Monday, January 9, 2012

Main stream publishing catching up on ebooks

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I've said it many times before but ebook revolution really started in November 2010 but the principal players were indies. People like my husband Michael J. Sullivan, Ridan author's Nathan Lowell, Marshall S. Thomas, Leslie Ann Moore, and fellow indie authors like David Dalglish and H.P. Mallory really saw a jump in their sales that was down right mind blowing.

From trying to piece together information from articles and blogs it would have appeared that that big publishing houses weren't seeing the types of huge increases at that time - and in fact many of the top spots in the genre Amazon Bestseller lists were held by the indies attracting the ebook reading population with their free, $0.99 and $2.99 books.

But I knew that would not always be the case the big-six would eventually see a large percentage of their sales moving digitally. I was astonished that each time I saw an industry report with findings from "the big boys" that their numbers were in the 10% - 25% range with regards to percentage of ebook sales.

But I think we are finally starting to see a major shift in this regard. A good way to gauge what is going on at the big houses is to watch the bestseller's lists. After all the vast majority of the titles on lists such as NYT and USA Today are generally published by the large houses although an incredible breakout indie will show up from time to time.

So to me this graph really tells the full story. USA Today aggregates sales of all formats when determining their best sellers. So they'll lump together ebook, paperback, and hardcover sales...but...they also report of those three formats, which sold the most copies. Well below is some fascinating data about the number of titles where the ebooks are outselling print.

If you find this graph hard to read let's give you a blow-up of the important part 2011 - 2012. So what can we see. About 20% of the USA Today Titles were selling more ebooks for most of 2011 and in some cases that raised to as high as 40%. As the Christmas buying season started, paper came back in a big way as physical books were bought for presents. But there was more under the tree then just book. eReaders were also given and the people receiving them flocked to the "big names."

So what does this mean for indie authors? Well I think it's safe to say that your exclusive hold on that portion of the market is getting encroached upon by the big boys. I also noticed that Orbit, Harper Voyager and Angry Robot all offered $0.99 - $2.99 pricing of popular titles over the holidays. More on this particular environment over the next few days.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quick Take on B&N News

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Saw that Barnes and Noble is thinking of spinning off the Nook Unit from this article. I've been waiting for such an announcement as a possible Harbinger that B&N will head the way of Borders. Borders and Kobo were separate such that it remained even after Border's demise. It later was bought for a very tidy sum by a huge Japanese eCommerce company.

Despite the fact that the nook side of the house is losing rather than making money, it is the only thing that has potential as print sales continue to decline. I think it is a smart move to have a valuable asset protected as the future continues to unfold. Interesting times indeed.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Year and Some New Changes

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Hello all,
I'm sure there are some who are wondering...what the hell has happened to Robin. Has she dropped off the face of the planet? Well sort of.
In November through mid-December I was hard at work getting some releases out for Ridan and I didn't want my blogging to distract from that focus. I was literally working around the clock and sleeping very few hours a day and I did manage to get a lot accomplished...but not all that I wanted as tragedy stuck.
I don't want to go into all the details but the long and the short of it is my dad passed away. He has had problems with his heart over the past few years and has had angioplasty and an imbedded defibrillator for some time now. His health started to deteriorate at Thanksgiving which made us wonder if his time was getting short. But then he rebounded and it looked like a bullet was dodged. We were wrong.
Dad passed between Christmas and New Years and I’ve been working on final arrangements, complicated by the fact that he lived alone and 3,000 miles away. This of course has made it difficult to anything and once again puts me behind on the Ridan projects I had ongoing.
So, I may continue to be scarce for awhile yet. But I will try to bop in at least once in a while with some helpful marketing tips or my opinions on the constantly changing publishing landscape. There is much I want to share with you all over the next few weeks.

• My opinions on Amazon Select and what it means to indies and publishing as a whole.
• The fact that 42 of the top 50 USA Today titles now sell more in ebook then print
• How Michael’s release with Orbit has gone

I also want to start doing podcasting and even some video posts as I can get more content out there in a short period of time. Santa brought me some nice equipment for just this purpose and hopefully I shall be integrating that soon.
I hope I still have a few fans that are still interested in what I have to say. I’m sure many of you have gone on to other blogs to get your “fix” but hopefully I’ll still be able to contribute something meaningful to this whole wacky world that writing and publishing has become.

Here's hoping that I'll be back with you soon.

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