A NEW author has been left stunned after his crime novel soared to the top spot in Amazon’s top 100 best sellers.
Fourteen thousand copies of Deferral of Guilt were downloaded to Kindles via Amazon in less than a week after Peter James launched it as a free promotion.
He is now charging £1.46 per download and it is still selling at amazing speed.
Mr James, who lives in Wendover, said: “It’s been an astonishing week, it seems to be selling one copy every minute across the world.
“I don’t really understand why it’s been so successful, but I am very excited about it.”
Mr James, a former managing director of Mothercare UK and now retired, spent three years writing, revising and editing his book.
“I didn’t write seriously until three years ago when I decided to write this novel, but I had no thought of having it published. I know it is extremely difficult to get anything published so I didn’t even approach an agent.”
Instead, Mr James self published, getting 12 copies printed for family and friends. They suggested the book, a detective crime novel set in the Chilterns, was so good he should approach a publisher. An editor at Macmillan was very impressed but unable to take on new authors unless they had three books planned using at least one of the same characters throughout.
So Mr James decided to put it on Amazon as a Kindle ebook for £3.
He said: “No-one bought it, so I offered it as a free download because I wanted to get a wide readership and all of a sudden it just took off and ended up at the number one spot in the free downloads list.”
After the sale price went on, 800 copies sold on Sunday, with a further 400 on Monday morning.
Mr James, who wrote his book under the pen name James Parr to avoid confusion with the famous author who shares his real name, is now planning to write another book.
He said: “I think Kindles are the future of publishing, there is a massive take-up all over the world. Even my wife has got one now and says they are just as easy as reading a traditional book.”