Nice revenue figures there from Mark Coker in Forbes. Even at a low percentage commission charge (and Smashwords charge 10% of retail price for sales through their retail and library distribution network and at their Smashwords store) this would yield quite a chunk of change. Nice work by Mark and his team:
Indie ebooks are starting to sell in a big way. Our revenues are going to be over $12m for 2012, which means that our retail partners are going to sell between $18m and $20m of books. And our books are starting to appear in bestseller lists. Today, when I look at the Apple iBook stats for the US store, Smashwords’ authors occupy five of the top 20 bestselling slots, and one of the top ten, maybe even two today. A year ago, we didn’t have any books in the top ten at Apple. I think that’s really exciting!
via Mark Coker: Significant Disruption For Traditional Publishers Still To Come – Forbes.
A smashing and important piece by Mark Coker here. There’s much to read and enjoy and think about. Worth noting though that while this is true fr MOST authors, for those authors that need scale or who need investment to get scale (the Fifty Shades kind of scale or even approaching it) traditional publishers can still offer quite a bit. The post even so has much merit to it:
If an author can earn the same or greater income selling lower cost books, yet reach significantly more readers, then, drum roll please, it means the authors who are selling higher priced books through traditional publishers are at an extreme disadvantage to indie authors in terms of long term platform building. The lower-priced books are building author brand faster. Never mind that an indie author earns more per $2.99 unit sold ($1.80-$2.10) than a traditionally published author earns at $9.99 ($1.25-$1.75).
via How a Traditional Publisher Could Harm a Writer’s Career – The Digital Reader.
Great post from Adam Hodgkin about how magazines and twitter are likely to cooperate much more in the years ahead! I was struck by his second paragraph for some reason:
After five years of scraping around with Flash, and then two years of figuring out how to do good stuff on the iPad, the digital magazine business has reached a stage where it seems clear that the ‘next step’ will be heavily ‘social’, in which magazines recapture their strong position as guardians and builders of specialist interest groups. So digital magazines are already beginning to embrace the importance of tweeting, sharing, emailing and linking to favourite stuff in magazine contents.
via Magazines and Twitter | Exact Editions | Blog.
In which an author serves a publisher:
So I explain to Ursula – and the audience – that I can write a short story in five days and am happy to sell that at the Amazon minimum of 72p which generates me an income of 25p. At this point Ursula – who runs one of the biggest publishing houses in the UK – asked me “so you’re happy to work for 5p a day, are you?” The audience laughed and clapped, and I was frankly gob-smacked. I couldn’t understand why they hadn’t seen the fallacy in her comment. She was assuming that I spent five days writing a story and then sold one copy. She can’t possibly have believed that, could she? Of course I don’t work for 5p a day. My Inspector Zhang stories sell about five or six hundred copies a month. Each. So one story sells 6,000 copies a year. So over the next ten years it could sell 60,000 copies which means I’d get £15,000, which is £3,000 a day and that’s probably more than she gets paid.
via How To Make A Million Dollars From Writing eBooks (or How I Learned To Love The Kindle): Appearing At Harrogate – The Plot Thickens.
Much, much more in this post to read, but the graph that grabbed me was this:
Placed in the context of publishing, this makes Google a critically interesting entrant in the tablet wars. Google has not heretofore made a big splash in digital book sales, although it has long been deeply engaged in publishing for years through its Google Book Search program, which has seen several iterations and re-brandings, not to mention a few “minor” legal skirmishes. Indeed, Google rather ingloriously pulled out of its partnership with independent book stores recently, leaving a market opening that others, like Zola Books, are racing to fill. Yet every indication suggests that books are integral to the Google Play release; as The Verge’s Tim Carmody notes, all of the Nexus 7′s most prominent competitors are reading tablets.
via At play in fields of tablets « PWxyz.