Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing team has advised authors participating in its new Kindle Unlimited (KU) ebook borrowing initiative it is adding a bonus of US$2.7 million in August – and that’s on top of the regular base fund amount of US$2 million. Apparently the bonus has been prompted by a “significant early trial response from customers” to KU.

The top 10 most-read KDP Select authors will each receive US$25,000.

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Healthy bonus in store for Kindle Unlimited authors.

Here’s the balance of KDP’s announcement (unabridged):

To further highlight the KDP Select (KDPS) books and authors that are most popular with customers, we are introducing a new element to the program: “KDP Select All-Stars”. Based on what KDPS titles are being read the most during the month, we will identify each All-Star author and title on each applicable KDPS title’s detail page. In addition, KDP Select All-Stars will earn financial bonuses paid separately from the $2.7M bonus. Anyone with titles in KDPS — even a debut author with a single title — can qualify if their work becomes a customer favorite.

For August, we will pay out All-Star bonuses to the top 100 most-read authors and, separately, the top 100 most-read titles. We will calculate ‘most-read’ by combining books sold plus qualified borrows from KU and the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) during the month. Calculations only include sales and qualified borrows for titles enrolled in KDPS. Recipients will be contacted in the next few days.

The top 100 most-read KDPS authors will each be awarded the following amounts:
• Authors 1 through 10 will receive $25,000
• Authors 11 through 20 will receive $10,000
• Authors 21 through 30 will receive $5,000
• Authors 31 through 50 will receive $2,500
• Authors 51 through 100 will receive $1,000

Authors of the top 100 KDPS titles will each earn the following amounts:
• Titles 1 through 10 will receive $2,500
• Titles 11 through 50 will receive $1,000
• Titles 51 through 100 will receive $500

Denoting All-Stars on detail pages is a new element of KDP Select and we expect our approach to this will evolve over time. We hope it adds a little fun and adventure to the program!

Finally, many authors outside the US derive most of their qualified borrows from KOLL and have not been able to benefit from the growth of KU. This has meaningfully altered their ability to compete within the wider pool of KDPS loans. To adjust for this, we are adding an additional bonus of $80,000 to be paid out on all KOLL loans outside of the US.

★★★★★ INVITATION: We’d love to hear from our followers, fellow authors, publishers/indie publishers and readers what you think about Kindle Unlimited. Let us know if you feel as positive about Amazon’s latest initiative as we do…and if not why not. Thanks!

Lance & James

 

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There’s a rumor that Amazon will soon be launching its controversial Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription reading service internationally.

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 Kindle Unlimited subscribers can download as many ebooks as they like.

The-digital-reader.com (quoting BuchReport.de as its source) reports that that Amazon will launch Kindle Unlimited at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

The writer admits he/she doesn’t know who BuchReport’s source is, but says, “I tend to believe this rumor.”

If true, the expansion of Kindle Unlimited has major ramifications for readers, authors and publishers worldwide. As we reported in our blog of August 10, “Almost overnight, Kindle Unlimited is changing the entire environment of not only the way people read, but also the way the world’s major publishers continue to sell books – or try to.”

Here’s an excerpt from the-digital-reader.com article:

As I reported when Kindle Unlimited launched in July, there was a report coming from a French publisher via the French media blog Actualitte that Kindle Unlimited would launch in France in September or October.

The Frankfurt Book Fair runs from 8 to 12 October this year, so it fits with the time frame, and since it is a major international book fair this would be an ideal time and place for Amazon to launch Kindle Unlimited. We still don’t know for sure whether Amazon will launch in select countries or every where at once, but I would bet on a global launch.

Launched in the US just over a month ago, Kindle Unlimited enables Amazon customers to download and read up to ten ebooks at a time. It costs $8.99, and offers access to a catalog of over 600,000 titles.

Amazon hasn’t revealed yet how many subscribers have signed up, but there are signs that KU is already having an effect on the Kindle Store best seller list.

Unlike Amazon’s competitor’s Scribd and Oyster, the Kindle Unlimited catalog draws almost entirely upon indie titles distributed via the KDP Select program with only a smattering of traditionally published books mixed in. Amazon has signed HMH, Scholastic, Wiliey, and a few other major publishers, but they do not yet have a deal with any of the Big 5 US trade publishers.

There’s also no information on major publishers in other countries and who they might have signed a deal with, but I would expect that information to be revealed when Kindle Unlimited launches internationally.

To read the full report go to: http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/08/25/kindle-unlimited-launch-internationally-frankfurt-book-fair/

German speakers can access the original BuchReport here: http://www.buchreport.de/nachrichten/verlage/verlage_nachricht/datum/2014/08/22/kindle-limited.htm

 

★★★★★ INVITATION: We’d love to hear from our followers, fellow authors, publishers/indie publishers and readers what you think about Kindle Unlimited. Let us know if you feel as positive about Amazon’s latest initiative as we do…and if not why not. Thanks!

