According to a new article in the Wall Street Journal online, traditional book sales fell 1.8% last year, but e-book sales tripled to $313 million. Of course traditional book sales still totaled a gargantuan $23.9 billion, but this is starting to sound more and more like the shift to e-commerce, don’t you think? It’s got me thinking about my options when I get this novel to press.
Are you publishing a book anytime soon, and what options are you considering? I knew that self-publishers online were making it easier for new authors to get in front of readers, but this article really impressed me with the numbers. Amazon is competing with traditional houses by offering 70% royalties on e-book sales. That is quadruple a traditional royalty cut, which changes the game of how many sales an author needs to make some money on a book. E-books that can be read on Kindle are especially popular, and apparently a lot of authors are re-publishing their out-of-print works electronically and making decent incomes by putting their out-of-contract work back to work for them. And what’s really changed is that readers are more willing to read books in electronic format (as evidenced by the sales numbers) AND electronic publishers such as Amazon are doing a much better job these days of marketing and distribution, so it’s not all up to the author to promote their work. That sounds workable to me. I think the equation just tipped in favor of this option for a lot of writers out there.
I know, I shouldn’t even be thinking about this stage of the process yet, but it has me hopeful that when I decide my novel is ready to publish I won’t be hit with a brick wall of rejection notices. I think I’m going to set a deadline, pitch the traditional publishers, and then move ahead with publishing it myself if need-be. Even if my deadline is too hasty, I wouldn’t be the first author to self-publish first and then get picked up by a traditional house later. But first I have to write this darn book….