Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, so let’s hope I will make sense.
Can you explain how the publishing industry has changed in the past two years? I keep hearing about problems and issues and I don’t understand what’s going on (except the obvious toll on authors, but that doesn’t seem to be the whole picture).Kurt
This is a little bit complicated so please bear with me.
On author side, many writers were unable to meet their deadlines in the past couple of years. It is absolutely true that writers are solitary, but we derive a lot of our ideas from the world around us, namely other people. We watch other humans – in a totally non creepy way – and note mannerisms, problems, jokes, the different approaches to solving problems, the causes of angst and happiness. If you ask a skilled writer to break down the personalities of their neighbors and friends, they will be surprisingly thorough.
All of that went away in the pandemic. Without that exposure to the real world, writing suddenly became difficult. On top of that, writers tends to catastrophize. We are trained to be dramatic. If you hang around writer places online, you will read “high stakes are good” over and over. A writer will automatically imagine the worst possible scenario. COVID was very frightening. 79.3 million cases in US alone. 961,000 people died.
It’s hard to write in these conditions. A lot of books had been pushed back.
On the publishing side, the sales of books suddenly jumped. The demand for print books rose 29% in the first quarter of 2021. People were looking for escape.
A lot of the printing for US markets was done in China and Hong Kong. COVID created massive labor shortages followed by catastrophic logistic problems. Ports became congested. Even if the printers managed to print books, package them, and get them to their shipping carrier, those books could end up sitting in a container somewhere for months.
Getting the book from the brain of the writer to the shelf in the store is an involved process. We’ve discussed this before from the writer’s point of view. From the publisher’s point of view, once the projected publishing date is decided, the publisher has to meet a series of internal deadlines, everything from editing to printing and publicity efforts. Everything is scheduled in advance. A delay in shipping causes this whole chain of deadlines to collapse like dominoes.
The situation with China was already precarious because of the trade war between China and US. COVID aggravated it further. It also exposed a very serious problem for US publishing: the inconsistency of formats.
That’s probably a whole another post of itself. Look at your shelves. You probably have the short mass market paperback, 4.5 x 6.87″. You also probably have a trade paperback, and that can range in size from 5×8″ to 6×9″. You have hard covers.
Mass market was always a bargain hunter’s format. It’s cheap. Most of the bargain hunters have moved into ebooks, which are cheaper, don’t fall apart, and are available instantly. People still buy hardcovers “to keep” and the special editions, the pretty, pricy ones, are also being bought, because if you are paying for a hard cover to be displayed on your shelves, why not buy a beautiful one for a few dollars more? So hard covers still sell some, but mass market has taken a dive.
More importantly, the price of mass market editions didn’t keep up with the inflation. Retailers tried to mitigate this by test driving different formats, like the “Wal-Mart” paperback, which is 4.75 x 7″, I think, and matches nothing. They just kind of decided to make it slightly bigger and charge a little more. It didn’t sell, so they are discontinuing it.
So there are all these different formats, extra costs due to China-US trade war tariffs, and Covid-driven paper and labor shortage coupled with shipping issues. Some publishers pivoted to Europe for their printing needs. Europe has a lot of red tape. Getting things set up is a process. This caused further delays.
You can see a pile up happening on the publishers side, right? Now, we go back to the authors, who failed to meet their deadlines like us. All these books have to be rescheduled somehow, but the publishers can’t even get the books already in production to the store shelves, so the publishing as a whole is forced to stagger those releases. It takes time to edit books. Besides the logistical issues, there is also competition to be considered. You don’t want to release two books about finding your happily ever after with a handsome Duke in the same week from the same publisher. They will compete.
For these reasons, if you turn in a book right now, it is possible it will be scheduled for 2024, for example, depending on who is the publisher and what kind of book it is. And then, there is the question of cost and price.
We are going to use Gena Showalter’s new release here, because it came out late last year and shows the trend in Harlequin imprint. Gena writes hot paranormals and is a lovely person.
Hard cover, 6.03 x 1.17 x 9.27 inches: $21.99.
Paperback, probably trade, 5.12 x 1.14 x 7.87 inches: $20.99.
Mass market, 4.75 x 1.04 x 6.96 inches: $9.99.
The publisher made the trade so expensive, you might as well go for the hard cover, and while I don’t know the particulars of Gena’s contract, normally the author gets a little bit better percentage on hard cover vs trade. But look at that mass market. This is all those extra costs plus inflation. They can’t sell mass market at a loss. They have to make money on it. The consumers are, understandably, balking at that high price point, but you can’t get around the publisher’s overhead.
I am frequently wrong, so take the following with a grain of salt. I am expecting the price of traditional mass market to hover around $10 and the price of ebooks to slowly climb toward that number. That’s why I am going to be watching Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter next year with great interest. For those of you who somehow missed it, Brandon Sanderson is doing a Kickstarter of 4 new novels, one every three months during 2023, and goodies, and it has raised an insane amount of money and garnered national attention. He is pricing individual ebooks at $10. As an aside, now that we’ve enumerated all the printing and logistical issues, as of today, 56,897 people signed up for tiers that include printed editions of that Kickstarter. He will have to print 56,897x 4 = 227,588 books. And then he will have individually package them and ship them.
Kickstarter was never on the table for us; however, the one interesting thing about Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter is that he is sidestepping the retailer costs. If you were to price an ebook at $10 and sell it through Amazon, Amazon takes 30% off the top, so it gets $3 and you get $7. Kickstarter gets “Kickstarter’s 5% fee, and payment processing fees (between 3% and 5%)” so the most he can be out is about 10%. Unless I am really misunderstanding this, he will be taking $9 per book or rather $36 per lowest tier of the pledge. And he has no shipping costs here. All he has to do is email his supporters a download link. And then, after some time has passed, he will likely make these books available through the regular retail channels.
::rubs her shark fins together::
Food for thought.
Print Manufacturers in Hong Kong and China Face Pandemic Chaos Head-On
Looking for Answers to Paper Shortages
Sounds like headaches all around…Thanks for perservering!
Moderator R says
+1 Also, thanks for sharing your insights! 😊
Ilona, you must now replace the logo tagline
“#1 New York Times Bestselling Author”
“We watch other humans – in a totally non creepy way” 😉
(No but srsly, fascinating insights, thank you)
Mary Beth says
I snorted tea at the “We watch other humans–in a totally non creepy way.”
Documentaries on different cultures around the world helped me deal with the lack of being out there amongst other humans. I can only watch movies so much for different writing things, those get blurry and homogeneous after a while.
How does Brandon Sanderson think up these things? Here’s to finding new and fun ways to get stories out there.
