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Interesting Publishing Predictions for 2014

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Fortune-Teller

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J. A. Konrath did it again: outlook to this years’ publishing future – as he sees it. He explains what works and what not – and what could be done better. Here an excerpt from his predictions:

  • “Paper book sales will no longer be significant enough to sustain the nation’s largest bookstore chain, maybe stores closing.”
  • “Libraries will buy e-books directly from authors.”
  • “Indie bookstores will need to start selling self-pubbed books, or perish. If indie bookstores deal directly with self-pubbed authors, and print their own copies to sell in their stores, they can build inventory and cut out the share normally taken by publishers.”
  • “Big 5 mergers and layoffs and bankruptcies. As the publishing cartel loses its quasi-monopoly on paper distribution, there will be no way to support its infrastructure.”
  • “The publishing biz has become a tech biz. You don’t win at tech by playing catch-up. You win by innovating.”
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J. A. Konrath’s prediction:
“Visibility will become harder. As more e-books get published, and virtual shelf space expands, it is going to become harder to get exposure. Self-pubbed authors who don’t focus on their current, core readership will see sales diminish. The future will be about actively cultivating a readership. So far we’ve been lucky. With KDP Select Free Days, authors have been able to get visible without reconnecting with longtime readers. There have always been enough new readers to sustain sales.

Maintaining a fan base is going to become increasingly more important.
That means having an up-to-date website, making it easy to sign up for your newsletter, staying active in social media, and regenerating your brand with new titles and continued promotions.

Change is hard. It’s also inevitable.
The best thing you can do right now, as a writer, is look to the future and try to find your place in that future. That might mean you’ll need to forget the past. It also might mean you’ll have to learn to accept, and forgive.”
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Furthermore:
“It isn’t a stretch to believe tens of millions of self-published e-books are being sold annually. We don’t need Vanity publishers / called: self-publishing services. We don’t need to pay Kirkus or PW for reviews. We don’t need writing organizations (MWA, Authors Guild) who don’t look out for our interests.”  And he continues to explain what we need.  Read the whole, interesting post on J.A. Konrath’s blog.
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/  to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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Less than Minimum Wage for Authors?

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Justicia

Justicia

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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part One of a Series

You might remember an article How Harlequin Publishing Deceives Their Authors from last summer in this blog, about the planned class action suit against the publisher. Today I stumbled about a sequel of J.A. Konrath’s blog: Harlekin Fail, Part 2, where he explains the contract practices of the trade publishers in general, and how they deceive their authors. From today on we will look more closely into these practices.
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When offered the opportunity to publish traditionally, about two-thirds of self-published authors are interested. The supposed prestige of a traditional publisher, the wide distribution a publisher can generate and help with marketing, are the reasons, cited in surveys.
However the perception of traditional publishing is often not up to date in public, as the way of book marketing (and the whole traditional publishing business) has totally changed. Only celebrity authors get full promotion, other writers have to fend for themselves, and they often do not even know that their books have only a maximum of three months to survive on bookstores shelves until they will be returned to the publisher or discarded. Read also What Publishers Won’t Tell You.
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In the last hundred years, the only way to get published, or better said, get distribution for a book, was to sign a contract with a publisher. Writers had almost no choice, then to accept the publishing contract terms – until the advent of author-publishing, which was the norm since about a hundred years ago.
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Imagine, an agent / publisher offers you a publishing contract.
Best advice for any author is to know what they get into, to understand the publishing contract and to consult a contract lawyer before signing the papers.  As Copylaw.com wrote: “While it is difficult to see how your publishing agreement will play out in the long term, the decisions you make today could have profound, long term consequences.”

This will be a series of articles, trying to bring some light into the murky waters of these universally unfair and mostly, non-negotiable publishing contracts. Disclaimer: Nothing in these articles can or should be taken as legal advice.
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What are the subjects / paragraphs of a publishing contract? Let’s look in detail at

  • Duration of the contract
  • Rights granted by the author to the publisher
  • Territory for these rights
  • Manuscript Delivery
  • Advances and Royalties
  • Statements and Payments
  • Publication
  • Competing Works
  • Unsatisfactory Material
  • Out-of-Print Termination
  • Reversion of rights

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Even if you are still eager to sign a contract, you should at least know what you (and maybe even your heirs) get into, and what the contract clauses really mean. This series about details in publishing contracts will also help you to ask the right questions when you meet with a lawyer, specialized in publishing contracts / contract law.
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The entire publishing industry is using boilerplate contracts and universally, one-sided clauses to exploit authors – same as it has happened (and often still does) in the music industry – until the dawn of Indie Music … and now the music industry is in deep trouble, as many artists became their own producer and distributor. Which will ultimately happen with parts of the publishing industry. Look at all the mergers of publishing houses, that happened recently!
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Their system is designed to take advantage of Authors’ naivete and their lack of bargaining power, and it uses the promise of book publication as a carrot to get them to accept biased terms. However, there are a few authors who managed to have at least one or the other of the contract clauses changed.
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Who fights for better publishing contracts? No one does …

Authors have no one to fight for their rights.
Authors won’t help each other, they don’t band together. The successful ones do not want to compromize their bestsellerdom. Newbie authors and aspiring writers are eager to become published, even at less favorable terms.

