Author Topic: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years  (Read 44913 times)  

Offline Sophrosyne

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How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« on: October 11, 2013, 08:59:46 AM »
I don't know if anyone's already posted this, but WOW.

Scroll down to see a breakdown of the book titles, numbers sold, amount made, etc.

He writes under pseudonyms other than J.A. Konrath, which is why you don't see all of these books popping up on his Amazon page.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/10/guest-post-by-tom-keller-and-konrath.html

He is prolific in a way that I can't even imagine. It really drives home the point that there is no better marketing than writing another book.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 11:08:05 AM by Sophrosyne »

Offline blakebooks

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 09:01:22 AM »
Um, not to be a schoolmarm, but that would be $1.6 million in three years.

He shifted 2.6 million books, including free.

 ;)


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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 09:16:51 AM »
$1.6 million ain't too [crappy] though. I don't know too many authors who can say they made that much. (I do know a few though which is amazing in itself)

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Offline blakebooks

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 09:19:17 AM »
I wasn't dissing the value of $1.6 mil. I was simply trying to be accurate, or within 60% of the actual number.


Offline Vivi_Anna

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 09:36:08 AM »
I love that he broke it out by book and years, and you can see that some of his books didn't do all that well considering.

To me it just shows that readers don't necessarily gobble up all of an author's backlist just because they liked one book or two.  It is all about THE BOOK.

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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 09:40:24 AM »
I think the OP accidently read books sold for amount made.
He sold 2.6 million books for 1.6 million dollars give or take 10 grand.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

Please help our friend and fellow kboarder Craig Hansen.

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 09:53:06 AM »
I love that he broke it out by book and years, and you can see that some of his books didn't do all that well considering.

To me it just shows that readers don't necessarily gobble up all of an author's backlist just because they liked one book or two.  It is all about THE BOOK.

Agree with this. I haven't seen any of the highly successful authors (financially or otherwise) sell a zillion poorly written, badly edited, boring books. THE BOOK always comes first. One can only hope and strive to write dozens of THE BOOKS as so many writers now do.  :D

Konrath's numbers are amazing, and I'm grateful for what he chooses to share. All the big sellers are amazing. As one who is piddling along, doing good some months, not good others, I always feel indebted to the breakout successful authors. I see them as beacons who attract readers to independent publishing in general. And that is a very good thing for all of us.  :)
 

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Offline Kay Bratt

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 09:57:56 AM »
What makes it even more cool that he is such a success is that he is so transparent.
He continually shares information, tips, and hard advice to help everyone in the community.
He truly doesn't have to do that.
But he does.
And he works like a maniac.

Well deserved. Congrats, Joe.

 :)


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Offline Sophrosyne

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 11:09:05 AM »
Um, not to be a schoolmarm, but that would be $1.6 million in three years.

He shifted 2.6 million books, including free.

 ;)

ROFL! What's a million or so between friends?  ;)

This is what you get when the dyslexic person posts. Thanks for catching it!

Offline Cheryl Douglas

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 11:19:01 AM »
What makes it even more cool that he is such a success is that he is so transparent.
He continually shares information, tips, and hard advice to help everyone in the community.
He truly doesn't have to do that.
But he does.
And he works like a maniac.

Well deserved. Congrats, Joe.

 :)

Couldn't agree more. Joe may be controversial, but it's authors like him who give me hope that with as many titles as he has I could be earning as much in a couple of years.

Offline Cherise

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 12:03:55 PM »
The three-year time frame is misleading, though. I've read Joe's entire blog. He's been at this ten years, not three. His work only took off in the last three years, but who's to know if the prior seven years contributed to that or not?

Offline Jan Thompson

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 12:19:30 PM »
What I got out of the article:

"2. Write when you can, finish what you write, edit what you finish, self-publish what you edit, and repeat. And make sure everything you release is as good as you can make it." - JA Konrath

Offline Christa Wick

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 12:36:17 PM »
The three-year time frame is misleading, though. I've read Joe's entire blog. He's been at this ten years, not three. His work only took off in the last three years, but who's to know if the prior seven years contributed to that or not?

It is 3 years of self-pubbed earnings only. It does not count any traditionally published income, whether within the 3 years or before.

Offline ElisaBlaisdell

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 12:38:33 PM »
It is 3 years of self-pubbed earnings only. It does not count any traditionally published income, whether within the 3 years or before.

But as I understand it, it's another seven years of backlist--so, instead of 10 books a year, it's 'only' three books a year, on the average. Note the quotes around 'only'. ;)

Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 12:47:23 PM »
Joe is my hero.

And Joe is picking up the mothereffing check when we finally get that beer together.
 
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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2013, 12:55:01 PM »
 mothereffing?
  >:( :o ???

Glad to see a KB member having that kind of success...

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Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2013, 12:56:18 PM »
mothereffing?
  >:( :o ???

Betsy

I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that this wasn't on your censor list.
 
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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2013, 12:58:12 PM »
I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that this wasn't on your censor list.

*off to fix THAT.*
 :D
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Offline Christa Wick

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2013, 01:11:26 PM »
But as I understand it, it's another seven years of backlist--so, instead of 10 books a year, it's 'only' three books a year, on the average. Note the quotes around 'only'. ;)

Ah, yes, I thought you were questioning earnings, not contributing books. Backlist that he received rights back on are part of the books that earned the 1.6m.

