My ebooks are on 25,000 Kindles

A wee milestone today: I’ve shifted my 25,000th ebook. That’s over 11,000 sales and nearly 14,000 freebies, and it’s almost entirely Coffin Dodgers on the Kindle.

I’ll wait until the end of the month to share the in-depth numbers, but it’s clear that freebie day number two hasn’t had anywhere near the same effect as the first one: while I gave away considerably more ebooks, post-freebie sales have been considerably lower this time around.

There could be all kinds of reasons for that — Amazon changing its algorithm to make post-freebie books less visible; luck; the weather — but I suspect that the main reason is that since Amazon launched KDP Select, more and more people are offering free books, so it’s a strategy that’s subject to diminishing returns. It’ll be interesting to see whether Amazon is creating a market of people who’ll only read free books, or if the freebies are just a nice wee treat for people who buy loads of ebooks.

Anyway. When I finished Coffin Dodgers, I would have been happy if you’d told me a few hundred people had read it. To have it on 25,000 Kindle ereaders and apps is mind blowing.





0 responses to “My ebooks are on 25,000 Kindles”

  1. Is Amazon creating a market of people who will only read free book?

    I guess that is a danger, but if it ever got to be a big market they would close it down somehow.

    I think there will be a group of people like that, and also a group who limit their reading to books arount the 99p mark.

    Before I got a Kindle I saw the huge number of free books and very cheap books and it appealed to me. In fact Coffin Dodgers was one of them and the fact it wasn’t available else where was a contributory factor to me getting one (so it was the first ebook I bought when I got a Kindle for xmas)

    The thing is, there actually aren’t enough free books to keep you going unless you have very low standards and wide tastes – or are pathologically cheap or are happy with the classics of course.

    Personally I have got by so far with the Kindle daily deals. Even if 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 appeals is is enough because I have a steady of supply of paper books occupying a lot of my time.

    Mind you, that is me in a recession mentality and that might change if circumstances do.

  2. Gary

    > The thing is, there actually aren’t enough free books to keep you going unless you have very low standards and wide tastes – or are pathologically cheap or are happy with the classics of course.

    That’s a good point. I think there are a lot of really good free/cheap ebooks out there, but there are a lot of bad ones too. I think there’s a point where the time spent wading through things you don’t like could make buying on price alone a false economy.

    > Personally I have got by so far with the Kindle daily deals.

    They’re great.

    Just out of interest, if you were skint would you consider pirating ebooks, or are free/cheap ones enough to keep you in novels?

  3. hunnymonster

    But remember – that’s 25000 sales/giveaways – there’ll be a significant number of people out there who have multiple kindles on one account in the family (er, like me…) who do so to share the content (much as they would pass a paperback from one family member to another)

    So you can mentally add at least one extra reader here – take the payment for the extra reader out of my earnings from the paid comments programme ;)

  4. hunnymonster

    There’s a heck of a lot of decent writing out there even in the sub-quid bracked – phenomenally well-researched and plotted, let down only by trypograhpical (sic) errors and the standard grammatical your/you’re type of thing.

    For a quid book I can overlook it, if it was a fiver I’d be effervescing slowly; if it was ten folding poundsworth I’d be fulminating.

  5. hunnymonster

    Oh and pirating – in the absence of a sample – yes I’d go looking.

    Reminds me – who sets the size of the samples on Amazon? I’ve had a couple where it’s only delivered the contents page (yeah, great help) and one where it delivered the entire book apart from the bibliography at the back (which didn’t add to the plot or enjoyment) yay! Go me!

  6. Gary

    The samples are supposed to be automatic, I think, at least on Amazon, with the sample being a set percentage of the book. If you go through Smashwords you can set your own percentage there.

  7. Gary

    Oh, absolutely. I have an epic rant brewing about the snobbishness of some “proper” writers towards the self-pub crowd. Especially when many of those self-pubbers will delight more people, and maybe even make more money, than many of the officially sanctioned ones.

    I have a pet theory about supposedly glamorous industries where the idea that anybody can be the next U2 / JK Rowling is so widespread that nobody really believes the truth, which is that most people – people with proper deals and everything – are fucking broke and owe enormous amounts of money to their label/publisher. As of 2010, the average income for a UK-based professional writer was just £5K, and it’s dropped since then. That average is massively distorted by the few superstars: most writers, people you read about in the papers, are holding down another job to make ends meet.

    As with most things, the reality of self-publishing is somewhere between the cheerleading of the pro-indie crowd and the dismissal of the old school: there’s some great stuff and some utter baws, just like there is in bookshops.

  8. Gary

    I hadn’t thought of that. Good point.

  9. What do mean *if* I was skint? :)

    If I couldn’t afford the odd £1 book I would go to the library. I would probably need to to keep warm if things were that bad. Or I would read more free books by expanding my horizons.

    I’ve read some brilliant 99p books. Some are self-published books and others were discounted daily deals.

    I probably will download some full price books too, but not while I still have about a dozen unread books in the queue.