Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Original to Kindle

Many will assume that work written for self-publishing is necessarily work that has been rejected by traditional publishers. Note the plural - a work rejected by everybody in traditional publishing is not likely to be of the highest quality, no? But that is not so. While some of the works being put out there are certainly the rejects of all the world, that isn't the case with everything. Maybe Joe Konrath started by putting out material that hadn't found a home, but now he's leading a trend to put out original material - other authors are following suit.

I've made some money from publishing short stories over the years - not enough to buy a house... Or even paint a house. But I've also given a lot of stories away to online magazines. Now, however, I'll be turning to Kindle with my new short stories. I'll even be coming to Kindle with brand new, never shopped around to the NY houses, novels this year if the good Lord gives me strength.

Profit is the motive - you can simply make more with Kindle than with most traditional publishing contracts. A $2.99 Kindle sale earns the author a 70% royalty - a little over two dollars. A $25.00 hardcover sale will often NOT get you as much even if you're selling at a 15% royalty. When the publisher drops the price for the big chain stores, your royalty rate takes a hit.

Later, in a year or two or three, I expect Amazon to lower their royalty rates. They'll get the position as the biggest seller of ebooks (they probably have that now, but the ebooks are still not a majority of book sales and things could crumble quickly if they don't attract original material from the best authors). Then, when it looks like authors have no choice in the matter, they'll gradually lower their rates. Of course, there will be options - there are already options. But it won't look like there are. Amazon will have the biggest platform the way it didn't look like there was a real alternative to NYC publishing house until very recently.

That's a post for another day. For now, I have almost eleven Kindle dollars burning a hole in my pocket...

Want to see my stories on Kindle? Try this one about the devil. Or maybe this novelette about Sheriff Gonzalo before he became sheriff. Or a whole collection.


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