Last Monday, Amazon announced that Crime novelist John Locke (no relation to the John Locke from Lost) has become the first independent author to sell more than 1 million eBooks through the Kindle Direct Publishing program.
With Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), would be authors can self-publish their books on the Amazon Kindle Store. The program is free, fast, and very easy to use. Books self-published through KDP receive up to 70% royalty, which is much higher than the royalty offered by traditional book publishers.
Locke is fairly new to the eBook self-publishing game, but he picked up on the power of the business model pretty quick. Books that are listed for $2.99 to $9.99 give the author a 70% royalty rate. However, books that are outside of that price range get a royalty rate of 35%. The lowest price at which an author can list a Kindle eBook is 99 cents.
John Locke attributes much of his success to his 99 cents pricing model. Originally, he planned to use his 99 cent eBook as a lost leader but found they would sell 20 times more than a $2.99 eBook. The lost leader suddenly became the business model. Locke has self-published nine novels through the Kindle Store, including New York Times bestselling eBook Saving Rachel, all priced at 99 cents. On Monday, his eBook sales passed the one million mark.
Want to know how John Locke did this? Well, you can because Locke has written an eBook about it. How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months details the marketing system he created to sell more than 1,100,000 eBooks in five months, part time, without an agent, publicist, and at virtually no marketing expense. The book cost $4.99, which is more than his normal 99 cent eBooks but it’s still a damn good price and worth picking up.