E-book Stuff: Links Extravaganza

Generally I avoid doing link digests because I like reading them, not compiling them, but there is so much good stuff on the interweb at the moment that I was forced into doing this. So make yourself a cup of coffee and get reading these:

First of all, I am on a Proper Publishing blog. Futurebook is The Bookseller‘s digital publishing blog and if you don’t know what The Bookseller is (i) I hope you don’t write or sell books and (ii) it’s only the most important publishing trade publication on this side of the Atlantic. Futurebook is a must read for e-book self-publishers because although it’s about all aspects of digital publishing, it’s not written by self-publishers. We’re confined to guest appearances, as we should be on an industry blog. Therefore, Futurebook can be relied upon for the cold, hard facts about the current state of the publishing industry, e-book growth, e-book pricing, etc. without anyone talking out of their unqualified arse about how every bookshop on earth will be gone by the end of next week. It’s a nice – and informed – antidote to E-book Evangelist Overload Syndrome.

Anyway, I popped up there yesterday asking Am I Only Selling Books Because My Books Are Cheap? (Or, do I only sell e-books because they’re priced really low and, if the answer is yes, what does that mean for me, for other self-publishers and for publishing in general?) Kindly retweet it up the wazoo so that they might have me back one day…

My post How Much Work is Self-Publishing? was also featured on yesterday’s The Book Designer’s Carnival of the Indies along with a treasure trove of articles on all aspects of self-publishing. If you’re not already reading The Book Designer, you really should be. And what is it you’ve been doing with your online time, eh?

I wanted to cry when I read (via Taleist) about how Kiana Davenport’s publisher reacted when they found out that she’d self-published some backlist titles. I don’t know who these publishers are, but I cannot quite comprehend why they would react as they have. I do think that if you have a traditional publishing deal and you intend to continue to self-publish, you’ll have to work with your publisher to find a schedule that gives both avenues the best chance of success, but this reaction seems a bit extreme. Reading it also made me think about what I’d do if the Publishing Genies granted my book deal wishes. Would I still self-publish as a sideline? I don’t know…

Over on the Smashwords blog, something I’ve been fascinated to know for a long time: How E-book Buyers Discover Books. Mark Coker, Smashwords’ founder, analyses data collected from a survey he posted at MobileRead. The most popular answer (29%) was “Recommendations from fellow readers online forums, blogs, message boards”, although surely this is somewhat skewed as the survey was answered by people using such a forum? But then as Coker points out, 71% of respondents did choose something else. Randomly browsing was definitely a major player which is what I’ve always suspected drives most of my sales. (Which is a bit depressing, when you consider how much time I spend trying to spread the word about my books online!)  There’s a wealth of information in there, and some of it is quite surprising. Plus, I love me a pie chart.

Finally this is nothing to do with anything, but I’ve watched this video now more times than I care to admit. WATCH IT THIS VERY MINUTE. You won’t regret it. Everyone I’ve shown it to has been exceptionally impressed with it. Apparently it was done for some Australian tourist agent types but since it was posted two months ago has had over 6 million views. 6 million! And if you’re not thinking about the horror of having to edit it, you’ll be crushing on the very pretty boy on it. And if you don’t like boys, you’ll be experiencing an overwhelming desire to go see the world. It is just awe-inspiring.

You may also have noticed a new, bright green thing in my blog’s sidebar. More on that later in the week…

Posted in: Uncategorized

9 thoughts on “E-book Stuff: Links Extravaganza

  1. Angela Watson says:

    I like the article you wrote on Futurebooks. I think the answer to your question is, yes, you ARE selling books because they are priced so low. However, if the books sucked, people would say so in the reviews, which means you wouldn’t sell so many for long. Because your reviews are overwhelmingly positive, people continue to take the low risk of $2.99. I also think that at this point, people are buying your books because they liked your OTHER books, which is a great point for an author to get to.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Thanks Angela, and I agree. Once all my books are up and ready to go (I have the Results blog tour to get out of the way first!) I think I’m going to stagger my price points, e.g. one at 99c, one at $1.99 and one at $2.99 or something like that, and see what happens. As you said the goal is to get people to buy a 99c or $1.99 book because it’s cheap, and then pay $2.99 for one of my other books.

      I would love to know though how one person can upload a 99c book and fails to sell any at all, while another person does the same and sells a thousand. I fear the answer is pure luck though…

      • Angela Watson says:

        I don’t think it’s luck, I think it’s reviews. I don’t even download FREE Kindle books unless a book has at least a 4 star rating based on 5+ reviews. Do you think there are people with multiple positive reviews that still can’t sell an ebook at 99 cents? I’m not sure I’ve seen this, but then again, I haven’t really looked.

        • Angela Watson says:

          Oh, and for what it’s worth, that’s why I bought Mousetrapped. Your reviews were overwhelmingly positive and the negative ones either sounded like nonsense or made me more intrigued. Then I saw your blog and you earned my trust (i.e., you are actually a good writer with intelligent things to say and Mousetrapped wasn’t just a fluke.) Now I would buy other books from you based just on that, and the fact that those other books have great reviews confirms my decision. I *think* most readers work that way.

          • catherineryanhoward says:

            I think reviews must play a huge part, which means that that’s the most important thing a writer can do (i.e. get them). Unfortunately that’s the hardest thing to do because I *hate* asking people or pressurizing them into it, and you can’t really offer a reward (like entry to a competition or free book or something) because it seems like you’re paying for them. I put something at the end of one of my books like, “If you liked this book, please help this author by telling someone that you did.” We’ll see if it works! 😀

  2. Christopher Wills says:

    Reference Kiana Davenport the solution could be give the money back and get the rights to her book back – I know not an easy thing to do in some circumstances. Then package the story and experience together and sell it to a newspaper, making sure she self publishes the ebook at the same time. The point being she might get some money from the newspaper story but also she should benefit from the publicity in sales.
    As a former maths teacher I prefer pies to pie charts. Mmmm pies….

Ah, go on. Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s