AMAZON has tonight issued an urgent safety warning to parents who bought Kindle Fire tablets for their children after discovering a fault with the gadgets’ charging system could cause electric shock.
The majority of parents are concerned about their children using interactive ebooks, according to a new survey, with respondents suggesting they feared ebooks would negatively affect their children’s attention span or expose them to inappropriate content.
More than 1,500 parents of UK children aged up to eight were surveyed by the reading charity BookTrust in association with the Open University. Asking parents…
Aimed at the Australian book industry, it nonetheless will resonate with authors and publishers in many other continents
Books are central to our lives, yet the outlook for authors, their readers and Australian literary culture has never been more bleak.The internet and e-books were meant to signal the death of the physical book. That didn’t happen. The plight of authors is another matter. As they face a perfect storm of relentless commercial pressures and repeated attacks by the federal government, the outlook for authors and their readers, and for Australia’s literary culture, has never been bleaker.
Recent surveys in Britain, the United States and Australia have revealed a serious slump in the income that authors receive from their writing. In Australia, authors have seen their average income from writing decrease from about $22,000 in the early 2000s to less than $13,000 in 2015. For many authors, that means…
At the DBW conference in March, a mysterious ‘Data Guy’ is going to show in a keynote address that Amazon are pulling in massive sales on ebooks and that the Big Five authors are accounting for only a fraction of those sales.
“As of mid-January 2016, Amazon’s US ebook sales were running at a rate of 1,064,000 paid downloads a day…Total: 1,064,000
- Indie Self-Published ebook KU full-read equivalents 155,000
- Indie Self-Published regular retail ebook sales 293,000
- Small/Medium Publisher ebook sales 204,000
- Amazon-Publishing Imprint ebook sales 115,000
- Big Five Publisher ebook sales 244,000
- Uncategorized Single-Author Publisher ebook sales 53,000″
JZ Comment: once again we’ll temper this release with the statement that none of these figures have been reported directly by Amazon. This mysterious ‘Data Guy’, whoever he is, has used some clever crawling techniques on the available page and ranking data on Amazon’s site in a huge collection of raw data to form these figures (details in the article). No-one, except Amazon that is, can say how accurate his findings are but if what he is finding is true it backs up what JimandZetta has been saying for at least the last year – that ebook sales are NOT on the decline and are in fact thriving due to the huge shift away from from traditional publishers to self-publishing by authors.
Ebook sales for the UK’s five biggest publishers fell in 2015, according to a new report in the Bookseller, collectively declining 2.4%, to 47.9m units. It is the first drop in numbers of books sold in this medium for the “big five” since the digital age began.
The Bookseller magazine says that each of the five biggest general trade publishers in the UK – Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – saw their ebook sales fall in 2015. At Penguin Random House, the UK’s largest trade publisher, ebook totals slipped by 0.4% in 2015, down from 16.17m to 16.1m. At Hachette, they were down 1.1% to 14.5m, while at HarperCollins, when sales from Harlequin Mills & Boon are excluded (the company was acquired halfway through 2014), ebook sales were down 4.7%. The slip at Pan Macmillan was 7.7%, and at Simon & Schuster it was 0.3%.
JZ Comment: Once again, as with the recent US ‘Ebook Decline’ report, you simply MUST temper this report with the fact that the figures do NOT include Amazon ebook sales, except for any made by the Big 5 through Amazon since they are reporting those themselves. With the huge numbers of authors migrating to self-publishing via numerous vendors, led by Amazon, these figures are far more likely to be lop-sided than an accurate representation of the industry as a whole. All that can accurately be gleaned from this report, and the US one, is that the ebook sales of these publishers, are slightly in decline. Then ask yourself, “how much is this due to authors leaving/not approaching publishers and self-publishing instead?”
Hopefully if you’re an LSI (Lightning Source International) or Ingram Spark print-on-demand user you’ll have seen the notice in 2015 of the impending new printing charges, and the re-categorizing of print sizes. If you HAVEN’T then you may need to take action NOW. Here’s a link to the PDF of the new pricing schedule.
