Okay, this is Dave from exhaustion here, as I was up very late finishing a the short for the Con book, trying to edit, and get a bunch of stuff done before my son and daughter-in-law arrived today. So my Brain is officially cheese right now. Brie I think.

So I don’t have a lot to offer today – This is quite a good set of charts to look at. It certainly show how large retailer bookstores are suffering and how print itself is feeling the effect of e-books.

From my point of view, that a good thing. Or do you see it otherwise?

10 comments

  1. Nice site. All sorts of goodies there, and links to even more.

    However much I love bookstores, I mostly shop online now. For the industry, the evolution of the marketplace is painful. Right now, writers who’ve gone Indy and succeeded and the publishers who’ve started noticing the higher profits on ebooks are about the only happy ones around.

    But the profit chart is under agency pricing of $14.99 for an ebook? I’m not sure I’ve ever paid that much, and with agency dead, the price and per unit profit will drop. Good for readers, bad for both authors and publishers, although they may make up in volume what they lose per sale.

    The chart on Meta data was . . . interesting. I think I’ll go revue mine and see if I can improve my tags. I need to replace some covers anyway, so I’ll do both at once.

    1. Meh. I regularly buy Baen’s eARCs for $15.00 and consider it a good deal. But then, these are books from favorite authors and much anticipated series that I’m buying. I would never pay that much for an author I don’t know or don’t like enough to have on my ‘instant buy’ list.

    2. I’ve rented research ebooks for $15, because the ebook cost *gulp* $60 and the print version used started at $85.00. Otherwise $8.00 is about the top I’ll pay for a fat non-fiction ebook.

      One thing that irks me is the ebook sellers that limit how you can catalogue your books. Hello, alt-history is too a thing. So is mil-sci-fi.

  2. Some interesting statistics there. My big question is, what happens if Amazon is taken out of play? Right now it’s the big kahuna of e-commerce, including a huge proportion (some say 90%) of e-book sales in the USA. However, it’s also only one company. If it puts a foot wrong, is any other company ready, willing and able to take its place? I think not . . . and that would mean a prolonged period of disruption until the e-book market sorted itself out again. There’d be a lot of casualties, including many indie authors who make their living almost entirely off Amazon. I’m one of them (at least for now).

    I think there needs to be a lot of discussion among authors about what’s best for the e-book market as a whole. If we can come up with a solution that provides a ‘cushion’ or ‘safety net’ for the market, to prevent it being savaged by the exit of one or more major players, that would be a good thing, IMHO. On the other hand, it may not be feasible for us (or anyone else) to do that.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how things shake out over the next few years.

    1. I’m not sure that Amazon would be taken out of play quickly. If, for some reason, Amazon started to stumble there are plenty of alternatives who could offer similar sales venues and sales/marketing tools. But I think any hypothetical decline of Amazon would be gradual enough that obvious competitors would arise. What is more likely is that the big N publishers continue to consolidate and become the big N-1, N-2 etc. until there’s just one of them. At which point hardly anyone will notice because we’re all doing just fine without them

    2. Gumroad is an option – if you are willing to register as an etailer with your state and municipality and deal with collecting sales tax. There’s Kobo and B&N, and I suspect someone else would pop up to offer e-book sales. Niches rarely go unfilled in nature.

    3. Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Sony, Apple . . . OK so Amazon is the only one I’d miss. But even so, there’s the next tier down, with Smashword and Lulu. A lot of small publishers, Naked reader Press, for instance sell directly from their sites and a growing number of writers sell directly from their own websites.

      The main problem would (still) be discoverability. The books will be out there. You’ll just have to hunt them down in the wilds, not get them nicely wrapped at the grocery store.

  3. Good, bad, we’re the ones with the books 😉 I honestly do not want print publishers to die, but they do need to change–and the only way they will change is if the status quo is too painful. Nobody *wants* to undergo major surgery, but if it’s the only way to get the tumor out … so in the long run, if they get the point, getting smacked around by lower sales will help them.

    The next big technological hurdle is getting books in readers/tablets without proprietary settings, and it needs to be as seamless as Amazon’s process is now. Once that is solved Amazon might still be the biggest, but it won’t be as disasterous if it gets taken out–ebooks will simply be provided by other services. But right now the biggest pain point for users coming to my direct store is getting the file downloaded and installed on their readers or computers. LOTS of people do not have and do not want to acquire the tech-savvy to do this, and if the Amazon process is not available for whatever reason I would expect ebook sales to plummet. My hope is a general API will come about that developers can use, and a agreed-on set of standards and protocols across all readers.

    1. This is a place where the move to tablets and smartphones helps, at least for iOS, which recognizes kindle or iBook compatible files and allows you to open them in the app.
      It’s part of the same problem podcasters have gone through, where subscribing to a feed/cast could be problematic. Heck, ‘casters still have that issue.

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