Monday, July 19, 2010

The Sky Is Falling (No It Isn't)

No doubt you're hearing about this from all quarters.

Does that bring on any changes to your thoughts about ebooks? I'm sure hard covers haven't been a big seller for a long time now. This must be some kind of sign of sea change tho :)

Have you read a novel on an iphone yet? (I quite enjoy reading in bed w/iphone - great after my wife is asleep. Easy to hold, and no light required :)

I'm wondering if Agents will become Reviewers - if writers all become self publishers, Agents might be better at playing curator. And Amazon just rakes in the bucks.

(tho' they've recently become more generous if I hear that right - reduced their cut to 30%)

I'll answer your questions in order.

(1) Taking into account that Amazon is an internet (technology-based) bookstore with the largest share in the e-Book market, it's still slightly surprising. Not that surprising, though. Remember to take into account that most people who bothered to buy an expensive Kindle did so because they read a lot - more than the average person, and almost everyone with a Kindle I've spoken to has said the amount of books they buy has gone up considerably since buying the Kindle because it's so easy and cheap to buy. So that's skewing the statistics a little. But yeah, e-Books is a market growing by leaps and bounds while books ... are pretty much still books.

(2) I don't have an iPhone. I'm a writer. I'm poor. I have a much cheaper phone with a much smaller screen and I only read my email on it, and I totally hate reading my email on it. I also have a Sony e-Reader that I never use because I find the screen irritating.

(3) E-Book selling really well to everyone self-publishing is a huge leap. Huge. I'm going to guess that most e-Books sold are still published by traditional companies, even if they're small companies. Yes, a lot more people are self-publishing, but it's not necessarily good. Traditional publishing works hard to only publish good books, and if they're not good, to at least edit them well. With very, very few exceptions, almost all of the self-published books we receive as submissions at work or I buy online are terrible in some fashion. It's actually getting frustrating with Amazon, which makes it so easy to not only self-publish but also to hide that you're self-publishing, because I'm running into more and more books that have poor layouts and copy-editing and then I look the company up, find out it's owned by the author, and say, "Oh, it was self-published. That explains it."

(4) Amazon is probably trying to keep competitive with the other places to buy e-Books.