I read this on a newspaper industry blog this morning:



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Hey, Clay Morgan ... you've got an interesting idea ... But tell this old writer who believes strongly in the paper and ink kind of book, how does one go about marketing ones stories as ebooks? I have ten western novels that were published in the UK ... over the next few years, the rights will be reverting to me. Westerns just don't make it in the US, although they are big in many European countries. When I have the rights to a number of my stories, how would I go about publishing them as ebooks? Where on the net can I find how its done?
and then how does one market the end product?
bill ... oh, wanna be my friend? I'll try to figure out how that's done. (I'm just an old newbie!!)
Why not give them away?
If the rights are returning to you, it would proably be a good idea to have a look at what Joe Konrath has done with his books: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

He's been very public about the amount of books he's sold and how much money he's made.
Clearly, this is the way to go if you have an audience.
I am a bookseller. In theory, reduce your price will increase your sales. I reduced my selling price by 30% for a one year trial. Sales increased by 5%. I lost 50% of my GP and nearly went out of business.

Yes, sales of books will increase with lower prices, but not by a huge margin. Net revenue will decrease, a lot. The result - no more publishers, no more books, no more author's dirty looks. Yes there will be hobby writers, but as the potential to "make it big" fades, the hobby writer will turn to new endevors.

What a wonderful road the publishers have chosen. The conveyor belt to doom with no escape route and no way back, but that's okay because they have their foot on the gas pedal in the race to beat the other publishers to the end of the road.
Just curious Bob, what do yo think would happen to sales if hardcovers were eliminated and all books came out as paperbacks priced around ten dollars?

I'm wondering if hardcovers at $25-40 are too expensive for most people, but by the time the paperback comes out a year later it's forgotten or seems like old news in our shortened-attention span world.
I do a lot of hardcover sales. These sales are the mainstay of the publishing industry. The hardcover gages sales potential for mass market and even with mediocre sales, offsets the majority of the publisher's out of pocket expenses (money paid outside the company).

Take away hard covers and you take away mass market. Mass market is a huge investment and only a few mistakes will bury even the largest of publishers.

It's sad to see the race to be leading edge. Digital spells doom and being a writer and bookseller, that is not good news for me on either front.
Yes, I guess you're right. My hardcover sales have been too low to get any traction on a mass market deal. Sometimes I think there's a market for my books at $9.99 but I may never know unless I can generate a lot more sales at $24.99 than I am now.
I am huge believer in the more you write, the better you get. Most of the established authors paid their dues. The general public sits back unaware that that blockbuster first book was the ninth book penned. They just see it as the first book deal. Too many writers think they must sell that first book and waste time and effort flogging a dead horse. Time is better spent writing books two, three, four, etc. Even better is to write a short story a week. I dare you to write 52 crappy short stories. There will be at least one that is great, one that will win or place in a competition, one that will set the tone for the next novel.
Well, we'll see. My next novel comes out from St. Martins on February 16th. It feels like my first even though my last one came out from Harcourt (caught in the whole merger-take over thing).

Nine you say...
I know it's true that we get better, at least so long as this isn't cancelled out by authors taking shortcuts to meet deadlines and to make as much money as quickly as possible.
However, the public doesn't care for good books -- at least not that segment of the public responsible for big sales. Hype swill replace effort any day.
I think the market for e-books will remain limited. My parents and in-laws aren't interested in the hardware. My kids and their friends think that e-readers are okay but too expensive. The teenage crowd would prefer to play games, anyway (at least, the teenage crowd that I know).

Print is going to struggle, in any case, even if e-books go away. Hardcovers don't sell for hardcover prices. Half.com, Amazon.com, eBay and others have sliced prices in half...and lower. B&N offered 20% off for the August release of THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. If I bought it from half.com today, I'd spend $8 + shipping.


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