So here we are dear reader, we are at the dawn of a new era of publishing. This is the point where the indie authors can shake off the yoke of the old publishing houses and can walk head held high. It truly is a great time to be an author. I think the words of Seth Rogan in Knocked up sum it up best…
“You gotta’ be high off your ass on crack”.
Oh that’s right, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both showing statistics that’s they are selling more Kindle / eBooks than printed books. But let’s not get our panties all moist too soon. We should not forget that these stats are based on internet sales only, with Amazon this is obvious but Barnes & Noble this is only their .com. The obvious question that they are not so quick to answer is, are they making more money or has a section of their sales just shifted to digital. One report I have read recently pointed out that the printed books on Amazon are very often available cheaper than their digital version.
Random House have recently told the bookseller magazine that their eBook sales are up 800%... that’s 800% fantastic news… (Does this mean they have just sold 800 of them?) In the UK sales of books are down 7% - that’s figures across the board. So eBooks are up but overall sales are down. Now I’m not an economist but I would take that as a reason why eBook sales look so good. The most recent figures for Waterstones (UK) that I could find based on Christmas 2009 digital sales where approx 75,000 units (mostly the bint with the dragon tattoo no doubt). That looks like a lot of eBooks. At a rough estimate of approximately £600,000 worth, that’s a big slice of cash. I know that for a single medium sized chain bookstore in the UK it would take about 3 weeks to turnover that sort of money during the Christmas season. Waterstones have 300 ish stores and a .com so £600k is still a small percentage.
I don’t think the printed word is dead yet.
Yes the world is changing but it makes perfect sense for a .com to push digital; they don’t need the storage space and people who order online already can now get their instant gratification. Works for music, but how many people do you know still buy CD’s or Vinyl for that matter?
My final thought for all those excited authors who decide to self publish an eBook is this: be careful what you wish for. I will leave you with a quote from ‘The Incredibles’ in an attempt to make my point. Feel free to add your own writer based wordage (eBook/super, editors, publishers/powers, stories/heroics you get the idea).
Syndrome – “Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that everyone can have powers. Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super... [chuckles evilly] …no one will be”.
Until next time…