Self-Publishing News: 4.30.2018 – April Round-Up

the word "april" from the wooden letters

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, wrapping up what’s new for you and yours in April 2018.

Everybody we know opts to hear the bad news first, so here goes: In 2017, ebook sales dropped for perhaps the first time ever. Writes Adam Rowe of Forbes, this may (MAY) have something to do with that nifty little move publishers made back in 2015 to raise ebook prices: “In 2015, the Big Five publishing houses raised ebook prices to around $8 a book, far higher than the $3-a-book price point independent publishers settled on,” writes Rowe. There’s a lot to unpack in this not-complete-bad-news story, and some of it is even downright good news for self-publishing authors and lovers of the indie press. Says Rowe: “Traditional publishers priced themselves out of the market, and their 10% drop in 2017 is just the latest evidence that the value a traditional publisher adds — whether editing, gatekeeping, or marketing — isn’t as highly valued by ebook buyers as a low pricetag.” Word to the wise: provide unique content, keep your book affordable, and readers will come. Amazon may have an eye on monopoly, but other indie presses and publishers aren’t out of the fight.

And now for the unremittingly good news! It’s that time of year again–time for the CIPA EVVY nominations. If you haven’t already heard of these, here’s what you need to know: each year, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association opens its digital doors for nominations of the best independently published books from the previous year. This year, submissions are accepted up until May 19. Then, on July 31, CIPA will announce the winners in each open category at their annual banquet and celebration. Those interested in entering will pay a fee, however, and the fee climbs the closer you get to the final submission deadline. Those authors who have published with Outskirts Press receive plenty of bonus exposure and benefits, and a nomination to the CIPA EVVY Awards is a requirement for eligibility for the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year, which is its own special award to be announced later in the year. For more information about the Outskirts Press service, visit them online at https://outskirtspress.com/options/6064_outskirts_press_official_evvy_awards_submission_by_invitation_only.html.


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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From the Archives: Quick Start Guide to Marketing Your Kindle eBooks Like a Pro!

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: March 10, 2011 ]

What are the differences between marketing a Kindle ebook and marketing a printed book?

The promotional methods used to drive traffic to your website and your sales page on Amazon are similar to that of printed books, but there are some differences in marketing Kindle ebooks:

  • There are fewer competing books in the Kindle store, so you may have a greater chance of your book standing out in search results. The Kindle publishing platform makes it very easy for you to enter appropriate keyword tags for your ebook.
  • Consumers expect ebook prices to be significantly lower than print books, especially for fiction. You can experiment with different price points, but for fiction books many indie authors report that they sell at lot more books at $2.99 than at higher prices. If you price your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99 (and it’s priced at least 20% less than the printed version) you can opt to receive a 70% royalty from Amazon, which is much higher than what you’d make on a printed book.
  • The audience for Kindle ebooks is smaller, because not everyone has a Kindle, but it’s growing rapidly. Remind potential customers that they don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks—they can download a free reading app to use on their PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and other devices.

What are the best ways for an author to capitalize on Kindle edition sales?

  • Be sure to prominently state on all of your book marketing materials that your book is also available in Kindle format, and provide links directly to your Kindle page on Amazon. You can use a link shortening service to create a short, customized link to use for marketing purposes, such as http://bit.ly/AmazonEbook.

To make a customized link like this, go to http://bit.ly, paste the URL of your book’s Kindle sales page into the large blue box, click the blue “customize” button (beneath the blue box), enter a name for your link (such as AmazonEbook in the example above), and click on the “customize” button.

  • Make sure that your print book and your ebook are linked together on the Amazon website. For example, the reviews for your print book should be showing up on your Kindle page, and the sales page for your print book should indicate that the book is also available in Kindle format. If you don’t see that linkage within a couple of weeks, contact kdp-support@amazon.com.
  • Earn a little extra on each print and ebook sale on Amazon when you sign up for the Amazon Associates affiliate program at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com.

What are some common mistakes in marketing Kindle ebooks?

  • One common mistake is failing to write compelling sales copy and enter the right keywords. The great thing about the Kindle publishing platform at https://kdp.amazon.com is that it’s easy to make changes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sales copy, keywords and price points.
  • Other mistakes include pricing ebooks too high, failing to promote them as much as printed books, and failing to take advantage of the promotional opportunities available on the Amazon website.

– by Dana Lynn Smith.

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Quite a lot has changed in the world of Kindle ebooks since 2011, including the percentages and the eminence of Amazon Associates and even which devices we use these days (cue the Blackberry exit, stage left). But many things have remained the same, such as Dana Lynn Smith’s admonition to write compelling sales copy, and pricing books perfectly to sell.

