Kindling Pirates

Last week, I noticed an unexpected deposit in my bank account from “Amazon digital services.” I had been getting these periodically, but they were relatively small and I figured they were probably revenues from click-through advertising on my web site for The Pirate of Panther Bay. I had a little extra time on my hands, so I decided to investigate.

Lo and behold (and a big “duh” moment later), I discovered they were royalties from the kindle version of The Pirate of Panther Bay.

I know it sounds odd, but with the release of A Warrior’s Soul last July and my focus on marketing the new book, I lost touch with the sales of my first published novel. I was aware that the print version of The Pirate of Panther Bay had picked up with the launch of A Warrior’s Soul (sales doubled in 2011), but I had neglected to track the kindle version. In part, this was because I know that most teens still don’t have amazon accounts (although this is likely changing with the spread of the Ipad).

It turns out the kindle version has been outselling the print version on for the last several years. I didn’t notice it in part because the price is low enough that the periodic royalties didn’t seem to amount to much on their own. (But, they add up over time!)

This revelation also resolved another puzzle: I couldn’t figure out why the kindle version’s sales ranking always seemed significantly higher than the print version, spiking well into the tenth percentile (top 10 percent) for kindle books.

Unfortunately, I don’t have good data on who is buying the kindle version. But, it’s nice to know a digital market exists for a novel the arrived on shelfs and on-line five years ago (even though the stories and characters are timeless).

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