Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Selling E-books

“Is Amazon Working to Kill Single Copy Ebook Sales?”


The quote I chose for the title of this post is from Mark Coker in an article on the Smashwords blog.

I’m bringing his article to the attention of any of my readers who are writers (or, have friends who are writers) and who might think that Amazon is the best place to sell their books

A few excerpts, beginning with the Setup:

“…Amazon quietly announced that because they’re pricing their Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service at $3.00 per month in India, authors will now earn less.”

“…back in March….I warned there was nothing stopping Amazon from waking up one day and deciding that their $9.99 subscription service should be priced at $3.00 instead.”

Kindle Unlimited is a service many authors want in on but they have to put their book in KDP Select first, which demands they not sell that book anywhere else

Mark commenting on his March warning:

“It’s an inevitable outcome when authors surrender full pricing and compensation control (via their KDP Select enrollment) to a company whose entire business model is predicated upon commoditizing and devaluing products by stripping suppliers of pricing control.”

“Kindle Unlimited is training readers to think that single-copy ebook purchases are too expensive.”

“Enjoy your single copy sales while they last.”

Check out the full article for more background on what Mark’s saying; but, do take to heart this last excerpt:

“As I’ve written previously, indie authors have the power to prevent this bleak future.  All they need to do is stop enrolling their books in KDP Select before it’s too late.  Spread the word.”

When I published this post, there were 63 comments after Mark’s article

One of the most interesting was this:

“The problem is, this harms ALL indie writers, not only those who are in KDP Select. Very ugly. But you nailed it when you said the problem is greed. The business model is greed on Amazon’s part, and the decision to enroll in KDP Select in the first place is greed on the part of short-sighted authors.”

Friday Bonus:

Check out this chilling report on Forbes about Amazon’s first physical book store………

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Helping Authors Sell More E-Books


Do you know about Smashwords?

Here are a few things they say about themselves:

* World’s largest indie ebook distributor

* 200,000+ titles published by 55,000+ authors and publishers

* 85% net back to the author/publisher/agent

* Distribution to Apple iBookstore (51 countries), Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Diesel, Page Foundry and more on the way

* Upload your book once and enjoy distribution to multiple retailers.  Spend more time writing and less time managing multiple retailer platforms.

Back in February, I published the post Ebook Self-Publishing Takes Center Stage.

That post had two slideshows from the Founder of Smashwords focused on How the Ebook Revolution will Transform Writer Careers  & How to Reach More Readers with Self-Published Ebooks.

Below you’ll find a new slideshow from Smashwords focusing on New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks <<< that link is for their blog post about the study.

Here’s a bit of info from that post about how they conducted the study:

“For the study this year, we analyzed over $12 million in sales for a collection of 120,000 Smashwords ebooks from May 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.  We aggregated our sales data from across our retail distribution network, which includes the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Amazon (only about 200 of our 200,000 titles are at Amazon).  As the world’s largest indie ebook distributor, I think our study represents the most comprehensive analysis ever of how ebooks from self-published authors and small independent presses are behaving in the marketplace.”

Here are the Key Findings from that survey (for much more detail on these points, click through to the blog post):

1.  Ebook Sales Conform to a Power Curve

2.  Viva Long Form Reading:  Longer Books Sell Better

3.  Shorter Book Titles Appear to Have Slight Sales Advantage

4.  How Indie Authors are Pricing Their Books:  $2.99 is the Most Common Price Point

5.   How Price Impacts Unit Sales Volume:  Lower Priced Books (usually) Sell More Copies

yeild graph6.  The Yield Graph:  Is $3.99 the New $2.99?

7.  A Closer Look at the Yield Graph Reveals Why Indie Ebook Authors Have a Competitive Advantage over Traditionally Published Authors

Then, the post talks about how to use the findings. Here’s an excerpt:

“Our study drew upon an enormous data set, and the findings are distilled down to averages.  We also included both fiction and non-fiction in the survey, and didn’t differentiate between the two.  The vast majority of our titles and sales are fiction, so please consider that as you evaluate our findings.

“Your book is unique and may not conform to averages.  Although some of our findings will help you make more informed publishing decisions, I urge you to use caution.”

There’s more about this on the blog

If you’re up for it, their blog post goes into great detail about the study—this slideshow summarizes it; plus, it starts with a brief history of Smashwords :-)

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How To Sell Ebooks


sell e-books “There isn’t a single thing I’m saying here that you should automatically believe. Don’t trust me, or any other so-called expert. Instead, try things out for yourself and draw your own conclusions.”

Well, I didn’t just say that

That was Joe Konrath and I’m going to share an article he’s written about selling e-books; but, first, I want to link to a couple past posts where I featured Joe because he really ( no, Really ) knows what he’s talking about:

Copyright and Book Piracy

Protection from Publishers ~ Critical Info…

Writing Can Be A Very Dangerous Business . . .

The Best Book On How To Be Successful As A Writer?

O.K., back to e-books.

Joe has recently written a post called, simply, How To Sell Ebooks.

He begins by saying:

“I just hit a milestone that is hard for me to grasp. As of January, I’ve sold over one million ebooks.

“That’s a lot of ebooks.

“The question I get asked more than any other is: How can I make my ebooks sell more copies?

“That’s actually not the right question to ask. Because there is nothing you can do to make people buy your ebooks, except maybe hold them at gunpoint or kidnap their pets.

“This business isn’t about what you have to sell. It is about what you have to offer. And luck plays a big part.

“But I’ve found you can improve your odds. Here are some things I’ve done that have seemed helpful.”

So, without copying the whole post, here are his topic titles:

GOOD COVERS
GOOD PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
GOOD BOOKS [duh…]
GOOD PRICE
VOLUME
SOCIAL MEDIA AND ADVERTISING
And I can’t help but put just a bit of what he says on that last topic: “My take on Twitter and Facebook is similar to my take on advertising. Maybe it’ll bring in some sales, but I haven’t found it brings in enough to justify the time and money spent.”

 

 

PLATFORMS
FOREIGN SALES
AGENTS
EXPERIMENT
The first paragraph at the top of this post is from this topic :-)

Then he asks a series of questions that, if you read the full article, will tune you in to the ways Most people do Not find e-books:

“When was the last time you:

  • Bought an ebook you saw in a tweet?
  • Clicked on an Internet ad?
  • Followed a Facebook ad?
  • Bought an ebook because you got a postcard in the mail?
  • Bought an ebook because you got an email about one?
  • Read a free ebook?”

So, if you want to know some of the ultra-real methods of giving e-book sales a boost, go read Joe’s article.

Then, come on back and let me know what you think in our Comments :-)
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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