I can’t speak for Brandon Sanderson, but he has been involved in a number of kickstarters already. There are board games, artwork, and a special leather edition of one of his books that have been successfully kickstarted.
He has a huge following. I went to one of his book signings, (years ago) and there were people in costume. Those people in costume got some sort of extra prize. Almost all of his books fit into a greater world (the cosmere), and many of his fans hunt all over the place to find the connections. How he manages to pull so my different stories together into one hole amazes me.
In my experience the publishing world tends to panic a lot, it’s always “the end of publishing”. E Books were supposed to kill publishing, indy presses were going to kill traditional publishing, etc. Libraries were going to disappear, librarians would all be out of a job.( I still have people asking me what’s the point of a library when you have ebooks. Well, John, I’ll answer that next time you need resources for a project you planned last minute and now you don’t know what your five 6th grade classes are going to use for research materials.) I don’t think publishing will be standard for awhile, technology and needs keep changing. What I find odd is that my students are very techie, love their devices, but hate ebooks. When they read, and sometimes it’s like pulling teeth, they want a “real book”.
Real books smell better, but you can take a lot more e-books on holiday with you without paying for extra luggage allowance…
(Says the middle aged female with 5 large bookcases at home)
Ebooks have also become essential in managing my COVID-19 paranoia. I realize the odds of transmission via a library book are low, but that’s still a trip inside a library (and they often have poor ventilation) to check that book out. I’m much less stressed sticking to digital library materials. E-books also help me assess if I want to buy a print book for my limited (only 4.5 large bookcases) shelf space.
Real books DO smell better. But as someone with a large library who moved almost every year, they absolutely suck to pack. Because aside from MMPs, the sizes are all over the place. So several boxes that pack easily and neatly + a bunch of boxes where nothing is the same size. When I was forced to choose between my library and my husband, I got a Kindle. Talk about ease of packing, heh.
Of course now the only books I own are old and/or pretty, so almost none of them match. But I also don’t have nearly as many.
Heh. The man I eventually married asked if I’d ever convert my library to digital to see how many print books I considered enough. (He tends toward minimal home furnishings.) The Kindle he bought me 8 years ago has kept my library from taking over the house (and back injuries when we move). In this 3rd year of COVID, it’s probably the best, most useful gift he’s ever given me.
Moderator R says
Mr Mod R and I had a similar understanding hehe.
He got me my first Kindle (the Keyboard model- best one ever!) back in 2011. I have had 7 since :D. I’m obviously extremely rough on them lol.
The latest one has warm light. It’s a blessing on tired eyes and the best feature ever.
Dianna Kilgore says
I miss my Kindle keyboard sooo much!
Michael Hall says
I still have my original kindle, but have mainly been a nook reader,(I’m on my ninth, having started from the original first nook) with the kindle app on my tablets for the kindle only releases (like Fated Blades) The other primary reason I have e readers as my primary source of books is the ability to re size my fonts as my eyesight has worsened. Paper books and their font size is just too small for me anymore. Getting old sucks but it beats the alternative.
Me too. They break and get left on airplanes.
My lovely husband and I have an agreement, I don’t complain about his tool collection and he holds my hand in a bookstore so that I only buy what I can carry one handed. Lol
Might I interest you in a book bag? If you build up your muscle strength by putting a bunch of books in the bag and doing arm curls for a half hour, then you’ll be well conditioned to go to a bookstore with your book bag and still come out with a lot of books.
The only print books I have are mostly reference books of some sort. Several years ago, I watched my apartment burn, with 20+ years of books I had collected and moved over and over. It was a total loss for us and everybody else in the building. (All of the music I had collected over the years was also in the apartment).
I had backed up all of my music files to the cloud at the time. So anything I had that was digitally backed up somewhere was saved.
I used to be in the I prefer physical books category. But I can take some of my library with me when I go because I have a kindle. I can read late into the night without disturbing my husband, because it’s not a super bright light. I can “click” on a word and find out the definition. I can run a foreign language phrase through translation and see what it meant. I won’t end up with a book I’d gotten from the library and have to return it because it stank of cigarette smoke. The book was completely unreadable, even after I tried to let it air out for days.
Michael Hall says
E books are all of that, PLUS my nook let’s me search for names, and key words for when I need to remember a character or scene that was mentioned only once and I need a reminder of who or what that name (or place) is for. And being able to re size or change my fonts are also a neccesity as I’ve gotten older. And I can hold an e reader one handed much easier than I could a paper book.
Pretty much the only time our ebooks circulate are if they are nonfiction purchased for specific school projects or during school holidays. The kids have learned it’s less stressful to deal with an ebook then to worry about losing the book (which still happens).
And when you move, ebooks don’t take up boxes.
Douglas Adams once told Neil Gaiman that a book is like a shark. The shark hasn’t changed significantly in millennia because the shark is the best thing out there at being a shark. Likewise, the book is the best thing out there at being a book. (Paraphrasing)
People seem to miss libraries have included ebooks. I read a ton through the libby app. I couldn’t access without my library card
I know that when I watched a Q & A with Patrick Rothfuss, he was asked about a printed 10th anniversary edition of Wise Man’s Fear and he replied that it had been actually planned to be released in 2021 or 2022 (which ever the 10 year mark was) but that publishing is in such a state of turmoil because of everything our Author Gods wrote above that the edition simply hasn’t come out yet. His exact words were “Covid has upended everything”
I understand why people prefer books..Im one of them..after 5 states 3 strokes and being completely lucky not to be a drooling plant in corner. I really appreciate digital books… The doctors truly believe I am a functioning person because of a 1000 digital books on my phone and a whole lot of bored time while they decided if I had a working brain or not. The jury is still out on the working part… On the other hand, we decided my service dog is a doberman named bunny. BDH knows why.
I’ve moved to ebooks primarily for space issues. I keep far too many books, which means that I run out of shelf space. There are very few books at this point that I continue to buy in physical copies because the shelves in the library are overfull.
Also, as I get older, I find I enjoy being able to adjust the font size.
That said, [rant enabled] if it weren’t for those two issues, I’d buy print in a heartbeat. I find it much easier to remember which book had X in it if I have held the physical copy in my hands. Also, every time they “improve” the kindle interface, they make it much less usable for me. I want to see the maximum number of books in my library on the screen at once. I don’t want a massive search bar at the top of the page, a permanent link to a home screen that I never want to use, and a tiny B&W picture of a cover for the last thing I read. Over several updates, I’ve gone from fitting 10+ titles on a screen to 5, and there are no configuration options that allow me to turn off any of these things that eat up library screen real estate.[end rant]
Patrick Rivest says
I just got a Kindle two weeks ago as my optometrist told me it would be easier on the eyes than my iPad. He was right and I love it for that, but I surly miss the Kindle app functionality as compared to the actual Kindle. As for people with five bookshelves- Pikers! However I admit over 150 feet of shelving might indicate an issue.
