Today we have the immense pleasure of welcoming author Eve Paludan to Marcia’s Book Talk. Eve, the author of many paranormal romance and science fiction books, discusses her experience writing books on Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, and how wonderful it was to be able to write in collaboration with author J.R. Rain. This is an incisive and very helpful essay, with much pertinent information for those writers who are thinking of writing for Kindle Worlds. For more about this, here’s Eve…
Kindle Worlds: Writing Books with Other Authors’ Characters by Eve Paludan
So far, I have two Kindle Worlds titles: The Abnorm Chronicles: Glimmer and Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon (Kingsley Fulcrum, Werewolf for Hire Book 1).
My entry into Kindle Worlds was unexpected and thrilling. In February 2014, bestselling author J.R. Rain honored me by asking me to collaborate on a novella with him for The Abnorm Chronicles. Oh, that was a fun project to write with such a professional storyteller—J.R. is a guy who can write great fight scenes and offer unexpected plot twists! It was such a joy to collaborate with J.R., who is a successful indie author in his own right. He is a million-selling author whose titles have even landed on the USA Today bestseller list. Glimmer was released on April 2, 2014, and by April 4, 2014, it was a #1 bestseller in Kindle Worlds Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Category. Even though Glimmer is not a new title, it still sporadically appears on the bestseller rankings.
Our collaborative Kindle Worlds novella, Glimmer, is based on the first book in a series, Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey and takes a cue from a character who is only mentioned offhand and not even by name in Sakey’s first book, which I thought gave us a lot of creative room to choose her for a heroine. J.R. and I gave the heroine a name, a career, a personal life, and daunting conflicts that fit the trope of Brilliance, a book in which very intelligent people are about to be microchipped by the government, tracked, and ultimately, controlled. We invented the character of Dana Marlowe, a woman whose job it is to seduce and collect genetic samples from specific brilliant men who are targeted by the company she works for—among them, Senator Blake Crouch, who is a character in Sakey’s original series. Dana’s job is tough, but someone has to do it in order to make a better world for everyone. But Dana’s boss, a scientist, may or may not be all that she seems.
Although I absolutely love writing for my own series, with my own characters, if I fall in love with a hero in someone else’s books, and he becomes my serious book boyfriend—a hero I can’t stop thinking about multiple times per day—I get quite a thrill when I see the creator of that series has a Kindle World based on his or her series. This means I can go and play in another author’s world with the hero whom I want to know, and love, and have adventures with—if only he were real, right? When, this time, J.R. Rain invited me to be a launch author, I was over the moon, and I wrote like mad. And, I had this big secret to keep for a month, until launch day for the Vampire for Hire Kindle World—I couldn’t tell everyone that I had a Kingsley and Samantha book of my very own coming and it was pure torture!
Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon was published by Kindle Worlds on June 14, 2015, and it has been a success so far. It’s hit number one in its category quite a few times and has stayed on the bestseller rankings for 14 weeks, mostly in the top ten of Kindle Worlds Science Fiction and Fantasy. Now, I’m working on Vampire for Hire: Wolf Crimes (Kingsley Fulcrum, Werewolf for Hire Book 2). I can’t wait to again play with Kingsley Fulcrum in a new adventure where he, Samantha Moon, Fang, and others from the original series, love, fight, laugh and solve crimes—or sometimes, commit them.
Kingsley is currently my favorite book boyfriend—he’s a very sexy and funny werewolf and when he blows it, he always manages to redeem himself in the last few pages. The most fun I ever had writing a novella was when I wrote Wolf Moon and apparently, it shows, because many readers like my own take on the big, hairy, strong Kingsley, the wonderful werewolf lawyer character who was created by J.R. Rain.
KINDLE WORLDS TIPS
1. SERIES: If you get an idea for a Kindle Worlds novel, based on a series that you know well and love, think about creating your own series within that World, which Kindle Worlds allows you to do when submitting your book or novella. During the submission process, you will have a chance to fill in the blank (or not) that lets you name your series in the Amazon catalog. I recommend you think in terms of three books for your Kindle Worlds series within that world. If you only write one book in a World, you are not going to have quite the stunning reader reception that a series elicits. Trust me on this.
2. PRICING: The prices of Kindle Worlds books and stories are based on word count, and Kindle Worlds has all of the price control. Authors do not. KW may also put your book on sale for 99 cents on occasion, even if it is $1.99 on the launch. I cannot get a definitive answer in writing, but I was told that if my book’s word count surpassed 50,000 words, then Kindle Worlds would offer my book at a higher price. To me, that meant that I would likely have less sales at the higher price. My opinion is that Kindle Worlds authors should aim for volume sales because the royalty is only going to be 35%, so you’ll need a lot of sales to make it into the black (if you pay professionals for editing and a book cover). Authors, I recommend that you keep your Kindle Worlds works under 50,000 words and hopefully, that will mean a $1.99 price point. At the $1.99 cover price, the author’s royalty would be just under 69 cents per sale. So, if your book sold 400 copies in a month, that would be roughly $272 in author royalties.
The minimum word limit for a Kindle Worlds story is 5,000 words and the price point for those shorts seems to be 99 cents. As a reader, I think that’s too short. But then, I like to spend time with a story’s characters and get to know and love them before I arrive at THE END.
3. LIMITED DISTRIBUTION: So far, the Kindle Worlds novels that I have written were only sold through Amazon.com and were not offered in any international Amazon venues. I am not sure if this is across the board with every “World,” but I’m hoping that my Kindle Worlds titles will soon be offered to my reader fans in other countries. It has been very hard for my die-hard international fans that they are not permitted to purchase Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon.
4. ROYALTY STATEMENTS: Authors have to log into Author Central to see their Kindle Worlds sales and they are not posted daily, as they are in KDP. Once a month, you will get your royalty statement via Author Central that shows your Kindle Worlds sales. And, they lag behind the KDP reporting, which is a completely different reporting system. If you are looking for your August Kindle Worlds royalty statement, it should show up on September 30th. The sign-ups for Kindle Worlds and Author Central are separate, but if you submit a Kindle Worlds title, you need to also sign up with Author Central since that’s where your royalties are reported.
I’ve written more than thirty titles, but I hope you’ll first check out my Kindle Worlds novellas:
Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon (Kingsley Fulcrum, Werewolf for Hire, Book One) by Eve Paludan
The Abnorm Chronicles: Glimmer by J.R. Rain and Eve Paludan
I think you will love Kindle Worlds as much as I do. As a reader, and as an author. Kindle Worlds offers wonderful opportunities to play in other authors’ worlds. You should check it out. It’s a blast!
If you want to know more about writing for the Vampire for Hire Kindle World, please check out “10 Tips for Writing for the Vampire for Hire Kindle World” here
Thank you to Marcia Carrington for this terrific guest blog opportunity. You are an amazing Twitter friend and author!
Likewise Eve, it was lovely to have you on the blog today!
EVE PALUDAN BIO: Eve Paludan is a bestselling author of more than thirty books. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, where she writes fiction and enjoys reading paranormal fiction, urban fantasy, romance and mysteries. She also enjoys taking scenic photos and swimming. All of her books are exclusively available on Amazon here
Eve’s Goodreads Page
Eve on Twitter