Agents really work for the publishers.
And even if they would have the courage to fight the status quo, chances are their authors wouldn’t back them – out of fear to form a united front against publishers.

Publishers certainly won’t change. 
Because they have no incentive to. They can pick and choose among millions of manuscripts. And they can, or had, certainly theoretically only ;- ) arranged for universal contract terms and royalties among their peers …
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Let’s look into the details of publishing contracts in the next two of the series, in order to find out and to realize what these contract clauses mean for authors. Stay tuned, and spread the word, re-blog these articles, so that as much writers as possible learn about the tactics of the publishing industry.
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Sources / Read also:

Author Beware of Scams

Unconscionability

Negotiating Your Book Contract

Ten Key Negotiating Points

Comments on Unfair Contracts (by a lawyer)

Quick Guide to Book Contract Trouble Spots

Negotiating Book Contract Terms and Royalties

What Not to Miss When Negotiating Your Book Publishing Contract

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 850 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
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http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Marketing

 

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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: http://jakonrath.blogspot.ca/2012/09/konraths-sales.html

*legacy means big publishers

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Did Harlequin Publishing Deceive Their Authors?

Yesterday I read this article on J.A. Konrath’s blog:

“Three authors have just filed a class action suit against Harlequin publishing, which belongs to TorStar Corp., a Canadian publishing company.

One of them, Ann Voss Peterson wrote a book that Harlequin published, and she made 2.4% royalties per e-book copy sold. One of the reasons for this was:

While most of my books are sold in the US, many are sold under lower royalty rates in other countries.

In this particular contract, some foreign rights and – ALL e-book royalties – are figured in a way that artificially reduces net by licensing the book to a “related licensee,” in other words, a company owned by Harlequin itself.
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Here’s an example: Harlequin has an e-book it lists for $3.99. It sells that to Amazon at a wholesale price of $2.00. The author should make $1.00 for each $3.99 e-book that Amazon sells. But instead of selling directly to Amazon, Harlequin sells the e-book to Company X for 12 cents. So the author only gets 6 cents. Company X than sells the same e-book to Amazon for $2.00, but because they are a sub-licensing company, they don’t have to pay the author anything.

Sub-licensing is common. This is all fine and legal. So why are authors suing Harlequin? Because Harlequin and Company X are the same company!  No publishing company would ever sub-license rights for a paltry 6%, unless it was selling the rights to itself. Does Harlequin really expect a judge to believe that it sells a $3.99 e-book and only makes 6 cents? And according to the complaint, the 6% was not equivalent to the amount reasonably obtainable from an unrelated party, as required by the publishing agreements.

Do publishers have such a sense of entitlement, and do they believe that authors are so beneath them, that this is a fair and honest business practice?” Read J.A.Konrath’s full story and the court complaints. It makes for an interesting reading!

 

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are almost 500 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “Like” next to it.

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And don’t forget to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or StumbleUpon – or other social networking sites of your choice) – other writers might also enjoy this blog and find it useful.

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Once More: For Those Who Missed it in January

JA Konrath

JA Konrath List

Wednesday, January 11, 2012    J.A. Konrath wrote in his blog:
$100,000  –  One hundred grand. That’s how much I have made on Amazon in the last three weeks!

This is just for my self-published Kindle titles.  It doesn’t include Shaken and Stirred, which were published by Amazon’s imprints.  It doesn’t include any of my legacy sales (traditional published) print or e-book. It doesn’t include audio book sales. It doesn’t include sales from other platforms. The numbers don’t  show over 1,500 sales I have had in Kindle foreign markets.

This is from my self-published books. The ones, which the Big 6 (NY publishers) rejected. Currently, my novel “The List” is #71 on the Top 100. It’s been in the Top 100 for 66 days. It’s the same one all those publishers rejected.  I am soooo glad I had so many books rejected. 

So far in January I am averaging well over $3500 a day.  I am having a very hard time wrapping my head around these numbers.  I am also having a hard time trying to figure out what this means for the future. But I’ll give it a shot.  In January of 2010 I made $2300 for the month on Kindle.  In January of 2011 I made $34,000. And this January $100,000…

What intrigues me is the UK market. I may sell over 1000 copies of a single title in the UK this month. I price my novels at 1.49 pounds, which means I make $1.60 per sale. So I’m going to earn more in the UK this January than I earned in the US in 2010.

Remember back in April of 2009 when I first self-published on Kindle?  I was giddy to have made $1,450 in a month in the US on all of my e-books combined. Now I can make $1600 in a month in the UK on a single title.  Amazon is continuing to introduce Kindles to more and more countries. The global market is happening.  I can’t see a limit.  I can’t see a ceiling. This is no longer a question of choosing between accepting 17.5% royalties from a legacy publisher for an e-book or doing it yourself. This has now become the best way in the history of mankind for a writer to earn money.