Maybe I’m not running the most current version, but on my Kindle and my grandma’s Kindle (hers is much newer than mine), I have the option to not show the covers and just have a list. If you’d like me to, and think it would be helpful, I can go do it and take a picture for you? I’ll check back sometime to see if you read replies. 😊
I can’t speak for WS but I would appreciate knowing how to turn off the covers and just have a list!
Thanks for offering
Go to your library on your Kindle. Above your covers on the right hand side It should show the number of items, then after a space, show 3 lines (decreasing in size as they descend ), next to the 3 lines it should say ‘SORT’. Touch on SORT. It should pop up on a menu where you can choose ‘grid’ or ‘list’. Choose list. Then your books will be shown in a list instead of a grid of covers.
Thank you, Liz! I followed your directions and it worked beautifully
I have the cover display off and am in the library view. However, each update they run reduces the number of titles (as lines of text) displayed on the screen. It used to be >10. Over time, it’s declined. In the most recent update, it went down to 5. The problem is that the “functions bar” went from one line at the top where I could tap on the store, search, etc, to that line plus a giant search bar that is always there. I don’t know what was wrong with clicking on the magnifying glass to bring up the bar when I wanted to search and leaving it hidden the rest of the time. On the bottom, it now has permanent buttons that say “home” and “library”. Between them, it shows a mini cover of the last thing I read. I don’t want the home screen— ever— so I do not want a link to it taking up space on my library screen that could be used to fit in 2 more book titles. I resent the fact that all of these things are not possible to disable because the configuration options are limited. I have complained to amazon about the design and the fact I have no way to configure it to meet my needs. If I could, I’d remove those and reduce the spacing between book titles so I could fit as many on the screen as possible in library view.
I have looked online for solutions, and it appears that the only solution is to basically hack it so that it will delete the update and then I need to turn off all updates on the device. This doesn’t thrill me.
I also dislike the fact that I can design a custom page (reading) view— which I can select— but there’s no way to permanently select that custom page view as the default. So, it will sort of stick from one book to the next, but it will occasionally reset itself when I put the device in rest mode and I have to reselect it. Since I’ve gone to the trouble of selecting the text size, page width, and additional display features I want and saved it as a custom layout, why is there no way to force it to be auto-selected any time I open a book if I want? It always goes back to what amazon has decided should be the default layout instead.
It’s an expensive device exclusively for book reading, basically, so why do I not get more control over the experience?
Sorry for the delay in my reply! May I ask which Kindle you have? I’m wondering if you have the fancier version than what I’m used to. That does sound aggravating!
Yes! I love e-books not just because I can carry ALL THE BOOKS in one small e-reader or phone app package, but because I can adjust the font. I’m always surprised that this isn’t mentioned in the various articles pontificating on e-books and e-readers.
Plus if the e-reader is damaged, your library still exists. Whereas if your house burns down you lose your entire paper book library.
And I have changed fonts on my Kindle sometimes. Since there apparently isn’t a standard on what font and size to use in books, I have had to adjust it occasionally because someone will pick a font that’s thinner or something and harder to read at my default settings. And I imagine people who have poor eyesight like adjusting the font size instead of having to buy one of the large-font hardcover books.
Excellent point, especially for anyone out there who delayed getting an eye exam and updated prescription because of the pandemic (cough, cough). And the selection of large-print books is always far lower. My public library’s LP shelves have always been tiny despite the service population having a high (guessing 40%) number of seniors who might like that option. I shudder to think what these publishing industry supply shortages are doing to further reduce hard-copy large print titles.
Will Wight has the first 3 books of his Unsouled series on Kickstarter. He still has 16 days left and and has raised over $350,000. I bring this up because I believe this is a book the Andrews liked and he and the Andrews are tied for my favorite authors….
Glad you mentioned this! I am ebooks all the way, but am seriously considering this because who doesn’t want signed copies by the author, with new bloopers, and to help him get his books into bookstores? I only wish I could afford the hardcovers … Still mulling which option to pick.
Thank you so very much for the information on authors and publishing.
A lot of food for thought.
I was wondering if you had seen the Brandon Kickstarter thing (he raised 24 million??) because I thought you mentioned previously liking his books, so I was curious if you guys bought any of the tiers. From past comments, I think Gordon likes to get swag. 😉
Sounds like he has employees and everything already set up to do his printing, binding, packaging, and shipping. I’m curious to see how it turns out.
I think if you set up something like that, you’d have plenty of the BDH willing to come work for you. ::hand waving frantically::
Moderator R says
Neither Ilona nor Gordon have read Brandon Sanderson’ books 🙂
$25 million now, that’s over 2 mil in what 6 hours
As a long time SFF reader in general, and a Sanderson reader from his 1st published work, Brandon is a rare breed. His output has always been unusually high, and unlike many he actually wrote more during the pandemic, instead of less. He explains why it worked that way for him in the intro video to his kickstarter.
What I will be very interested in is the editing quality on his self published works. I find Brandon has gotten more verbose (and the stories occasionally less engaging) as his career has continued, and personally I think he needs more editing to tighten his stories. With these new books all being self-published, will the storytelling be as clean as the ones with full time publisher-linked editors? I paid in for the ebooks, so I will see.
Just read an article about Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter in today’s Washington Post. I typically buy Ebooks if it’s a choice between that and HB, for both space and budgetary reasons. Also, I don’t need to leave the house for it if the weather’s bad or some new viral variant rears its ugly head. When mass market PB was cheaper, I went with that, but I’m rereading an old favorite right now and it’s starting to feel a little fragile. Trade PB is the worst of both worlds IMO, but that’s just one slightly curmudgeonly opinion.
From one curmudgeon to another – Hardcover or mass market for physical editions. I LOATHE trade paperbacks as well. If something takes up that much space it should be less fragile (and they are so inconsistent! When the same series changes dimensions it drives me batty!)
Different dimensions in the series is not one of my particular OCD peeves, but ITA about space vs. fragility. And for someone whose shelves fill up, having the space on top of a mass market row to stack more books is a definite consideration.
Interesting as always, thanks for the insight! Hope tonight goes better in the sleep category.
