Thursday, August 4, 2011

eBook Supremacy

As has been repeatedly noted throughout history, and especially recent history, change is the one constant in life. As Dylan once sang in To Ramona, "everything changes" and his third album was itself titled The Times They Are A-Changin'.

The book publishing industry is changing, too. Old timers in the publishing field have mixed feelings about the ramifications of electronic publishing. But what about young people today? How do they perceive what is going on in publishing today? In discussing some of these notions with my ePublishing collaborator, sixteen-year-old TJ Lind, I gained some interesting insights that were very different from the alarmist voices I've sometimes listened to. I asked TJ to share his thoughts on today's publishing scene.

TJ Lind on eBook Supremacy

Recently, eBooks are beginning to overtake traditional books because of their portability and convenience. Think about it, a typical book weighs one pound and an average textbook weighs 6 pounds. In a single one pound device, one can hold literally hundreds of books. This feature alone has attracted millions to the eReader market. There is no doubt that eBooks are the future of reading!

The greatest thing about eBooks for authors is there is no need to go through your typical publisher. There is no need to send your book in and get it rejected many times. The big publishing companies are in a run for their money because the books they sell are usually around $10. If you sell your eBook for ninety-nine cents, you do not have to have a book as great as if it were written by Stephen King. Because your book is ten times less the price of the Stephen King book, you do not have to prove to your readers that your book is better than his. He has to prove to his readers that his book is ten times better than yours!

Big publishing companies just can’t afford to price their books at ninety-nine cents because they have too many expenses to pay. The takeoff of eBooks has opened the doors for freelance authors to make a name for themselves. Just look at Amanda Hawking. Hawking wrote 17 novels in her spare time and published them to eBook markets. She completely dominated the top charts selling millions of books, priced very low, and made $2 Million! She was a self published author with no middle man, no publisher to take royalties away from her.

The balance of power in the book market is shifting. Publishing companies are losing their leverage on consumers, now that self publishing is taking off. One of the first questions a self published author must answer before actually publishing his or her works is: which platform should I choose? The answer: All of them! It will require a significant time commitment, but if it is free to self-publish on most eReader stores, why wouldn't you publish on every single one of them?

Moreover, before publishing one must understand how each store operates. For example on the Kindle store if a book is priced between $0.99 and $2.98, the author will receive 34% royalties. If a book is $2.99 or more, the author receives 70% royalties from the book’s revenue. Most stores operate on a similar pricing scheme, but Apple does it a bit differently. One cannot directly self-publish to the iBooks store. They must go through a third party, such as lulu.com. When a book is sold on the Apple store, the publisher is paid 70% royalties regardless the cost of the book. Lulu.com will take 20% of the remaining 70%, so you receive what is left.

Although a significant time commitment, self-publishers should publish on every eBook store they can to maximize their reach. Of course, hardly anyone has the time to take care of publishing on multiple platforms, AND to market the book. There are options available to help those of you, such as N&L Publishing. After Red Scorpion, and three or four additional collections of short stories by Ed Newman are published, N&L Publishing is considering the possibility of offering their services in publishing and marketing other writers’ books.

N&L Publishing is not a typical publisher. The unlikely combination of an experienced marketing executive and a 16-year-old marketing student bring unique angles to the publishing industry. Based in Duluth, Minnesota, N&L Publishing is breaking industry standard by being one of the first purely digital publishers. No hard copies of books will ever come out of our office. This is publishing for the new generation, the technology generation.


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3 comments:

TRX said...

Awesome read. Thanks for sharing. Computer Engineering

TRX said...

Thanks for a great post.very informative. I totally agree with you, having is the right mindset is most important of all.I Have already shared this post with a few of my friends and they loved it. Computer Hardware

ENNYMAN said...

Thanks TRX
Hope you will also enjoy our books.
e.