers will continue to go up, even when I raise the price to $2.99. Ereaders haven't hit their stride yet.

So if I were to take an original J.A. Konrath or Jack Kilborn novel and put it on Kindle, I believe $130,000 in six years is a modest prediction.

If I also take into account Sony, B&N, the iPad, and print, audio, and foreign rights, I can see $130,000 being just a starting point for the money one of my novels can earn.

Of course, that's my prediction for 2016. How about my predictions for 2010?

Let's say I put two original ebook novels on Kindle this year, and they sell on average as well as my top five best sellers.

That means I'll be selling 7560 ebooks per month. I'll err to the side of caution and say my sales drop off 25% because I'm raising the price to $2.99. That would mean I'd be selling 5670 ebooks a month. At $2.04 profit per download, that's still $11680 a month.

So between June 1 and December 31, I'm looking to earn $81,761 on Kindle alone. And that's being a pessimist.

If I take the optimist route, I'll assume my numbers won't drop off, they'll escalate, as they have in the past. Especially if I offer new, exclusive titles. Perhaps I'll sell 8000 ebooks per month. That would mean from June to December, I'd earn $114,240.

Being even more optimistic, I'll also put up another novella on Kindle, as well as the Newbie's Guide to Publishing ebook (over 360,000 words of writing advice.) And people will continue to buy Kindles. So let's really dream big and guesstimate I can eek out 9,000 sales a month.

That puts me at $128,520 for a seven month period. For just Kindle.

The shocking thing about this is that it isn't a pipe dream. It's entirely within the realm of possibility.

Is everyone reading this thinking "holy shit" just like I am?


I Dan Soko - Rokia Traoré & Oumou Sangare

Adeline gentille.

Certaines d'entre vous me demandent souvent des adresses, en voilà une juste à côté de Carnaby Street, à Londres. Mon t-shirt cosmo, par exemple, il vient de là ;)

3 Lowndes Court
W1F 7HD London

Bilan des courses.

Eh mais heu. Johnny Clegg, c'est vachement bien en fait. Il déchire, le Ytnuob (bounty à l'envers, blanc dehors, noir dedans).

Brick Lane.

Je reviens tout juste de Leaunedonne city, là, alors tu vois, je suis trop jet-laggée, le mal de l'air (du train), si je raconte n'importe quoi NE T'INQUIETE PAS, c'est normal.

Je commence pas vraiment par le début, mais plutôt par le milieu.
Donc je reprends.

LONDON CITY, jour neumbeur tou.

Je peux résumer ça en une phrase : Brick Lane, c'est trop nul. Ouhlala tout est moche, ouhlala, rien à voir. J'ai tout claqué mon argent dans des trucs suuuuper moches, là tu vois, je retourne mes poches, y'a plus rien. PLUS RIEN. (je dis que tout est moche, pour essayer de relativiser, pour me dire que non, je n'aurais absolument pas eu besoin d'une Eurocard Mastercard Platinum Diamantum, tellement tout était trop canon bordel-sa-mè... je m'égare.)

La suite, Marcel.

Le truc du dessus, c'était un ENORME bâtiment avec que de la fripe, que de la fripe, que de la fripe, et des anglais sapés comme si c'était la fashion week. Et je dois avouer un truc, en moins de 24h, j'étais convertie. Oublié le chic parisien, faisons place à la folie londonienne, Adeline n'est plus, voici Madeline.
J'ai donc décidé de rester dans ce délire là. C'est comme ça que (vous me voyez pas là de suite maintenant, évidemment) je me retrouve collants blancs, mini boots, t-shirt imprimé gorille pas très sympatique, headband Pocahontas à plumes et tête d'animal mort en fer autour du cou. Dit comme ça, ça fait peur. Non, JE fais peur tout court, mais je m'en fous.
Bref, sinon, j'ai failli mourir un nombre incalculable de fois dans ce grand machin.

(Dédicace à Thibault, 10 ans.)