Valerie in CA says
Very interesting. And you’ve made me interested in what occurs ( the end profit amount) with Brandon Sanderson’s kickstarter too. Thank you
R Coots says
*pokes nose in* Re: The Kickstarter, a thing a lot of people miss is paying the fullfillment companies. I don’t know Backerkit’s exact cut, but I’ve backed a number of highly successful KS that stall out because they’re SO successful that setting up and paying Backerkit takes a chunk of time and money they didn’t expect. That is actually the second biggest thing that has tripped up the KS I pledged to . (General, “Oh crap, we got HOW many backers!?” is probably the biggest)
Not saying Sanderson can’t do it. He’s probably figured on troubles due to production and shipping issues, but I do hope he got an accurate estimate of what it’ll take to run the Backerkit too.
Sanderson has done 3 or 4 successful kickstarters for his leather bound editions of his novels so I very much expect that his team knows what they are doing with backerkit. Now, they definitely didn’t expect this level of participation, but it should work out fine
Lady Jaye says
Where do we go to ask Ilona and Gordon questions? Do we just post in the reply? Or send an email somewhere?
Moderator R says
Hey Lady Jaye,
Yes, you can ask questions in comments, I read all of them and keep a list 🙂
If you don’t want to ask in public, you can email the questions to me at email@example.com
Lady Jaye says
Victorria Wytcherley says
I saw the Brandon Sanderson announcement, and my first thought was “why in the heck would he do something like that”? Well, you’ve explained it perfectly. This reminds me of my musician friends back in the day promoting their cds and mp3s so that they didn’t have to deal with the labels. Thanks for the detail!
He also wanted to do that subscription box style thing which he wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
But yes, the difficulty of getting those books published right now definitely was another factor I’m sure
I’m in publishing and this is spot on. Production costs and hassles have been the defining story for us in 2021 and 2022 doesn’t look any better. I actually feel kind of bad for Sanderson when it comes to those print editions. I’m sure he is paying a bunch of people to help manage it all, but that is a lot of books to get printed, shipped, packaged, warehoused and shipped. Yikes!
This has hit the non-fiction industry, at least the academic/semi-academic end, pretty hard as well. A lot of authors started looking for extensions on contracted books (whether due to family health, inability to travel for research, inability to access academic libraries, or whatnot). Publishers began looking for anyone who had a good draft in a state that they could deliver within a couple months, preferably less, to take up the slack. But, with the professional conference and fan convention circuits effectively dead, initial sales from the books they did get out were not what they once were. Print still seems to be outselling ebooks in that branch of publishing, though, which kind of makes the convention/conference circuit even more important.
It’s been common for at least a few years for both novels and non-fiction from traditional publishers to cost between $7 and $15 for ebooks. That’s part of why most of my book budget goes to Kindle Unlimited and favorite authors – I don’t often spring for authors that are new to me unless the first book is on sale or the sample convinces me it’s worth the price.
Just as a few examples from my reading list:
The upcoming Patricia Briggs book is $13.99 for the Kindle version.
Burn the Dark by S.A. Hunt came out two years ago and is priced at $11.99 for the Kindle version.
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsin Muir is on Kindle Unlimited, but if you want to buy the ebook it’ll cost $11.99
Come to think of it, the preorder for Sanderson’s next book (The Last Metal, published by MacMillan) is priced at $14.99 for the Kindle version – so for his fans, $10 for an ebook feels like a pretty good price!
And yes, I would pay more for your books than you’re currently charging – you’re on my “must read as soon as it comes out” shortlist of authors. Sanderson is just on my “I know I’ll enjoy the book when I get around to it” list. 😉
For me, one of the best things about ebooks are that I always get them back. People used to borrow books from me and were like , you really wanted that book back sorry I left it somewhere I don’t remember where.
I moved to Ebooks on our first trip to Japan. The military has weight limits, so the books I had would be in storage while we were gone. I did keep a few with me and bought favorites but again weight limits are non negotiable with military.
But now that we are back in the U.S. I wanted to start rounding out my deadtree collections but prices are higher and I often wait for sales or favorites, then scour the local thrift stores, or 2nd hand book shops in the neighborhood.
And I always have people who say but its better reading a real book. Well, my libraries often have long waits and my pocket cries at those prices. So ebooks it will continue to be.
Your posts about publishing and the business of writing are interesting and very informative. I received my first Kindle as a gift and I thought it was neat and would be great for travel. Years later I’m on my second Kindle (with light so I can read at night) and I very rarely read physical books. The Kindle is much easier to use while knitting and did I mention it lights up so I can read in the dark?
Plus an e-reader makes it so much easier to read while eating. Just prop that sucker up on a stand! 😂😂
Also, no Cheeto or Dorito or chocolate stains on the pages- I can flip that page with my knuckle.
And a millionty books at once. And when I finish one, no need to truck to the store, my next read is merely a few clicks away.
Very interesting! Covid has had such effect on the supply chain all over the world, so I’m not surprised to read it has affected publishing as well. (Today, my daughter and I were shopping, and so many special occasion dress shops have closed because of Covid. No proms, in-person graduations and very few weddings will do that to a store for sure. The stores that survived are having a hard time getting stock. Not surprising.) I love e-readers myself. I got rid of most of my books when I retired from teaching English. Reading has been my obsession since I learned how in kindergarten, but dry eyes, trifocals, arthritic wrists and thumbs, etc., required the switch. It never mattered to me which format I use to read– as long as I *can* read, I’m happy.
You are the first person I have encountered who mentioned “wrists” as a reason for ebooks. Arthritic or strained, these wrists do not want to contend with the weight of physical books.
We are even happier when our reading is comfortable.
I have bad thumbs, so can’t hold books open! E-books all the way for me!
Katie B says
I agree with this comment as a reason for using a kindle.
I can’t hold even a small dead tree book!
I miss my real book reading. I still have over 3000 books (which equates to more bookshelves than I will admit to owning.)
Bill G says
Fascinating; thank you!
I would love, LOVE to see you and other authors stick it to the publishers and self publish in whatever manner your choose.
I know some folks that use Drive Thru RPG (as an example) to sell an RPG they wrote. Hardback, paperback, novellas, modules, etc. On Demand printing + electronic is the way to go – especially if you have a following and just need a way to get books into people’s hands. Their hardback edition is utterly gorgeous (although it was $60).
And another friend who is an independent author that became her own publisher, is doing well for herself – enough she’s about to quit her day job and actually help other independent authors.
I get some Hardbacks, but primarily do eBooks. Make your plans – I’m all for it (early access Kickstarter for Special Edition HERE I COME 🙂 )
Moderator R says
House Andrews have self published since at least 2013!
I always buy Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s books via the Kickstarters she runs (ebook for me). I would love to support you via Kickstarter or direct online for ebooks once you are done your contracts with big publisher(s)… I love your writing and would love for more $ to go to you.
