Tag Archives: e-book sales

Konrath’s Sales: the Numbers of Books

MUST READ:  A snippet from J.A. Konrath’s latest blog post:
Publishing can survive using this strategy, if authors are gullible enough to keep signing these one-sided contracts. Here’s how:

On a $6.99 paperback, the author makes about 56 cents. That’s close to what the publisher makes, after all expenses. While it is possible for publishers to get into the black before an author earns out her advance, earning out the advance is usually a good indicator the book is making money.

On a $6.99 legacy* e-book, the author makes $1.04 after agent commission. The publisher makes $3.67. So let’s play the advance game.

A publisher pays an author $20,000 advance. Author keeps $17,000 after the agent is paid. There is no paper version. The e-book, priced at $6.99, sells 12,000 e-books in five years, which is what my legacy e-book Dirty Martini has sold.

The author would still owe $7520 on the advance before earning another nickel. In the meantime, the publisher has made $44,000. Minus the $20k advance, the publisher has pocketed $24,000, and still will make money for a few more years without paying the author any more.

If the author self-pubbed his own book at $6.99, and sold 12,000 copies, he would have made $58,880.

If publishers keep signing authors for e-book-only deals, at the current royalty rates, they will get richer than they ever have, at the expense of authors. Before you sign any contract, understand what it means, what you are getting, and what you are giving up.

Read the whole blog:

*legacy means big publishers


Hyper Smash



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Ebook Sales Up 117%


Gary McLaren wrote in

“The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is reporting today that e-book sales grew by an estimated 117.3% for the year of 2011. For the US publishing companies who report revenue to AAP, e-books (excluding the religious category which is tracked separately) generated revenue of $969.9 million during 2011 compared to $446.3 million in 2010.

2011 was not such a good year for print books however. Adult trade hardcover ($1,293.2m) and paperback ($1,165.6m) fell 17.5% and 15.6% respectively.

E-books have now grown by more than 100% for three consecutive years.

Keep in mind that this data relates to the US market and only reflects those publishers who report sales data to Association of American Publishers. The e-book market is considerably larger than that when all of the smaller and independent publishers are taken into account, and especially if all countries were included in one report.

With such exponential growth it is difficult in the graph above to see the values of e-book sales in the earlier years of 2002 through 2005. Another chart shows e-book revenue growth as reported to AAP for the past 10 years.”


Hyper Smash


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How High Can The e-Book Market Go?


Just found on the Internet:

Last year the Publishers Association’s put a figure of £13 Mio on e-book sales at invoiced prices suggesting that the total market – at retail prices – could be somewhere between £20 Mio and £25 Mio: this it said was up 570% on the previous year’s number.  A second way of measuring the size of the e-book market in the UK might be to look at the decline in print book sales.

Were e-book sales in the UK worth £105 Mio in 2011?  This was the figure implied by Hachette UK when it stated last week that its e-book sales of £21  Mio amounted to a 20% share of the UK e-book market.
Read the whole story:

J.A. Konrath talks about the Self-Publishing Movement: Sealed with a Loving Kiss
Self-published writer Joe Konrath has written a love letter to his ex: the publishing industry. It’s entitled Amazon will destroy you, and it is not pleasant reading.
However, Philip Jones comments on his blog:

Do publishers always get it right? Of course not. Are they learning fast? Sure. Publishing has gone from an industry that was 99% print, based on archaic rules and conventions and one serviced by multiple outlets who largely supported what it was about: to one that is at least 20% digital and dominated by one mainly adversarial customer.  And this has happened in an incredibly short period of time, and at a moment when consumer purchasing has been uniquely damaged.  Under these circumstances one might be tempted to give big publishers a break while they adjust and carry on.

What do you think of all this?
My guess is: e-Books will get a bigger market share, but not more than 75%. Beautiful coffee table books will always stay with us. Fiction or non-fiction “How-To” books are perfect for e-Readers.


Hyper Smash


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Why You Should Ask Yourself Some Hard Questions

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Before you even attempting to write, develop and market an e-book, or paper book for that matter, create yourself a roadmap.
Research first and build a solid foundation. The problem is that too many people are in a hurry to start writing and don’t lay a foundation for book marketing. They spend all this time writing, and then they have no buyers.
Do the research and find out if your idea is going to make money. If yes, great! Go for it. If not, find another idea.



Ask yourself some hard questions:

• Who will be your e-book readers?

