Month One: The Kindle Publishing Experiment

The Kindleis an ebook reading device Amazon has been selling for a little more than a year. Publishers and authors can now directly load their books into an ebook format for the Kindle, and Amazoncan sell the ebooks through the Internet or directly to any Kindle device. With the Kindle, the user can download hundreds or thousands of books, which will then be available through the device at any time. Many of the ebooks are fairly cheap, sometimes even free. Below is a photograph of one version of the Kindle.


My first steps at publishing on the Kindle

During the second week of June 2009, this author uploaded a short story collection, Preludes: four tales of the fantastic, to be sold for the Kindle. Preludes was my first try at publishing on the Kindle, and it’s only four short stories in the fantasy genre. I started with something small, and works that had already seen print elsewhere, just as a test run.


A few days later, I uploaded another short story collection, SEVER: five tales of horror. This was another trial run, mainly to see how different genres would sell.


Based upon what I felt was a little success in my first two Kindle publications, I went ahead and uploaded one of my unpublished novels, an epic fantasy tale, City of Rouges: Book I of the Kobalos Trilogy. My plan is in a few months to upload the second two books in the series, Road to Wrath and Dark King of the North.


Last, just to see what would happen, I uploaded one of my screenplays, Dark Side of Io, a horror/science fiction story.


What I’ve learned

Horror sells better than fantasy, or at least that’s been my experience so far. My collection of horror stories is, by far, outselling any of my other Kindle publications.

I’ve also heard a lot of other writers say that short stories don’t sell on the Kindle, but that’s not been my case. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but generally my two short story collections sell fairly well, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Another thing I’ve experienced is that screenplays don’t sell. At all. Not even one sale. It’s nice to know this so I won’t waste any more time with uploading any more screenplays. Why? Because screenplays take a ton of coding before being able to be published on the Kindle, mainly due to all the screenplay formatting.

And pricing makes a difference. In my experience, generally the cheaper a book is sold, the more of them you’ll sell. In fact, there’s been some ruckus among Kindle owners of late that many of the big publishers are overpricing the ebooks, charging as much as you’d pay for the regular book in a store. I can understand the frustrations here, but I think the ebook and Kindle market will work itself out eventually, it’s just going to take some time, maybe as much as a couple of years or longer.

Also, I’ve learned I’m probably not going to get rich selling ebooks for the Kindle, but I didn’t expect to. Still, I’ve been averaging more money than I make on various writing sites, such as Triond and Bukisa. And who knows what could happen? Writing is just the beginning, followed up by editing. Then comes the real work of promoting.

What’s next?

I’ll likely Kindle publish the next book in my fantasy trilogy, Road to Wrath, in about a month or so. I’ve also got a couple of lengthy non-fiction works that have not been published elsewhere and I’m considering publishing those on the Kindle, one about beer and the other about misanthropy.

But right now I’m busy editing a novel, so that’s taking priority over my Kindle publisher or Triond writing or anything else at the moment.

So, good reading to you, and if you happen to read any of my Kindle books, let me know what you think, good and bad.

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