Category Archives: Current News

Changes in the publishing industry

A New Yorker article. Talks about Amazon and changes that have taken place in the publishing industry in the last 20 years. Some food for thought. Creating good content is difficult, and electronic distribution costs these days are negligible. Authors should pocket a large percentage of the actual retail price of their stories IMHO. OTOH, without a good distribution system, an author can’t get to market, so I see why they’d want a percentage of the action.  But a total race to the bottom is ultimately not the best thing, either.

I’m not sure what the best answer is. Maybe a new book-only company that gives a fair deal to independent authors (like the 70/30 split Amazon gives for their KDP Select folks) but with no other caveats, and does a reasonable business in books for the publishing house authors (like carrying their books, but letting the publishers ship so there is no overhead) and no “promotional fees” just algorithm recommendations, in exchange for the authors getting 20% of whatever the publisher actually sells the (paper) book for, and 60% of electronic book sale price. Eventually I’ll learn more about Kobo and Smashwords and the rest, once I’m done with the 70% + exclusive KDP deal with Amazon. In the meantime, I’m doing OK with it.

Interesting numbers

Ry forwarded this link to me, a report on author earnings. Some interesting numbers. It’s only Amazon data, and it isn’t sliced and diced in all the absolutely perfect ways for my tastes, and it’s got some serious caveats, but it’s data, a lot more than any publisher or book-seller makes public easily anywhere else.

The take-away is that ebooks can make some significant money, and the industry is changing, but it’s not an easy path because there is a lot of competition and it isn’t an unlimited supply of buyers. But I think it means that getting a big name publisher is not nearly as necessary for success as it used to be, at least not in those particular genres that this report looks at.

No Kindle?

A couple of people have asked me how to read it if they don’t have a Kindle. No problem. You can download a “kindle reading app” from Amazon. Pick your platform, download the app, then buy the book. If you have some other preferred reader, once you download the file, you can find it on your computer, then convert it with Calibre. Again, if you like it, spread the word, write a review, let me know.

Fling that sucker, it’s ALIVE!

Writing a book is an adventure.  To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant.  The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”  — Winston Churchill, speaking to the National Book Exhibition in London.

Flung, available at Amazon.

Now… the waiting.

Sunday Traffic Spike

On a daily basis, this site doesn’t get a lot of traffic. But the last two Sundays it jumped considerably, from ~5 a day to over fifty. Did I get found by a web-crawler just tracing links, or are people starting to check in once a week to see how close things are to finishing, and just dropping by for a moment? Drop a note if it’s the latter.

Editing is moving, but never as fast as I’d like. Cover art is even slower, but I’m ever hopeful. Any volunteers out there want to help it along?

Update: Looks like it’s web-crawlers. Sudden spike to 30 page views in a very short period of time.

Catagories and summaries

I’m working on figuring out what the best categories for Amazon would be, and what are the “critical features” to include in the short written summary to attract buyers.

Because they only allow two categories, I was thinking “military fiction” and “libertarian fiction”. Would general SF be better, or Space Opera, or Action Adventure, or …? Thoughts, suggestions?

As for the intro, should I have more than the following:
Helton Strom is a reasonably ordinary guy dropped into extraordinary circumstances while doing nothing more than going to another planet to visit his sister, while he was on a break between teaching contracts. After running afoul of law-enforcement, space pirates, the mob, parts of officialdom, the captain of a naval cruiser, and only making a few friends along the way, he struggles to establish a new life and earn a living by getting a very old spaceship flying, only to discover it’s more than a bit unusual.