David Gaughran's Blog

August 9, 2014

In light of current events, I thought it would begood to re-run Ed Robertson’s excellent guest post from November 2012 where he highlighted interesting parallels between historical paperback pricing (pre-industry consolidation) and self-published e-books.


It’s unlikely I’ll have time this weekend to respond to emails, or tweets, or jump in the comments, as I’ll be busy editing, but this should give you something to chew on.


I’m sending the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital to the editor tomorrow...

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Published on August 09, 2014 06:38 • 3 views

July 23, 2014

wanted-alt71-200x300There is a lot of upheaval in publishing today and I think that’s likely to increase rather than decrease. The best insurance policy any writer can have against the future is a targeted mailing list.


I’ve written before about how the author with the biggest mailing list wins, and I’ve invited Nick Stephenson along today because he’s got somegreat ideas on how to boost your list.


Thecool thing about his approach is that it’s something anyone can do. And, as you will see, it really, really works....

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Published on July 23, 2014 13:16 • 6 views

July 20, 2014

amazon_kindle_unlimitedAmazon launched Kindle Unlimited on Friday, giving self-publishers a big decision to make.


The long-rumored subscription service will allow users to download unlimited books for $9.99 a month, and reader reaction has been, from what I can see, overwhelmingly positive – especially because they will be able to test the service with a month’s free trial. Writers have been a little more cautious, for all sorts of reasons I’ll try and tease out below.


The main stumbling block for self-publishers is...

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Published on July 20, 2014 05:31 • 14 views

July 6, 2014

amazonhachetteA group of bestselling traditionally published authors – including James Patterson, Scott Turow, and Douglas Preston – engaged in an act of breathtaking hypocrisy on Thursday with an open letter calling on Amazon to end its dispute with Hachette.


The letter is incredibly disingenuous. It claims not to take sides, but only calls on Amazon to take action to end the dispute. It also makes a series of ridiculous claims, notably that Amazon has been “boycotting Hachette authors.”


Where do I start?


Th...

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Published on July 06, 2014 08:23 • 8 views

June 28, 2014

amazonhachetteThere is so much crap being spouted in this anti-Amazon media push that you need a nose-peg and waders to get through it all.


Let’s take a look at what happened this week.


Hook, Line & Sinker


Statements from either side in the Amazon-Hachette dispute have been thin on the ground. Both companies are said to have signed NDAs – restricting formal comments while negotiations are ongoing – but Hachette has been leaking to reporters, and marshaling authors and industry figures in its defense, leading...

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Published on June 28, 2014 04:50 • 5 views

June 24, 2014

boomLast Friday we were treated to a story from the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, where Tony Horwitz claimed “I Was A Digital Bestseller” then complained about how little money this made him, and how he would now stick with traditional, print publishers as a result.


Then this Op-Ed was held up – in outlets like Gawker – as another example of how writers have it so tough in this scary new digital world which is going to lead us all into penury.


Just like the story I wrote in January – Fake Cont...

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Published on June 24, 2014 09:45 • 1 view

June 23, 2014

I have some huge news: Writer’s Digest has terminated its partnership with Author Solutions.


Abbott Press – the imprint launched by Writer’s Digest, parent company F+W Media, and white-label vanity press provider Author Solutions – is still operational, but all ties to Writer’s Digest have been cut.


It appears that Abbott Press will now be run directly as yet another Author Solutions brand but Writer’s Digest and F+W Media will have no further connection with it. (If you are unfamiliar with Aut...

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Published on June 23, 2014 05:13 • 3 views

June 9, 2014

CheapthrillsA common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishingor writers’ ability to make a living.


I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, whichis also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking.


And, if anything, the opposite is true.


Why So Cheap?


Self-publishers are fond of 99c pricing for a numbe...

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Published on June 09, 2014 08:47 • 4 views

June 7, 2014

mercenaryI’m launching Mercenary today and you can grab it from Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords for just 99c, and you can add it on Goodreads here.


I recommend grabbing it now because the price will be jumping to $4.99 in a few days. The reasoning behind 99c is below, but first here’s the blurb:


Lee Christmas gets drunk and falls asleep at the throttle of his locomotive, plowing straight into an oncoming train. Blacklisted from the railroad and his marriage in tatters, he flees New Orleans on a steamer...

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Published on June 07, 2014 09:36 • 6 views

June 3, 2014

authorsolutionsPRHThe more you study an operation like Author Solutions, the more it resembles a two-bit internet scam, except on a colossal scale.


Internet scammers work on percentages. They know that only a tiny fraction of people will get hoodwinked so they flood the world’s inboxes with spammy junk.


While reputable self-publishing services can rely on author referrals and word-of-mouth, Author Solutions is forced to take a different approach. According to figures released by Author Solutions itself when it w...

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Published on June 03, 2014 09:08 • 3 views