As I've previously noted, I'll be appearing on January 15th on a Digital Book World panel in New York entitled "Authors Facing the Industry: Data and Insights From Authors on the Publishing Business, Author-Publisher Relations, and Marketing."
Click here or on the image to view the full DBW agenda. Time is 3:00 to 3:50PM. You can save 5% on your attendance with Speakers Code DBWSPEAKERS; make sure you register today.
(Take the Amazon Pricing and Marketing Policies for Independent Authors Survey Today)
This survey is brief and focuses on indie interest in potentially promoting their books via the programs I describe in my previous article, Escape from Stalag $7: Why Amazon's Pricing Box Is Bad for Indies. Everyone who participates in the survey will receive a copy of the full summary results as well as relevant cross-tabulations. More information at the link above. Your participation and personal information will be kept completely confidential.)
Last week, I posted on this blog an article Escape from Stalag $7: Why Amazon's Pricing Box Is Bad for Indies. The reaction to it was much stronger than I'd anticipated. On the first day after it went up, about four thousand people read it, and I estimate that after a couple of weeks have gone by, the number will rise to well over 10K. Clearly, this is a topic of interest to independent/self-published writers. And certainly one we have a stake in.
Reactions were on the whole very favorable, though the acclaim was by no means universal. Over at The Digital Reader, the site owner wrote a typical AAAG article mixing misstatements with a plea to not think about the issues I raised. A brief example of Nate Hoffelder in action:
+++ one, that people in publishing should not discuss the topic du jour, namely a contract fight which could have had an impact on the entire industry. +++
This, of course, is pure AAAG. Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, and the rest of AAAG didn't discuss the topic, at least not on any level playing field. They advocated on behalf of a $75B coporation in its fight with a $15B group of large publishers, a battle in which indies had no stake.
+++ two, that indie authors had any obligation to explain Amazon's policies, +++
More AAAG. Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, Nate Hoffelder et al, who position themselves as indie advocates, certainly had plenty of time to discuss Amazon's position vs. the publishers. Why can't they divert some of that energy to discussing Amazon's policies as they impact indies? After all, aren't they supposed to be our advocates? I'm not impacted by Hachette's agency pricing model, but I am by Amazon grabbing 65% of my international sales revenue.
The rest of the article is typical AAAG dreary, and never even attempts to address the issues raised in Stalag $7. You can read it here.
Over at www.teleread.com, things were more favorable (though they had a gentleman show up and try to claim that Amazon pays you royalties! Where do these people come from)? Michael Perry of Inkling Books provided some interesting Amazon math here:
As he notes, Amazon’s ebook goal is quite obvious and has been for a long time. When you sell an ebook through them, at all price levels they want to take 65% for a mere credit card transaction and file download that costs them mere pennies. Then they want to give you only 35%. Can most authors and publishers make any sort of decent living on that? No, particularly since Amazon intends to do all it can to drive down that price from which your 35% comes.
To get a rough estimate what that would mean, for a $9.99 ebook, Amazon will make $7 less costs that are probably around a dime. And it’ll pay you but $3.50 for all your months of labor. It’s making roughly a 7000% profit, while you can’t afford the rent.
Read the rest here.
Finally, Bowerbird@bbirdman provided a very detailed critique of my article, agreeing with some points and disagreeing with others. For example:
relaxing the box too soon, however, risks the principle (held devoutly by reasonable people) that e-books are cheaper to reproduce and distribute than paper-books, so they _must_ cost less or someone be robbing people. that the major publishers refuse to acknowledge this fact is what has caused extensive damage to e-books thus far. corporate publishers were in love with their big margins, and they knew e-books would eventually threaten them.so they've been doing their best to delay that inevitability.
The "Bird" also provided some suggested workarounds for Stalag $7. I'm not sure they're all practical, but the entire post is well worth your reading.
Read her comments here
As a result of the strong response to the article and reading the many comments made about it, I realized there was one voice absent from the issue and that is yours. I'd like to know the indie community's opinion on the issues I discussed in Stalag $7. Are you interested in greater promotional opportunities on Amazon? Which ones are you most interested in? Do you think the Amazon $7 spread on your pricing is equitable? Do you think that if you were allowed to promote outside the box you could do successfully? Do you price outside the box and if no, why not?
These questions are covered in the survey. It's brief, and should take less than five minutes of your time to complete. Everyone who participates will receive a copy of the full summary results as well as relevant cross-tabulations. More information at the link above. Your participation will be kept completely confidential.
Take the Amazon Pricing and Marketing Policies for Independent Authors Survey Today
My thanks in advance to all who chose to participate. I look forward to hearing what you think!
Review Submission Guidellines
Want me to review your book? You must join the Rule-Set mailing list and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT use the contact form for a review request; for press and publishers only. Your book can be a proof but ready for sale within 60 days.
Scifi/-fantasy only at this time. Make sure it's been professionally copyedited. If it's not, I'll know in about five pages and will reject the book. I don't mean to be a hump about it, but approximately 40% to 50% of the books I've received have had far too many typos, comma splices, misuse of dependent clauses, etc. (No, it doesn't have to be perfect. Most books have a few typos, including ones coming out of "traditional" publishing.) Your book cannot succeed in the market with such flaws and it's not fair to ask reviewers to read it in such a state.
I'll take a look at YA, but I'm not the best fit to that audience. PDF, Mobi, print all fine. If you have an author website you wish me to link to, please provide the URL. I don't charge and I also don't guarantee a good review!
Please note comments on blog posts are limited to 5K characters. System limitation.
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