Self-publisher Sells 1 Million Kindle Books–Now What?

Follow the link below to Mike Shatzkin’s blog about John  Locke’s options after being the first self-publisher to sell one million Kindle books. The debate in the commentary between Shatzkin and Joe Konrath, another astonishingly successful self-publisher of fiction, is worth a read by anyone interested in the future of the publishing industry.

2 comments on “Self-publisher Sells 1 Million Kindle Books–Now What?

  1. Do you remember when I worked in the sales department at BDD? It was the remainder sales part of the sales dept…I saw what happened to lesser known authors (everyone other than John Grisham and Danielle Steele) most inventory remained, and they were all remaindered, selling for $1.00 or so per copy, some for $.50. This article does the math in the best scenario possible. But reality is the "inconvenience" of the print book for those who are Kindling, and the price, are all factors of why he might not be better off with a print publisher. I had many MANY authors calling me complaining that the publisher did nothing to sell their books, of course not, when they were putting 90% of their efforts, and marketing dollars, into John Grisham and Danielle Steele….I am not so sure I agree with this article. My friend who worked at HC just got laid off, that sinking ship is sinking faster and more furious than one could even imagine.

  2. We'll mark you down as in the Konrath camp then. One of my main concerns about self-publishing has been that without the legacy publishers as gatekeepers, it will be difficult for readers to find quality material. But as I research the market, I'm discovering that a new set of gatekeepers is emerging. There are dozens of new book blogs that are eager to review indie books. I'm still learning how to find them, but a good start is the Book Blogger Directory. the market creating new opportunities for authors, and the legacy publishers refusing to compete on price, you may be right–the ship may sink faster than the captains think.

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  • Larry and Ellie Kahn

  • When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2010, my neurologist told me there was nothing I could do to slow down an inevitable slide into disability. So I simply (apathetically?) went about the business of researching my third novel for over a year until I crossed paths with others who had discovered a curiously overlooked goldmine of scientific research suggesting vigorous exercise could help slow the progression of PD and improve quality of life.


    After experiencing the impact of exercise myself, my wife, Ellie, and I began brainstorming with other believers about how to effectively spread the gospel of exercise and hope.  We formed PD Gladiators in 2013, a nonprofit charged with developing a plan to ally metro Atlanta fitness instructors and clinicians to convince people with PD to take a proactive approach to managing their disease. PD Gladiators entered agreements with the Atlanta YMCA, Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation, Yellow River Center and other independent fitness instructors to build a network of PD-specific exercise classes based on PD Gladiators’ promise to promote the exercise research and the PD Gladiators Fitness Network to local clinicians to create the referral “pipeline” necessary to make the adapted fitness programs sustainable. I believe recruiting the support of influential clinicians in our community from the start was the critical insight that has led to the phenomenal growth of the Network.


    By 2018, the Network consisted of over 60 weekly classes, and metro Atlanta “gladiators” logged almost 25,000 class visits for the year! On August 1, 2018, the Parkinson’s Foundation and PD Gladiators determined they could better serve the needs of the Parkinson’s community through an organizational unification. Ellie and I served on the Advisory Board for the Parkinson’s Foundation Georgia until retiring in October 2019. PD Gladiators Executive Director Annie Long continues to manage and grow the Network as an employee of the Parkinson’s Foundation.


    Ellie and I still practice the proactive, hopeful approach that we  preach. With Ellie’s loving support, I exercise daily, eat a nutritious diet supplemented as recommended by Dr. Laurie Mischley (a Parkinson’s researcher and naturopathic doctor practicing in Seattle), and have adopted good sleep habits. While excited to begin the retirement we had deferred to nurture PD Gladiators, I intend to devote some of my energy–without stress and deadlines–to brainstorm ideas for other areas of Parkinson’s care in need of intervention  for consideration by government and charitable organizations with the mission and resources to undertake these projects.


    I believe that problem-solving is a team sport, and I encourage you to join in the discussion. Let’s make Parkinson’s Ideas, Man an incubator for high impact solutions to the issues that effect us most.