Tag Archives: self-publishing

How Amazon’s New E-Book Service is Killing Authors’ Game

While the word “unlimited” in the name Kindle Unlimited may be appealing to readers, it may not be so appealing to authors.

According to The New York Times, Amazon’s new e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, is seriously diminishing the amount of money made by self-publishers who use the service. That’s because Kindle Unlimited offers readers unlimited access to more than 700,000 titles for a mere $9.99 per month. Think of it as the Spotify or Netflix of books.

Great in theory, not so great in reality, as David Streitfeld explains.

“Six months ago people were quitting their day job, convinced they could make a career out of writing,” said Bob Mayer, an e-book consultant and publisher who has written 50 books. “Now people are having to go back to that job or are scraping to get by.  That’s how quickly things have changed.”

Consumers feast on these services, which can offer new artists a wider audience than they ever could have found before the digital era.

Some established artists, however, see fewer rewards.

The solution to the problem? While some self-publishers are now opting to pull out of the service altogether, others have realized the most efficient way to make money through the service is to write and publish more books — and faster. That’s resulting in shorter serialized novels and short stories.

I can’t help but think that despite the talent of some of these authors, the fast pace to keep up would only hurt the quality of the books offered online.

This is just another mess for Amazon to clean up after last year’s fiasco with Hachette. But the question is: will they, in fact, clean it up?

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A Sign of the Times: Independent Publisher Becomes Nonprofit

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.19.33 PMBeing an independent publisher in this day and age is hard. Here’s some proof: well-respected publisher McSweeney’s has become a nonprofit.

According to the L.A. Times, the publisher, which has been around for more than a decade and was founded by bestselling author Dave Eggers, became a nonprofit last month. Eggers explained to the Chronicle that “so many of the things that we wanted to do were nonprofit projects and were not really things you could reasonably expect to break even on.”

The hope is that McSweeney’s will continue to sustain itself. Several other nonprofit publishers have, including Red Hen Press in L.A., Beacon Press in Boston and Graywolf Press in Minneapolis.

McSweeney’s publishes adult and children novels, literary criticism and journals, a magazine, and poetry. Hopefully it’s reputation and well-known founder, Dave Eggers, will help to keep it afloat. But if it doesn’t succeed, it may be a sign of the times that either big-name publishers or self-publishing is the way to go.

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B&N Creates Nook Self-Publishing Platform

Barnes and Noble is now joining in with fellow competitors, Amazon and Apple, in the world of self-publishing.

According to Slash Gear, B&N is launching NOOK Press, a rebranded version of B&N’s old PubIt! platform. NOOK Press will allow independent authors to publish their books and make them available ebooks, costing between 99 cents and $199. The books will be available on the Barnes and Noble web site and in the Nook Book Store.

However, B&N will take a percentage of teh sales: 30% of books that cost less than $9.99 and 60% of books that cost more than $9.99. Sounds steep, but apparently Amazon and Apple have similar rates, as Craig Lloyd explains.

[,,,] it’s right up there with Amazon’s 30% and 65% cut that they take from authors with their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Plus, Apple takes the same 30% cut Apple from iBooks Author.

Right now, NOOK Press is only available in the U.S., but it’s expected to become available in the UK as well. So independent authors….hop on board!

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Self-Published Book About to TV Picked Up by Major Publisher

It’s rare when a self-published book is sought out by a major publisher for distribution. But that’s what happened with TV critic Alan Sepinwall’s book, The Revolution Was Televised.

According to The New York Times, Sepinwall, who’s currently a TV critic for the web site hitflix.com, shopped his book around early last year but only got one offer — which he didn’t think was very good. Instead of goin that route, Sepinwall self-published the book. In it, he explains the impact that a select group of TV executives and TV shows — The Sopranos, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, Lost — had on the television industry and the long-form drama.

Now the Touchstone imprint of Simon & Schuster has picked it up, with plans to release it in paperback in the early spring and in e-book format possibly earlier.

Released late last year, the book has been very successful — though Sepinwall won’t reveal specific sales numbers. He did, however, tell David Itzkoff:

“I like the idea that the book could exist in brick-and-mortar stores, could be on college syllabi,” he said. “I was pleased with the idea of being able to go back to the very beginning of the project.”

The book also received a lot of praise from The New York Times.

I’m almost as a much of TV nerd as I am a book nerd, so I’d really like to read the book. It will be interesting to see how much money the book will bring in, now that it will be so much more accessible.

Don’t want to wait? Get The Revolution Was Televised in paperback now for $16.99..

Or get it on your Kindle for just $6.99.

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‘Fifty Shades’ Meets ‘Harry Potter’: The New Adult Genre

When you walk into a bookstore, you see shelves for fiction and for young adults. But these days, there’s a new genre developing that fits on both shelves: new adult.

As it turns out, sexier young adult fiction is experiencing a spike in sales right now. Thanks to popular young adult books that adults are now reading, like The Hunger Games and Twilight, and sexy books that teens want to read, like Fifty Shades of Grey, young adult fiction is starting to grow up a bit. According to The New York Times, publishers have labeled the steamier, sexy young adult novels as “new adult.”

It’s the fiction geared to an 18-to-25 age bracket, for those who like the emotional intensity of young adult fiction, but also want the sex of adult novels. Some authors have re-released their YA books, with new sexually explicit scenes included. Others are just starting to include sex in their stories from the beginning — unlike  Twilight for instance, which moves past the big Bella-Edward sex scene and doesn’t include any details about it.

Publishers are eating it up. Labeling the books “new fiction” has made it easier to market, and they’re continuing to see sales rise, as Leslie Kaufman explains.

The goal is to retain young readers who have loyally worked their way through series like Harry Potter, “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” all of which tread lightly, or not at all, when it comes to sexual encounters…Providing more mature material, publishers reason, is a good way to maintain devotion to books among the teenagers who are scooping up young-adult fiction and making it the most popular category in literature, with a crossover readership that is also attracting millions of adults. All while creating a new source of revenue.

Others say it’s just the publishers trying to find a way to make money.

What say you?

 

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