Sunday, October 6, 2013

SHIFTING WINDS FOR THE BOOK INDUSTRY


I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but I believe the wind has shifted in the book business again.  No longer is the e-book market the rising star.  Granted, it will continue to grow in numbers but it won’t bode well for the bottom line.

Amazon, authors, and indie publishers have spawned this shift by creating a generation of freeloaders rather than readers.  A CASE IN POINT:

An acquaintance of mine back in the USA, sent me a note the other day.  Here’s an excerpt.  Hatting, when are you going to offer EXPAT for free again?  I missed it because you close off the free downloads before we get ‘up and about’ here on the west coast. That’s not fair to us Oregonians.  If you offer for free – do like all the others.  Offer it for three days, not limited to 50 units.

You fine folks won’t see my reply to this arrogant freeloader.  I know for a fact he drinks and smokes. He probably spends more in a day on his bad habits than if he would purchase my entire inventory.

So, when you as an author, post your work for free, you are assisting in the creation new age of freeloaders like the guy above.   Also when you use one of these database blogs to advertise your FREE or discounted offerings, you are enabling these freeloaders to keep bolstering their reading material without spending a dime. In addition your talent and time is being used by these parasite blogs to build their businesses. Think about this from a different angle:  These blogs like BookBub have created a database of freeloaders they mail to everyday; they charge YOU the author up to $300.00 for a one time inclusion (feature) to tell every bargain hunter in their files that your book is free or discounted. Without your participation, they have nothing.  They don’t create anything.  They are leaches.

Now -- do the math.  Sure you may get more readers but are they buyers or vultures?  Will they lay in wait until you publish your next work?  Take look at your sales.  More effort – more expenses- but no appreciable net profit.

Yes, the heyday is over.  Two reasons; the freebie and the diluting. Everyone with a word processor has a book published.  Christ on a crutch!  There’s some really horrible crud out there and organizations like Amazon and Smashwords don’t care. Meet their format and you become a published author.  There is no screening of any kind.  The folks at these quasi publishing sites wouldn’t know a plot point from a popsicle. It’s diluted the market… just like adding too much ice to a drink dilutes the cocktail.  The flip side of this for those of authors who have a moderate readership, is that the newbie’s with their poorly crafted crud make our readers more loyal…eventually.

LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!!

That’s the mood in my camp.  My big books are being printed and I’m taking my show on the road.  With 13 novels published I want to spike the guns of these one-book wonders. I cannot rely on the most of the retailers to do much more than download for a fee. One retailer is an exception. Most of my novels will be released from the Amazon KDP by the middle of November.  The majority will not be renewed and become available in ePrintedbooks.com and several other retail sites.

I’m always writing but am now refocused on expanding my Memorization course; taking it international. More on that later.
PS,  EXPAT is free today.

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