Monthly Archives: December 2011

End of year Kindle eBook Sales

I have mentioned that I have a few non-fiction books for sale for the Kindle, but since these books are not part of my experiment here, I won’t go into details. But I will say this month is the first time I’ll earn over $1000 USD just from the US Amazon Kindle store.

Just a few months ago, I could expect maybe $200-300 tops. It was good, reliable money, but recent weeks even before Christmas have been very good. And Christmas was very, very good.

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter is still selling at .99. The past two days have only had maybe one sale, but up until then, I’ve had several sales a day. I’m still hoping to make that short story free when the novel is released.

I regret not having the Tanaka novel ready by now, but it and, hopefully, Book two will be on sale this time next year.

So, non-fiction educational ebooks sell well but I don’t see huge spikes in popularity. Sales are steady and constant. I’m hoping–and this is the purpose of this blog–to really see some action with fiction in 2012. Of course, I’l chronicle it all here.

Here’s to a great 2012!

Something about Free Ebooks… and a Tanaka Cover

As I mentioned in the previous post, Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter was free for about two weeks. During that time, a little over 4,000 copies were downloaded. I was thrilled.  Then, the downloads slowed to a trickle so I decided to make it a .99 ebook again. (If you would like a free copy, just ask. I won’t bite, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.) Once the novel comes out, the plan is to make it free again whether through KDP Select or through Smashwords again.

But the week or two it was free has really helped sales.  Instead of 1-2 sales a month (ouch), I’m getting 1-3 sales a day.  I’m anxious to see what we can do when the novel comes out.

Speaking of which, here is the tentative cover and title:

Any thoughts or comments would be most appreciated.


Update on Tanaka Short Story and Upcoming Novel

The novel is in the final editing, smoothing out stage. We are still hoping for a January 15th-ish release.

The Short Story became free on Amazon about a month ago. It immediately shot up to #117 in all Free ebooks. Then, it dropped and dropped.

Around #2,000 I decided to try to make it not free (.99). My idea is, I can make it free again once the novel is out. The short story will have a link for readers to click on their Kindles to check out the novel after reading the short story. And if it works like before, I may get a boost in downloads and that may help with sales of the novel (probably priced at $2.99).

KDP Select is an option and would make it easier to make it free (for five days). But I suspect most people who “borrow” books will get the expensive ebooks ($9.99 and above) and buy the cheap ones. We’ll see…

The Handkerchief – A Short Story by CJ Martin

My wife was to come in on the last flight of the night.  She had been staying with her sister saying she needed “her space.”  I had a feeling this time around, she had returned only to collect her things.

Having found a plug just outside the terminal parking lot, I decided to charge my laptop and work on a spreadsheet before heading in.  It had been a long day at the office and finding a plug in a secluded and lonely place seemed fortuitous.

I hunkered down in a darkish corner as travelers went from cars to planes and back again. Fascinated by the faces of the hurried people, I abandoned my spreadsheet, eventually closing the laptop completely.

No doubt, anyone would have noticed me staring if they had simply turned to look, but no one did.  My dark suit and the poor lighting helped, but I think it was something else: for most, destinations and goals are all there is.

For most, but not all.

I had never witnessed such sadness.  The boy was flying out and the girl was there to see him off.  He was decked out in full uniform with a duffel bag at his feet; she wore a flowery summer dress much too happy for their despondent quality.  Her bright lipstick was somehow dulled by the sadness in her eyes.  Neither, it seemed, had the courage to say, “Good-bye.”

He lifted his hands to caress her cheeks.  For a moment, I thought he was about to kiss her, but his eyes revealed a man busy memorizing his lover’s features.  Every shape and line, it all had meaning.

A tinny speaker announced that boarding had begun.  The message didn’t seem to register until he let his arms drop.  Her eyes puffed red as tears began to swell.

He pulled out a handkerchief–it was pale, green army issue.  She wiped both eyes before kissing it, imparting both lipstick and tears to the cloth.  Handing it back, he accepted it, his eyes never leaving hers.

She mouthed some unknown words, turned, and then fled toward the parking lot with her head buried in her hands.

His straight figure slumped as she disappeared into the darkness.  The handkerchief, he lovingly folded and placed in the side pocket of his duffle bag.

It was the speaker again–this time announcing final boarding. In a hurried motion, he snapped his hand from the side pocket unknowingly exposing the cherished cloth.   With a flick of his wrist, he threw the bag over his shoulder.  A moment later, the man was gone; only the handkerchief remained.

I sat there stunned, unable to move.  Coming to my senses, my first thought was to rush to the fallen handkerchief and find that soldier.

But as my thoughts began to translate into action, a green vested airport worker appeared where the forlorn lovers had been.  She held metal tongs as if the precious article was hazardous material. A moment later, the lipstick, tears, and cloth were gone.

Rarely do emotions get the better of me.  But after packing my laptop, I headed straight to the airport gift shop.  The flowers made my wife smile–the first time in years.

And now, ten years later, I still buy flowers and she still smiles.  I can say with certitude it is because of that handkerchief–a handkerchief long forgotten by all but me.