Wow, has another year come and gone. Doesn’t seem possible. A lot has happened this past year but I’m not going to break it all down by month because it takes too long. Here are some things that come to mind in the publishing world, followed by some of my ramblings about the state of writing.
Amazon and Hachette
Gawd, how much did we have to hear on this from both sides? If I was breaking this post down month-by-month, I could’ve put something in each month for almost the entire year. After a point, my feeling was who cares? So much cyberspace devoted to this and in the end, did it affect your writing or selling? Probably not. And the result: Hachette signed a multi-year deal that will allow them to set ebook prices. Personally, I am with some other indie authors who say great! Higher prices on traditionally published books makes my higher-priced books (but still priced well below theirs) look better to buyers.
Amazon and KU
Amazon announces Kindle Unlimited, a monthly subscription service that allows members unlimited access to ebooks and audiobooks. Depending on who you talk to, it’s a great thing or horrible. I do find it interesting that some very big names are saying that KU has hurt their sales, some as much as 70%. As with so much of what Amazon does, we have indie authors in both camps.
Indie Authors Selling On Other Platforms
Albeit it’s just a sampling on Kindleboards, but many authors are reporting that while their sales on Amazon have dropped since KU, they’ve seen a rise in sales on other platforms. Many also state that they sell better on other platforms than Amazon. Is the ‘Zon’s dominance coming to an end? Again, it depends on who you talk to. I’ve found, as many others, that it takes some time to build a following on other platforms, but once you do, the sales maintain better than they do at Amazon.
Blogging and Social Media
For indie authors, are they dead? I would postulate that for the most part, the answer is yes. Certainly the days of authors selling lots of books by tweeting, sharing on Facebook and through their blogs is long gone. Yes, those platforms are ways to connect with readers, but those are usually your fans who already bought your books and they want to know about you. And speaking of fans, I am going to create a new blog that is tied directly to my new website (coming soon), and the posts will be for fans: posts about film noir, detective fiction and things that they will like. Not that there’s anything wrong with this blog, but just changing focus a bit.
Barnes & Noble and Nook Are Still Here
Interesting, in Indie Authors – 5 Predictions For 2014, I postulates that Barnes & Noble isn’t going away anytime soon. I’ll stand by that, at least for 2015. And I still wonder if we’re going to hear that Alibaba buys the Nook division. If that happens, watch out Amazon.
Amazon and Audiobooks
In March, Amazon changed its royalty rate for audiobooks. That, combined with KU, have hurt audiobook sales for many authors. I’m not sure where all this is going, and I’m not sure what to do about ACX (Amazon’s audiobook division). What once seemed like a great thing to do, doesn’t seem so anymore. But how to sell with another audiobook site? That’s the tough question. I’ll be monitoring this closely.
Bookbub Maintains Dominance
Bookbub still seems the go-to place to advertise, and their rates keep going up, but have they lost some of their effectiveness? I hear rumblings of this. My feeling is it depends on a lot of things: the book, the genre, the price, and how many times it’s been featured on their site. I do think it’s interesting that indie authors speculate that Bookbub makes most of its money from affiliate clicks. But have you ever added up what they make each day just from the advertising cost they charge authors? It’s staggering. And there are lookalikes coming on the market all the time, and I say great – competition is good.
So, I’m sure I’ve missed many things, and I’d love to hear what you feel was newsworthy for indie authors in 2014. And, as always, I hope you all have a great 2015!