The last two days have had the highest readership since I started this blog, by quite a bit. Talking about ebooks in particular, and the book business in general, seems to have struck a nerve. Based on comments and private correspondence, though, what really interests people is money. (And also sex, but there are plenty of other places on the internet where you can get that, so you don't need my help.)
I'm on a learning curve with this project, so I unfortunately can't magically dump an MBA-level report about starting an ebook-publishing business on you. The situation is changing so fast that I don't think anybody can. I can tell you that I've sold 56 copies of Wounded Earth since I bought an ad in Kindle Nation Daily on February 2. It cost me sixty bucks. (It has since gone up to a hundred bucks.) Wounded Earth was marked down to $0.99 when the ad hit, because I'm told that this is a good way to generate sales. However, at the lowered price, those 56 copies did not pay for the ad. At the regular price, $2.99, I would have made a tidy little profit. But would I have sold as many copies? I don't know. You tell me.
Nevertheless, the flurry of sales generated by the ad partially paid for the ad, and they shot my Amazon ranking from the 50,000s to the low 2000s. I'm happy I did it, and I'll probably do it again. The price is back at $2.99, and I think this experience suggests that $2.99 is a reasonable price. The marketplace, driven by Amazon's payment structure, seems to be headed toward $2.99 as a minimum price for professional work. We'll see if that price holds.
Since my readers are so into money, my next post will reveal my tricks for making money while doing promotional travel. And perhaps I shall explain why buying my own books from my publisher at my 50% author's discount isn't always preferable to buying them from Amazon at the 32% discount offered to everybody in the world. I may be an artistic writer-type, but I didn't spend all those years in engineering school for nothing. I like numbers. When those numbers are in my account and when they're black, instead of red, it makes me very happy.