• Is there a demand for your eBook product?

• Is your e-book a “must have” purchase?

• How much will people pay for your product?

• Does the purchase of your eBook lead to additional e-book sales?

• How much money will you need to fund your project?

• How likely are you to excel among the competition?

• How do you contact and “pitch” your product to your potential buyers?

• How to you get the important book reviews?

• Do you have already lots of followers in your social networks?

Writing your book is only 20% of the work, 80% is marketing! Having a plan on how you intend to market, publicize and sell your book before starting to write it is crucial.

• Choose your book content
• Start marketing your book, even before writing it
• Design and format it into a perfect downloadable file
• Create a professional cover for your e-book
• Select the e-book retailer to upload your book (Amazon, Apple, B&N, Sony…)
• Continue marketing your book

You are responsible for providing your own ongoing marketing for e-published work – the same as for paper books that are often not very well marketed. A book might be great, but if nobody knows about it, it won’t sell. Authors can’t count on the public seeing their books on shelves or in store windows – they have to find it on the internet.



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e-Book Trendspotting

e-Book Trends & Surveys

Several surveys of consumer attitudes towards e-books, e-readers and devices have been released, that revealed trends for the future of digital publishing, helping to support common (sense?) e-predictions.

Respondents who said they prefer to read e-books on e-Readers e.g. Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook, only 27% are buying fewer paperback titles, and only 25% are buying fewer hardcovers, despite almost 40% increasing their purchases of e-books.

This suggests that people will continue to buy multiple formats, despite using an e-reading device.  4% of dedicated e-reader users have bought more hardcovers since they started buying e-books and 2% have bought an increasing number of paperbacks. It turns out that content in multiple formats actually increases book purchasing across the board.

Similarly, of all the US e-Reader owners surveyed by New York-based Verso Advertising’s, over 90% said that they would continue to purchase printed books. The majority (70.1%) said they would purchase over six printed books next year and a quarter (25.8%) said they would buy 13 or more print books.  The context is that e-Reader early adopters would be keener readers.

Are digital growth predictions too optimistic?

No question, digital is increasing, and publishers need to meet their customers demand. Market researcher Mintel’s report, Books and E-Books, February 2011, notes that judging the true size of the market is difficult because of the scant hard data on e-book sales, yet adds: “Regardless of the paucity of data on the subject, there is little doubt from comments made by publishers and retailers that the e-books market is growing rapidly.” The report then suggests that in the US, e-book sales in 2010 were up by 164%, and now account for almost 10% of the market; and that in the UK, e-books are estimated to account for anything between 1% and 3% of the total market.


Price issues
E-book readers suggested they should pay less for an e-book than for a hardback, the vast majority is expecting to pay 40%–70% less for an e-book.  Just 19% said they expected to pay the same price for the printed equivalent. The report also states that “e-book readers are most likely to buy books online because it is cheaper (49%), suggesting that, as e-books increase their share of the market, there is going to be even more pressure on prices than there is at present.”

Similarly, BISG’s survey finds “affordability” ranks highest in importance for consumers when deciding whether to buy e-books instead of print books, with just over 70% stating that the price of the title being within an “acceptable range” is a key factor. The ease of acquisition of titles is not far behind, however, with just under 70% suggesting that the ease of downloading or streaming an e-book is very important.

Price slips down a few notches in importance when it comes to the devices themselves. BISG found that when it comes to customer satisfaction with devices, portability (just under 80%) and the ability to carry multiple e-books on a single device (just over 70%), are more important than the actual cost of e-books (just over 60%).

Verso has found that customers’ satisfaction with their devices also seems to be leading to some acceptance of higher prices for e-Readers.
See the whole Verso Survey as power-point-presentation


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2 Million Book Deal for new Author

Self-Publisher signs four-book-deal with St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan

Amanda Hocking, the famous 26-year-old author, who sold more than a million copies of her self-published books, has signed up with a traditional publisher for her next series, to be released in Fall of 2012.

A heated auction for the rights to publish her books began. Several major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, dropped out as the price climbed into the seven figures. The bidding eventually rose beyond $2 million for world English rights, said her literary agent Steven Axelrod.

Ms. Hocking began self-publishing her books last year, selling them through online retailers such as and

Writing on her blog she explained herself to her readers. “I want to be a writer,” she said. “I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling e-mails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation.”

Read the full story about the authors publishing successand the comments.

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Publishing News


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