Moderator R says
House Andrews have expanded on why Kickstarter, Patreon etc is not for them atm here https://ilona-andrews.com/2017/shotgun-or-sniper-rifle/ .
Hope it helps 🙂
Marie the bookworm says
Out of curiosity, isn’t doing it the way you did Blood Heir also a positive way to go? I remember a post analyzing how fantastic it worked out for you, because you have a loyal fan base.
I just don’t want the KU method to become standardized.
Moderator R says
Blood Heir was not Kindle Unlimited 🙂 , although it was self-published (like the Innkeeper series, Iron and Magic etc).
The only exclusive Amazon and Kindle Unlimited book was Fated Blades and House Andrews has listened to all the feedback on that 🙂
I’m hoping it gets to the library some day so I can read it.
As I do not have/want Kindle I had to wait for the fysical book… So I do hope you do not do more exclusively via a Kindle.
Roberts Christine says
Pleeeease do a kickstarter for special editions!!!
I know the Kickstarter is likely too difficult, but my dream is for signed special editions of your entire backlist (like Sub Press but for Hidden Legacy and Kate Daniels and Edge). I adore my Sub Press editions and would be willing to pay a premium for special hardbacks with all the bells and whistles (embossing, sprayed edges, fancy leather bound, other cool stuff).
I know it would be a lot of work/hassle, but I bet a ton of fans would love it! I’ve seen authors do this through special edition boxes like Fairyloot, Illumicrate, and Bookish Box.
However, if you ever want to do a Kickstarter like BS… we would all support you for sure!
As no native english speaker could someone explain the meaning of “Europe has a lot of red tape. “ in the context of the above text to me please? I mean I am from Europe and sure enough we have lots of tape over here in all kind of colors including red. But that didnt help me getting the “picture“.
Moderator R says
“Red tape” is an English idiom that stands for “excessive bureaucracy”, an abundance of rules, regulations and forms etc 🙂 .
Its origin appears to be a reform introduced for civil servants by the Holy Roman Emperor- binding important documents with red thread.
Hope this helps 🙂
Yes – thanks. Makes sense in a lot of ways 🙂
Karen the Griffmom says
If you believe the Robert vanGulick Judge Dee books, the Chinese also used red tape in th ninth century.
I am firmly in the ebook + pretty hardcovers for the few I can afford / have been gifted camp. I also like that the environmental impact of ebooks is lower. I try and consciously buy fewer paperbacks in general now, including pretty hardbacks. My concern is for comics though. I have yet to find a good digital counter to the TinTin, Asterix & Obelix, Calvin & Hobbes that were lovingly collected and now sit in boxes back at home. Weight preference being given to food & clothes.
Also, as an aside, how do I “unsubscribe” from the spam of marketing booklets in the mail? I feel bad every week when a bunch of glossy paper I never needed ends up untouched into the recycling. Paper’s suddenly such a big question mark.
Try searching for ” opt-out” or looking on the booklet for the actual corporation.
I use the PaperKarma app in the USA to help get rid of USPS unsolicited mail. I signed up for a year and have seen some good results in 3 months. No more grocery mailers for me & I still get occasional cushioning paper in packages to use for cleaning.
EDDM – direct marketing mail, is kind of another hassle which doesn’t always allow for opt out since it basically goes to the entire neighborhood.
Removeme80 user on reddit has a really great history of opt-out details
From what I have read, certain countries allow you to put a “No Soliciting/Flyers” type of message on a post box and they won’t be delivered. USPS doesn’t allow for this. I wish they would. I’d pay them more than the EDDM fee to NOT deliver that stuff.
Thank you, I will try that! And I agree, I’d pay USPS to not put that stuff in.
“We watch other humans – in a totally non creepy way”
LOL. I had a really interesting conversation with a professional stage actor once but at some point I remember thinking, “I should try to be uninteresting or some day I’m likely to see a version of myself up on stage.”
Then I thought, “But would I even realize it’s me?”
I really really enjoy your mastication of these difficult subjects. Thank you very much for your perspective 🐱
Michael J. Sullivan self published the first 4 of his Ryria Chronicles, then repackaged them as 2 books and did a 3rd in traditional publishing. At some point he reached a loggerhead, can’t remember if they couldn’t agree on terms or didn’t want to pick up the next book, but he couldn’t afford self publish at the time so he did Kickstarter.
He promised to release the books if a third of his overhead was covered and had several times his overhead in pledges by the end date. He’s been Kickstarting all his books since then. If you have the audience I think it could work for a lot of authors.
I have always loved mass market because I can fit more books on my shelves. Hard covers are heavy and take up a lot more room. I have 8 feet of floor to ceiling bookcases which have 9 shelves for mass market and room on top to lay trade paper on the side. Floor to ceiling sized for hard cover are only 7 shelves with no room on top. Unfortunately, I have never enjoyed ebooks. You don’t own the book, only the eight to read. Link goes down, no book. No lending to friends, no looking at a collection ( all of your books for example) and reliving the series.
That’s what drives my crazy about Kate 9! They changed the size. I checked mass market and it’s still bigger than all the others. It’s so frustrating.
It’s also crazy how high ebooks are becoming. I understand why but dang, it used to be cheaper.
Sighs. Money just doesn’t get you the number of books you want like it used to.
I have a authors I adore who publish ebooks through Amazon: One author writes in a completely uncoventional way without any chapter breaks and tells a completely fabulous story and puts out a new book every 6-8 weeks; One who has a Patreon account and sends out two or three snippets a week to his subscribers and puts out a book every 4-6 months; Two who sells ebook, physical and audiobooks through Amazon/audible publishing and produce books every ~eight months.
The stories and the writing of these author is is completely fabulous. Like yours, I pre-purchase these books. They are that good. NONE of them use a traditional publisher.
Have you looked at Brandon’s Kickstarter? He’s well over a million bucks now. That’s great reader support.
Moderator R says
That’s why I am going to be watching Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter next year with great interest.
Emphasis mine 🙂
Regarding that kickstarter thing… TAKE MY MONEY FOR STORIES! lol <3 <3 <3
hehe 😀 Seriously though, I would 100% trust you both to deliver. I have complete faith in y'all, and love reading everything you write, even this blog.
I did the Sanderson kickstarter, lowest tier (e-versions). I just want the stories. My husband has threatened to use my 1600+ books as drywall/insulation if I get any more. Here's to the Kindle saving my marriage. Without it, I would have booted his ass for my books 😉
Moderator R says
Love the enthusiasm 🥰!
But House Andrews have expanded on why Kickstarter, Patreon etc is not for them atm here https://ilona-andrews.com/2017/shotgun-or-sniper-rifle/ .
