Friday, 8 July 2011

Kindle The Flames

By Richard Jay Parker

There seems to be a lot of discussion about Kindle and ebooks this week.  To some writers they seem to be perceived as a bonus on top of the release of their hard/paperbacks but I think they offer a substantial bite of a different sort of cherry. 

I was pleased that STOP ME Kindle edition went into the Amazon Top 100 Thriller Chart this week at number 64 and has been pinging up and down between 50 and 70 since.  I can only apologise for the increased amount of promo I've been doing on Twitter, which must be pretty tedious for anyone who follows me and has already read the book.  I'm eager to get book 2 out there so I hope everyone will bear with me while my agent sheperds it safely to you.

I have no control over the pricing of my book and was initially shocked when, after one month of availability, the price of my Kindle edition dropped - it's currently but only temporarily 0.99 - not least because of readers who had already bought it for its original price.  As one reader told me though, she didn't mind because it was the price she was prepared to pay to read it right away and knew that, like all books, the price would drop.  She also kindly said she'd got value for money and felt she was supporting the substantial efforts behind the production of the book.

Dropping the price may seem like a disaster from the author's point of view but doing so introduces your work to a new readership.  The fact is, nobody has heard of me and why should they shell out good money for my book when they have their favourite authors to rely on?  What's heartening is that a lot of people have and supported it above and beyond the call of duty and I'm enormously grateful for that.  My Christmas card list just gets longer and longer.

I think Kindle readers will behave in the same way as paperback readers - willing to pay for books and authors that really interest them and picking up cheaper books they're not a hundred percent sure of.  This may then result in them enjoying the book so much that they pay full price for those authors in the future.  It's no different to the bargain table/rack/bucket.

Readers share and experiment.  They also blog and review when they receive no money for it. They pass books on to friends and family and although the author doesn't immediately benefit from that it may mean they're finding new readers who will seek out their next work. 

There's a lot of hysteria about ebooks and piracy but it's no different to what happened with music.  People started recording themselves and uploading their own music but downloaders were still looking for talent and quality. Some new writers will definitely be discoverd through self publishing but many will not.  Readers are as discerning as music fans.

There's still lots to be ironed out in terms of ebooks and nobody is going to be able to predict their impact for many years to come.  Everything is conjecture.

But I think there should be more of a fanfare and launch for Kindle and ebook editions of novels because it offers up a whole new way of reaching people. The average amount of people accessing my work has tripled since the launch of my Kindle version.  A large proportion of those people would probably have never read me.

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  1. Hi, Richard. Congrats on your success. It is definitely well deserved. Stop Me was a fantastic read.
    Very good post as well. I feel the same as you with regard to building that audience. You just have to keep getting your name out there, my friend. I just hope that when everyone has discovered the talent that you have, that your assistants will be good enough to pass on my notes to your executive assistant and then eventually to you...


  2. Hi James. Thanks for your very kind comments and support. I think Kindle allows you to get your work under more noses and, as you say, that's what it's all about. Continued success with your writing

  3. Richard, I love reading your blogs. Your apologizing for "...the increased amount of promo I've been doing on Twitter, which must be pretty tedious for anyone who follows me...." made me smile. You following me on Twitter was how I discovered you. As I told you today, I just ordered your book from the UK today since I couldn't find it locally. Your tweets, along with the great reviews on Amazon for the book, definitely peaked my interest. I actually put your name out there today while looking for your book. Word of mouth... Keep getting your name out there. Ordering the book from the UK is costing me more than what I would pay for a paperback locally, but I'm excited.

    As a want-to-be author who could never put the stories on paper, I'm excited for new authors who have and are doing well.

    I'm sure your audience will continue to grow....Patty