Most importantly of all, since Dana Lynn’s original post in 2011, print books have seen a resurgence in popularity. These days, it’s more important to view ebooks not as an end to their own means, but as a part and component of a much larger, much more fully rounded-out sales strategy encompassing print as well as digital. Ebooks aren’t the only answer you need, although they certainly enrich an author’s portfolio.

For more on that, I recommend checking in on Small Business Trends‘ annual report on the situation and balance between print and digital, available here: smallbiztrends.com/2017/02/printed-books-vs-ebooks.html.

small business trends the future of books
Infographic by Small Business Trendssmallbiztrends.com/2017/02/printed-books-vs-ebooks.html

Once you know your place in the “future of books,” you’ll know how to structure your sales and marketing strategies to take advantage of these trends.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing News: 7.18.2016

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

In some cases, an article’s title can mislead, and in other cases, an article’s subtitle can reveal a whole lot more than expected.  This is certainly true of a July 11 article by Aaron Pressman in Fortune, which at first glance might seem to be a bad-news memo but in actual fact is rather packed with hopeful news for the indie author.  The subtitle?  “But growing sales of self-published e-books may offset the drop.”  So in other words, readers continue to read, books continue to sell, and the only change that matters is that self-publishing authors get both a larger slice of the total market and a larger slice of their own royalties (as well as all of those other benefits to going solo).  According to Pressman, 11% drop in e-book sales reported by traditional publishers is in large part the result of the Big Five publishing houses attempting to curb online retailer Amazon’s influence over the market by controlling (read: boosting) their own e-book prices.  Not only is this ploy failing, but it’s failing rather quickly–leaving a real demand amongst avid readers for affordably-priced e-books to fill the gap.  And self-publishing authors, as Pressman documents, continue to step up.  For more of Pressman’s fascinating article, follow the link!

Pretty insane, right?  Not according to Jennifer Blanchard in her July 12 article for the Huffington Post.  According to Blanchard, death is set to come for us all–and just dreaming about being the author she’d always wanted to become wasn’t cutting it.  (“[Y]ou probably thought I was going to say I’m doing it because I’m dying and want to rush and get my books out there before I kick the bucket. And well, you wouldn’t be totally wrong.  I am dying.  But so are you.”)  At the time she made the decision to publish 9 new books, she already had 5 self-published through Amazon and was making $30-$40 a month.  She articulates her dream–and the dreams of many unpublished authors out there–for success as wanting “the big time”:

 I want a huge catalog of self-published books, nonfiction and novels. I want a massive, raving fanbase full of ideal readers who buy all my books. I want a traditional publisher to come to me with a million-dollar book deal. I want Hollywood knocking down my door for the movie rights.

But, she says, she and her dreams were not “aligned.”  She was “playing small.”  And so Jennifer Blanchard decided to change things–and within months of making a public commitment, she was raking in the dividends.  “I became an Amazon Best-Selling author,” she says, and “In June, I sold 1,007 books. In a 30-day period.”  All without changing a thing about how she writes and what she writes.  The only change, Blanchard reports, is that she chose to write and publish more books.  “I created this kind of success because I decided to. Plain and simple,” she writes.  For the entire story, click here.

“A self-published book took the top slot on the most recent iBooks bestseller list,” reports John Maher in this July 14 update for Publisher’s Weekly.  The book in question is Kendall Ryan’s Hitched, Volume 1.  Hitched, the first title in Ryan’s “Imperfect Love” series, took the #1 spot on this week’s list for all ebooks sold through the iBooks Apple store–a truly impressive feat, when you think about it.  It’s not the only  self-published title to make the top 20, with the second volume of Hitched making #15, but it’s the only one to break the top 10.  Billie Taylor’s self-published novel Just Friends sits comfortably at #13, Brenda Rothert’s His at #16, and Find Me by Laurelin Paige holds its own at #18.  Whether or not this wonderful showing for indie authors can be attributed to the trends in ebook sales documented by Aaron Pressman, above, remains unclear–but you can bet this list will continue to demonstrate a strong showing for indie authors of all brands over the coming months.  You can find the original list here.


spa-news

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

In Your Corner : Debunking the Myth of Multiedition Self-Sabotage

It’s not a new idea–that adding a new edition of your book can boost your overall book sales.  But while many self-publishing authors choose to begin with an ebook edition for a variety of reasons (it’s cheaper to produce, is findable using a keyword search, and is easy to distribute and download) and are only too happy to expand into print editions when their ebooks take off … well, suffice it to say the reverse is not quite as common.  Why?

