John Locke, the American writer not the character from Lost (or English philosopher), has become the first self-published author to pass one million digital books sold on Amazon.com, and therefore the first indie to join the "Kindle Million Club".
His ebooks, including thrillers Saving Rachel, Vegas Moon, A Girl Like You and Wish List, each cost at most $1.15 and are regularly in the top 100 charts on the US Kindle chart. He has even penned a Kindle ebook explaining how he has sold so many editions on the retail site, titled "How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!".
So far, Locke has sold 1,010,370 ebooks using Kindle Direct Publishing, and he believes that by adopting an aggressive pricing strategy (originally 99 cents per book), he will make much more money than by charging $2.99 per download, even if his margins are lower as a result.
Speaking to blog "A Newbie's Guide to Publishing" back in March, Locke explained the reasons and maths: "The first time I saw the business model for selling eBooks on Kindle, my eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas," he said. "Why? Because Kindle doesn’t just level the playing field for self-published authors, it actually slants it in our favor.
"Specifically, I saw that a self-published book could be offered on Kindle for 99 cents, and still turn a 35 cent profit. I was stunned! I walked around in a daze for, well, days, trying to explain to people what that meant. No one seemed impressed. To me it was like receiving the keys to the kingdom, and I immediately set a goal to become the world’s greatest 99-cent author."
Certainly, it has worked. Even if each of his books cost 99 cents (inflation has risen that initial sum), his return would be around 35 cents. Times that by 1,010,370 and Locke has made himself over $350,000. And Amazon has pocketed almost twice that.
Considering that he has no publishing house to answer to, it's a business model that sees everyone win. Reader included.
Have you had a book published through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing? Let us know your experiences, or thoughts on any of the indie titles available, in our comments below...