Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Traditionally Published Authors

#AuthorEarnings and International Book Sales


Two of the more interesting Author Earnings posts I’ve done were in September 2015 and June 2016Author Earnings Methodology

Well, Hugh Howey and his intriguing Data Guy have another, probably controversial, report out

Even the title is somewhat “controversial”—February 2017 Big, Bad, Wide & International Report: covering Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo ebook sales in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

1st Excerpt:

“Today, with the click of a button, any author can start selling any title they wish simultaneously in 12 country-specific Amazon stores, 36 country-specific Kobo ebook stores, and over 40 country-specific Apple ebook stores.”

2nd Excerpt:

“…the four other major English-language markets outside the US….have also been consistently underestimated and under-reported by traditional publishing-industry statistics.”

3rd (rather large but exciting) Excerpt:

“…we’ve substantially overhauled and refined our AuthorEarnings methodology.  We can now measure each retailer’s total sales in each country with far more precision.

“So this time, we rolled up our sleeves and basically went for the whole enchilada:

  • The top five English-language countries
  • The fifteen largest ebook stores
  • 750,000 top-selling ebook titles, in all genres and categories.
  • All of it calibrated against 700,000 points of raw, unfiltered daily sales data, from over 20,000 distinct ebook titles across all 15 stores.

“When we were done, we were looking at the most comprehensive international picture of English-language ebook sales available anywhere. And now, we’re excited to share it with authors everywhere around the world.”

Somewhat obviously, the image up there is from their methodology page; and, there are 13 other images that pretty well sum-up what these two guys are doing that so upsets the traditional publishers

And, if I counted right, there are 10 other colorful, intriguing images on the Report Page, like this one:

Ebook Sales -Top 5 English-Language Markets)

Just a few excerpts from their Conclusions:

“Our look at the wider world of ebook retailers tells us that the rise of ebook sales in general, and indie publishing in particular, are not limited to the US nor to a single retailer (Amazon); they are international, industry-wide phenomena.”

“The US currently leads the world in both ebook penetration rate and the indie share of that market, but other ebook markets are starting to catch up: particularly the other 4 major English-language ones. Taken together, ebook sales in these 4 additional markets add a combined 25% to the US-only total.”

And, for those who still think traditional publishing has it all…

“…somewhat counter-intuitively, self-published indie authors are proving to be far more capable of taking advantage of their global digital reach to achieving commensurate international sales than traditionally published authors are.”

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New #Publishing Periodical for #Writers & #Authors ~ The Hot Sheet


If you’re a writer (author) looking to be published or striving to understand the publishing-world, you may want to spend around $US 2.27, biweekly, for an email periodical from two industry powerhouses—Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson.

Here’s a bit about Jane:

Jane Friedman “Writer and professor Jane Friedman has more than 15 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. From 2001–2010 she worked at Writer’s Digest, where she ultimately became publisher and editorial director; more recently, she served as the digital editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review. Jane specializes in educating authors about the publishing industry, and is known for thought-provoking talks on the future of authorship. She currently teaches digital media and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly.”

And, a bit about Porter:

“Journalist, speaker, and consultant Porter Anderson is Associate Editor for The Bookseller’s The Porter AndersonFutureBook in London. A former news anchor, correspondent, editor, and producer, he now focuses his coverage on publishing. His analysis is read at New York’s Thought Catalog, and he programs conference events for IDPF, Frankfurt Book Fair, The Bookseller, and Novelists Inc. He has worked with CNN International, CNN.com, The Village Voice, Dallas Times Herald, Publishing Perspectives, Rome’s UN World Food Programme, and Copenhagen’s INDEX. He is a Fellow with the National Critics Institute.”

Here are the basics about the periodical from their site:

Why did you start The Hot Sheet?

“We wanted to create a way to help authors understand issues that affect them, but without drama and hype. With a biweekly schedule, we’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain importance or meaning for your long-term decision making. Thus, we hope to provide distance and nuance on complex issues.

“We hear frequently from authors that they’re confused about what’s happening in publishing, or they wonder who’s ‘right’ about controversial issues. The Hot Sheet helps you sort through the noise. You’ll understand reactions and opinions from across the publishing spectrum, and you can decide for yourself where you stand. We think this helps reduce anxiety, increases the knowledge and power of authors, and helps us all work better together.

“Without fear of missing out, you can stop looking through comment threads or social media channels in which everyone is shouting at each other, and focus on your author career.”

Is it for traditionally published authors or self-published authors?

“Both. Changes in publishing affect everyone. We take a neutral perspective on how authors publish, and deliver information about stories, developments, publishers, retailers, and services without any specific agenda or bias.”