I have a one-word answer for you: stigma.  Many authors who choose to begin their self-publishing experience by going straight to print and eschewing all other options do so because they themselves have a personal preference for the printed book.  Which is lovely.  I too adore the weight of a physical copy in my hand, the almost unidentifiable smell combining paper and industrial toner!  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with preference.  However–and you knew there would be a however in here somewhere!–when authors enforce their own preferences on their readers, there’s a grave danger that they will also enforce a stigma.

And let’s face it, the stigma against ebooks is doing just fine without any help.  A seachange may be starting, but the fact remains that major news outlets like The Guardian and Publisher’s Weekly and the Wall Street Journal have all at one time or another bemoaned the “death of print” instead of lauding the ingenuity of authors who found new ways to reach their readers. And authors themselves have contributed to the stigma–Stephen King, Maurice Sendak, Sherman Alexie, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Ray Bradbury have all spoken out at one time or another against ebooks.

But here are the facts:

Releasing an ebook edition of your novel does not lead inevitably to the “death of literature.”  In fact, it helps to complement your print editions.  You as an author will be able to reach a wider audience by offering both print and ebook editions–and more importantly, your willingness to do so demonstrates a profound respect for your readers and their various needs for accessibility.

An ebook edition is a smart, affordable, effective, efficient, and respectful addition to your work.  Just as an audiobook version of your book (more on that in the future!) can help render your work accessible to a hearing-impaired reader, an ebook renders your work accessible to the visually-impaired reader, the mobile reader, the traveler, and the international reader who maybe doesn’t have access to Amazon shipping or a physical bookstore.  And maybe, just maybe, your book can reach a person who would otherwise feel alone in this world, just as I am here each week to remind you that:

You are not alone. ♣︎

ElizabethABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

From the Archives: “Top 5 Considerations for Effectively Pricing Your Self-Published Book”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: February 3rd, 2011 ]

“Is my book too expensive?”

“Am I selling myself short?”

Traditionally-published authors usually don’t have any control over the price of their book. As a self-published author, though, how can you make sure you have priced your book appropriately? There is no hard and fast rule, unfortunately. However, here are a few things to consider while coming up with a pricing strategy for self-publishing a book:

  1. How much royalty will you earn from every book sale? If you’re planning on writing full-time, you want to make sure you’re making a sustainable amount per book ($1.50 – $2.75 is reasonable).
  2. What is your target market? Is your intended reader a teenager or an affluent attorney? You want to keep your audience in mind so that you don’t price yourself out of the market. You won’t be very successful if your ideal reader can’t afford to buy your book.
  3. Where do you want to sell your book? Trade discounts often determine where a book is sold. Most online retailers are fine with a short trade discount (less than 40%). However, big box stores, such as Borders, Barnes&Noble, etc. require at least a 50% discount (in addition to a solid marketing plan and full return-ability) to consider carrying your book. If you can’t imagine self-publishing your book without it being stocked on the shelves of your nearest B&N, you should consider going with 50% (though it will cut down on your royalties).
  4. How has your competition priced their books? Research books similar to yours. Make sure the page count is similar, it was published recently, and hopefully self-published. You don’t want to price your book too high above (or too low beneath) these books.
  5. Have you asked an expert? Now is not the time to guess. This is your livelihood. Your best bet is to employ the services of someone who is already familiar with the self-publishing industry, like a Publishing Consultant. These people know the book business, and they can help you with questions like these.

DISCUSSION: How did you decide on a price for your book?

by Elise L. Connors

I absolutely love Elise’s post on ebook pricing, especially since most of the points hold steady in the face of a rapidly changing market.  There’s very little that’s the same in 2016 as it used to be in 2012 when it comes to the world of self-publishing in digital formats––except for this!  And while some figures may require updating––and Borders has gone altogether out of business––I cannot think of better advice than what Elise gave us in these five simple points.

online shopping

One recent event has, of course, dramatically altered the parameters by which you should set your ebook’s price: Hachette won its suit against Amazon.  What does this mean?  Why should indie authors care about a battle between an online retailer and a traditional publishing company?  I can think of several reasons.

One: Amazon is far and away the largest online retailer of ebooks, outpacing Barnes & Noble by leaps and bounds and leaving Apple’s iBook store and the Google Play store to contend for the last percentages of the market with their book subscription services and bundles.

