Saturday, June 8, 2013

How to Make a Fortune in the Kindle Store and Buy a Llama

“So what are you doing for International Talk Like a Pirate Day this year?” Benjamin asked me at the circulation desk. Last year, I’d planned a big pirate party at the library for the five to eight year olds, complete with treasure hunt and Pirate language lessons.

“I’m not sure,” I said, consulting the calendar. “It’s on a Thursday this year.” I lamented, wishing the holiday was on a weekend. Then I sighed, wishing it was currently a weekend. “There’s book club that night,” I said as an aside.

“We could get them in on it too!” Benjamin said with his usual enthusiasm. “I bet there’s a pirate romance novel out there we could use. And if there’s not, we should write one quick because I bet there’s a market for it.”

Our boss, Veronica, who happened to be passing buy, interjected jokingly, “You could use the profits to buy a llama.”

Our attempts to take up a collection at Christmas time to buy a llama through Heifer International had become a running gag among our coworkers, but Benjamin and I, of course, took the comment at face value and got excited over the possibilities (or llamabilities, if you like).

“Yeah!” I said. “We could work together on it and put it in the Amazon Kindle store for like a dollar! We’d only have to sell about two hundred copies!”

Benjamin looked at me with great pity for what he must have seen as my economic ignorance. “Or we could charge more and only have to sell like ten,” he said.

“No!” I said firmly. “That’s not how e-things work! Look at Angry Birds! You sell these things for a dollar and people say, ‘I don’t know if it’s any good, but it’s only a dollar so I’ll risk it.’ More people are willing to spend a dollar, so you make more money!”

“I never knew that,” said Veronica.

“Oh my gosh, that’s brilliant!” said Benjamin.

I nodded. “Yeah, I’ve often thought about writing a novel for the Kindle store and trying to make a fortune.”

“Really?” said Benjamin. “How?”

“Just think about all the cool things in the world and try to cram them all into the same book.” It was at this point that I realized I’d never given the idea any further thought than that...

“Like what?” I decided to use Benjamin as my target demographic. “Well” I said, considering my audience. “We were just discussing pirates. Pirates are cool.”

“Yes,” he agreed.

“And dinosaurs,” I added after a moment’s thought.

“Yes…” I knew I was onto something as his voice was rising now with excitement.

“Ninjas…” I said.

“I’m listening,” he said, giving me his full attention.

“Robots,” I said, on a roll now, “gotta have robots.”

Benjamin threw his hands in the air. “You have to do this!” he exclaimed.

I sighed. “I know. I just need the right plot to string them all together. It doesn’t even have to be a coherent plot. I mean, look at how popular The Matrix was.”

“Hey, The Matrix was a good movie!”

“Exactly my point,” I said. Someday, llama, I thought.


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