 

Lance & James

 

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Amazon’s controversial Kindle Unlimited subscription reading service was released late last month and despite all the naysayers and doomsdayers we believe the early signs indicate it’ll be a win-win for readers and authors alike.

For those who don’t yet know, paying the $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited fee allows readers to download as many ebooks as they like – hence the word “unlimited”. It has been dubbed by the many journalists as The Netflix of reading.

Almost overnight, Kindle Unlimited is changing the entire environment of not only the way people read, but also the way the world’s major publishers continue to sell books – or try to. Perhaps justifiably, the big publishers are scared and fear they are losing control of the way they have monopolized book distribution for eons. As more and more book stores go under, the competition to dominate the ebook market is reaching fever pitch.

But as published authors, and also keen readers, we have little sympathy for the big 5 publishers. If Kindle Unlimited does prove to be a better deal for authors, and readers can read as many books as they like, then who cares what the likes of Random House or Harper Collins think? At the end of the day it’s a free market and whoever presents the best deal (in this case Amazon) for readers and writers should triumph in the end.

What follows are some excerpts (that we tend to agree with) from a recent letter Amazon sent to authors around the world regarding a heated legal dispute they are engaged in with leading publishing house Hachette. Many of these comments strongly relate to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited scheme which is predicted to lower the prices of ebooks over time and lead to unprecedented book sales for authors…

 

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.

Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.

But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.

 

A comprehensive list of books that can be read for free by Kindle Unlimited subscribers can be found here on the book reading social media site Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/kindle-unlimited

Popular Kindle Unlimited Books

The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1)

Hudson (Fixed, #4)

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2)

Rhett (Rhett, #1)

Sweet Addiction (Sweet Addiction, #1)

The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy

Beautifully Forgotten (Beautifully Damaged, #2)
With This Heart
Breathe with Me (With Me in Seattle, #7)
World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1)
The Orphan Trilogy (The Ninth Orphan / The Orphan Factory / The Orphan Uprising)
The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2)
Tied with Me (With Me in Seattle, #6)
Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)
The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy, #3)

“The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon probably wouldn’t have happened if e-books didn’t exist…”

So says Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, in an article in the January 5 US edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Mr Carr goes on to say:

…Readers of weightier fare, including literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, have been less inclined to go digital. They seem to prefer the heft and durability, the tactile pleasures, of what we still call “real books”—the kind you can set on a shelf.

E-books, in other words, may turn out to be just another format—an even lighter-weight, more disposable paperback. That would fit with the discovery that once people start buying digital books, they don’t necessarily stop buying printed ones. In fact, according to Pew, nearly 90% of e-book readers continue to read physical volumes. The two forms seem to serve different purposes…

…Half a decade into the e-book revolution, though, the prognosis for traditional books is suddenly looking brighter. Hardcover books are displaying surprising resiliency. The growth in e-book sales is slowing markedly. And purchases of e-readers are actually shrinking, as consumers opt instead for multipurpose tablets. It may be that e-books, rather than replacing printed books, will ultimately serve a role more like that of audio books—a complement to traditional reading, not a substitute…

…The initial e-book explosion is starting to look like an aberration. The technology’s early adopters, a small but enthusiastic bunch, made the move to e-books quickly and in a concentrated period. Further converts will be harder to come by. A 2012 survey by Bowker Market Research revealed that just 16% of Americans have actually purchased an e-book and that a whopping 59% say they have “no interest” in buying one…

…e-book purchases have skewed disproportionately toward fiction, with novels representing close to two-thirds of sales. Digital best-seller lists are dominated in particular by genre novels, like thrillers and romances. Screen reading seems particularly well-suited to the kind of light entertainments that have traditionally been sold in supermarkets and airports as mass-market paperbacks.

These are, by design, the most disposable of books. We read them quickly and have no desire to hang onto them after we’ve turned the last page. We may even be a little embarrassed to be seen reading them, which makes anonymous digital versions all the more appealing…

For the full article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323874204578219563353697002.html?KEYWORDS=print+books#articleTabs%3Darticle

WHO AGREES WITH MR CARR? LET ME KNOW. I’D BE INTERESTED TO LEARN YOUR OPINION.

For what it’s worth, I suspect we’ve only seen the tip of the e-book revolution iceberg and I believe Mr Carr and, indeed, the rest of us will be amazed by the monumental changes coming in the publishing industry and in the literary world.

Publishers who don’t adapt won’t survive.

All power to the lowly writer!

Lance

 

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