Friday, April 29, 2011

My First Sale on

I made my first sale on Amazon's Kindle Germany store today. I put the German translation of Private Dancer on line about two weeks before the German store opened but sales couldn't have been slower. Make that sale. One sale. And it cost me almost £2,000 for the translation so at this rate I'll never get my investment back!

I'm also geared up for the opening of the French Kindle site, which I think will be fairly soon. I have already had Private Dancer translated and it's up on Kindle and Smashwords. I'll be doing the same with Bangkok Bob and The Missing Mormon fairly soon.

The problem is marketing. A lot of 'Indie' writers from the US and the UK rushed over to the German shop and began touting their books, either in English or using Google's automated translation service - which isn't perfect by any means. I'm not sure that will pay off, frankly, especially as in almost all cases they're not offering German translations of their books.

What is the answer to selling on the German site? I'm not sure. I'm trying a Facebook advertising campaign that targets men living in Germany with an interest in Thailand, which is where the book is set, but it's not been very successful so far. To be honest, my plan at the moment is to just wait and see. Which isn't much of a plan, really! I was planning to get The Basement and Once Bitten translated into German but that has been scrapped - I can't tell you why unfortunately, but it's part of a wider scheme involving Amazon...

On the horizon is China, of course. Amazon always plays its cards close to its chest, but my spies tell me that the Kindle people are getting very busy in China and if and when that market opens up it will be huge. I'm already looking at getting my books translated into Chinese.....


  1. I had a first sale of PERIL on last week but that was admittedly to a close friend (thanks Jurgen!). Another unexpected sale followed yesterday. As a fledgling indie author I can't afford translation and have to stick to my English language version but there's a small core of German readers who like to read original language.

  2. Dear Mr. Leather,

    Ruby Barnes is right - there IS a not so small group of Germans who prefer to read original language :)
    I am German and I bought your first three Dan Shepherd books from I liked the books really very much... but now the fun has gone :(
    Kobobooks does not sell to Germany any more, I'm soooo sad, because I can't find your books in another shop in epub format. I've got a sony reader no kindle, so I cannot use the kindle shop in amazon.

    The point is: there are lots of people in Germany who want to read books in English but NOT as paper book but only as ebook - only then you have this wonderful help of the integrated dictionnary!! For English learners there is no better choice - it is so much easier and funnier to read original literature this way!

    But Germany seems to be a white spot on the epub landscape. Please - can you tell me an online shop anywhere on this earth, which sells your books in epub format to Germany? I'm really missing to read the whole night (because it's so enthralling) about Dan and his missions and how it goes on with Liam...

    I apologize for my mistakes, I'm not used to write something in English.

    Thanks for reading
    S. Ludvik, Germany