Monday, May 14, 2012

Kindle Categories and Book Royalties

So Jehovah and Hades, released at the end of January, hasn't pulled in phenomenal numbers. That's alright since it was my first shot at fiction, it has two unsolicited 5 star reviews, and I had a good time writing it. A lot of fiction writers had huge backlogs of novels, shorts, and other works waiting on their computers when they decided to publish. I didn't. What I had was history articles that I wrote while getting my history degree. I usually posted them here and they got a decent number of reads on my blog. I decided to take three of my history articles, Constantine: The Emperor of Tolerance, Prayer: Archangels and Intercessory Beings, and Luther Standing Bear: Assimilation, and put them on the Kindle for $0.99 each. The article on Constantine has been the best seller so far. Here's the stats on all three in case anyone is interested:

Published: 4/17/12
Pages: 26
Total Free Downloads: 279
Total U.S. Sales: 10
Total U.K. Sales: 14
KDP Select Borrows: 1

Published: 5/3/12
Pages: 12
Total Free Downloads: 97
Total U.S. Sales: 0
Total U.K. Sales: 1
KDP Select Borrows: 0

Published: 5/9/12
Pages: 10
Total Free Downloads: 77
Total U.S. Sales: 1
Total U.K. Sales: 0
KDP Select Borrows: 0

I started each article off with a two day free promo. Since reports, sales, and overall downloads were down in May, it seems that the articles on prayer and Luther Standing Bear got off to a slower start but they are also shorter articles and it's possible that people are just more interested in Constantine. I think the problem I ran into with Jehovah and Hades was that it's in two huge categories (action & adventure and short stories) and rarely cracked a top 100 list (in fact I think it only did once). Since the article on Constantine is in the smaller categories of Roman History and Christian History, it has cracked three top 100 lists on several occasions, in both the U.S. and the U.K., on both free and paid lists.

While I'm continuing to work on Jacob and Hyde (I'm about halfway done and I can see it probably doing a bit better than Jehovah and Hades has), it's nice to see some sales coming in. Until the beginning of May, my article on Constantine was selling 1-3 per day without fail. It seems May has kind of been a slump for everyone since the market is being flooded with free books and most people are probably outside enjoying the nice weather... not reading. I'm thinking of removing all three articles from KDP Select (which allows you to do free promos 5 days every 90 day period and Amazon pays you when a Prime customer borrows your book for a month) because of the need to be exclusive to Amazon. I think I'll try all three articles (and Jehovah and Hades) on the Nook and Smashwords. That being said, the payout for each borrow in April was $2.48 and since I make $0.35 for SELLING a copy, that one borrow I got in April was the equivalent of seven paid copies. Seeing that, the KDP Select program may actually be beneficial for $0.99 articles and short stories if they bring in a consistent amount of borrows. Most people on the Kindle Author forums report that Nook and Smashword sales are usually around 30% of their total, so I think that may be the better option for the time being.

I also got a new email address,, if anyone wants to discuss anything related to my writing or has a comment/question on something I've written. Feel free to send me emails there if you feel so inclined.