For some reason, I have a strong psychological aversion to sitting down and actually writing a book, even if it’s an e-book. I can write long emails, or fairly long book reviews, and I’ve spent quite a few years sharing my opinions on online message boards, but there’s something about writing for a broad audience that kills my enthusiasm… I guess I’m going to have to work on that.

Thus far, the only Kindle book I’ve written is Atheism 101: Answers, Explanations and Rebuttals. It’s a product of a long and boring night when I couldn’t fall asleep and thought “hey, I might as well write something.” Atheism-101 is not an encyclopedia or a manifesto of some sort. It’s more of a reference guide that would be useful for those who are curious about atheism, those who consider joining the dark side, and those who, like me, have always considered themselves atheist but could use a reference guide to, well, refer to during a debate. It’s either that, or carrying copies of the Constitution, Treaty of Tripoli and Declaration of Independence on you at all times. (Note: if you actually carry those with you 24/7, you’re my hero.)

And so my first book was born. It had a horrible cover that was created in 3 minutes in Microsoft Paint, it had no blurbs, and I did no advertising whatsoever – apart from slashing the ridiculously ambitious price of $4.99 to $1.99 in order to be featured in this newsletter. A friend of mine was shocked by my cover’s design and made me a better cover (the current, black-and-white one), but that was about all the work I did for my little e-book. And yet, it managed to make quite a bit of money and even became the 32nd most popular book in the Kindle’s section on atheism!

Here are the figures:

January: no sales
February: 47 copies sold; my profit is $48.54 and £1.30 for the one copy sold in the Kindle UK store (look, ma! I’m an international author!)
March: 52 copies sold;  total profit $104.68

The difference between my February and March profit is due to different pricing: for most of February, the e-book was priced at $1.99, and I received only 35% from every sale. I then switched to the 70% royalties model by raising my price to $2.99, which is the lowest price one’s book can be to qualify for 70%. In the future, I may lower the price all the way to $0.99 to see if it can generate more buzz and sales.

For now, though, I’ve submitted an improved, slightly larger second edition, got a couple of blurbs from prominent bloggers/writers, started this site (its long-term usefulness is currently questionable, but it can’t hurt), and I’m about to start spreading the word about the book in relevant online communities. If a short e-book that I wrote in one day (well, technically it was night) made me over $150 in just two months with no advertising whatsoever, I have a feeling my efforts just might pay off…

Meanwhile, I’m going to start psyching myself up for my next project.