The Morning Coffee – 1 August 2014

This beautiful Friday morning brings a lengthy reading list,  including a comment from John Scalzi on how Amazon v Hachette is not a holy war, a new self-pub platform, a librarian defending their weeding policy, Hugh Howey's take on the question of whether so many indie authors can be making so much money, and more.

  • Amazon’s Latest Volley (Whatever)
  • Amazon's PR piece was an excellent appeal to both emotion and reason (TeleRead)
  • Data Guy on the Author Earnings Methodology (Hugh Howey)
  • Google Should Buy the Entire Publishing Industry (Sprint Beyond the Book)
  • Note: If you're thinking about Amazon and Hachette as the two sides of a holy war, you're doing it wrong. (John Scalzi)
  • Publishers have their doubts about the App Store reinforced by tales from other app developers (Talking New Media)
  • Reedsy Helps Indie Publishers Get Things Done (TechCrunch)
  • The Reason for the Confusion (Hugh Howey)
  • Those Arrogant Destructive Weeders (Annoyed Librarian)
  • Survey results: Where Do Publishing Professionals Get Their Books? (Publishing Trends)

About Nate Hoffelder (10601 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on The Morning Coffee – 1 August 2014

  1. The best part of the excellent Howey column on the “confusion” lies in the comments.
    The column itself is a polite fisking of a poorly-conducted survey and even worse processing of the data. And a subtle reminder that hard times for agents and publishers do not imply hard times for all authors; that less reader-spend (the establishment’s preferred metric) does not mean less books are being sold or that less money is flowing to the authors.

    Indeed, we know for a fact that mass market paperback sales have declined by 50% (in dollar value) in recent years due to cannibalization by ebooks. Half the money that used to go to paperbacks (where authors typically earn single-digit royalties–less than a dollar per book) has shifted to ebooks (where even tradpub authors at 25% of “net” make well over a dollar) so that even tradpub authors are seeing a net gain of income from the migration from mmpb to ebooks. And that is without factoring in the 30-40% of ebook sales going to indie titles, where even a $1.99 title out-earns an $8.99 mmpb by 30% as far as the author is concerned. Sweetspot $2.99 titles out-earn them by over 200%.
    A reader switching from mmpb to indie ebooks (which now conservatively account for 15-20% of all genre sales, both e-and p-) can turn the $8.99 purchase of a single mmpb into three $2.99 indie reads and turn an $0.80 author royalty into $6 worth of author income. More books to the reader, more money to the author. What’s not to like?

    So, flat publisher incomes don’t necessarily mean hard times for authors; it can easily be masking boom times for both…as long as the publisher has a rational ebook strategy.

  2. Quite an impressive list, Nate; gonna be my Saturday reading list today I think (smiles).

  3. wow, Scalzi’s post has some brutal points :

    excerpt – “Look: As Walter Jon Williams recently pointed out, if Amazon is on the side of authors, why does their Kindle Direct boilerplate have language in it that says that Amazon may unilaterally change the parameters of their agreement with authors? I don’t consider my publishers ‘on my side’ any more than I consider Amazon ‘on my side’ — they’re both entities I do business with — but at least my publisher cannot change my deal without my consent.”

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