And two: Hachette’s win means that Amazon no longer gets to keep ebook prices artificially low––justifiably low, in Amazon’s opinion––as the prices of ebooks put out by the Big Five traditional publishing houses cannot be reduced by the third party online seller.  As a consequence, ebook prices have been soaring––as the Big Five set higher prices to rake in more profit, many self-publishing authors are following suit because of the luxury principle; they don’t want their books to be assumed inferior in quality just because they’re less expensive.

A lot of factors go into your price-setting decision.  Are you looking mostly for exposure?  If you are, then selling your book at a dramatically reduced price (say, a $0.99 deal) may well get your book in front of more pairs of eyes than if you price it higher (say, around $9.99).  A low price might also help lure in readers who are itching to try a new book but only have a little free cash to risk.  But a low price cuts into your royalties, and for Amazon especially the highest royalties (around 70%) come when you price your book around the $2.99 sweet spot.  You may lose a few risk-conscious readers, but you only need one reader to purchase your book to every two who turn away in order to break even in your royalties when you boost your price to $2.99.

Your book’s genre and length can also play a role.  Remember Elise’s fourth point, above?  If you’ve written a book that falls neatly to a particular genre (or perhaps, relates un-neatly to several) then you should take a long look at how similar novels of a similar length and style are being priced.  All books are wonderful things and no genre is inherently more “literary” than another, but a pragmatic author must recognize that human perception is flawed and nowhere near as egalitarian as we’d like.  This is to say, romances, Westerns, science fiction, and fantasy tend to be priced more cheaply than, say, a travelogue or political exposé.  You don’t want to price your book outside of your ideal reader’s expected range.

In a lot of ways, it’s easy to lose sight of your vision for your book when the price dominates conversation.  Here’s my advice for pricing an ebook in 2016: Do your research, consult an expert, and make the call.  Don’t spend too much time deliberating, or you’re missing out on the most important thing that you as an author can be doing: writing another book!  ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Demystifying the Digital Census : Digital Sales Growing, But Slowing

Last week, I began a series in which I’m applying a microscope to the results of FutureBook‘s Digital Census of 2015 and breaking down to its component parts just what the fallout will be for you and me as indie and self-published authors.  FutureBook, an annual project of industry titan The Bookseller, has been hitting the books for five years now and has become the standard-bearer for those elements of the publishing (and specifically, digital publishing) revolution that range from mainstream (like Amazon) to cutting-edge, innovative, or brand new (like Goop and Medium!).

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The fifth annual FutureBook conference was held, in part, to evaluate and respond to the Digital Census of 2015, in which record numbers of readers and writers and bloggers and publishers (of traditional or indie ilk alike) and other industry experts reflected upon the ways that has changed or the ways in which they foresee the industry changing, all while indexing their hopes and concerns for where the Book as an object and industry and personal revelation is headed.  The data was condensed down to five talking points which in turn guided and shaped the course of the rest of the conference, and which indicate our ever-evolving relationship to publishing.  These points are:

  1. Mobile overtakes tablets and dedicated e-readers as the device of choice […]
  2. Digital sales are still growing, but they are also slowing […]
  3. Self-love levels recede as many indie authors report lower satisfaction levels […]
  4. Publishing remains very much divided on matters digital […]
  5. … And the majority believe publishers remain unprepared for what is coming [….]

Today I’m going to examine the second of these points, having addressed #1 (the rise of mobile) in last week’s post.  Here’s what the final FutureBook publication says about digital sales, which continue to demonstrate significant growth––although perhaps also showing signs of plateauing :

digital sales

The data meshes nicely with a series I just finished two weeks ago (“The Current State of E-Readers | An Author’s Guide“), in which I lay out the reasons why slowed growth in both ebook and e-reader sales is both a cause for concern (less overhead profit coming in) and for optimism (a diversified, stabilizing market with more competition and more options for authors).  Much of the research I gathered there applies here, so I don’t want to sound like a broken record and repeat myself––but I do want to emphasize the last line in the FutureBook article:

“Publishers have found that digital technology makes producing and delivering audio much more straightforward, but many are concluding that apps are not worth the candle.”

I think this is an important sentence because nowhere else in the article do audiobooks earn a lot of love, and even in the data mentioned above, the statistics for digital audiobooks is combined with that for digital e-books (that is, the text-based variety that doesn’t involve voice actors and snappy narration). And if there’s one segment of the digital publishing industry that’s neglected here and deserves a second look, it’s the digital audiobook!  Readers love them, and so therefore authors are beginning to pay attention.