J'ai un gros faible pour les sacs à dos militaires. Depuis pas longtemps. Parce qu'après coup, Alexander, c'est pas SI moche que ça. (ça fait wiiiiiiild-moi-je-campe-dans-la-forêt-je-suis-une-ouf-je-mange-des-lapins-VIVANTS.) (Ne mangez pas de lapins, c'est trop mignon pour être tué.)

Voilà, voilà.

Et cadeau Bonux : mon humour super développé, rieeeen que pour vous :

(pardon pour ce post hystérique, ça doit être ma playlist New Wave 80)

A Writer Looks At 40

As I finish my fourth decade, I'm taking a self-indulgent moment to reflect and dwell on what brought me to this point in my writing career.

1970 - Born. No star in the sky. No manger. Mom certainly wasn't a virgin. But I was born on Easter Sunday.

1978 - Put together a crude collection of drawings called Crappy Cartoons, staple-bound, thirty pages long.

1980 - Am taken out of my grammar school and placed in a two-year accelerated program for gifted kids. Write short stories that are ten times longer than my peers', but don't win any Young Authors contests.

1982 - Begin writing in class during lecture periods, passing stories back and forth to my friends while the teachers aren't looking. Over the next few years this collection of jokes and cartoons grows to more than 1000 pages long.

1983 - At my friend Jim Coursey's house, I'm playing with his Apple IIe and am amazed a typewriter can actually save text. We write a parody private eye story, featuring a sleazy detective named Harry McGlade.

1985 - Convinced I'll someday be a filmmaker, I get a video camera for Christmas. I shoot many movies of the neighborhood kids, being humorously hacked to death by masked maniacs. Visit the butcher shop for organs, and use pumps and tubes for blood squirting.

1987 - Get my first word processor for my birthday, a Brother. Begin writing a lot of short stories, many featuring Harry McGlade. Also write a play for the school's synchonized swimming team (?!) and it's performed for three nights. I play the villain. And no, I don't get in the pool.

1988 Part 1 - Graduate high school as part of a rap trio called The White Suburban Boys. We may actually have been the first white rappers. I write and perform over ten funny rap songs about white middle class suburban life, and we get a small cult following. Voted Class Clown of '88.

1988 Part 2 - Take my first real creative writing class in Columbia College in Chicago. Get a C. But I get an A in Film Tech, and my movie INVADER is shown at some local Chicago festivals. You can watch it, and some of my other early movies, HERE. I also get my first rejection letter, from Playboy, for a Harry McGlade Story.

1989 - Take more creative writing classes. Get more Cs. But I'm writing in earnest, lots of short stories in many genres. Also write and perform in an improv comedy show called The Caravan O'Laughs.

1990 - Write three screenplays, go to LA for two weeks, not knowing anyone, knocking on agents doors and trying to get my scripts seen. Get meetings with half a dozen film agents, but no one calls back.

1991 - Switch my college major from film to TV, thinking it will be easier to get work. Now have four book-length collections of short stories, which I print and bind at Kinko's and charge my friends $15 each for.

1992 - Graduate college, and can't find a TV job. Begin series of part time jobs to support myself, while working on my first novel. I finish it in three months. It's called DEAD ON MY FEET, about a guy dying of cancer. His name is Phineas Troutt. His walking death sentence leads him to a life of crime. Cameos by Harry McGlade, and a Chicago cop named Jack Daniels.

1993 - Find an agent who loves DEAD ON MY FEET. Write another novel, with Jack Daniels as the hero, called THE GINGERBREAD MAN. Give that to my agent.

1994 - In 18 months, my agent only shows my books to 2 publishers. I fire him, and start racking up rejections.

1995 - Write a third thriller called THREE WAY. Get a hundred rejections.

1996 - Write a fourth thriller called THE LADYKILLER. Get a hundred rejections.

1997 -Write a fifth thriller called EVERYBODY DIES. Get a hundred rejections.

1998 - Write a sixth thriller called SHOT OF TEQUILA. Almost land an agent, who likes it a lot but thinks it's too hardboiled. I'm now up to over 450 rejections.

1999 - Write a technothriller called ORIGIN. Land an agent. :)

2000 - My agent can't sell ORIGIN. Begin work on another technothriller.

