By: Stephanie Burkhart
Ebooks have been on the rise since 2007 when Amazon introduced the Kindle. Other retailers followed suit with the Nook, Sony's ereaders, Kobo, and the Ipad. With easy to use readers, the ebook market took off.
There are several advantages to ebooks. They save on shelf space and ebook readers are light and easy to carry around. Novels now have a worldwide reach and readers have access to older novels since ebooks don't go out of print.
As an author, it's important to consider taping into the ebook market. Kids these days have access to ebook readers and the bulk of the books they buy are on ereaders.
Ebooks have changed several fundamental ways books are made available to consumers including: distribution, marketing, pricing, and contracts.
Ebooks have opened new, broader channels of distribution. Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords have worldwide audiences. In 2013, Smashwords reported it earned 20 million in profits as a distributor. It's a big plus for an author to have their books available to the widest audience possible and an ebook gives them that.
Marketing is all about discovery. An author may have a wide distribution, but now the challenge is being 'discovered.' How do readers find 'your' title? Consider with ebooks: your novel/story goes to print right away. It's an opportunity to meet demand for a certain topic. As an author, you also have an opportunity for longer promotion through electronic media like blog tours, facebook, twitter, yahoo groups, and other social media.
Ebooks generally have lower costs to create. There's no ink, paper or binding. Lower overhead allows for ebooks to drop prices, allowing for competition. When you can drop a price, there's an opportunity to sell more books.
When working with publishers, traditional and small, authors need to consider their ebook contracts. Since ebooks are generating more sales than ever, royalty clauses in contracts need to be fair for authors and publishers. Pricing and contracts are new considerations due to the popularity of ebooks.
Question: As an author, what's your biggest consideration regarding ebooks? How do ebooks benefit you? Do you find marketing ebooks challenging? Why or why not?
Reference for this blog: "What Writer's Need to Know about the Ebook Market," by Jeremy Greenfield, Writer's Digest, FEB 2014, pages 21-25.
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She loves chocolate, enjoys a good cup of coffee, and taking long walks. She's a cub scout den leader for her son's troop. Her books, "The Giving Meadow," and "First Flag of New Hampshire," are published with 4RV Publishing. Find her on the web at:
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I read mostly on my Kindle and love it. However, the majority of readers still want paper. As I have a digital contract with my publisher, albeit the books are also in Print on Demand (POD), I feel at a disadvantage. Tweeted.ReplyDelete
Ella, thanks for the Tweet. I think younger people who read prefer the ebook readers. I think there's going to be a shift in about 10 years when they mature.Delete
Just my thoughts. We'll see.
An interesting article. I like ebooks because they are cheaper than prnt. My biggest problem with them is how to market them. Book signings at libraries and stores are diffiult, for me anyhow, because I don't have a physical book and a lot of people are not familiar with ebooks yet. I still prefer print, but also enjoy reading ebooks.ReplyDelete
I agree with you there, Bev. For the younger market parents and others who buy for youngsters want physical books, even if the kids themselves are eager to read ebooks.Delete
Beverly, I agree - ebooks are definately cheaper than print, but it's hard to go into a "physical" place and market them. - An idea - prepare a CD to give out with maybe the book trailer, a chapter excerpt and go to a library for marketing. Ask to read the first chapter. Just an idea. I don't know how practicaly it would be.Delete
I started with Kindle at the beginning (2007? That long ago?) because my husband and I were traveling and I didn't want to bring along a great sack of books. Still using the Kindle, now my third--lost one, and then upgraded--but now mainly because it's such a great space saver. I do like paper myself, but unless we find an extra house for the books, it's getting to the point of us or them.ReplyDelete
Beppie, I agree - ebook readers are a great space saver. They've done a lot to help me save space. Marketing ebooks - that's the challenge - especially when looking at "in person" venues.Delete
HI Steph, You raise some really good points in your blog. Ebooks have won a percentage of the book market, and the ease of access is something no book lover will give up once they try digital books. Honest to goodness truth, its rare that I pick up a print book these days. I have them, but even for my favorite "auto-buy" authors, I'm trending toward more and more ebooks. For one thing, it solves the problem of overfull bookshelves. For the other, the ereaders are lightweight and much easier for me to hold. As an author, I enjoy marketing ebooks. Its much easier for an introvert to market without face to face interactions. That's my two cents!ReplyDelete
Maggie - I agree - one of the upshots for me when it comes to marketing ebooks on the 'Net is that there's no "face-to-face" interactions, which if you can believe it, I'm not really comfortable doing that.Delete
I like reading ebooks the best on my Kindle, but I still will check out paperbacks from the library and sometimes ebooks. I love purchasing ebooks from Amazon and being able to immediately start reading them. And what do I buy? Romances, of course. :) It's so nice to throw my Kindle in my purse and take it everywhere and not have to carry a print book around. I think it's easier to market an ebook with so many promotion sites available now. I was surprised that my Christmas story has sold the best in ebook and not in print. Since the time period is 1957 and a lot of it is true, I assumed my target audience would be older and would prefer to read it in print, but I was wrong. I the cost is a factor with the ebooks being cheaper.ReplyDelete
Diane, another plus for ebooks - the "instant" gratification and the ability to start reading them right away. Diane, your Christmas story is a story that appeals across ages and genres. I'm glad to hear it does well in ebook.Delete
Thanks for sharing. EBooks create another dimension to enjoy great writing. I still prefer to hold a paperback in my hand. It's all in getting used to it. New adventures.
Good luck with your writing.
Joan, yes, an ebook reader is a new adventure, trust me on that!Delete
Stephanie, thanks for the 'low down' on the newer book marketing trends. eBook are certainly making strides in sales. While I love the convenience of my Kindle and use it for most of the PDFs I download and books I need to review, I do still love having a book in my hand.ReplyDelete
And, it's so true that the price of the ebook is a motivating factor for many as to whether to get an ebook or a book.
Karen, I think the price is a big factor and price has come down a lot on ebooks. Most self published go for 99 cent sales, but I think it's so important to price ebooks "right" to keep the market competitive.Delete
At this point, I read just as many ebooks as I do printed ones. As a reviewer, ebooks make more sense for me, but they also tend to be the last ones I read because I take my printed ones to read in the tub. I do that with my Kindle, too, but I'm really afraid to drop it and lose a ton of books.ReplyDelete
Sharon, I do a half and half approach, too, but I find I'm buying books in print that I would want to keep and reread.Delete
Great post, Stephanie! It's funny because we think of young people being all about the latest technology, but I did an experiment when my daughter wanted to take a novel on vacation. She was in middle school at the time, and I bought hard copy and e-book versions of the same novel. She wanted the e-book to start, but after a chapter or two on the Nook she begged me to switch to paper!ReplyDelete
Suzanne, that's funny isn't it? I certainty think the younger generation embraces technology quicker than our generation, but I think if it's a good book or they discover it's a book they enjoy then print wins out. My son has all the Percy Jackson books in print. He loves the series!Delete
Hey Stephanie, I still play more games on my Kindle than I read books, despite all the books I have on there. I'm still one to lean towards a paperback lol. They fit in the purse as easily as the Kindle and sometimes I carry both lolReplyDelete
An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.ReplyDelete
Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.