Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 July 2012

How self published author Nick Spalding became an Amazon bestseller

“Kindles and eBooks are changing the landscape of publishing. You can reach an audience and create a buzz online. I think publishers are still important in terms of editing, marketing and getting into bookshops, but self publishing can be another route to that.”

Those were the astute words of crime writer Stephanie Merritt (aka SJ Parris, author of detective novels like Heresy and Prophecy) at a recent Red magazine event on how to write a crime novel.

And she’s clearly right. Her views are borne out by the news from this week that a self published novel by UK author Nick Spalding has become one of its ten bestselling items over the last three months.

Southampton-based Spalding has published a string of “comedies with adult humour” through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). So far he’s sold 245,000 copies of his books and earned up to 70 per cent in royalties from his sales.

Spalding’s Love… From Both Sides is currently riding high in the top 25 Kindle bestsellers list while two of his other books, Love… And Sleepless Nights and Life… With No Breaks, are in the top 100.

As Spalding says: “KDP is a fantastic opportunity for writers to get their work into the hands of the people that actually count – the readers. It's never been easier to publish an ebook thanks to Amazon's progressive and forward thinking attitude. They've given many more writers a voice - writers who would otherwise have remained silent. I can't thank them enough for providing me with the means to become as popular as I am.”

Not surprisingly, Gordon Willoughby, director of Kindle EU, is delighted.

“Nick Spalding joins international bestsellers such as EL James and Suzanne Collins in our top ten bestsellers of the last quarter at,” he says. “That’s a fantastic achievement for a KDP author. KDP enables independent authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the literary world and we’re excited to see it succeeding for both readers and authors.”

Nick Spalding follows in the footsteps of Kerry Wilkinson, a debut novelist from Lancashire who was the number one selling author in’s Kindle store during the last quarter of 2011. Wilkinson didn't have an agent or publicist - just the determination to write the very best book he could. And it worked a treat.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fifty Shades trilogy sells more than a million on Kindle in the UK

My first romantic novella, Olympic Flames, has just been published as an ebook and like every writer I know, I check every other hour to see how many copies it has sold.

But my jaw dropped this morning when a press release from Amazon dropped into my in-box. EL James, the London-based mother-of-two who created the hit Fifty Shades trilogy, has just become the first author to sell more than one million books at the Kindle store.

Gulp. The trilogy only came out in March and the first of the three, Fifty Shades of Grey, is now the best-selling Kindle book of all time on The movie rights have been sold and the Kindle edition is outselling the print book at a rate of more than two to one (call me a cynic but it could be because when you’re sitting on a jam-packed train into work, your fellow passengers can’t spot you’re reading a steamy bestseller on a Kindle).

“EL James’s books have become the fastest-selling and the best-selling series ever on Kindle,” says Gordon Willoughby, director of EU Kindle. “That’s an exceptional achievement for a debut novelist and we’re excited to see her pass the one million sales milestone.”

In gloomy times, when the publishing business is tougher than ever, EL James’s story is certainly an inspiring one. For debut novelists and old-timers alike…

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Amanda Hocking and Kerry Wilkinson - self publishers extraordinaire

Self publishing used to be the Cinderella of the book industry. Critics looked down their noses at self-published books and assumed self publishing (or “vanity publishing,” as it was snootily called) was the desperate last resort of writers who’d failed to find a mainstream publisher for their work.

But how things have changed. It recently emerged that US author Amanda Hocking makes more than £1 million a year from her self-published books. Readers, it seems, can’t get enough of her paranormal fiction and she’s selling more than 100,000 e-books a month.

On this side of the Atlantic, the latest success story is Kerry Wilkinson, a Lancashire sports journalist who’s sold more than 250,000 copies of his crime thrillers. Instead of hawking his first novel, Locked In, round the nation’s publishing houses, he decided to self publish it as an e-book - at 98p a copy. Even though he didn’t have an agent or publicist to help him, he soon realised he was on to a winner. Locked In and its two follow-ups, Vigilante and The Woman in Black, sold so well that he was declared the bestselling e-book author at Amazon’s UK Kindle store for the last quarter of 2011.

But despite sales that many better-known writers would give their eye teeth for, Kerry still sounds delightfully down-to-earth. “I’ve only ever tried to do my own thing,” he told the Daily Telegraph last week. “I wrote a book I thought I would like and enjoyed doing it enough to write follow-ups. I had no expectations for it and so this has all been terrific.”

Now other writers are fast getting in on the act. Not only that, I’ve met several authors recently who are self publishing out of print titles. Actually, I reckon I’m missing a trick. I’m definitely going to look at self publishing my first two novels, Hard Copy and Moving On (above), very soon. Watch this space.

PS. When I switched on Radio 4 soon after 7am this morning I expected the news to be full of the NHS reforms, Syria and Greece. But instead, Whitney Houston's gorgeous I Will Always Love You was playing. It seemed slightly odd - and then I realised it could only mean one thing. Such sad, sad news.

Monday, 19 December 2011

The trials and tribulations of online Christmas shopping

Like most people, I’ve done loads of my shopping online this Christmas. Instead of flogging round the shops in the freezing cold I've sat in the warmth of my office sipping coffee and choosing presents from Amazon, Topshop and other shopping emporiums.

It’s so quick and easy that I wasn’t surprised in the least to read that online sales have doubled to ten per cent since 2000 and are predicted to rise to more than 12 per cent by 2014.

Except the one thing I’d forgotten in the midst of it all is that someone still has to deliver the blooming stuff. And that’s where I’m not so impressed.

Last week, three Amazon parcels got delivered to our house. Fine, except they were delivered on the days I was in London and were simply dumped on the doorstep. Again, it wouldn’t be a problem if we lived in the middle of nowhere but we’re on a main road in a busy city. Anyone could have hopped up the steps, nicked the parcels (luckily they didn’t) and sped off in a trice.

But I didn’t make a fuss till a third parcel arrived and was left outside in the pouring rain. I arrived home more than 12 hours later to find a sorry, sopping mess. The cardboard packaging completely disintegrated when I picked it up and the book inside was ruined. It took three phone calls to get through to the delivery company and about an hour to repackage the present and arrange for a new one to be delivered. Hmmm. In that time, I could have walked to Waterstone’s and bought it in person. Maybe online shopping isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

PS. The most hilarious piece I read over the weekend was a report declaring that the happiest moment of Christmas is at... 1.55pm. Apparently that’s the time when all the presents have been opened, lunch has been cooked and served and the children are playing happily with their new toys. I’m clearly the most disorganised parent on the planet but I can predict for sure that at 1.55pm in our house, lunch won’t have been cooked and served and we’ll only just have started opening our presents. I’m ashamed to admit that the latest we’ve sat down to lunch on Christmas Day was 5.30pm. And did it matter? Not a bit.

PPS. Just to show that there's something else to be said for shopping in person, the picture above (taken in the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris) shows my favourite shop window of the year. A VW camper in the window? Now that's definitely the way to attract customers.
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