SPRT 022 Weekly News Discussion


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Welcome to episode 21 of the Self-Publishing Roundtable. The weekly indie news show that covers all of the news that matters to you, the indie author.

This week we are joined by our new co-host, Trish McCallan for the first time. Trish brings with her lots of indie and publishing success, and her ear close to the news that matters to you.

Let’s get on to the stories for tonight.

Promotional Backfire

Quote from the article author: “Not long ago I bought a new release at full price and within the month it had been discounted for a book bub ad. I made a mental note not to buy this author immediately at release again, to wait until she discounted her books, which she seems to do with every release. Several other people have mentioned they’ve started doing this as well. This article brings up an interesting point- by running sales promos on our new releases, are we teaching our audience not to pay full price for our new releases, but instead to wait until the new release goes on sale?”

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The Rise Of The E-Book Jerk

Amazon is the market-share leader in e-books and allows refunds within seven days—long enough to read just about any book for free. By contrast, Amazon allows physical books to be returned only in unread condition and doesn’t allow returns of other downloaded virtual items. Major competitors Barnes & Noble and Apple don’t allow e-book returns at all.

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The Art Of The Amazon Sale

Effective promotion work. There is a fine line between running promotions, and building a fan base, and not pissing off your current fan base.

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The Gray Line Of Author Recommendations

We’ll be talking about the thin line between using your power with readers to recommend other titles, and betraying their trust as readers.

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E-Book Bestseller Costs

Are traditional publishers starting to learn from indie success? This article may not bode well for self-publishers. Until recently one of our strongest advantages over the traditional houses was price- but that is changing fast. Last weeks NYT and USA Today’s bestsellers lists average price was 6.00. They broke the prices down. There were only 13 books priced above 8 dollars.

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E-Book Power Rankings

Around a year ago, Digital Books Today started compiling a list of the top selling ebooks each week based on units sold. I think their list of the top 17 ebooks for last quarter is interesting for a couple of reasons. 1) self published came in as number four. And 2) Amazon publishing was number seven. Since none of the other online distributors will carry Amazon books, there’s little doubt that this blockade is hurting ebook sales as well as their paper sales.

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Let’s Go German

One of the biggest eye-openers in this article, between 40-70% of the books on Amazon Germany’s Kindle store’s top 100 books in the store were self-published. 4% of the self-publishers surveyed live full time on their writing and earn more than 2,000 euros a month. This is doubly interesting since I have been getting emails from self-published authors who have been approached by Amazon Crossing- their foreign translation department– about buying their german rights and having those translated. I’d also found out a couple of weeks back that they were translating FiF and FIA into German, and they have since moved on translating most the Montlake books. Looks like this is a hugely hot market right now.

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Sales Down 3% – More In Children Genres

Of course this data doesn’t take into account all of traditional publishers, only the ones who report to them. And they don’t take into account any of the self-publishing industry. I think the most interesting point made was that Kid’s ebooks dropped by 40%. YA is included in the kid’s category. Maybe because the Hunger Games books had all played out?

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See you live at 7PST / 10 PM EST.

143 comments
melissadonovan
melissadonovan

I'm with Dave. None of it makes sense to me either. People talk sports and they might as well be speaking alien.

melissadonovan
melissadonovan

I have to get into the after party one of these nights but not tonight. I have to nano right now. Have fun, guys.

jlward
jlward

While Carl is babbling about things that no one cares about, let me ask who would like to be in the Hangout After Party?

nicholaskahler
nicholaskahler

It's not a true decline. It's a decline in growth... the actual money is still increasing.

BuddyGott
BuddyGott

I'm too distracted now imagining Dave driving KITT. 

melissadonovan
melissadonovan

$8000 for a translation sounds steep to me. How long does it take someone to translate a book?

Eric Guindon
Eric Guindon

Joanna Penn was talking about the german market at length in her podcasts -- she's doing it with a few of hers.

nicholaskahler
nicholaskahler

Publishing is going to have to start making the shift to actually doing some marketing and helping authors with their platform, or they're not going to be able to justify the 75% cut on ebook sales.

nicholaskahler
nicholaskahler

That 70% royalty is only a game changer if the author wants to take on their own publishing duties.

BuddyGott
BuddyGott

Damn, I forgot to put #cricket when I tweeted about this show earlier. Sorry, Carl. 

RemarkableReads
RemarkableReads

Do Garrett and ZC pay you guys commission on all the Realm Keepers mentions?

Trish McCallan
Trish McCallan

There were several people on the JR Ward readers loop that were bragging about never paying for a book and never getting a word from Amazon telling them to stop, or preventing them from doing it. They were giving lessons on the loop on how to read without ever having to pay for the books.

Carl Sinclair
Carl Sinclair moderator

@jlward people love hearing about sports that matter to the world John.

Eric Guindon
Eric Guindon

I have a friend who does translation between english-french. I'm working to get her to accept a share of the royalties. She would charge a stranger ten cents a word.

Trish McCallan
Trish McCallan

- @melissadonovan Everything I've heard on the loops for translation has been in the $8-10K range- but that's for a 100K book


Carl Sinclair
Carl Sinclair moderator

@nicholaskahler It is. But if your already in with trad, you are going to stay if you are getting a crap load of sales you weren't before.

crissymoss
crissymoss

@Trish McCallan There is a show that is all about extreme couponing, and how to get things for free from shops, or even cash back. But most people aren't going to bother, or be dicks about it. So, yes, it sucks, but I think it isn't going to effect people as much. 

nicholaskahler
nicholaskahler

@Carl Sinclair @nicholaskahler I think every author established or otherwise is going to be looking at self-publishing as a viable option... particularly traditionally published folks because they have an audience to support experiments.


Trish McCallan
Trish McCallan

Yeah, there were a lot of readers that called them on it and called it theft. I doubt it stopped them.

Trish McCallan
Trish McCallan

@Eric Guindon @Trish McCallan Yeah, I agree. You aren't going to stop it, and I figure it's just a form of promo. These people on the JR Ward loop that were reading and returning were also recommending their favorite books to everyone. 

Eric Guindon
Eric Guindon

@Trish McCallan Piracy will happen. Even if Amazon stopped this method, people would go about it another way. Pirates are going to pirate...