We can directly and instantly reach hundreds of millions of consumers in a global marketplace. We can set the list price, and we get to keep the majority of that list price.  Readers can buy our work instantly on devices that they love.  They don’t have to go to the store, the store is in their hands. Once a book is written and formatted it can sell unlimited copies – forever; without any costs to the writer other than the initial time investment and monetary investment, such as formatting, editing and cover.

I have been following the ebook revolution for three years, and I never could have predicted this would get so big so fast.  I have consistently been surprised by numbers and sales, and have lost count of the times I have said, “This is unreal.  But it isn’t unreal. It’s very real. I know, because I just pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming – for the fifth time today.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2012/01/100000.html

Just to caution your excitement:  J.A. Konrath has written dozens of books and he is engaged in social media and is blogging since 2005.

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Is Twitter Really Helping Authors to Find a Following and Readers?

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John Locke (How I Sold 1Mio Books in 5 Months) swears on Twitter. He is twittering since years. J.A. Konrath, Sheila Walsh, Kathryn Stockett, Rachel Hauck, Amanda Hocking, Barry Eisler and other successful authors, who are on Twitter, find it essential too.

Start Twittering. Do this before you do anything else online. Yes I know. You don’t have time. You can’t understand what all the fuss is about. You don’t get it. But you won’t get it until you try it. Just try it for one month. Promised?

Twitter limits communication to 140 characters including spaces and allows to build a large faithful following through posting teasers, leading followers to the author’s blog or website that will keep the Twitter-wanderer coming back over and over for more.

Once you have set up your profile, including an enticing bio that includes your main interest, it is time to do the first step: identifying Tweeters with compatible interests, follow them and hope they will follow back (mostly they do). Once they follow back, sending them welcome Direct Message (DM) which increases the likelihood that they will pay attention to your tweets, favorite them or retweet them. To do all that manually is incredibly time consuming and tedious. Luckily, there are ways to automate much of this work.

TweetAdder (http://www.tweetadder.com) enables you among other features to:

– Create a list of relevant followers and automatically follow them
– identify tweeters according to  factors such as location, keywords from bio, number of followers etc
– Automatically unfollow tweeters who do not follow you back after an interval of time of your choice
– Schedule automated tweets
– retweet all tweets from selected tweeters
– Send automated “Thank You for Following” DMs with the text of your choice to all new followers, including a link to your Facebook page in the DM might raise the number of your fans

Buffer: 
enables you to schedule tweets ahead of time. The free version offers limited services, yet the paid one has recurring fees that add up quickly.

Hashtags:
Hashtags are keywords that can be included in your tweet preceded by the symbol # and that will give greater exposure to your tweets. Hashtagged tweets are recorded by curators of various publications that will choose to re-post the link in your tweet as an article of their publications, thus expanding your reach as their publications are read by people who do not follow you on Twitter. Useful hashtags for authors are:
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Barry Eisler

Barry Eisler

#reader
#reading
#book blog
#lovetoread
#love2read
#bookworm
#booklover
#epublish
#publishabook
#writingtips
#reviewing
#book junkie
#bookdeal
#avid reader
#bookReview
#book club
#KDP (For Kindle Direct Publishing)

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It is never too early to start building a platform and to social network for yourself.  Wherever you are in the process of writing and publishing your book, marketing plays the main role.  Build what  marketing terms it is called a “platform” and create a “brand” – but I call it fun and reaching out to the world from the comfort of your home.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 710 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The Value of Publicity – by J.A. Konrath.


J.A. Konrath says: “People consider me to be one of the mouthpieces of the self-publishing movement. As such, I often get interviewed. I’ve been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, Newsweek, USAToday, etc.  You’d think all of this publicity has lead to increased sales of my ebooks. You’d think wrong.

His tips for new authors:

  • Focus, as always, on writing good books and presenting them in a professional way. The more books, the better!
  • Social media and word of mouth are helpful, but you have to reach a lot of people before these become a factor. Less tweeting, more writing.
  • Reviews don’t have the gravitas they used to. Certain ebook review sites can help sales, but even better is giving away free books to fans in exchange for an honest review.
  • Study Amazon and how it sells ebooks. Experiment. Take chances. If one of Amazon’s imprints offers to publish you, accept. Right now they are the only publisher who can increase your sales.

He also gives this advice: Avoid all legacy publishers. You can do everything they can, faster, and you don’t have to give away the majority of your income.  Don’t give up. It can take years before you get to where you want to be. Luck plays a part. Stick with it until you get lucky.”

More on his blog: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com

BTW: One does NOT need to have a Kindle to read Kindle formatted e-books from Amazon. Amazon provides a wide variety of FREE ways to read on your PC, smartphone, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android device, Mac, etc. Including the ability to read from any web browser via the Kindle Cloud Reader:  https://read.amazon.com

 

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