Konrath has created an interesting model for ebooks sales: publish several titles, sell them cheap, and promote them like crazy online. Sounds like something someone like me should try.
So I did.
My five mystery novels and two thrillers were already available for the Kindle, but prices varied. The Intrigue Publishing titles sold for $6.99, while the Echelon Press book (Blood and Bone) was priced at $2.99. Each was moving at the rate of 2 or 3 each month, so price didn’t seem to matter. But I had not explored the third leg of Konrath’s plan, so I figured I would give it a shot.
Two mystery-writing pals of mine, Debbie Mack and Rob Walker, had had success chatting with readers on forums. Since both were on the Kindle Korner Yahoo group that seemed like a good place to start. But if you’re going to be there you need to have something to talk about. They don’t allow you to just pop up and start talking about your books. I needed a news hook.
Well, that seemed obvious. I dropped the price of my first novel (The Troubleshooter) to $2.99 to match Blood and Bone. And since the moderators wouldn’t let me start the conversation about the change, I asked a friend to mention it in a post. That got people asking questions, which it was then okay for me to answer. Here was an unexpected happy result of this sly marketing approach – I got to have serious, honest conversation with readers about my books and others. I gained priceless insights, received valuable feedback and became part of a community of people who love books! It was already worth the effort.
But, did it result in my book becoming a bestseller? Maybe not yet. But when I checked the stats yesterday I was stunned to see The Troubleshooter ranked #6901 of all Kindle books. With 690,419 titles available for the Kindle, that put my novel in the top ONE PERCENT of Kindle titles. If that wasn’t enough of an ego boost, Amazon breaks titles down by genre. In the hard-boiled mystery category The Troubleshooter was #88. I don’t know how many hard boiled mysteries there are on the Kindle, so I choose to believe there are tens of thousands. (If you happen to know there are only 90, please keep that knowledge to yourself.)
So one Kindle copy of the Troubleshooter sold last month, and 40 sold in the last week. I guess I have to declare the experiment a success. How long will it last? Who knows? But you can bet I’ll try the same approach with another book next month!
Have YOU had a moving Kindle experience? As a writer or a reader?