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Monday, December 31, 2012

Island of the Lost an Amazon Kindle bestseller

Price counts

Island of the Lost, published by Algonquin in 2007, did well in hardback, getting many rave reviews and a film option, but never made it into paperback. This was because the publisher launched it into digital format instead.  Over the years since, this eBook has done pretty well, being regularly rated at between 10,000 and 25,000, with occasional forays into the low thousands. It has always been one of the top sellers in nonfiction categories such as "New Zealand" and "Ships."

Suddenly, however, it zoomed, first through the triple digits, and then into the top one-hundred list. Currently, as you can see, it is sitting at # 79, and is number one in Social History.

Why this abrupt popularity?  It is all to do with price, I found.  For some strange reason, it was discounted to $1.99 for the day.  The price reverted to its old $11.99 this morning, but still it is highly rated. (And it is still $1.99 as a Nook book on B and N.)

So how do I capitalize on this?  I've published my second castaway book, The Elephant Voyage, with absolutely no fanfare at all, being far too busy for such essential things.  Reducing the price is an obvious move.  But what next?  And what does it portend for my fifth Wiki Coffin mystery, The Beckoning Ice?


M. C. Muir said...

I can only comment from my own point of view - that is, that price is a deterining factor with e-books. There are so many books on the market that, even after reading the blurb, you are never sure of the merits of a book. For me, if the book is at a saleable prize (and I determine $2.99 a price I don't blink at), I will buy it. However, I object to paying around $10 or more for an e-book.
But great to see your book doing so well.

Rick Spilman said...

Wow, Joan. That is fantastic! #79! That is great! Congratulations.

Shayne Parkinson said...

Joan, that's marvellous! Congratulations, and I hope it leads to more visibility for your other titles.

A lot of trade-published books seem to be heavily discounted just now, in time for all those people who got a shiny new e-reader for Christmas. There's been a surge of sales from what I've heard, so a rank of 79 is quite magnificent.

Jim Nelson said...

Excellent, Joan! I had a discussion with an editor once on this subject and he felt that the increased volume of sales would make up for the decreased royalty per book. It will be interesting to see if that is your experience.

World of the Written Word said...

Thank you, all, and it certainly is interesting. I can't wait to hear what Algonquin have to say about it when they return to the office at the end of this week. Was it a glitch, or was it done on purpose?

The contract for Island of the Lost being such an ancient one, hardly any royalties waft my way, digital rights being discounted back then -- but it will be fun to see if the bi-annual check gets bigger or smaller.

And Happy New Year!

World of the Written Word said...

Mystery solved! Heard back promptly from Algonquin Books, and apparently all of their digital books were discounted on December 29. I was just lucky that Island of the Lost was one of those that did particularly well from the promotion. The ratings have crept down since, but it looks as if they might still be recording good sales. And I certainly noticed a boost for the sales of my Indie eBooks. So it was all good.