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Author Topic: E-book Royalties -- the house always wins  (Read 12925 times)
Pharosian
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2011, 12:52:57 AM »

Wow! Those numbers are pretty nice! Congratulations!
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Ed
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2011, 02:39:08 AM »

Yep, good stuff. I can see how the figures would add up with a few more novels out there, too. Thanks for the pointers.

I see one of the horror small presses has put out a guide to making e-books -- http://www.amazon.com/On-Making-Ebooks-ebook/dp/B004V9G1R2 -- I can't vouch for it personally, but I'm thinking about getting it.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2011, 07:25:32 AM »

Is the software to get things formatted properly difficult to use? Or just to new of a process? I see a lot of weird things in a lot of self-pub/small press stuff, like odd page breaks, italicized text without the italic format, and stuff like that a lot.
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Author of Dark Fiction - http://kennethwcain.com
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2011, 08:23:55 AM »

The software isn't difficult to use, but it is confusing at first. Once you muddle through a few times, you'll get the hang of it. Creating a new PRC or EPUB will become so easy, you'll be able to do it in your sleep while tap dancing. smiley

Once you have your PRC file from Mobipocket, you can use the Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac application to proof the formatting. It accepts MS Word docs, so your italics will be preserved. I recommend using Times New Roman rather than some other "pretty" font to avoid potential issues with font sizing, etc on the Kindle. I think the problems we see in indie fiction stem from carelessness on the part of the author. People are so eager to get their books out, they don't proof it very well (or edit it, for that matter). Those authors who care rely on readers to catch the mistakes, which are usually mentioned in reviews. Yikes!

Sales definitely pick up when I put the books on sale, but to earn the same royalty, they have to sell at 6x the previous rate. I don't usually get that big a jump in sales volume, so I do lose money by doing sales, but it gets the book into more hands and new reviews usually result. smiley

What helped VoV's sales this month more than anything was (shameless plug alert!) the Hugo Award nomination it got at the end of March. It's not keeping up with Kinshield's 99c sale, but it's beating February's sales by a wide margin. Sales at BN have always been pretty dismal. I don't know how to reach those readers. Posting on the nook Facebook page rarely results in more than a sale or two, and BN is constantly messing with their search function, making it even harder for readers to find the books they're looking for! lol
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KC May
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2011, 09:36:11 AM »

What helped VoV's sales this month more than anything was (shameless plug alert!) the Hugo Award nomination it got at the end of March.

Holy crap!  Shocked

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! dance dance dance
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Rook
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2011, 12:33:00 PM »

What helped VoV's sales this month more than anything was (shameless plug alert!) the Hugo Award nomination it got at the end of March.

Holy crap!  Shocked

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! dance dance dance

What she said!  dance
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2011, 12:50:32 PM »

Yes gratz!
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2011, 01:00:55 PM »

Thank you! smiley

For those still on the fence about the ebook thing: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/46870-e-book-sales-explode-in-february-as-other-segments-sink.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly%27s+PW+Daily&utm_campaign=0cf8530cca-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email
Quote
E-book sales growth showed no signs of letting up in February, increasing at an even faster rate than they did in January. According to AAP’s monthly sales estimates, e-book sales jumped 202.3% at the 16 publishers that reported results, hitting $90.3 million. The rest of the trade segments, however, all had declines in the month with adult hardcover sales plunging 43%, to $46.2 million at the 17 houses that reported figures, while mass market paperback sales tumbled 41.5%, to $29.3 million at the nine reporting houses. The $90.3 million in e-book sales was the highest dollar amount reported by any of AAP’s publishing segments in the month. The association attributed the gains to the post-holiday surge of consumers adding e-books to new e-readers.
For the first two months of 2011, e-book sales were up 169.4%, to $164.1 million, equalling the sales of trade paperbacks for the two-month period; trade paperback sales were down 22.5% for the two months at the 19 reporting publishers.

<evil laugh>
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KC May
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2011, 05:01:56 AM »

Hey, massive congrats on the Hugo nomination - that's quite some achievement. Can I ask how that came about? I assume that usually that kind of thing is driven by publishers, so what do you do if you're self-pubbing?
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Pharosian
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2011, 07:53:18 AM »

I had the same question. I know for short stories, they only consider stories from particular markets. You could write the best story in the world, but if it was published on some FTL e-zine site, it's not going to be considered. But I've never heard what the criteria are for novels...
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2011, 09:05:23 AM »

Thanks! Anyone with membership in the World Science Fiction Society can nominate up to 5 books per year. Nominations close in March for books published the previous year. Since the Hugo is a reader-selected award, you can't nominate your own book (nor can publishers nominate their books). Basically it takes just one member of the WSFS to like the book well enough to spend one of his 5 nominations on it. smiley Getting on the actual ballot is more difficult. From what I understand, only the 5 most-nominated books get on the ballot. With a membership of over 5000 people, each submitting 5 books... yeah. My book hasn't a chance of winning!  That's okay though -- the nomination itself is a huge honor, and I'm thrilled to have gotten it.
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KC May
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2011, 06:02:57 PM »

Veering slightly off-topic, here's another slightly scary but interesting angle on e-books.
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Ed
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2011, 04:58:44 AM »


Urgh -- that's going to become a real pain in the arse, isn't it rolleyes
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2011, 08:47:52 AM »

I sure hope Amazon is looking into ways to combat this.  Angry
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KC May
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2011, 10:33:08 PM »

That is always an issue with digital items. You have to hope a true dedicated reader always looks for a hardcopy in the end I think.

I don't have a link, but I do remember i  my research coming across a very interesting report. This guy I think is a facebook friend, but I can't remember,  so bare with me on all of this.

Anyway, he did a little experiment on digital sales versus hardcopy sales. More interesting though, is that during this experiment he came across info his ebook was being passed about here and there. What he noticed as a result was an increase in sales. So he and his publisher came up with an interesting idea. They put out his next book and leaked it to the public via trading venues like that. The result was tremendous increases in sales. In other words, he used this to increase knowledge of his persona as a marketing idea. Quite genius if you ask me, and believe me when I say...its gonna happen whether you want it to or not. This is turning into a positive spin at the very least.

Truth is, there are many bands I never would have come across if not for the passing of songs between people. And, when I like a band, I buy many of their albums. I think that works with writing too now days. If the 1st Steve King you read was IT (as it was me) and you fell in love, chances are you might enjoy it enough to buy them all. Hmm, funny how that works sometimes. Sometimes even, the very people fighting this system, are benefiting because of it.

Its basically like giving free copies of your media, to gain readers...much like a serial novel...then hoping they buy the book. Great article...wish I could find it for you folks, but I've lost it.
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