2001 - Finish my thriller THE LIST. Agent can't sell it. I now have had more than five hundred rejections. Begin work on a medical thriller.

2002 - Finish my thriller DISTURB. Agent hates it, won't rep it. I dig out my old mystery novel THE GINGERBREAD MAN, and rewrite it from the first page to the last. Studying the mystery market, I decide to change Jack Daniels from a man into a woman, and release it under the unisex "J.A. Konrath." I also use Harry McGlade and Phineas Troutt as supporting characters.

2003 - WHISKEY SOUR sells in a three book deal worth $110,000. It's enough for me to write full time.

2004 - WHISKEY SOUR comes out. I buy my first computer, and begin to learn all I can about the publishing industry to figure out how I can succeed. Begin to experiment with self promotion on the Internet, and in person. I rewrite THE LADYKILLER, turning it into BLOODY MARY. I start selling short stories in earnest, making my first big sale to Ellery Queen.

2005 -Start a blog called A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, to share what I've learned about the industry. My publisher sends me to a warehouse, where I sign 3500 copies of my books. They also send me on a West Coast tour, to six cities. I use a rental car, and do drop-in signings at more than 120 stores. I write RUSTY NAIL, and begin to teach writing and marketing at a local community college. I sign a second three book deal with Hyperion, for $125,000. I also edit and sell an anthology called THESE GUNS FOR HIRE.

2006 -To promote RUSTY NAIL, I visit 612 bookstores in 29 states. I write DIRTY MARTINI. I begin giving away ebooks of my early, unsold novels on my website. I also continue to sell short stories and write articles for Writer's Digest.

2007 - Write FUZZY NAVEL. My publisher decides not to tour me. I continue to self-promote as much as I can afford. I rewrite ORIGIN and ask my agent to shop it around. It gets rejected by everybody. I write an action screenplay called THE SITE. No takers. You can read THE SITE for free HERE.

2008 - Write CHERRY BOMB, and a horror novel called AFRAID. Hyperion decides to drop their mystery line, me included, even though my first three novels have earned out their advance. My Italian publisher flies me to Italy to tour me. It takes my agent six months to sell AFRAID, in a two book deal for only $20k per book. My agent shops around a proposal for a seventh Jack Daniels novel. No takers. I'm worried about my career, even though my blog and website reach more than 1 million hits.

2009 - Do a blog tour to promote AFRAID, appearing on a hundred blogs in a month. Then I do a regular tour, signing at 200 bookstores. Kindle owners ask me to put my free ebook downloads on Amazon, since they can't convert pdfs. Amazon won't let me put them up for free, so I charge $1.99. They start selling like crazy. By the end of the year, my rejected novels ORIGIN, THE LIST, SHOT OF TEQUILA, DISTURB, and my previously published short stories have sold 27,000 copies, and are paying my rent. My free kindle story SERIAL, written with Blake Crouch, is downloaded over 200,000 times.

AFRAID earns out its advance on its first royalty statement. I write TRAPPED, the sequel. My editors don't like it. I rewrite it from the ground up, and the still don't like it. I write a sci-fi novel called TIMECASTER and sell it and a sequel to Ace for an embarrassingly small amount of money because I'm so worried about my future.

2010 - Write another Jack Kilborn novel, called ENDURANCE. My editors want changes. I refuse to make them. We're now deciding how to proceed. I also sign a three book deal with a bestselling author to co-write three thrillers. The deal will earn me more than 1 million dollars. Can't reveal the details yet. The seventh Jack Daniels novel, SHAKEN, is now in the contract phase with a terrific publisher. Can't reveal the details yet. But things are certainly looking up.

