I wonder how long before we stop reading these types of stories, either because it has become so established a route to publishing success that it’s not worthy of comment or because no author would be crazy enough to do the deal?
I suspect publishers will just have to keep paring back their at operations edges (the fat if you will, though i sure in some cases they’ll be cutting muscle) in order to offer enough cash and royalties to sink these deals:
“It’s life-changing,” said Graves, who chronicled her path from rejection to viral e-book sensation last month in the Des Moines Register. “I’m happy for my good fortune and humbled by it. I’m not sure what happened.”
What happened is this: The 45-year-old Clive mother of two rose before the sun and work at Wells Fargo every day and tapped out a steamy novel about a 30-year-old English teacher shipwrecked on an island with a 16-year-old student. She was rejected by 40 book agents and 14 traditional publishers so she spent $1,500 for editing and formatting and posted the e-book on Amazon.com. It sold only 100 copies in the first month, then took off by word of mouth and thousands of positive online reviews from readers.
A paperback was offered and by last week the title rose to No. 7 for e-books and print sales combined on the New York Times best-seller list.
This was, in some senses, bound to happen. If it proves to be true it is the start of the erosion of the print business model, the one that sees publishers forced to cut print runs, reduce their benefits of scale in print and perhaps encourage them to begin converting print readers to digital ones.
The growth in e-book sales in genres such as romance and science-fiction is leading to a cannibalisation in sales of printed books, according to Nielsen BookScan data.
Sales of printed romance books have fallen for the first time since records began at a time when e-book sales have more than doubled.
The data, released as part of a seminar held yesterday with Enders Analysis, ‘Digital Seminar: e-books and their impact on the market’, showed genres such as science fiction and romance are “overperforming” thanks to the tastes of early adopters of e-books. For example, the e-book market share of the science fiction and fantasy sector globally for the 10 weeks since June was 10%, more than treble the genre’s market share of print book sales. The share taken by romance and saga books was 14%, seven times its print market share.