Hope it helps 🙂
I’d be willing to pay $10/book (Kindle format if possible, Word or pdf if not) to HA via Kickstarter.
Am I the only one still stuck on the mental image of Ilona the Shark rubbing her fins together? I was assuming that was in a Montgomery Burns “Ehhhxcellent” kind of way, but maybe I am wrong. Still a great image.
Wow so much to getting books to read. Still love to read.
Wow! It takes a fabulous author to make the nuts and bolts of industry so engaging even while writing off the cuff. Thank you for each of your blog entries.
Maria M. OToole says
I have been sold on e-books for years, for one simple reason among several: I was getting arthritis in my left thumb joint from holding open thick paperbacks. Try reading any of the Song of Ice and Fire or Outlander in MMPB with size 5 hands.
And KU is wonderful if you’re retired and on a Social Security budget…
Leticia Toraci says
Tbh I would not pay ten dollars for an e-book is I can get the audiobook for a credit on Audible or if I can hear it in a streaming service like Storytel.
Martha L says
Julia Brough says
I prefer real books. I do not like hard backs – they take up too much shelf space and are heavy to hold – trade size paperback is nice. I am happy to pay a bit extra for the paperback in preference to a hardback – if only I am given the choice. Please publishers – give me the choice! Do a ‘fancy’ first edition if you need – but please do not make the book bigger because you have charged me more.
This article made me think of Hugh.
Moderator R says
Thank you for sharing with the class 🙂
Thank you for the informative post.i used to work in small chain bookstore (before the tune of ebooks) and you are right that the book sizes are crazy different especially in the children’s section. Most of what we buy here in the USA, some part of it depends on goods or services from other parts of the world. Trade agreements foster good will between countries so when something happens over there, we feel it here. Grocery stores supply those out of season foods from overseas. Those made in America denim jeans we love? More than likely, the denim was produced overseas but cut and sewn locally. We all felt when the chip shortage for cars and we are still feeling it. We make a lot of stuff here in America but we depend on raw materials from around the world. Pandemics, wars, and global politics affect everything.
Debi Ennis Binder says
Do you believe traditional publishers are slowly being squeezed out of the game?
Melissa Grant says
Michael Sullivan has been selling his books on Kickstarter for awhile. He was the most successful author doing it until Brandon Sanderson.
I have bought several hardcovers from Michael Sullivan’s Kickstarter campaigns. He always includes extra kickers like getting the ebook before the official release or your name in the acknowledgements.
Good way to get more money in your pocket but there is more work on your end.
A number of video and other artists have been doing raises with the NFT community (the author who wrote 21). So you have your audience and sell a pre-mine to them and then give them a NFT version of it. Now in some jurisdictions this is considered a security, but it is really interesting.
Moderator R says
House Andrews address book NFTs here https://www.ilona-andrews.com/2021/nft-me-baby/
It’s a question that gets asked a lot, actually 🙂
Martha L says
When my husband worked in magazine publishing, they sent their material to Mexico to be printed and mailed because it was so much cheaper to print and mail. It seems as if that might be easier than the far east or Europe.
At my house we are all sending you love and positive vibes. We hope they are coming through to you. Hope you love you as much as we love you.
Rorie Solberg says
Thank you for the interesting post. I find myself wondering, though, why ebooks are priced the same as paperbacks. I understand that the overhead is the same in terms of time, editing, and marketing. However, there are no printing or shipping costs. Is there something else in the creation of an ebook that is not obvious to those of us that simply download and read? This is just a general inquiry and if the moderator sees this and wants to save it for one of those posts where you answer a bunch of smaller questions, that would be great. If it never gets answered, that is ok too. You are all extremely busy and as a proud member of the BDH, I will always vote for you having more time to write or relax than answer my musings about publishing.
Moderator R says
Thank you for the question, Rorie. I will keep it for the list, if you don’t mind 🙂, but I think the answer is a combination of the things mentioned in the post above: publisher needing to make a profit through inflation, delays and rise in costs which make some of the other formats unviable.
I would love a Kickstarter from you (an Innkeeper series?)! I am a happy contributor to Sanderson’s effort and cannot wait until the books start coming in. I get publishing issues, but it is really disheartening as a reader to finish a book and see that the next one won’t be available for over a year…or more.
That is one of the reasons that I try to support ‘my’ writers by purchasing EVERYTHING they put out that I can afford and contribute to Patreon as well. I purchase ebooks/audiobooks and pre-order on release day. It is also the reason that I follow your online fiction–it gives me a fix while I wait.
I would love to see even a group of writers get together to do a Kickstarter. How cool would it be to get a book from one of them every quarter?
This is an excellent idea for you. You have a name. But for people breaking into writing this just looks like another way to put up a hurdle.
I’ll be one of the first to sign on if you try something like this. Especially with that saga you provided a snippet to a few weeks back that your publisher doesn’t like. But to me as a budding author, this looks like trouble. I can’t get people to sign on to anything if they don’t know who I am.
Moderator R says
House Andrews have expanded on why Kickstarter, Patreon etc is not for them atm here https://ilona-andrews.com/2017/shotgun-or-sniper-rifle/ .
Hope it helps 🙂
Ebooks are wonderful for me as I have impaired vision and I can change the text size to make any book easier to read. I can read regular print books, but it’s tiring. I also appreciate needing less storage and having access to subscription libraries like KU and Scribd. I read a lot, so these are very cost effective.
Thanks for the insights!
Personally I just wish Amazon et al. would accurately log when a paperback is Mass Market Size vs. Trade – it’s really disruptive when you have a lovely shelf of matching sized paperbacks, and then it suddenly drops or climbs to the odd-one-out!
Sharon Leahy says
Smiles and thank you, it’s always helpful to have our bubble of consciousness expanded to include other people’s / professions’ issues … the more we can be aware of now expands our ability to deal with the covid-related PTSD we’re all haplessly experiencing right now…. after reading your blog post, my mind wandered to printing books on hemp/cannabis paper … given the right mix of THC/CBD in the paper, we could eat or smoke the books after reading them …. that would make for some fun advertising …. smiles …
I changed to ebooks when my hands wouldn’t hold books anymore. I just keep my paperback collection complete. I noticed that the latest preorder of ebooks are around the €10 mark. Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Jessie Mihalik and even Kitt Rocha. That said, those are all published through a publisher and not by themselves.
I also backed BS (ebooks onley)and some other kickstarters. I don’t mind paying a bit more for a hardcover but when the shipping cost are more than the books, I can’t do it. I had filled out the forms to buy the innkeepers but the shipping cost were over $70, so no that’s not an option.