We all have probably heard about Amazon’s merger with Audible and their ACX offerings for digital audiobooks by now, but what we don’t know (necessarily) is that there’s a whole niche market out there for authors looking to self-published audio books outside of the ACX/Audible/Amazon umbrella.  This Publisher’s Weekly article, for example, takes a look not just at ACX but at smaller companies without big corporate backing, like Open Book Audio and Spoken Word––and other media are starting to take note, including MediaShift and Author Marketing Institute.

As with all aspects of self-publishing, producing an audiobook (either with or without ACX/Audible/Amazon involvement) is a time- and energy-intensive process that deserves both careful and cautious consideration before you decide to commit … or not to commit.  But if there’s anything I’ve learned from my years in the publishing industry, it’s that readers are inherently voracious and will devour good words wherever they find them and in as many formats as they can discover them … and that there’s no such thing as “standing still” when it comes to the evolution of book distribution technology.  We have, as authors, a responsibility to remain at the forefront of the digital evolution––not hanging back and attempting to deny the inevitable progress from one mode of consumption to another, but leading the way and cutting new paths for those who follow.  Only if we innovate can we stay relevant and useful to our readers.  And I fully believe it when I say your book deserves to be heard.*

 

* and yes, I know that’s a terrible pun!

 


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Demystifying the Digital Census : E-Readers are OUT, Mobile is IN

As promised in last week’s “News from the Self-Publishing World,” I’m going to take a closer look at the results of FutureBook‘s Digital Census of 2015 and break down just what the implications are for you and me, indie and self-published authors.  FutureBook, an offshoot of the well-known institution, The Bookseller, is now in its fifth year and rapidly becoming a litmus test for the emergence of digital technologies and their assimilation into common usage across the developed world.  The conference, which self-advertises as “bring[ing] together more than 50 speakers from across the media world for a day of reckoning, realisation and revivification,” may well come to guide these emergences as well as reflect upon them at some point in the future–it has become so important.

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This year, according to the FutureBook, the five main takeaways from the conference are as follows:

1. Mobile overtakes tablets and dedicated e-readers as the device of choice […]

2. Digital sales are still growing, but they are also slowing […]

3. Self-love levels recede as many indie authors report lower satisfaction levels […]

4. Publishing remains very much divided on matters digital […]

5. … And the majority believe publishers remain unprepared for what is coming [….]

I’m going to take these points one at a time, break them down, and hopefully unpack the important details.  Here’s what the final FutureBook publication says about mobile tablets and e-readers:

futurebook

This little summary is, of course, useful in its own way for delineating the boundaries of the conversation at hand–a conversation in which self-publishing authors have a great vested interest.  The stakes are high for those of us who depend upon ebook sales for our income, and so knowing where to focus our attentions (and, let’s face it, our money) is handy.  (And as we have suspected for a while, we should be focusing on the Kindle Store as a marketplace although perhaps not on the Kindle as a piece of hardware.  For more on that, take a look at my post on Kindles in the e-reader-related series I wrapped up last week.)  But there’s an aspect of the conversation that this summary neglects: why.

Why are e-readers diminishing in appeal?

Is it something to do with a lack of novelty (they’ve been around for a while now), or because the function of reading ebooks can be better performed with other hardware (like the iPad or iPhone), or because of something else entirely?  Reports from industry experts seem to suggest a little of all of the above.  One TechRadar article cites “multifunctionality” and “age” as driving the market these days, with readers under 25 reading far more ebooks than the national average but doing so with the devices they’re always carrying with them anyway–their phones.  This puts “a demographic bomb” under the e-reader, and as the devices’ primary user base ages out of the buying population, so too will the devices themselves.  And this Christian Science Monitor article argues that the whole system has been “top-heavy” from the beginning, with only a handful of companies getting in on the e-reader market in the first place and therefore rendering it fragile and dependent on sales figures that can swing dramatically from one quarter to another.  We can’t ignore those other voices, too–like this one from the Independent–that the act of turning a page on an ebook simply isn’t rich enough to edge out the superior experience of holding a print book in hand.

All this to say, we can’t afford to forget that any entry into the canon of Great Technologies can be supplanted by changes in market demands, ousted by demographic shifts, and displaced by some new shiny gadget.  Remember that whole “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” expression?  Well, it probably originated in the early 1700s, and we still eat eggs and put them in baskets today.  By which I mean to say: some things remain the same, and some things change.  It seems that what needs to stay the same is our dedication to adaptability in the rapidly changing world of self-publishing.


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.