Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Times, they are a-changin’

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

What am I talking about? Book publishing, of course.

If you receive any kind of e-newspaper/magazine, you may have read that book industry is seeing a swift shift from its old (wasteful) system of distributing paperback and hardback books to one that is lean, green and much more profitable. We’re talking about eBooks. Depending upon the source, you might hear that anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of books sold and purchased in the US will be ebooks within as few as ten years. For readers, that’s great news. I’m seeing more books published, in a broader variety, thanks to lower cost (aka lower risk) to publishers. However, it may come at a dear price. The days of wandering your local Borders bookstore, inhaling the scent of freshly-printed books may soon come to an end.

If you don’t believe me, check out this article,

E-Books Top Hardcovers at Amazon,

published by The New York Times.According to the article’s author, ebooks are now selling at a rate of 143 Kindle ebooks for every 100 hardcovers. And Kindle’s bookstore has only been open for 33 months.At this point, paperback sales still outnumber eBooks. But for how long?

By the way, for all you hardcover enthusiasts out there, this doesn’t mean hardcovers are dead…yet. Sales industry-wide increased 22% this year, according to the American Publishers Association.

Want to read the entire article? You can find it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/technology/20kindle.html?_r=2

Looking into my crystal ball

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

What will the future of publishing look like? Some folks have theorized that the end of an era is upon us. There’s talk of publishing’s evolution, from a world dominated by a handful of large publishing houses to one in which smaller houses are able to compete. Much of the change is due to the Kindle and to the growing demand for ebooks.

Things were looking pretty darn good in my crystal ball. As an author, I saw opportunities opening to me, opportunities that I–as an epublished author–have been waiting, hoping for.

And then something happens, like JA Konrath signing with AmazonEncore, to make me second-guess my rosy vision for the future. Could Amazon become a powerful super-corporation, a monopoly, handling all aspects of book publishing, from concept to distribution? It seems it’s already on its way to doing just that. I’m sure this is why publishers fought so hard for control of product pricing. But they may be fighting a losing battle. As more authors go to Kindle and AmazonEncore, and the average ebook price drops, traditional publishers’ products will be priced out of the market. They’ll be forced to make painful decisions. And I’m not familiar enough with publishing to know what the potential fallout of those decisions might be, but I have a vague feeling it won’t be pretty.

I’m not going to pull a Chicken Little and start shrieking, “The sky is falling!” But I will say, it’s an interesting time to be part of the publishing world right now.Things are changing, and quickly.

So, what’s an author–who has absolutely no control over the changes taking place–supposed to do, as the world beneath her feet shifts and tips?

Stay informed. Listen closely. Make decisions carefully, based upon facts, not rumors.

A few publishing industry blogs to help you do just that:

PubRants

Nathan Bransford

Business Exchange

Mediabistro/Galleycat

Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog