The Current State of E-Readers | An Author’s Guide (Part I)

We’ve crossed the Rubicon, dear readers.  There’s no going back, when it comes to the print vs. digital divide, at least if we’re speaking on the commercial level.  There are quite substantial numbers of readers who are introduced to books via their smartphones and computer screens and then move into the musty world of mahogany bookshelves and neighborhood used-book stores … but these numbers represent not so much a desertion of one form for another, but rather the natural progression of addicts who will simply, and always, want more–more good words strung together, more stories in their hands, more eyes to peer through and lives to live in the way that only literature makes possible.

I’m here to speak about e-books and e-readers this week and in the weeks to come.  We’ve just finished a tour-de-force marathon of social media platforms spanning several months, so it’s time for a bit of a change of pace … but without sacrificing our desire to examine trends and patterns and possibilities with the fine eye of a book connoisseur.

ereaders

The data is in, and readers have spoken.  As this infographic (courtesy of Publishing Technology and Nielson BookScan) shows, e-book sales dropped slightly from an all-time high in early 2014, but they’re not going anywhere fast.  (I should also note that the initial speculations for this year seem to indicate continued stability.)  The digital market has matured, and readers are simply spreading their pocket change around, and being more selective as they do so.  Essentially, it’s not just “still” useful to publish your books in digital form, but it’s actually more useful than ever–readers now know how to find what they like, as the information infrastructure–including indexing search engines like Google and Bing, and social media platforms with a literary bent like Goodreads–has matured alongside the market itself.

ebooks vs print

But how does an author, especially an indie, hybrid, or self-published author, go about figuring out how to navigate both the debate and the process?  Well, first, you have to know a little bit about e-books and e-readers themselves.

And so we dive off into the deep end of a new series.  This time I’m going to walk you through the process by examining each big player in the e-reading market (past and present and future, at least so far as I can see it), from Kindles to Nooks to iPads to chips implanted into your brain.  Okay, okay, I’m kidding about that last one … for now.  In all seriousness, I hope that this series will be of use to you as you take next steps into the oft-hazy world of digital publication!

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.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 9/09/14

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 Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Amazon launches self-publishing program for kids books

In its latest move to generate more original content, Amazon launched KDP Kids, a set of tools to allow authors to publish illustrated and chapter books for children. Amazon’s KDP Kids is modeled after its self-publishing program.

Self-publishing changes book world, library collections

The Springfield-Greene County Libraries now own over 300 self-published titles, and the number is increasing rapidly. In the past year, they added almost three times as many self-published titles as the previous year. Many of the self-published books in their collection have been added based on customers’ suggestions after learning about the titles through social media, blogs and authors’ websites.

Indie Author Interview: Judith Kohnen

Judith Kohnen is a novelist, poet, healer and an intuitive counselor. In this interview, she discusses all aspects of the writing process including her writing routine and her self-promotion methods. This is an interesting read for all writers.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Achieve Your Summer Reading Goals While on Vacation

Reading is one of the best things writers can do to improve their own work. Reading offers inspiration, teaches the craft, and provides insight into what is (or isn’t) successful right now. I frequently encourage writers to set reading goals — read a certain number of books per month. Your summer vacation is the perfect time to achieve those summer reading goals.

Years ago, when you went on vacation you’d pack a small stack of books to enjoy on the plane or as you laid by the pool. Once those books were finished, your reading was done. Obviously for space reasons (and wonderful suitcase weight limits), it just wasn’t possible to pack all the books you wanted to read. Luckily, times have changed.

E-readers make reading while traveling easy. You can download books to reader before leaving or wait and download books as you need them. This offers countless reading possibilities.

While you probably already have a reading wish list, I encourage you to read something you wouldn’t normally read. This is a great way to step outside your comfort zone and discover a new writing style that might just inspire your own work. For book suggestions, check out bestselling lists such as Outskirts Press Top 10 Kindle Books.

I’d love to know, what are you reading on your summer vacation?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

3 Ways to Maximize Your Book Sales Potential on Amazon

Amazon is the single largest book retailer. By taking advantage of all of the tools and services Amazon has to offer, self-publishing authors can enjoy higher sales, increased revenue, and more satisfied readers. Here are three easy ways you can maximize your book sales potential on Amazon.

1) Adding an Amazon Kindle edition

Kindles are a popular e-reader. Offering an Amazon Kindle edition of your book increases your potential buyer market and offers readers an easy, quick way to purchase your book. Be sure to market your Kindle edition as well as your print edition.

2) Adding the Amazon Search Inside the Book feature

This is the online equivalent to readers picking your book up off the shelf and flipping through the pages. The “Look Inside” option provides an icon over your book’s cover image and allows readers to browse through portions of your interior content. Amazon states that books utilizing this option see considerably higher sales over those that do not.

3) Maximizing your book description for search engine optimization

You need to make sure your book description is well-written for two reasons: one, readers don’t want to buy a book with a boring or unprofessional description. Two, readers won’t be able to find your book if you don’t use strong keywords in your description. In the world of the internet, keywords are essential. They help readers find books on the topics they are searching for. When writing your book’s description, spend time considering the appropriate keywords and be sure to proofread the final copy.

I’d love to know, what is your favorite Amazon feature?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 3/11/14

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 Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

8 Lessons I’ve Learned By Self-Publishing 3 Kindle E-books

This self-publishing author shares her publishing experience. In hopes of helping other writers avoid costly mistakes, she discusses the mistakes she made early in her career. The article covers many aspects of the self-publishing process, including cover design, price, and more. This is an excellent read for anyone considering self-publishing.

10 Reasons Self Published Authors Will Capture 50 Percent of the Ebook Market by 2020

Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, estimates self-publishing authors will capture 50 percent of the market by 2020. In this article, he offers 10 great reasons why. This is an encouraging read for anyone considering self-publishing.

The Key to Self-Publishing Your Memoir: Be Confident with Your Story!

Memoirist Dorit Sasson talks about the importance of being a confident author when self-publishing a memoir. She also discusses the importance of building an online presence and offers tips on gaining an audience. This is a must read for memoir writers.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.