Pam M. says
Thank you for the explanation. This was excellent and helpful. I was going to mention kickstarter to you since I just bought Michael J. Sullivan’s latest using kickstarter. I didn’t try for Brandon Sanderson since I tried his books and couldn’t get into them. Well to be honest I found them a bit boring sad to say. You two are superior writers. I have never had a misstep with any of your books or any of your universes.
Michael J. Sullivan has done several Kickstarters now and is very open about the logistical challenges. His son is running the current one and is also running Will Wight’s (for fancy print editions of Cradle 1-3). They are limiting international buyers until they can line up a shipping method.
House DeMille says
Actually they are letting people request countries to add to the list and offering deep discounts on shipping. Not sure if those in the countries not in the original list will have to pay more for shipping, but they are definitely adding more countries as people request them…
I want to love ebooks so much more – but I’m still looking for the ‘perfect’ device on which to consume them.
Of course, if the book is engaging, the format doesn’t matter, I’ll gobble it right up.
Not google autoforms accidentally publishing my whole name LOL 🙈
Big tech disappoints me once again.
Moderator R says
Hey Mary, I took care of that for you 🙂
I love reading books on my iPhone. With Kindle, and other apps, I can adjust the background color, print size, font. I can scroll and highlight, bookmark, look up words, go to Wikipedia and Google, go between audio and digital, even switch books for a break. I can even visit my local library via their apps and see if they have anything by that author. And it’s always with me because… iPhone.
I think they should call it the iFab, though, because I rarely make or receive calls.
I’ve backed Sanderson while hoping there isn’t DRM on this ebooks. If there is DRM involved I won’t back another campaign from Sanderson. Buying DRM encumbered ebooks is a red line I don’t cross voluntary.
If mass market paperbacks go out of fashion and ebooks remain to be mostly restricted by DRM, a few re-readings of my nearly 2000 book library may last for the rest of my life 😉
If you read the FAQ, they explicitly state that the books will be DRM-free.
you know, If you want to put out ~special~ Kindle edition of your series, I would be interested. Well, provided I don’t already own the series 😛
Rebecca Tapley says
I am sharing the link to this post with my author groups on social media. You’ve explained so many of the logistical problems that new and/or unpublished authors cannot possibly understand until they go through it themselves. Thank you!
Not just Brandon Sanderson. Will Wight also has a kickstarter for his Cradle series, it hit the funding goal in 6 minutes. It’s currently hovering just under 400k. For a series he regularly gives away for free. BTW, he’s giving them away again right now.
Hunting Guy says
Have you given any thought to selling electronic Advanced Readers Copies (eARC)?
Larry Correia does that and he mentioned in one of his blog posts that he basically earns out his advance with them and the rest is gravy. His eARCs go for $15 a copy, more than his books.
Now his readers are rabid and will buy anything and everything he puts out there as soon as it’s available. After they get the eARC many of them buy the book.
They know there will be changes in the final copy but they don’t care.
I wouldn’t call the House Andrews readers rabid, they are too genteel for that. (Piranha like, maybe.) But based on the posts I’ve been reading on your blog, lots of them would buy the eARC.
I know I would.
I am not sure what Mr. Correia is doing, but what you said doesn’t quite fit together. First, one can’t sell eARCs. Or rather, one shouldn’t. They are not for sale. 🙂 It says right in the ARCs itself that it’s not for sale. Advanced Reader Copy – NOT FOR SALE.
If he is selling them on the side, than the proceeds from those eARC sales would go directly to him. They would not count toward earning out because the publisher does not receive that money.
Edit: ModR found a link. Um, he is selling eARCs through BAEN. Oh boy.
Edit #2: So I read more about it. I have multiple problems with what BAEN is doing from the writer’s point of view and they are doing it across the board to pretty much all of their writers, so it is likely in their boiler plate contract. If I were a BAEN author, I would wonder why would I even need a publisher. 🙂 Thank you for bringing this up. I will now spend my free time calling everyone I know and saying things like, “Hey, look at this!”
Baen, his publisher, sells ARCs of books by their most popular authors. I think this is just for the books that being released in hardback/ebook editions. Maybe Correia has link to Baen’s website up at his website when his ARCs are released for sale by Baen?
The ARC price used to be more than what the final edited ebook would cost but less than the hardback price (haven’t bought any in a few years so that may have changed). Super fans buy them because you have access at the same time reviewers do, usually 4 – 8 months before the edited edition come out. I bought a couple Liaden universe ARCs and at least one Bujold (Ivan’s story!), because I couldn’t wait until edited book versions were published. I then purchased the hardbacks when they came out.
Your edit didn’t show up for me until after I commented. I haven’t purchased a Baen ARC in several years. Back when I did, I believe that Baen was only doing this for some books and their biggest selling authors (and hardback editions only).
This might actually work out better for their authors because these are direct sales by the publisher to readers, essentially cutting out Amazon and other ebook retailers % off the top. Plus back when I purchased the ARCs they cost more than the regular ebook price (you were paying for the privilege to get a crack at it first). And a certain % of those fans area,so going to buy the print edition for sure. So authors might actually be making more of the ARC sales, especially if Baen is giving them some of the savings from not paying online retailers.
“This might actually work out better for their authors because these are direct sales by the publisher to readers, essentially cutting out Amazon and other ebook retailers % off the top. ”
It is better for BAEN. It is not better for the authors or the readers because they are paying a premium price for a halfbaked book. If I were a BAEN author, I’d tell them to shove it. Why would I need them? What are they bringing to the table if they are selling my UNEDITED work? I can self publish and charge $15 and keep all the money without splitting it with BAEN.
You guys are getting Innkeeper for free and we pay a professional CE to go over every installment before it goes up.
You are being taken advantage of by this BAEN deal. I just want you to be aware of that.
Nancy Heald says
I am a California CPA so this whole post is like business porn to me, especially the Kickstarter part. So interesting and kind of thrilling…
And that’s another thing people forget. It’s not $25 million. It’s more like 15 million. Maybe 18, if they are good with deductions.
That was REALLY INTERESTING❣️
I can’t tell you when the last time was that I bought a paper book, other than a knit stitch collection. We’ve had about 13 homes in 47 years of marriage (Could have been paroled long ago, right?) and we just got tired of shlepping books and paying for an extra room to house them. Plus the internet has every recipe you could ever want and we eat very simply, so out went the cook books. Other than text books, we almost never read a book a second time because we aren’t getting any younger and there are new books coming down the chute every day.
Because we can’t resell Ebooks, I don’t see why they need to be almost as expensive as paper books, especially with the extreme cost of getting a paper book from the tree to your hands, not to mention how unfriendly every aspect of that is to the planet. Also I am much more interested in audio than just reading it, anyway, because the rest of my life is just too short to just do one thing at a time.
