MAB in 66% pre-release slash shockPosted: July 17, 2011
Having actually looked at the Kindle Store on Amazon, it appears pretty much every paid novel on there costs less than I thought it would. Pricing My Amazing Book (MAB) at £2.99, then, is probably either very stupid or demonstrates my hilariously over-inflated opinion of my own worth. Potentially both.
That considered, the good news is that MAB’s been reduced before it’s even come out. It’ll cost £0.99. Now I know what Satoru Iwata was talking about at GDC.
Pricing isn’t the only revelation I experienced today by bothering to do some research. There’s also the matter of categories. MAB’s going in “horror” and “literary fiction“. It’s arguably a crime story as well, but you’re only allowed to select two fields.
I have precisely no idea how possible it is to get into the top 100 charts in these channels. My inkling is “not very” but “it can happen,” despite there being 11,489 pieces of horror fiction and 10,775 literary books on the UK eStore.
Top of the horror chart is Thirst, a vampire story by Claire Farrell. Farrell’s unpublished in paper as far as I can see, but she’s put out a string of 50-60,000-word novels in the last two years aimed at the youth horror market. Lesson: write a lot, publish it.
It’s worth noting, however, that Thirst is around 700th in the overall Kindle chart.
Second is Once Bitten: a thriller with bite, by Stephen Leather. Yours for £0.86. Leather’s sold more than 2 million physical books and is now published by Hodder & Stoughton. His Kindle books exist because Hodder thought they were too short and fell outside his normal military and crime themes.
Beating him should be a doddle. Once Bitten is 54th in the overall top 100.
For some reason, Camus’s The Plague is listed as a horror book at 18th. The obvious super-horrors – Dracula, Frankenstein, and all the rest of it – are there too.
To get anywhere near the top of the horror chart, then, I need to beat Camus, Bram Stoker, an established British war novelist who’s dominating Kindle for a laugh, and a lady with apparently superhuman fingers and a vampire fetish. Down near the bottom of the top 100 are some wannabe chancers called James Herbert, Stephen King and Peter James.
The literary chart’s even tougher. Last Train from Liguria by Irish author Christine Dwyer Hickey is number one. She made her name with Tatty and has been long-listed for the Orange Prize. This is a well-known book published by Atlantic in 2009.
Sarah Winman’s When God Was a Rabbit is second. This is a similar deal: it’s been reviewed everywhere.
Third is Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. Again, the broadsheets have been all over it since it was published in 2009.
Just for fun, The Great Gatsby’s fourth. I do enjoy a challenge. Sebastian Faulks and Dean Koontz clog up the top 100’s lower levels.
I could be daunted, but that would be weak. If Claire Farrell can do it, I probably can too.
As stupidly hard as it may seem to be able to get anywhere with any of this, there are things you can do to help.
Firstly, buy the book when I publish it. It’s a quid. You spend more when you park your car. Don’t not buy it. Do the opposite of that. It’s a single pound. You can do it. Buy. The. Book.
Secondly, review it on Amazon. Even this would help: “It was fucking great, but the kidney section made me feel physically sick.” The more the merrier.
Doing these two things will help push MAB to further sales. I could make literally dozens of pounds. If I hit £10, I’ll write another one. Deal?