Final stats:
  • By March, I've sold over 35,000 ebooks in just a year.
  • Google "" and you'll get over 300,000 hits.
  • I currently have seven books in print, in eleven different countries, to the tune of several hundred thousand copies.
  • I've sold over seventy short stories and articles to magazines and anthologies.
  • I've sold two film options on my works.
  • I've mailed out 7000 promotional letters to libraries, and signed at more than 1200 bookstores in 39 states.
  • My Jack Daniels series, which my publisher dropped, is among their top 50 bestselling titles on Kindle.
  • In the next 18-24 months, I'll have six novels coming out, possibly more.
  • I'm now making $4k a month on Kindle. When Amazon switches to the agency model in June, I expect to be making $10k.
I still have goals. Still have dreams. But I'm in a very good position right now.

I finally have enough money to ease up on all the non-stop self promotion.

I've met a lot of great people. Made a lot of good friends.

Looking back on all the ups and down, successes and failures, near-misses and lucky breaks, I realize something...

I'm happy. I may be the happiest damn person on the planet.

So how am I going to spend today, my 40th birthday?

I could spend it celebrating the terrific ride I've had so far.

I could spend it worrying about the future.

I could spend it regretting the many mistakes I've made and failures I've had.

I could spend it patting myself on the back for a job well done.

But I'm not going to do any of those things.

Instead, I'm going to spend the day with my one true love. The one thing that has kept me going through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs.

Today, I'm writing.

I'm actually going to put words on a page, and get paid for those words. And I'm going to love every goddamn minute of it.

After all, who else is lucky enough to do what they love for a living?

Then later tonight, I'm getting plastered and jumping the wife. ;)

"Tête de bite", elle dit ! T'es pas choquée, toi ?

Pull DIY + H&M / colliers DIY / body American Apparel / jupe American Apparel / collants New Look / boots Topshop / sac Addicted / écharpe IKKS

Am I Good Enough to Epublish?

Based on comments and emails, a lot of writers are using me as motivation to self-publish ebooks.

I've tried to be clear that the only writing you should sell on Kindle is good writing, and it's very hard to judge if your own writing is good. Which is why I recommend you only epublish works that were published before (short stories, out of print novels) and works your agent tried to sell but couldn't (a good agent actively trying to sell you is usually proof your work is worthy.)

But those of you paying attention will notice that I have a few things up on Kindle that I wrote specifically for Kindle. My agent didn't rep them, and they were never previously published.


Well, sort of. :)

When I offer works like SERIAL UNCUT, PLANTER'S PUNCH, and TRUCK STOP, which were written without any apparent vetting by professionals, I'm not completely bypassing traditional publishing channels. While I do believe ebooks are the future (and have the proof to back this up: it's 8am on March 24 and I've already sold 4300 ebooks this month) I also believe it's foolish to put anything up on Kindle unless you're 100% sure it is good enough.

In my case, everything I write is read by several of my peers. My peers are all professional writers--people who have agents and have sold books to big houses. If there is something wrong with the writing--and even though I've now written over 2 million words, I do still make mistakes--my friends point it out and I fix it before it goes live.

But what if you don't have a cadre of pros to vet your work? What if you're unpublished, unagented, and none of your peers are published writers?

My advice stands. Before you begin putting your work on Kindle, get an agent and sell some writing. I know it's hard. That's what makes it worthwhile.

Agents do much more than simply pair you with publishers and negotiate terms. And even if you're selling as many ebooks as I am, that pales next to what a big house can do for your book.


I've seen the ebook world accelerate in the last 12 months, and traditional print publishing seems to be slowing down. Agents and editors are becoming pickier. Personally, I'm faced with some choices in my own career where I'm thinking about passing up print contracts that don't allow me to keep my erights.

I can predict a future where writers can, and should, make money without needing major print publishers. (I still believe agents are essential--for example, mine just negotiated a film option for SERIAL, is working to change terms in one of my contracts, is negotiating terms for another contract, has sold foreign rights, and has renewed my film option for AFRAID, all within the last four weeks.)

But I don't see agents as necessary in the ebook world, at least not yet. And I see print publishers as pretty much clueless when it comes to ebooks, for many of the reasons I've mentioned in previous blog posts. (If you're interested in epublishing, follow those links and read those entries.)

So what should newbie writers do? Stay the course, find an agent, and try to sell a print book in a difficult market? Or upload their stuff to Kindle without professional vetting?

