A few links of interest

I’ll try to get back with a “real” post later today, but I have to run out of here shortly for a doctor’s appointment and, duh, I forgot to write my post last night. In the meantime, with a hat tip to Cedar Sanderson and J. Michael Antoniewicz II for two of the following links.

E-book sales data, the truth is out there. This is an interesting take on e-book sales and where they really fit into the complete sales picture. The problem, in my opinion, is that the information is still incomplete. The data was gained through publisher submission and doesn’t take into account a number of small and micro-publishers, nor does it take into account self-published authors. In fact, it comes from only those publishers and small presses named in the “Top 50”. So, while it might give a more accurate picture of the place of e-books in the publishing world, it is still an incomplete picture.

How bookshops could be happy ever after: ebooks could provide new revenue stream. Another interesting article. I’m all for getting e-books into our local bookstores. Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith have discussed a number of different ways to do so, including letting authors sell redeemable cards, like gift cards, with codes for e-books on them. The problem is getting both the booksellers and the authors to break out of the normal marketing rut and start thinking outside of the box.

Finally, from Publishers Weekly, comes this article about the top 50 publishers world-wide. Take a look at the sales figures. Now ask why these publishers are still dragging their feet when it comes to adapting to the changing market. Ask yourself why they continue to base their sales figures on the arcane hand-wavium that is BookScan. These figures are no more accurate than the BookScan numbers are. But the trend is there. Revenues are down pretty much across the board. I have my opinions as to why. BookScan numbers being part of it. Another part is the reliance on trend-authors/books. The latest trend was Fifty Shades of Grey. The response has been for publishers to try to bring out books just like the Shades trilogy. One publisher even halted distribution of some of its titles while they redid the covers to look more like the Shades books. The problem is that not everyone wants to read books like that. Another problem is that publishers are cutting loose their workhorses, the mid-list authors, to go after authors who write the trendy books. The issue with that is the trend will have changed by the time these books are published. The mid-listers were guaranteed sales. They were money in the bank. But they were splashy or flashy. So, they were tossed aside and those sales were lost.

So, what are your thoughts? How do we, as authors, get our e-books into our local bookstores? What is the importance of the figures from the publishers? Will it ever stop sleeting at my house?

9 thoughts on “A few links of interest

  1. I’ve got my eye on grocery stores–shelf space is gold to them. Ebooks, sold as cards attached to some folded stock with the cover, the blurb and maybe a small excerpt, could take up much less space than physical books.

    1. Absolutely. Put them by the check out lines and get the impulse buy. Have your cozy mystery about the gardener hanging in the produce department. It will take time, but I can see something like that happening — especially if it frees up shelf space where books are currently sold.

  2. Every time I turn around, data storage has shrunk again. At some point, some maker is going to come up with a cheap small storage card. Something that will work maybe ten times before it wears out, with a meg or five capacity. About right for a book. Readable by all the various portable devices we read on these days. Pity I know zip about electrical engineering.

    1. At one of the conferences I went to last year, Wiley was handing out what appeared to be a thick credit card. When I asked what it was, it was a 1 Gigabyte chip, with a little foldout USB contact. Cheap enough that they had put a selection of free magazines and stuff on it, and were just handing them out for free.

    2. Yeah. That is coming — as Mike notes in his comment. But the “gift card” with a download code or even a direct link to the download is what I think we’re going to see first. They are still cheaper to create and you don’t have the problem of trying to be cross-platform.

      1. I noticed my Kindle, Nook and Android phone all have the same mini USB port for charging or manual downloads. I suspect they’ll be ubiquitous soon, if not already. And or adapters available.

        Cards with codes that require you to go to a site to download the book have the unavoidable weakness of “Well, if I have to go download from Amazon.com, I might as well just buy it there too, and not stand in line here.”

  3. Find a way to link your work to something else tangible. Say you write western romances about a ranching family. Talk to someone who sells tack, or a western wear store or catalog, and find a way to bundle a book-card with their products. Say, get a hat and they tuck your book-card (with access code or data chip) into the hatband. That’s one way I see book sales shifting.

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