Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

sec­ond novel, (the story of an 80s South African se­rial killer who re­turns to haunt a small Ka­roo town after a hia­tus of 20 years), has been do­ing con­sid­er­ably bet­ter. At this stage, I am mak­ing my books avail­able at the low­est pos­si­ble price [$0.99], sim­ply in an ef­fort to build a read­er­ship for fu­ture nov­els.”

which was pub­lished almost a year ago, has been sell­ing steadily ev­ery month and is on track to reach sales of about 100 copies monthly by 2015, he says. “I am also be­gin­ning to grad­u­ally in­crease my price. At its cur­rent price it has taken me just un­der a year to earn about R4 000 – nowhere near any­thing con­sti­tut­ing an in­come. How­ever, by March I will have pub­lished another three ti­tles, the most promis­ing be­ing a self-help book on fic­tion writ­ing. Non-fic­tion out­sells fic­tion by a huge mar­gin.”

Even though the majority of books pub­lished on KDP fea­ture atro­cious writ­ing, many oth­ers are tal­ented, says Bau­mann. Due to the in­cred­i­ble vol­ume of sub­mis­sions to tra­di­tional pub­lish­ers, many com­pe­tent writ­ers slip through the cracks. “In South Africa, where a huge im­print like Hu­man & Rousseau pub­lishes only two new English books a year, it’s un­be­liev­ably dif­fi­cult to get no­ticed, never mind pub­lished. Ama­zon and KDP of­fer th­ese au­thors a plat­form to dis­play their work – and earn some real money.”

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