Sunday, December 28, 2014

Is Amazon Turning On Self-published and Indie Authors?

Amazon is one of the best friends a self-published or indie author can have. Amazon gave authors a way to make their written works available to millions of potential readers, sold the book, in paper or ebook format, collected the money, shipped the book, and at the end of the month deposited the author's share in the bank.

Self-published authors are beginning to question, and question loudly, if Amazon is still their friend.

What has caused the change in attitude on the part of self-published authors?

Kindle Unlimited.

David Streitfield takes a look at why authors are unhappy with the Kindle Unlimited program in his piece titled Amazon Offers All-You-Can-Eat Books. Authors Turn Up Noses in the December 27, 2014, issue of The New York Times.

If you have books enrolled in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program and have seen a significant drop in your earnings, this article may provide you with some insight into why this is happening.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pondering the Decision to Self-Publish or Publish Traditionally? Data to Help You Make Your Decision

The battle rages in the publishing world. Without a doubt, there are many in traditional publishing who feel threatened by what is happening in the indie, or self-publishing, world. There are many who wish to be published but do not want the "stigma" of being self-published.

In the past the stigma of being self-published might very well have been justified. Vanity Publishing carries with it the stigma of its very name, vanity.

If you want to make a living from your writing, or at the very least, pay some bills on a regular basis, you need to stop and seriously consider self-publishing your work. I got my start in self-publishing through POD paperbacks. Now the majority of my sales are ebooks.

I still make a lot more per sale with my POD titles, but make up for the lower revenue per unit from my ebooks with the sheer volume of sales. If I could figure out how to make the same total number of sales, but all POD, I would be deliriously happy! I digress.

To make a significant choice between self-publishing your work or pursuing a traditional publishing contract, it is important to try to set aside the propaganda from both camps. Make a decision based on sales data.

While this seems much easier said than done, there is a source of sales data that allows an individual author to make the correct, for that author, decision about how to publish their work.

One data set worth examining, and a telling one at that, is the Print vs. Digital Report for May of 2014.

Another interesting data set is the 2014 Barnes & Noble ebook report.

Finally, I would like to suggest taking a look at October 2014 Amazon ebook (estimated) sales data. 

All of these reports I have linked to are from the Author Earnings site.

Catching Up

It's been awhile since I last posted and quite a bit has gone on in the world of self-publishing. Amazon's very public, or so it seemed, dispute with Hachette is over and time will tell who won that battle. If you want to read up on that entire debacle, visit J.A. Konrath's blog and you can read more than may want to about the entire negotiation and the various mudslinging battles that transpired. It's interesting reading, particularly if you are torn between self-publishing and attempting to obtain a traditional publishing contract. Simply start with one and work your way back, either one at a time or through links in the various posts.

Morris Rosenthal has returned to blogging and providing data about the world of self-publishing, particularly as it relates to Amazon and self-publishing. The latest incarnation of his blog is titled Publishing 3.0: Books in the Age of Amazon.

My current projects have included non-fiction in a brand new area for me in a topic I am passionate about, Italian Greyhounds! This project probably will be a success if it simply breaks even, but I feel like I need to diversify the types of books I write and self-publish in hopes to continue to earn a decent extra-income.

Finally, in what is probably a misguided effort on my part, is my attempt to sell paperback books directly from my own website using a Shopify store. It was easy to set up, but so far I have had very limited success in selling any books.

I hope everyone who visits my site has a GREAT Christmas this year!