Saturday, June 11, 2011

Michael Connelly becomes seventh member of Kindle Million Club

While more and more e-books are being sold all the time, the group of authors that have sold one million books on Kindle remains a select one. This past week crime writing maestro Michael Connelly (pictured above with me and Kiwi author Ben Sanders at Connelly's recent Auckland event) became the seventh member of the 'Million Club'.

Interestingly, five of the seven authors who've passed the million mark on Kindle are crime writers (six, if you include Nora Roberts crime-writing persona, JD Robb). The club, so far:
  • Stieg Larsson;
  • James Patterson;
  • Nora Roberts;
  • Charlaine Harris;
  • Lee Child;
  • Suzanne Collins (popular children's author); and
  • Michael Connelly.
It's interesting that the likes of JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, and Dan Brown haven't yet joined the club - but perhaps that is more to do with their readers not yet embracing e-books to quite the same extent (and that Brown and Rowling's phenomenal sales peaks were a couple or more years ago).

I'm very pleased to see a quality crime writer the likes of Connelly having this kind of e-book success, and the way in which crime fiction readers have embraced e-book technology. With quality New Zealand crime writers who get good reviews of their books by local and international reviewers, readers, and award judges, still struggling to get published in print in the bigger US and UK markets, e-book sales may be one key way in future for Kiwi crime writers to reach a wider audience of readers, who would enjoy their books once they gave them a change (and knew about them in the first place).

What do you think of the growth in e-book sales? Do you have a Kindle, iPad, Kobo or other e-reading device? Do you buy many e-books? If so, do you still buy print books? What do you think of the crime writer dominance in the 'million club'? Thoughts welcomed.

1 comment:

  1. The Kindle and the like are no instant passport to recognition and success, that's for sure. See the introductions to the last two editions of the online Black Horse Extra (NZ produced!). See also the guest post by successful thriller writer Raymond Benson just this past week at Joe Konrath's blog. A good backlist and acclaim by international reviewers does not guarantee ebook success.

    My own western novels have been accepted and published traditionally in the UK since 1993. All of them contain strong crime and mystery elements. To date, I have three titles available at Amazon's Kindle store, two just added. The first book, Misfit Lil Cheats the Hangrope, was issued in April and has a raft of 5-star and 4-star reviews, but the number of downloads has not been encouraging.

    I believe much hinges on promotion, but little on quality writing and editing. Kiwi crime writers should by all means add their titles to the huge, huge, Kindle range if they hold the rights to do so. But they should be aware that they could be swamped by what one respected US writer has called the "tsunami of swill". What used to go no further than a slush pile is self-published by authors who have yet to learn their trade and does surprisingly well on the back of marketing via social networking. A tip: at least one novel offered for 99 cents is said to help.