If you're thinking of uploading to Kindle, and you don't have an agent or any publishing credits, here are some things to ask yourself.

1. Do I Understand Story Structure? Long ago I figured out the essential elements to a narrative. You can download my Newbie's Guide for details, but in a nutshell they are: Hook, Conflict, Dynamic Characters, Setting, Mood, Pace, Style, Resolution, and Spelling/Grammar. Unless you can speak at length what each of these do for a story, and know how to effectively use them, you probably aren't a good storyteller.

2. What Do I Want? If it's to make a living, get your work in bookstores, or have a wide fanbase, you want to get an agent. If you're content with making grocery money, getting a few fans, and not pursuing this as a career, then by all means ignore traditional publishing. Your goals should dictate your actions. And, as always, your goals should be within your capacity.

3. Can I Get Critiques? No matter your level of experience, you need other eyes on your work in order to vet it. Join a writing group. Befriend your peers. Use my crit sheet to give to friends and family (even non-writers) so they can critique you with a level of expertise. You can't do this in a vacuum. Even if you self-publish, you must have quality feedback.

4. Are There Downsides? Yes, there are, for either choice. Traditional publishing downsides include: publishers ill-equipped to handle the oncoming ebook boom, waiting a long time for the "yes" or "no", and relinquishing control of many aspects of your career. The downsides for epublishing yourself include: potentially alienating print publishers who want first rights (though that could swing the other way if you're a success), less money, less name-recognition, smaller fanbase and fewer readers, and putting out an inferior product, which can hurt your career.

5. Should I Do It Alone? A while ago, I postulated that estributors would arise--people who would be middlemen between the author and the etailer (such as Amazon.) For those writers who don't want to mess with cover art, formatting and uploading, or keeping track of numbers, there are people who will help you get your book Kindle-ready. As always, look at the terms of the contract. Do you want to give a percentage to someone forever for doing something you could pay a flat fee for? Or is it worth a percentage to not have to worry about all of that stuff? And what percentage is fair?

6. What Do I Expect? Goals are within your control to reach. Expectations, however, are akin to dreams and beyond your control. I've been pretty successful at epublishing, but I'm still not sure why some of my ebooks sell better than others. My expectations going into this venture were very low, and yours should be as well.

Conclusions? Only you can decide what is right for you. But THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS. Writing is a craft that must be learned. Just because it's easier to reach readers with epublishing doesn't mean you should forsake finding an agent. Like everything in life, there's a learning curve, and jumping in blindly is stupid.

I epublish things that are out of print, things my agent couldn't sell, and things my peers have vetted that I'm pretty sure I can make money on based on my ebook experiences.

If you have something out of print, epublish it.

If you have something your agent can't sell, epublish it.

If you have a fanbase who wants it, epublish it.

If you've exhausted all agent and print possibilities (meaning you've gotten a lot of rejections), don't epublish until it has been vetted and you have clear goals and expectations.

If you've never even tried to get an agent or publish it traditionally, think twice, then think again, before epublishing. It's tempting to get the instant gratification, but there is probably a reason you couldn't find an agent, and that reason is probably: the work isn't good enough yet.

Are there exceptions? Sure. There are always exceptions. And in my experience, every newbie writer thinks they're the exception.

But I urge you, before you self publish, to understand your reasons for doing so. You always have a choice.

The publishing industry is pretty moronic, and it makes a lot of mistakes. But before you think you're smarter than the industry, you have to experience the industry.

Au so-leil. M'exposeeeeeeer un peu - ok maggle.

Pull Topman / chemise Maje (2009) / short The Kooples / chaussures Creeks / sac Freepstar

Pippi Långstrump

Model : Marion (check her blog !)

Här Kommer Pippi Långstrump theme.

Status Quo Vadis?

Or, in English: Where are the old ways going?

I've spent a few weeks helping my friend, Robert Walker, format and upload his books to Kindle.

Incredibly, Rob has forty novels that are out of print. These aren't self-pubbed novels, or small press novels. These are books that were with big houses, which had big print runs and distribution. Some of these books go for big money on the used book circuit.

