Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review discussion

Book market > Author opinions for a blog piece please

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan This is an interesting question. I'll be in touch.

message 2: by Robert (last edited Jan 20, 2017 04:35PM) (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Where did you get 48% of US citizens have read no books in the previous year?

I am not finding any numbers in any articles that high.
Gallup Poll says -The number of Americans who say they read no books in the past year has doubled since the first time Gallup asked this in 1978, from 8% then to 16% now, but has been fairly steady near the current level since 1990.-

Same article did say that 48 percent of Americans over 65 read 1 to 10 books last year. Goes on to mention other percentages for other things for other groups which I guess must ultimately add up to 86 percent having read at least one book.

This link is from a publishers point of view.

The had a list of points, the last 2 I found to be interesting.
6. Build books around a big new idea.
7. Front-load the main ideas in books and keep books short.

#6 would cut down on the number of new books. How many people have given you the advice just keep writing one after another until readers start noticing you. They don't don't say write something different each time, just keep hammering away at it.

#7 is asking that the books have the main idea up front where it can easily be found and keep it short, as the length of books seems to be shrinking, now 50,000 words is an acceptable book size according to Amazon. That could increase the number of books as it would take less time to write one.

There are far more new books hitting the "market" each year than there ever was. Are we saying that readers need to step up the number of books they read each year?

It says the publisher can survive better if the advertising cost is shifted to the author. This is a pay to play world where it is perfectly acceptable to pay for music and tv that used to be free over the airwaves. Perfectly acceptable to run pay to play educational systems that give out good education to some but block far more from receiving an education that will change their lives and the lives of their families. Something that would enrich the world. So if pay to play is the business model of choice, how could the publishing world escape the same fate. It is a crude way to self regulate the business.

This whole independent revolution has changed the way the publishing world worked. They used to have control over the printing press which totally controlled who was read. Independent publishing like Amazon, who will publish almost anything has created a large pool of indie authors who can publish for free. The publishers also controlled the editing, but we now have indie editors, a lot of them. Most are not free, but a simple overview is pretty cheap. Then the reviewers used to be a restricted club which was strictly enforced by the limited opportunities to publish a review. Nowadays even a child can publish a review for any product they want to.

The entire publishing system was opened up so anybody could do it and a large number of people have responded to the opportunity. Far more people than anyone probably anticipated. If we want readers to read more books, maybe we need to give them better real variety.

It seems like a successful book today is one that simply sells another book, any book, any subject. It can be full price or a used book price for 10 cents. What are we going to do when people figure out a way to sell used ebooks. Perhaps authors have arrived at the point where they need a union.

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments One thing is certain, readers have never had greater access to so many books from so many sources.

Author Earnings puts out about 8 to 10 articles a year.
They draw all kinds of conclusions.
The more data they uncover the muddier the waters get.

There are a couple of problems which restrict the accuracy of the reports. One is the correct identification of the type of author. Another problem is tracking down all the sources of book sales and correctly identifying the type of book sold. There are still a lot of used books sold at brick and mortar stores that don't report anything other than the total amount of sales. I doubt the book sales on ebay are reported to anyone by the exact type of book.

Authors don't need to register, books don't need to be registered, books can be published without any reporting to official sources.
The book sale reports may simply be an expression of who has the most impressive record keeping but not a realistic accounting of the entire market.

Headline for the October 2016 article:
After two and a half years of quarter-over-quarter growth, Indie eBook market share shrinks significantly.
Indie ebook market share drops all the way back to early 2015 levels.
Traditional publishers regain a little lost ebook ground.
Amazon publishing imprints grow a lot.

All kinds of statistics and numbers. One type of book sale is up, another down, another flat. Author earnings up, or down. Ebooks are doing better, ebooks are doing worse.

One conclusion: Something has changed in the book market, but it is not known exactly what has changed.

The article finishes with this:
"Will indie ebook market share rebound in Q4?
Or will it continue to shrink?
At this point, the answer is anybody’s guess. But we’re intensely curious to see what further changes the end of the year will bring. Either way, this remains a golden age for authors willing to take control of their careers, and we don’t expect that to change any time soon."

message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments The more articles I looked at the more conflicting the data became. Part of the problem could be the breakup of the traditional publishing model hasn't finished yet so there still might be a lot of instability left. Sort of like climate change.

back to top