Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Big Five

Author Earnings ~ “…Turning of the Tide…?”


I’ve posted before about Hugh Howey‘s initiative Author Earnings.

Here’s the site explanation

“Our purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.”

Today’s post will share a few of the highlights from Author Earning’s October Report

“During the five short months since May, it seems that indies have somehow lost their market share gains of the preceding 18 months. This has been counterbalanced to a limited extent by a slight uptick in traditionally-published unit sales: both Big Five and Small/Medium Traditional Publishers have each gained roughly 1% in market share. But most of the lost indie market share seems to have instead gone to Amazon Imprints, who have gained a whopping 4% in market share.”

Might be hard to believe; but, that’s not as bad as it may sound…

“Despite the Big Five’s slight uptick in unit-sales market share, their share of consumer ebook dollars has continued to drop—albeit less steeply than in previous quarters.”

And…

“…the biggest recent winners seem to be the Small/Medium publisher authors, whose share of total Kindle author earnings has surpassed 20% for the first time.”

Taking the link to the October Report will give you a huge amount of information and speculation…

For non-link-takers, I’ll finish with:

“We have no idea whether this reversal represents the new normal—no clue at all whether what we’re seeing is a single-quarter blip before the previous relentless market-share shift toward non-traditional ebooks resumes; or whether we are seeing the true beginning of a turn in the digital book tide.

“But regardless, if you’re a traditionally published author of longstanding tenure, this change is probably good news.

“On the other hand, if you’re a relatively new traditionally published author or traditional publishing aspirant, the news is a whole lot less exciting. Because it seems the benefits of this recent increase in traditional ebook market share are not being felt equally by all authors…”

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News In Review ~ Publishing World In Turmoil


The books keep getting stocked on the shelves—physical or digital—but, the people who claim they are the gatekeepers, protecting the Dear Reader from poor writing, are in a heated frenzy.

Publishing World

Image Courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/juliaf

Amazon is being cast as the avaricious villian, the Big Five traditional publishers are the harrowed maiden, and the self-publishing authors are, for the moment, behind the scenes

I regularly scan the Book and Publishing News for interesting happenings and a recent listing from MediaShift seemed, in its particular selection of stories, a perfect snapshot of the book-frenzy:

1. Apple settles e-books pricing case with states, consumers (Joel Rosenblatt / Bloomberg)

2. With e-books still pricey, Illinois libraries flex their marketing muscle (David Vinjamuri / Forbes)

3. Four ways publishers can diversify sales channels, become less reliant on Amazon (Jason Illian / Digital Book World)

4. E-book publisher ups author royalty to 80%, offers sales transparency (Mercy Pilkington / Good e-Reader)

5. Harper Voyager expands digital-first publishing (Publishers Weekly)

I’ll fill-out the picture of publishing hysteria with three other articles:

Why Amazon Is Going After Publisher Profit Margin (Jeremy Greenfield/Forbes)

How Much Money the Biggest Publishers Actually Make (Digital Book World)

Advice to Publishers: Don’t Fight For Your Honor, Fight For Your Lives! (Len Sherman’s Blog)

I actually feel you could just ponder those headlines for awhile, not even going to read the stories, and be fully prepared for an argument at the water cooler :-)
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I Need Your Help ~ Let’s Decide Which Is Better: Traditional or Self-Publishing . . .


publishing I try to be a fair and balanced blogger…

I’ve been blogging about Reading, Writing, and Publishing for nearly eight years now.

My readership has grown in a satisfying way but I’m hoping this particular post can lead to an upsurge in readers—and Commenters.

I’m not looking for reader comments to make this blog show up better on search engines or to help me sell anything (even my short novel is available for free).

What I’m after is sufficient commentary on this post to help me make a personal decision

Naturally, if you and your friends can help enough, this post could end up helping lots of other people, too

I’ve spent considerable effort here finding news articles and blog posts that discuss traditional publishing and compare it with self-publishing.

And, you can use the Subject Index Links in the side-bar to find past articles

Here’s the thing though.

I initially self-published my novel through FastPencil (I’ve also used Lulu).

Still, there are aspects of the operation of traditional publishers that seem to have more potential to make books “acceptable” to readers

On the other hand, there are many authors who’ve experienced traditional publishing and shifted away from the legacy model—one particularly important example is Joe Konrath.

So, how can you help me?

First, watch the videos below and leave a Comment.

Second, tell your friends to watch the videos and make Comments.

I’m hoping there’ll be enough Comments to let me do, at least, two more posts on this important issue—What Is The Best Way To Publish A Book?

Just a few more considerations before the videos:

I realize there may be reasons for writers to pursue both types of publishing—they each have “advantages” and “disadvantages”

I put quotes around those words in the last sentence because one person’s profitableness can be another’s handicap.

Also, you may not have published or have friends who have.

I still encourage you to watch the videos and make a judgement on whether these professionals and authors seem like people you can trust [a fair and balanced evaluation of body language and voice inflection might be appropriate]

Last consideration—you may (or, all your friends may) have no knowledge of different kinds of publishing.

I’d still like your Comments on the following issue—How Do You Feel Reading, Writing, and Publishing “Fit Together” ?

OK, here are the videos—do hope you make a Comment :-)


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