Amazon Publishing shares some sales numbers in email to agents

Amazon Kindle Touch

In an email to literary agents, Amazon Publishing VP Jeff Belle shares some sales numbers from the company’s list.

“We’ve been energized by the early results across all of our imprints,” Belle writes:

Since December, our Thomas & Mercer imprint has sold over 250,000 copies of Ed McBain’s classic 87th Precinct series (available for the first time in digital). In December, 47North published The Book of Sith by Daniel Wallace, which has been called “one of the coolest Star Wars products ever made.” This summer, with the success of The Dark Monk (A Hangman’s Daughter Tale), AmazonCrossing author Oliver Pötzsch has now crossed the half-million copy mark in life-to-date sales. Also joining the half-million club as of last month is Karen McQuestion, author of the Kindle bestsellers A Scattered Life, Easily Amused and The Long Way Home.

At the end of July, we released The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover. It quickly rose to the #5 spot on our Kindle bestseller list, and is already well on its way to surpassing 100,000 copies. War Brides by Helen Bryan occupied the Kindle Top 10 for most of July and August, and has now sold over 300,000 Kindle copies.

Not surprisingly, Belle does not break down how many copies the books have sold in print versus Kindle books. A little under a year ago, I took a closer look at Amazon Publishing and discovered mediocre print sales on most titles.

I love that the Book of Sith hyperlink above leads to…a review on Barnes & Noble’s sci-fi blog.

Belle claims that authors who’d previously worked with other publishers are doing better with Amazon:

The Detachment, by Barry Eisler, published last September by Thomas & Mercer, has sold over three times the copies of any of Barry’s previous New York Times bestselling books. New York Times bestselling author Connie Brockway joined Montlake Romance as our launch author, and The Other Guy’s Bride has also gone on to sell more than three times the copies of her other recent titles.

“We are as determined as ever to make sure that Amazon Publishing authors reach a huge audience,” Belle writes. “In particular, we will continue to heavily market and promote them to our 180 million customers around the world, through online and offline advertising, our websites, through email, and on millions of Kindle and non-Kindle devices.”

Full letter below.

Dear Friends,

The last year has been one of exciting growth for Amazon Publishing: We published the first titles from our Montlake, Thomas & Mercer, and 47North imprints based in Seattle, and opened our New York office, which is focused on non-fiction and children’s books. In January we completed the acquisition of Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books; in June the acquisition of Avalon Books; and in August, we closed on the acquisition of over 1,000 backlist titles from Dorchester Publishing. And just last week, we announced a new initiative that we’re very excited about — Kindle Serials.

We’ve been energized by the early results across all of our imprints. Since December, our Thomas & Mercer imprint has sold over 250,000 copies of Ed McBain’s classic 87th Precinct series (available for the first time in digital). In December, 47North published The Book of Sith by Daniel Wallace, which has been called “one of the coolest Star Wars products ever made.” This summer, with the success of The Dark Monk (A Hangman’s Daughter Tale), AmazonCrossing author Oliver Pötzsch has now crossed the half-million copy mark in life-to-date sales. Also joining the half-million club as of last month is Karen McQuestion, author of the Kindle bestsellers A Scattered Life, Easily Amused and The Long Way Home.

At the end of July, we released The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover. It quickly rose to the #5 spot on our Kindle bestseller list, and is already well on its way to surpassing 100,000 copies. War Brides by Helen Bryan occupied the Kindle Top 10 for most of July and August, and has now sold over 300,000 Kindle copies. We’re thrilled about our list for the rest of 2012, which includes Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels (all 14 books), as well as inaugural titles from our New York imprint, such as My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall, and The 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss.

We are especially focused on increasing the audience for our authors. The Detachment, by Barry Eisler, published last September by Thomas & Mercer, has sold over three times the copies of any of Barry’s previous New York Times bestselling books. New York Times bestselling author Connie Brockway joined Montlake Romance as our launch author, and The Other Guy’s Bride has also gone on to sell more than three times the copies of her other recent titles. These authors, along with Amazon Publishing, are helping to redefine what it means to be a bestseller. We’re extremely proud of the results so far.

We are as determined as ever to make sure that Amazon Publishing authors reach a huge audience. In particular, we will continue to heavily market and promote them to our 180 million customers around the world, through online and offline advertising, our websites, through email, and on millions of Kindle and non-Kindle devices. Based in large part on our long experience as a bookseller, we are confident that this expansive marketing and promotional support will continue to yield strong sales results for our authors.

Our goal remains to invent new and better ways to connect authors with readers. I know you feel the same. So much of the work we are doing would not be possible without your support and we appreciate every submission and opportunity to do business with you and your clients. We also know that we’re new — we have more ahead of us than behind us (both opportunities and challenges) — yet we remain relentlessly focused on what we can do to provide the best possible publishing experience to you and your authors.

Thank you again for your support. If you have any questions about Amazon Publishing, as always, please feel free to reach out to me directly. — Jeff

Jeff Belle
Vice President
Amazon Publishing

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