Offline Duane Gundrum

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2013, 01:20:50 PM »
I often find these kinds of articles both enlightening and massively frustrating because for me they always leave out the one piece that I need the most, and that's how they got from completely unknown to starting to sell well. In this article, he talks about how in his first year with his one book he sold 27,222 copies of one of his books and then shows us the success from that point forward. I got the same thing when I used to read about Amanda Hockings and her successes. It was always along the lines of "get famous and then use this process to sell more books". It's like the old Steve Martin book where he tells you "How to become a millionaire and not pay taxes. First step, get a million dollars."

As one of those many struggling writers, I'd kill to sell 27,222 copies of one of my books in a year. And this isn't meant to be a complaint or even a criticis of the article because it's great information. It's just a frustration that I came away with having read a lot of articles like these that seem to hint at telling the inside story and it's still a story after the fact.

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Offline vrabinec

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2013, 01:27:25 PM »
I know he rubs some people the wrong way, but I thi k he's too cool for shades.

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Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2013, 01:51:46 PM »
I often find these kinds of articles both enlightening and massively frustrating because for me they always leave out the one piece that I need the most, and that's how they got from completely unknown to starting to sell well. In this article, he talks about how in his first year with his one book he sold 27,222 copies of one of his books and then shows us the success from that point forward. I got the same thing when I used to read about Amanda Hockings and her successes. It was always along the lines of "get famous and then use this process to sell more books". It's like the old Steve Martin book where he tells you "How to become a millionaire and not pay taxes. First step, get a million dollars."

As one of those many struggling writers, I'd kill to sell 27,222 copies of one of my books in a year. And this isn't meant to be a complaint or even a criticis of the article because it's great information. It's just a frustration that I came away with having read a lot of articles like these that seem to hint at telling the inside story and it's still a story after the fact.

I'm afraid the truth is that most of us just don't know. We can tell you the sequence of events that took us from selling nothing to selling lots, but every sequence is unique, and it doesn't explain the fact that great books languish while some mediocre books go gangbusters.

If any of us had the secret, I can promise you this: we'd be falling over ourselves to spill it. I think we are just as curious and dumbfounded as anyone else. Except for the authors (and I'm not one of them) who chalk it up to how awesome their writing is and can't believe it took this long for the universe to bow down before their greatness. But surely those authors are rare. More common has to be the generally confused or those who post-hoc reason that what they did was the answer. But lots of people are doing those things. And if all it took was a great book, that doesn't explain the killer books I read all the time that never hit any lists.

Another theory is that it takes writing a lot of books, but THE MILL HOUSE RECLUSE and a few others did great as indie debuts. There's the theory of pricing, but then there's Joe Nobody, who sells for $9.99 and kicks butt doing it. Some say it's only the previously-trad-published who have success as indies (like Konrath, Eisler, and Bella Andre), but that argument is bunk for two reasons: Some of the previously-trad (not saying those mentioned above; I don't know) were dropped from their publishers for underperforming before doing great indie. And many indies like Hocking were straight-indie. Others like myself were with small presses that didn't provide any boost at all to our readership. No one set of answers works. Which leaves us wondering what in the world does.

I think Joe comes as close as anyone to sorting it all out. Like me, he includes luck in his secret recipe, and he qualifies that with the hard work that magnifies luck. Let's say luck, as an ingredient, accounts for 30% of the Breakout-Sauce. That's enough to explain how some authors go nuts with a single book, or expensive books, or books with crappy cover art (like mine), or books with technical faults. It would also explain how someone with a dozen excellent titles isn't taking off. How someone who does everything "right" doesn't have success.

Which leads to my point of this long-winded nonsense: Time has to be an ingredient. An important one. This revolution has barely gotten started. Good luck and bad luck require time to even them out. If you've done everything right, your works might take off in ten years. Who knows? We haven't been at this long enough. I think it's too early for any of us to say something isn't working or that it won't work. I just have to remember back to writing seven novels over three years and watching them sit between #335,204 and #1,302,490 in the Amazon store. I didn't care. I just kept writing. I read about Amanda Hocking, and I thought: "Hellz yeah!" And I kept writing. I gave myself until I was 40 and I had twenty titles published before I worried about whether I sold enough to pay a bill. And even if that never happened, it was an excuse to publish twenty titles. I could always say that. No one could take it away from me. And anyway, I'd sold a handful of books and heard from people that they loved them. I remembered when that was just an idle dream.
 
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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $2.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 02:10:47 PM »
I wasn't dissing the value of $1.6 mil. I was simply trying to be accurate, or within 60% of the actual number.
And I was being a smart ass. LOL

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 02:12:32 PM »
I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that this wasn't on your censor list.
Stop giving her ideas.  ;)

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Offline Duane Gundrum

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Re: How J.A. Konrath made $1.6 million in 3 years
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 02:15:16 PM »
Thank you, Hugh. That was actually a lot of good information. I think the frustration has come from the fact that so few "successful" ones actually are modest enough to point it out like you just did, yet still manage to relay a lot of good information at the same time.

I do appreciate the response.

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