Readersforum's Blog

September 29, 2011

Are writers harming themselves by sticking with traditional publishers?

By Chris Meadows

Found via a post on the E-Book Mailing List today, a fantastic blog post by writer Sarah A. Hoyt, that links to an equally fantastic blog post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (which is of related but not identical subject matter to the blog post by Rusch we covered back in March).

Rusch’s post, made back in May, is intended to be an eye-opener, a clarion call to the publisher-bound writers that Michael Stackpole analogizes to Roman “house slaves”. Traditional book publishing, Rusch warns, is traveling down the same road that rock music has. She points to examples from music-industry insiders demonstrating that new bands can get $250,000 advances yet still end up owing their record label money after their first album, then sits down to demonstrate how traditional publishing is becoming like that.

Publishers, Rusch points out, are starting to add more grasping clauses into their contracts—and naive writers are signing because they don’t know any better. Middlemen like publishers are no longer necessary, Rusch explains. more

August 4, 2011

Facebook buys Push Pop Press e-publishing firm

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:12 am

By Chris Meadows

Today Push Pop Press, the e-publishing firm who produced an interactive version of an Al Gore climatology book, announced today that it has been acquired by Facebook. Facebook has no interest in publishing interactive e-books, and Push Pop has announced it will no longer be publishing anything. Instead, Facebook will be incorporating Push Pop’s technology into its own platform.

As Tim Carmody put it on Wired:

So instead of an independent born-digital press, publishing next-generation multimedia novels (or magazines or textbooks or children’s books or cookbooks), Facebook will probably get marginally better iOS apps.

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August 2, 2011

Literary agents plumb alternative revenue streams

By Chris Meadows

The lines between authors, agents, and publishers used to be very clear and bright. Each one had certain things it did best, and the idea of authors or agents jumping into publishing themselves was all but unheard of.

But with the rise of e-books and e-publishing, many authors have gone into publishing for themselves—and now a number of literary agents are doing so as well, for backlist titles traditional publishers have been less willing to touch.

The Bookseller has a feature looking at some of these agents. For example, Ed Victor has branched his literary agency out into offering public speakers and publishing backlist titles. Victor believes that the time when “agents can just be agents” is over.

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August 1, 2011

Vook proposes ten rules of e-book and app pricing

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:03 pm

By Chris Meadows

Yesterday I mentioned the importance of pricing to e-book sales, using the example of a 1992 novel that shot to the top of e-bestseller listsafter going on sale for 99 cents. However, 99 cents is not always the right answer.

Publishers Weekly has a post looking at ten pricing rules that Vook has come up with after studying what elements make e-books and apps successful. Vook determined that it was not simply a matter of price, but also category.

Proper categorization helps books get discovered and in turn contributes to what Vook calls “lift effects.” Lift effects are things that raise them to prominent shelf positions and keep titles there with high purchase rates. According to [Vook head of operations and finance Greg] Bateman, to help titles gain traction, publishers should keep the launch price as low as possible for a period ranging from three days to two weeks before raising the price to a more appropriate level.

Vook experimented with variable pricing on 40 e-books and 20 apps over a three month period to determine the right price points, and came up with the following rules:

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March 3, 2011

Self-publishing author sells 100,000+ e-books per month

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:23 pm

By Chris Meadows

amanda-hocking-kindle-authorBusiness Insider has a story about a 26-year-old writer who self-publishes on Amazon’s store and makes “millions”. Amanda Hocking is reportedly the best-selling independent author on Amazon (we mentioned her briefly in January and a commenter brought her up earlier this month). She reportedly sells 100,000 e-books per month at prices of $.99 to $2.99, and keeps 70% of the take.

                                                                                                                                        …read more

December 20, 2010

British Library project to map pronunciation seeks children’s book readers from around the world

The British Library has embarked on a project to map accents and pronunciation of words by English-speakers worldwide, as part of its Evolving English exhibit. To that end, they have asked any English-speaker world-wide to record themselves reading aloud the children’s book Mr. Tickle for the benefit of their collection…read more

December 16, 2010

Mike Shatzkin discusses ways e-book sellers can differentiate

In publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin’s latest blog post, he reflects on the way that changes in the e-book market (most notably agency pricing) and the relatively similar features of most e-book readers (barring the occasional pet peeve or badly-formatted title here or there) mean there is no longer any particular advantage to the reader in buying from one e-book store over another….read more

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