Is it for unpublished writers?

“If you’re interested in keeping up with changes in the publishing industry, sure. You’ll be able to understand it. But this newsletter isn’t about how to get published.”

So that $US 2.27/biweekly ends up costing $US 59.00/year and they call that an “Introductory Rate”

They offer a “30-day free trial” but it ends up that you need to pay for a year; but, they don’t charge your credit card during the first month and you can cancel anytime for a prorated refund

You can use PayPal to subscribe but they don’t spell out how the first-month-free works for that

I’m recommending this periodical purely on the reputation of Jane and Porter—I can’t imagine them doing something that’s just hype or producing something that isn’t of great value

So, if you’re interested, go grab The Hot Sheet :-)

Here are a few more reasons, from Jane & Porter, to try it:

  • Do you worry that you’re not keeping up with marketing strategies other authors use? When it comes to PR, are you on thin ice?
  • Do you get exhausted trying to find information about something “somebody said on some blog the other day”—and you don’t even know if it’s important?
  • Have you ever tried to figure out how changes in the publishing industry affect your next book? For that matter, do you know what most impacted your last book?
  • Can you tell if the latest overnight success story is an outlying case, or if it represents something you need to add to your long-term goals?
  • Are you so focused on your writing that you don’t have the industry context to assess issues? When you look for answers, do you find only gossip?
  • Are you looking for a competitive business edge—to be a smart and informed author in today’s shifting business environment?

So

Perhaps I’ve given you enough to encourage you to, at least, go visit The Hot Sheet site?
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You Wouldn’t Be Trying To Mislead Me, Would You?


The #Danger of Being a #Critic People have been trying to mislead me for at least 60 years—how about you?

Way back between my Saturday cartoons the ads promised me a lot more fun than any cereal could ever hope to provide

A bit later, the ads in the back of the comic books lured me into begging money from my parents for an Ant Farm—thin clear-plastic box with sand in it, separate cardboard tube with the ants, and a message that the ants were asleep and would wake when I put them in the sand—I waited for a few days—they were indeed dead

Luckily, the first girl I was sweet on warned me that every girl did Not want chocolates

There were thousands more attacks on my credulity; then, in my forties, I began to find certain things that stayed true no matter what I thought.

So, there’s this survey claiming to show the preferences of writers for either traditional or self-publishing.

The Los Angeles Times article about the survey begins with:

“Writers prefer to be published by a traditional publisher over self-publishing. Go figure.”

That happens to be a statement that’s misleading to the max—how did they find out what all writers prefer?

Then, they attempt to cover the misleading pontification with misdirection:

“More than 9,000 authors responded to questions about the publishing industry in a report to be issued next week. Of the writers surveyed, 57.8% said they’d rather go the traditional route with their next book than try self-publishing.

“These aren’t just old-fashioned authors. That percentage includes writers who have been both self-published and traditionally published. What’s more, the survey was conducted by Writers Digest and Digital Book World — which certainly captures people interested in digital publishing.”

9,000 authors is probably enough to show some kind of trend, right?

But wait… what kind of authors are these 9,000 souls?

An article about the survey in Digital Book World says:

“The survey sample is a non-scientific sample, since it is voluntary rather than a random sample. The authors, most of whom responded after receiving a notification from Writer’s Digest about the survey, may not be representative of the population of authors.”

They also say:

“The majority of respondents to the survey were aspiring authors who had not yet published a manuscript

That last statement should make any person who’s been severely misled in their lives consider that all the other numbers and pseudo-scientific pronouncements about the survey are rubbish.

Something rather surprising about the author of the article in Digital Book World is that they’re “…Professor of Sociology at Queens College – CUNY…” where they direct “…the MA Program in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research.”

Perhaps they got paid really well for lending their credentials to such sloppy surveying

I truly hope writers aren’t taken in by attempts like this.

I can’t avoid quoting one more statement that goes even further into the realm of fantasy surveys:

“The greatest preference for traditionally publishing was reported by traditionally published authors (87.2%) followed by not-yet-published authors (76.8%).”

Are they hoping that big percentages will prove that “Writers prefer to be published by a traditional publisher over self-publishing.”, in spite of the fact that those who’ve already been accepted by legacy publishers and those who’ve never been published might just not be the folks who can be relied on to help decide what most writers want??

There are a few true statements in that article but the effect is somewhat like those commercials between the cartoons—Yep, this is Really cereal!!!

So, if you happen to be the kind of person who lets their opinion be swayed by names like the Los Angeles Times, Writer’s Digest, and Digital Book World, you can also be misled by Forbes

Finally, if you happen to find out what most writers prefer, would you let me know?
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