"I never started writing and publishing because I thought it was going to be easy," Kittrell said. "I wanted to tell my stories, and when I started researching methods to publish my novels, I never could have imagined how successful my books would become, and especially not in such a short time. It hasn't been easy, but I can say that it's been a rewarding and humbling experience."
It is estimated that around 93% or more of all published books sell less than 1,000 copies, leaving the remaining 7% or fewer to generate a vast majority of the US book publishing industry's $39 billion in revenue in 2011. In only 19 months, Kittrell has reached the 1,000 sales threshold on multiple titles, and every one of those titles has passed that figure within three months of release.
"I don't have any secrets. Not really," Kittrell said of his sales benchmark. "When asked, I tell people to write the best book they can, to have it proofed and edited, and to only publish the stories that they love. Other than that, a writer must stay positive, and above all, never give up. Keep writing and keep releasing new work. Try new strategies to promote, but the best promotion is to publish new books."
Numerous opportunities have been created for self-published authors and small presses in recent years. For print distribution of his hardcovers and paperbacks, Kittrell utilizes Lightning Source, a division of Ingram, or CreateSpace, depending on his needs. He has also utilized Amazon's ACX service to produce his first audio book.
Kittrell said that a majority of his sales have come from the various ebook publishing options. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Barnes & Noble's PubIt! platforms are two of the most popular ebook distribution services, and both of these services give authors information, tools, and support to assist them in the process of publishing their works--without need of a third-party publisher or agent. Kittrell has utilized both of these platforms and a few others for his ebooks, and he reported that most of his sales came through Amazon's Kindle publishing service.
"A writer who isn't on Amazon's Kindle is leaving money--and lots of it--on the table," Kittrell said of the Kindle Direct Publishing service. "I've had very few issues with the service, and those that I've had were handled quickly by Amazon's customer service staff shortly after I emailed them. They're on the ball."
Kittrell also said that he distributes to as many different retailers as possible. "Although I don't get nearly as many sales on other channels in comparison to Amazon, I still keep all of my books available at all of the major retail websites and several of the smaller ones, too. Every avenue to reach readers should be utilized."
Since November, 2010, Kittrell has self-published five novels. The Mages of Bloodmyr, his fantasy series, consists of The Circle of Sorcerers (Late Nite, 2011), The Consuls of the Vicariate (Late Nite, 2012), and The Immortals of Myrdwyer, which is pending release in July. The Survivor Chronicles, his post-apocalyptic series, contains three novels, The Dying Times (Late Nite, 2010), The War of the Dead (Late Nite, 2011), and Prisoner and Survivor (Late Nite, 2011), and that series has been plotted for re-release, starting in July, as second edition issues, along with the much-awaited fourth book in that series, A World Forsaken.
Kittrell can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, or by email, and more information can be found on his publishing website: http://www.latenitebooks.com.