Ebooks Publishing is Growing

Of 100% of readers, 20% read eBooks. The 20% is growing, which implies that the 80% of hard cover, trade, and other physical books must be decreasing.

Holly Lisle’s article Selling To the Net, is based on the computers Ordering to the Net program where less books are ordered each time the author puts out a new book in the genre or series, until the bookstores don’t order any books by that author and publishers are not prepared to accept the next draft from the author.

This topic is also adequately covered by published author Norman Spinrad.  I do not know the author and have not read any of his books, but it is the same topic Holly mentioned in lesson 2 of How to Think Sideways.

For published authors, one solution is to change the author’s pen name and write in the same genre or a different genre. The author loses all the readers that love the author’s world, characters, voice, etc. but a publisher may pick up the new draft or order a three book deal which will guarantee some sort of marketing to get a new reader list for the author under the pen name.

The other solution now available is for authors to keep writing under their name but to bypass the publishers by marketing as eBooks. The authors keep their readers and build a wider audience by marketing based on developed internet marketing steps.  There are many books already available on internet marketing, so I won’t discuss it here.You can Google it. Start with “internet marketing strategies” and “free internet marketing guidelines”.

The problem with the current publishing industry is a lot of new authors, myself included, are rejected because the reader list is not already there and the publishers are not prepared to gamble on returns for their money.

Or our stories are just not good enough. If there is no interest at all and you only receive standard rejections, keep creating stories, and develop the skills to make each story shine.

But if you receive rejections that say they like your style (I am not sure what that means) or don’t know where to market it  (mixed genres?) or not accepting this type of story at this stage (market flooded?) then you could think of indie publishing.

Create the ebook and put on Smashwords. They roll the ebook out to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc in the correct formats for each site.

I am prepared to take control of my business. Admittedly,  I only have one free short story, Fire Starter, and now, one novel, Broken Faith, on Smashwords.

But, I am reading every article I can to learn the publishing business, including:

Can you suggest any other publishing industry web sites or blogs I have never heard about?

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8 comments so far

  1. imotherofpearl on

    This year is the first year I’ve bought a number of e-books – more than a dozen so far. I’ve been buying Holly’s non-fic books for a while, but now I’m buying from a range of places – Amazon, iBooks, small publishers and direct from authors. I love getting the book straight away, and shorter / non-fiction books are pretty easy to read on the iphone / reader / computer – no special e-reader equipment required.

    I do think that one of the problems with e-books is the digital rights management issue. I haven’t purchased an e-reader due to the limited content available in Oz compared to US – I’ll just keep getting the print versions. But this is of course a non-issue when I can buy direct from the author, who has retained all the rights.

    (PS Norman Spinrad is a terrific sf author – I’ve read a lot of his older stuff, but nothing recent. Thanks for the link to his blog!)

    • djmills on

      You can bypass the blocks to purchase US books in Australia. I will discuss in a email. 🙂

      I will look in our local library for any of his books. I have never heard of him and I have been reading SiFi for over thirty years. Of course, that only includes novels allowed into Oz.

      It is amazing what I find from Google searches. I am getting efficient at narrowing down each search. 🙂

  2. imotherofpearl on

    If you can’t find his books, let me know. I’ve got a few I can lend you – won’t cost much to post them up to you! I’m buying a couple more online from bookdepository.co.uk – they deliver free to us and are cheaper than Fishpond, Amazon etc.

    • djmills on

      Thanks for the link to Book Depository. It is good. I found a Modesitt paperback book I have been waiting for, the second in the Imager series, and will order it from them. 🙂

  3. Shayne on

    Just a thought about e-books vs print books… I would contend that it’s not actually an either/or proposition. I have a Kobo, plus I have the Kindle app on my iTouch so I can read books from Amazon when I can’t get them anywhere else (like the two horror e-books that JA Konrath released about a month back under the pen name Jack Kilborn). I love the fact that e-books give me instant access to books that I would normally have to wait a week to get delivered, and I love that I can get a whole host of public domain books for free. There’s also the fact that, when a book sells out and the publisher doesn’t have enough demand to print more, the e-book version can remain available. And, of course, there’s the convenience of being able to carry an entire library of my all-time favorite books around in my pocket (an 8 gig iTouch can carry a lot of books). But, to me at least, e-books will never replace print books for that pure reading experience. I like holding the book in my hand, being able to flip the pages and dog-ear the corners to mark spots I like. And for that reason, for every e-book I’ve bought since the Kobo came out in May, I’ve probably bought two print books – and I’ll continue to do so, for as long as I’m able to get the print books I want to read.

    I’m sure I can’t be the only one who feels this way, so I think, just because the e-book market may have grown by 10% lately, it’s not necessarily true that the print book market will have shrunk by the same percentage.

    • djmills on

      Shayne, I agree with you on preferring to hold a printed book to read. However, a lot of printed books are just not available in Australia because the rights have not been purchased for distribution here.

      The only way to get those books are by purchasing ebooks either directly from the author or through one of the ebook depositories such as Smashwords or Amazon.

      The percentage of ebooks was taken from the total sales of Amazon for their financial year. Of their total sales of books, 20% were ebooks and 80% were print books. The previous year it was 10% ebooks and 90% print books.

      As for the industry, it has been in decline for the past ten years until last year when it started growing again. From what I have read the extra sales were all ebooks. Again, I am only going on financial articles I have read, mainly in USA web sites, but as more than one source has said the same thing, eg. publishers agreeing with Amazon, I do believe it to be true. Until other publishers state differently, I will continue to think it is true.:-) Unless you have links to different information I would be happy to read?

  4. Angela/Curiocat on

    I don’t know if I’m ever going to be that fond of ebooks although Diane has worked hard to convert me. That being said I’ve just downloaded Fire Starter and I’m going to get Broken Faith.

    Thanks for the links on publishing. Very good stuff.

    • djmills on

      Thank you. I hope you love them as much as I do. Also OK if you don’t. 🙂


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