Wil Wheaton and eBooks

I note that Wil Wheaton has just offered a $5 pdf version of his latest book – Sunken Treasure

Every year, before the summer convention season gets underway, I pull some excerpts from whatever I plan to release in the fall, take them to my local print shop, and make a deliberately lo-fi, limited edition chapbook to take with me on the obligatory summer convention circuit.

Two hours ago he posted this on twitter: “Hey Twitterverse: how would you feel about a digital version of Sunken Treasure for about $5?”

One hour ago he posted a link to where it could be downloaded.

23 minutes ago he posted this: “This is unreal. The PDF sales of Sunken Treasure in the last hour are over 1/5 of the total print sales in the last 28 days.”

Now I know that we’re talking about a very high profile person with a huge fan following (~124,000 people on twitter alone); and he’s self-publishing via Lulu but the maths for this is interesting.

Say he sold 100 books in the last 28 days – @ $13 each – that’s $1300.

Based on his comment he therefore sold 20 eBooks in the last ~30 mins – @ $5 each – that’s $100

However, say he sold 500 books in the last 28 days – @ $13 – that’s $6500; and 100 eBooks @ $5 is $500 (in ~30 mins)

Those are very cool figures.

Depending on how you manage your book sales you could actually end up making more money from eBooks than from print books.

It’s a great example of Web2.0 marketing!

And as an aside – yes i did purchase the $5 book – and it was followed by an email from the man himself (ok it was an automated email but still a nice touch) thanking me for buying the book!