I have much more sympathy, now, for why books are taking so long to get to the market. I didn’t understand the logjam at the publishing houses and couldn’t understand why they couldn’t get the ebooks out and bring out the print editions later. It never occurred to me that the authors weren’t turning them in on time.
Very educational, thanks for explaining. My partner & I prefer ‘old fashioned’ in print books. We have purchased some e-books, but we tend to re-read our books on a regular basis. We may skip to particular parts of a story. That is quite easy to do with a paper book, less easy with an e-book. Plus the whole book reading experience is in our opinion better with the paper copy. The scent, the feel, the rustle when a page is turned….. think I will go read my latest acquisition now:)
Bill from NJ says
Interesting reading, was not surprised that the publishing industry like everyone else didn’t figure out that doing things in China had risks with it, the people who use lean production I guess never bothered to read the section where lean production works best when suppliers are relatively local and politics suck ( it is why Japanese companies build most of their cars here and 80% of the components are made here I in the US.
I hadn’t thought of the impact Covid had on authors not interacting with people, thinking about it I realize how much my own writing depends on people I have met. My wife also points out that the concern and anxiety of Covid isn’t conducive to creativity
As far as pricing goes the big mystery to me is e book pricing. I can see the cost of hardcovers and paperback books, the paper, ink printing them, then shipping them, and if course the losses w returns or where books get destroyed before they can be ready to be sold
But I often see e books that are way more expensive than paperbacks. I have heard publishers claim it is high costs with them but speaking as an IT professional that is a joke.
The systems to store and distribute books are not complicated and the cost for maintaining the systems is not all that much compared to the cost of print books, I guarantee it. When I see an ebook for 15 bucks and a paperback at like 9 something is wrong.
My guess is they are really thinking bc it is an ebook they will face a ton of stolen books ( hate to tell them but pirate sites are just as likely to scan a print book in).
I also suspect they want to discourage e books because they already have done something the industry hates, that authors are publishing and finding an audience without having to play the game with the publishers, who are even more loathe to take a chance on new writers.
Book Devouring Horde Member #42 says
If a surprise book or monthly box existed by Ilona Andrews, I would 100% pre order today. Or any day of the week.
Thank you for sharing this info!
I have switched to strictly e-books over time. I, too, got my first iPad in 2011 when I was going on holiday to Italy and my assistant said that besides not carrying two dozen paperbacks in my various pieces of luggage (I read fast and I read a lot), I could also use the iPad to email with her. (I also FaceTimed from Tuscany, giggling with her mostly, just because hey! picture phone!!!).
Anyways, that started my library and it has really, really expanded over time but, fortunately for my house floors, not over space.
Also, I really like getting the e-books quickly and even from my Library, even when away.
I gotta say that waiting for 11:59 to turn over to 12:00 for your books is terrible …. but the feeling WHEN I GET IT is worth it.
TWO dozen, not “tap” dozen. Sheesh.
Moderator R says
Fixed that for you 😊
i just wanted to note that there is a set of readers out there who only read ebooks and no printed ones because they simply cannot. me: i cannot hold the book (i have eds, and my finger joints just won’t stay put holding a book). so: i only get to read the books as ebooks because i can lay the reader on a standard and read.
Moderator R says
That’s a very important note, thank you for mentioning it, Christie 🙂.
Can relate! I prefer ebooks because I can make the typeface as large as I need it! (Eye issues.)
Its interesting as the mass paperback is not readily available in Australia. We have the trade paperback and then a size between that and the mass paperback.
I have noticed that e-books are starting to reach the pricing point of a paperback over here. It makes me wonder if I should go back to actual books again. just buy more shelves I guess. Also you think you are doing a good thing by using e-readers and saving trees. If its going to cost the same or more then what’s the point really other than not having shelf space for the amount we read in my house!
My sister also can’t read print books any more because of vision issues. She has been exclusively audio for a couple of years. I just showed her how to adjust the type size on my eReader.
She was intrigued but will probably stick with audio because she likes being able to do other things while listening to a book. However, the narrator’s voice REALLY makes a big difference for her.
Chris neko says
Sorry but why Not Go Whit eBook only ?
Chris neko says
Hallo where i can i find the friday chapter ?
Ore Not this Werk?
Moderator R says
This week’s chapter has not been posted yet, it will be a little late 🙂
I’m blog stalking too! (I’m sure there’s a less threatening sounding name for it, but my migraine brain won’t cooperate).
Anyhow, I keep reading the title of this post as “The Trouble of Phishing” and I keep needing to go back and reinsert the letters. It’s been amusing me in between telemarketer calls.
Lynn Thompson says
Interesting. Thank you Ilona Andrews for the post. Food for thought indeed.
Courtney Holder says
Thanks for the heads up about Sanderson’s kickstarter! I love kickstarters that support artist and authors! Such a fan of Sanderson too! Also appreciate the insight into the publishing world currently. Warm Regards, Courtney
JR Robinson says
Holy cow! I just looked at what I’ve been paying for my ebook editions and I can’t seem to pay less than $10.+ change. Quite a few of my purchases (new releases) are running $15.00+. The e-book price creeping up happened (for me) a couple of years ago. It drives me crazy–because I know if I wait some of these prices will come down. But whereas I wouldn’t pay $9.99 for a mass market, that is what I’m paying for an ebook.
Love those shark fins. Legit lol’d.
I’d almost be afraid to contemplate how much money I’d throw at a well- incentivized Kickstarter relating to Innkeeper Chronicles. The very idea of getting more stories about the Holy Anocracy or going more in-depth with some of the other cultures previously mentioned in the series makes me feel almost dizzy. turning mythical creatures into aliens way out in the multiverse couldn’t be more genius if it wanted to!
Thank you for these insights!
Another author that I enjoy reading did release 2 books in the past 12 months with another scheduled to release in May, but they have only been ebooks and audio books. It’s not conventional, but is there a benefit to releasing digitally at first and then later releasing in paperback and hardcover? Or would the early digital release hurt the paperback and hardcover sales?
I got to do an incredibly informative internship with a small publisher in 1988 and used that to get into the publishing industry for 5 glorious years. Layoff, need for money and more stability had me move sideways, but I have still kept an eye on the industry. (Welcome to publishing, expect 3-4 layoffs in your career. –> Welcome to tech writing, expect 5-6 layoffs in your career. –> Huh, just plan to change positions and/or companies every year to 4 years.)
The percentages were 5-10% royalty, 5-10 promotion, 20-40 editing/printing, then bookstores — and those percentages have changed as the industry changed.