Wednesday, January 20, 2010

...ebooks and publishing

...the book industry is changing. Amazon will now offer 70% royalty to authors on ebooks. The caveat: you must offer your ebook for sale between $2.99 and $9.99. The math results are: a profit for the author of $6.99 on the more expensive ebook or $2.09 profit for the ebook selling for $2.99. Do you know what an author normally makes on a ‘printed’ paperback selling for $15.00?, maybe $1.50 or 10% if their lucky. Publishers previous to this were wholesaling to Amazon, like any bookstore, this same paperback for approximately $11.50, whereby Amazon lost money on each ebook they offered for $9.99 retail. No more! Times have changed. As more authors go direct with Amazon circumventing the publisher, either the publishers marketing model will change or they'll perish. Good I say, they are leeches and deserve what’s now happening. See complete story here. Amazon Fires Missile

  Who sells ebooks besides Amazon? Hardly anyone! All the others account for 10% share and Amazon captures the remaining 90% of all ebook sales. For you marketing neophytes; a 90 share not only drives the industry, they dictate terms. See previous discussion (above) of book publisher’s quandary. The math: through 10/09, industry ebooks sales totaled $130M approx., and the big ‘A’ accounted for $115M of the total. Get the picture?
  When you’re that big in the market you get tough, you dictate! However, my prediction is that Amazon will forego the DRM chip that prevents other devices from downloading from their store measuring over 300K ebooks. They know it’s better to open up formatting to allow readers who’ve bought other devices to shop Amazon. So smart on many levels. See complete story here. A 90 Share
  Check out this link about authors (the King, OMG) cutting their own deals ‘direct’ with ebook publishers, not the traditional publishers like Harper-Collins, Simon & Schuster, et. al., but Smashwords and Amazon. Times, they are changing. This can only bring reading back into vogue and perhaps reach some populations who need a break on price.
  Thanks for following Character Happens!



  1. Well, well, well, Stephen King trailblazer yet again - great pic of him, Weezel will love it! Very interesting statistics Garry, I'm learning a lot from your posts, and you'll be happy to hear, very slowly warming up to this ebook thing! There's still so much I like about traditional books, however more and more I see the tide turning in real life. Quite a few friends I've made on the illustration sites illustrate for kids "e-zines", which makes me feel more hopeful for my market. Another exammple, just the other day I was at the high school waiting for my kids to have their music lessons, and of course I brought one of the current books I'm reading - see link below if you're a dog and mystery lover - fantastic sequel to "Dog On It", a Chet and Bernie mystery

    and lo and behold, another mom was waiting too, reading a book on her kindle! My hardcover is very beautiful, but I have to say at that moment, after a long day and dragging around lots of other stuff, I honestly wouldn't have minded something much lighter to read from - I never thought I'd say that in a million years! So there you go, say "I told you so", go ahead, I can take it!

  2. That is a great pic of Mr. King. I read an article about this on GalleyCat, Garry and like you, I'm very curious to see where this all goes.

    I like to see the lower prices for purchasers and higher profit margins for authors and can't help but draw comparisons to the music industry.

    As an artist, you put the work in, yet you don't get the lion's share of the revenue, because you have a huge team of people working for you. This is both good and bad.

    Good stuff, Garry!!

  3. Holy KINGdom! Such a great photo of THE KING! Now that I'm among the working again, the first thing I'm saving my pennies for is a new Kindle . . . Putting the word out to my children and hinting towards Mother's day also. Nice article!

  4. Correction...the below sentence I need to correct. What I meant to say was...'ebook' instead of paperback. Publishers, who own the distribution rights have decided they will not wholesale to Amazon for any less than they do to anyone else. What they weren't counting on was Amazon retailing the ebook at $9.99, which is below their cost. You see what a quandary this puts publishers in? At that price ($9.99), readers will begin moving toward ebooks, and not buying paperbacks. AND, the price will be going lower, that's the trend.
    Where do publishers fit in the future of the book industry? When we authors begin to derive 70 and 85% (Smashwords) royalty on our books...then we can afford to hire professional editors, cover artists, publicists, etc. We can hire these services individually in the open market, where it will be competition driven. Fortunately for me...I have a crack-shot book group who (are smart as hell) will edit my stuff for free...uh-huh!