By the end of this month, thirty of Rob's books will be available on the Kindle, for $1.99 each. I predict he'll do quite well with them. After all, he managed to sell millions of copies when they were in print.

Which begs two questions.

1. Why did they ever go out of print in the first place?

2. Why am I, his friend, uploading these books to Kindle, rather than a publisher?

Part one is pretty easy to answer. More than 95% of everything ever published has gone out of print. Times change. Publishers fold. Bookstores need to move X number of copies per quarter in order to keep books on the shelf, and distributors charge rent for books just sitting there. So if a book isn't paying for itself in real estate, it goes out of print.

But Out-Of-Print does not equal Worthless. There is still money to be made on old books. That's why there's a billion dollar used book industry.

However, used books still involves storing, shelving, and shipping paper. It's the same industry, just at a discounted cut for all involved (and zero cut for the author.)

Which brings us to the second question. Why isn't anyone mining this rich vein?

Previous attempts to grab the out-of-print gold have met with disaster. Google is still in court over its Search Inside the Book program. Amazon first allowed all public domain books to be uploaded to Kindle, then did an about-face on the practice. Big publishers have tried to retroactively grab ebook rights, and are now attempting to add clauses to old contracts, offering a paltry 25% royalty rate.

But I don't see any well-funded, large, coordinated effort to scoop up the rights to out of print material and make it available again. Everyone is so worried about the erights of present and future books (and erroneously pricing those erights at more than consumers want to pay) but no one is taking a used bookseller/antique dealer/eBay stance on all of this material that's just ready to be exploited.

Smart authors are doing it themselves. Among my peers, I've seen Raymond Benson, Lee Goldberg, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Scott Nicholson, F. Paul Wilson, and several others make their older books available on Kindle. But these are a small fraction of the writers I know with out of print work.

What's the hold up?

I think it's a combination of things.

1. Writers are used to the publishing end of things being done for them.

2. Writers are scared if they publish their own ebooks, no one will want to republish them in print (even though that rarely happens these days.)

3. Writers don't believe they can actually make money off of the stuff that's "failed."

My advice to writers: Wake the hell up.

Ebooks are not only here to stay, they're only going to grow in popularity. And an ebook is forever. Your $50 a month now may be $10,000 a year in 2016. You have to an opportunity to make money for eternity on these rights, and eternity is a long time.

But the opportunity won't last forever. Because someone is going to get wise, look at your backlist, and see dollar signs. They're going bribe you to get a piece of eternity, for doing nothing more than providing a cover and an uploading service.

I urge all writers to look at their backlist, and figure out how they can turn those dead tree books into ebooks. This should become a required skill for writers, like understanding narrative structure, or how to write a query letter.

If you're techno-stupid, shop around for a reasonable one-time fee to get your ebooks up and running. If you sign a contract with a e-publisher, make sure the lion's share of the profits are going to you, you have control over the list price, and the contract lasts for a finite amount of time.

Eternity is a long time to share royalties on books that you wrote.

Remember that. Before someone figures out how to screw you out of it. And I'm sure that will happen, very soon. Companies with deep pockets will offer to get your books on Kindle, and the fine print will screw you.

If I were an unscrupulous publisher with a big budget, that's where I'd be putting my money. I'd be approaching name authors with long backlists who don't know any better, offering them pennies on the dollar for what their life's work is worth.

The best defense against this is twofold: education, and hard work.

If you have out of print books, get them on Kindle yourself. If you need help, pay a flat fee for it.

If you do sign a publishing contract for your ebooks, make damn sure it is highly in your favor, and it has an expiration date.

For the first time in the history of publishing, writers have the upper hand.

Don't piss that advantage away by thinking that this is still 1995.


Retrouvez-moi aussi sur Wolves& ! Je posterai pas mal de photos avec Tony Stone.
Mon nom de code c'est WOLF, je vous laisse déduire qui est BUCK.

You can find me on Wolves& ! I'll post photos here with Tony Stone.
My nickname is WOLF, you easily guess who's BUCK.

Devendra Banhart - Santa Maria De Feira