You will also see from the information how some book sizes have been re-categorized in the small/medium/large categories. The good news, however, is that if you’re doing 5.5″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 9″ trade paperback sizes then those still remain in the ‘small’ category.
How does this affect your costs and book pricing? Well, although it IS an increase, to be fair to LSI/Ingram this is the first time they have increased printing costs for many years. I did a quick calculation on one of our books, which is 274 pages at 6″ x 9″ and the increase in printing costs was roughly 50c. Ultimately it will depend on each book’s size and page count, and also the profit margin you have built into your pricing. If you have a smaller margin you may need to ACT NOW!
By now, LSI/Ingram users SHOULD have been setting new prices for their books where necessary in order to be ready for the increase on 8th Feb. If you haven’t, you better get to it now in time for the meta changes at the end of the month!
Book publishing startups have picked apart every piece of the publishing stack and re-imagined it for a digital world. Hackathons and crowdsourcing are two pieces of this new puzzle. From content creation to manuscript acquisition to distribution to sales, publishing startups are combining traditional book publishing and tech startup tactics in fascinating ways to reinvigorate and reimagine book publishing. These book startups pride themselves on retaining much of the quality of a traditional publisher, while solving key problems with traditional publishing: high overhead, low tolerance for risk, and slow time-to-market. More…
“IT WAS hailed as a revolution in publishing that would allow one of the world’s best-selling authors to control her own empire and add to her fortune.”
One part of the above article struck me as annoying. If you have a read at it you’ll see it.
“But amid a decline in ebook sales and a print renaissance, even the phenomenon that is Harry Potter is not immune to global trends.”
This is a ‘fact’ that should rankle anyone in the ebook industry – be they authors, publishers, or other industry people. This ‘fact’ is drawn only from the big publishers. It is THEY who have experienced a drop in ebook sales, and it is only THEY, and other publishers who choose to participate in the reporting of sales, who provide the (mis)information that the ebook industry is in decline.
What about the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of authors who in their droves now choose to leave those very publishers and self-publish? What about the massive sales of ebooks by the #1 global book retailer, Amazon?
NONE OF THOSE SALES FORM PART OF THE ‘REPORTS’ OF A DECLINING EBOOK INDUSTRY!
That’s right. Amazon do not release their sales figures. Self-publishing authors are not asked for their sales figures. Independent publishers are not asked for their sales figures. The ‘reports’ of a declining ebook industry are based on a mere fraction of lop-sided figures from just a few entities in publishing (and ironically those who were at the outset dead-set AGAINST ebooks). The much more likely truth of the matter is that the ebook industry is extremely healthy and still growing. In 2014 it was estimated that almost ONE MILLION ebooks were released through Amazon’s KDP publishing platform.
Ms Rowling resisted placing the Potter books into the ebook domain for so long, before deciding in 2011 to do so in a manner in which she could still control the books. She started ‘Pottermore’ – her own platform for selling the Potter ebooks to the fans hungry for them. It has now failed, largely due to existing fans getting their fill, no further Potter content, and no new fans coming in. So now you can find the Potter books appearing on the likes of Amazon, but it is still NOT Amazon who are selling it. If you click to buy you are still directed to Pottermore for the sale! The only difference is the ebook is sent directly to your device.
The mistake was made long ago when there was ongoing resistance to allowing anyone else to sell ‘Potter’. OK, Ms Rowling may have already made her fortunes from the franchise, but in doing so has denied for so long something many people already knew:
YOU NEED TO PUBLISH IN DIGITAL FORM.
The Wealth Gap in the UK book industry grows. New study reveals Julia Donaldson, David Walliams and JK Rowling lead the top 1% of authors, who account for nearly a third of all UK book sales
UK Author Earnings soar. Top 1% Earn 33% of Book Earnings! Click To Tweet