    "...this same paperback for approximately $11.50, whereby Amazon lost money on each ebook they offered for $9.99 retail..."

    Secondly...SB, I believe people will have a dedicated 'ereader' as well as some paperbacks and probably some hardcovers too. Another marketing consideration has just arrived; some readers, particularly the volume readers, don't want 'other features' in their ereader. Last thing they want to do is surf the web, answer email, phone, etc... There will be ereaders only for the book readers, probably at $99.

    Thanks for all your comments.

  5. I think this is a good thing. As V.R. said, lower prices for purchasers and higher profit margins for authors is good news. But, I see an added benefit of getting away from the "group think" of the formal agent/publisher circle. I mean so many good books are left unpublished and unread because authors get discouraged with playing the "publish me" game. If you think about it, the geographical cluster of publishing houses on the east coast predisposes them to like a certain type of writing that doesn't necessarily appeal to the masses. I think Amazon has a very efficient market and will find some diamonds in the rough.


What are "The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtures?"

Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility.

.....this is a portion of the "introduction" or prologue to the book (not yet completed) with your comments.

The books title; Character Happens! The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues, describes my belief these five important virtues (Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion, Humility), are sporadic in use and diminishing in personal character. The books message is in recognizing this “fleeting” nature and from that reinstitute a more virtuous choice in your decision making.

The paradox of the two words; Character Happens, with another two words: “S### Happens”* (decorum prevents use of actual word) is not without merit. My belief is that observed human character is much like, well...s###! This kind of observation can be disconcerting at times. So confusing that society can hardly make the distinction between the two words and there obvious different meaning. Individuals make virtuous and un-virtuous choices/decisions for innumerable reasons, both consciously and without deep thought. If we postulate; can an individual make a 'more' virtuous choice in life’s decisions should they want to do so? Answer—perhaps. How does one 'reinstitute a more virtuous choice' into their personal makeup...making the response more automatic? Answer—practice. With a concerted effort at 'practice' I individual might just develop a more 'repetitive' decent response...much like grooving a golf swing.

I love golf. I think the game is like no other. The five stories that make up Character Happens! have a golf storyline. Some readers may not be able to relate to the game of golf or its vernacular or for that matter, why people...a large number of golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a can be a life experience. The golf course environment alone is enough to put most people at ease.

Golf is a game played by the individual as opposed to being a member of a team, like baseball. Baseball has umpires who enforce the rules of the game. In golf you are the umpire. Because of this unique method of enforcing the games rules—golf is a “hotbed” for testing the players character...their honesty, their integrity, their courage and sometimes their compassion. And, because all golfers started from knowing nothing about the game; like how to swing, how to putt or chip... they also learn of humility. Now doesn’t it make perfect sense that a book about character would juxtaposition a storyline with the game of golf? Anyway, I thought so.

There are five stories, one for each virtue. The book has six main characters that make up a group of what I call 'golf buddies.' The storyteller, Spencer Madison, in reality is me. Well, somewhat like I have a better golf game than Spencer. The five others vary in age, gender, education, religious beliefs and definitely personality. The 'binder' of the group or what brings them together; golf.

The reader will hopefully discover in their own lives a similar incident with one of the story’s in Character Happens! If not, that’s okay the stories are earnest while humorous, carefree yet compelling. And, I believe each chapter or story makes a 'point' in this wonderful, wacky, dynamic world in the 21st century.

The stories are fictional as are the characters. Names, personalities or incidents are fictional and in no way resemble or refer to a living person. I’ve used paraphrasing of many authors’ ideas and concepts and have referenced them in a special section. Because of these references and the specific genre where the book is to be found, it’s categorized as a non-fictional, personal development book.

for the language but this word best describes the thought I want to convey. In Forrest Gump the term was used to describe situations that happen to all people for no particular reason.