inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #76 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Sun 7 Aug 11 13:21
    
Ah: forgot is was a "girl." 

You really should try to see some of the more interesting ones,
though; if I had a better idea of your intrests, I'd make some
recommendations. I agree that those who cat-blog every Wednesday or
whatever or do those round-robin "memes," are annoying, but I know some
writers who do interesting work in that form.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #77 of 209: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Sun 7 Aug 11 13:26
    
I think it was just one person, and I don't think it was a
particularly well-informed opinion. Oops! Slipped.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #78 of 209: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sun 7 Aug 11 13:29
    
hmm, i thot girls loved to blog (blogher) and there is that whole genre of
mommybloggers.
it's not that i dont sometimes find -something- worth reading on a blog;
just, i practically always wish whatever it was had been written with the
formal qualities of good feature-writing.

and i dont know that i have 'interests' or 'hobbies' in the conventional
sense. i occasional read blogs because of some topical something which came
up --- nah, i dont really have well-defined paraphilias

i still feel writing which isnt reactive/reflexive but considered --- is
more worth my time to read. but then again, i dont do twitter either (noise!
tmi!)
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #79 of 209: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sun 7 Aug 11 13:31
    
and amy, we may not agree --- but i beg to differ about whether or not i am
'well-informed'. i have been put off by blogs since they 1st got started
more than a decade ago --- please tell me what it is i ought to be aware of
that i am not?
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #80 of 209: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Sun 7 Aug 11 13:44
    
Ed (et al.), the free Univ. of Chicago ebooks can be read on the
iPhone and iPad with an app called Bluefire Reader. It's annoying to
have to install multiple incompatible bookreading apps, but on Apple
devices it's relatively painless. 

I'm not sure how I ended up on their mailing list -- it might have
been from a mention in The iPhone Blog (TiPB) -- but I get the monthly
email from U of C and so have have scored three freebie ebooks,
including the Judge Dee mystery, and this month's book, SPIRAL JETTA
[sic] by Erin Hogan, a personal travel narrative about the author's
road trip through the American West looking for land art. (Haven't
started it yet.) 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #81 of 209: Joe Cottonwood (joecot) Sun 7 Aug 11 14:01
    
I brought up blogs because to me they are part of the whole
e-publishing spectrum.  My blog is a rough draft of my next book. 
Other bloggers are doing the same.  

Some people like the immediacy of a blog and don't mind - in fact
enjoy - its rough draft nature.  Others will wait for a more edited,
perhaps even curated, book.  That's fine.

Besides being a rough draft, of course, a blog is publicity. 
Sometimes very good publicity.  
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #82 of 209: Joe Cottonwood (joecot) Sun 7 Aug 11 14:10
    
I went to see Captain Ed's Kindle book and was surprised to see the
price.  I expected $0.99.  

People have a huge resistance to prices above $0.99.  I'm trying to
lower my Amazon Kindle price but so far haven't found a way.  A bunch
of sales at .99 are better than zero sales at 7.99.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #83 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Sun 7 Aug 11 14:12
    
Well, when it's self-published you get a much smaller royalty at .99,
and I hope it didn't put you off buying it. Also, I'm $3.99, not $7.99.
But it was as much an experiment as anything. I may lower the price,
but not yet. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #84 of 209: Jennifer Powell (jnfr) Sun 7 Aug 11 14:21
    
$2.99 will get you the 70%. You might try it at that for a month and
see if it helps.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #85 of 209: Joe Cottonwood (joecot) Sun 7 Aug 11 14:26
    
Hmm.  Good advice, Jennifer.  Just found the way to lower the price. 
I took it down to 2.99.  If nobody bites, I'll drop to .99.  
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #86 of 209: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Sun 7 Aug 11 14:34
    
Let's talk about the pricing thing. To me, there's not a deal breaking
distance between a buck and two bucks, but then I'm also more willing
to pay for iPhone apps than some of my friends, who seem to pride
themselves on only getting free ones. Where's the pushback against
higher prices - where are you seeing the resistance?
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #87 of 209: Jacques Leslie (jacques) Sun 7 Aug 11 22:14
    
Well, I'd like to think that the difference between Jane's sales for her KS
and mine for "War Wounds" could be entirely attributed to mine selling for
$1.99 and hers for $.99. Alas, I suspect that other factors are involved,
too, such as that more people want to read about haiku than a painful
reunion of Vietnam War correspondents.

Let me underline that this is not a complaint. The sales have been higher
than I expected, and I've already made substantially more money than if I
d gone the magazine route.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #88 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Mon 8 Aug 11 02:12
    
My price, besides naked outright greed, was based on the fact that an
issue of the New Yorker costs $5.99, and a good issue of the magazine
will have one article that you remember. So what you're getting for two
dollars less from me is that article, minus the things you don't
remember and the ads. (Okay, and the cartoons).

I might reduce my price in a month or two. But it takes 60 days to get
paid your first royalty check, so I'm waiting to see how that turns
out. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #89 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Mon 8 Aug 11 03:18
    
Egads: the torrent of apps and devices is upon us. Byook vs. Vook vs.
who knows what else. 

It'll get worse before it gets better, I bet:

<http://www.denverpost.com/books/ci_18619045>
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #90 of 209: Jennifer Powell (jnfr) Mon 8 Aug 11 08:51
    
I think how you set your prices has a lot to do with what your goals
are, and needs to be seen in that light. I've read through a lot of
discussions on pricing, and while it's clear that hitting a really low
price point, or even going free, will get you more readers and more
exposure, it doesn't always make the most money. 

A low price also can set up your brand in a certain way, especially if
you only have one or two pieces out or aren't known in other ways.
Some readers won't buy anything that's priced above a couple of bucks,
but others won't buy .99 books, taking that as a mark of lower quality.
Personally I buy ebooks in all kinds of price ranges, but not everyone
does.

Many fiction writers have good success using a cheap-or-free first
book as an intro to a series where the other books are set at a higher
price point, because fiction readers love series so much and are
willing to pay more once they're hooked.

I think it's probably worthwhile to play with your pricing to see
which price creates demand at a profit you're comfortable with. One
great thing about KDP is that it's very easy to shift your prices and
experiment.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #91 of 209: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Mon 8 Aug 11 13:13
    
I have an ebook question that hasn't come up so far in this
discussion, and I hope it's not so particular to my situation that it's
not of use to some people reading this. I recently got the ebook
rights to five books of mine that have been available for years in
standard printed editions. Although the publisher had the option of
making this available electronically on their own, they are now mine as
the result of a settlement of a contractual dispute.

That dispute is too involved (and depressing) to recount in full here,
but basically they started to sell the books with a 15% royalty going
to me, rather than the 50% stipulated in the contract. Rather than
changing the royalty rate to 50%, they stopped publishing the books in
ebook form, paid me 50% on the (very small number of) copies they'd
sold electronically, and acknowledged that I now had the electronic
rights to the text. That applies whether I publish the books as ebooks
myself, or license the rights to someone else.

Does anyone have a sense of what my best options would be for making
these available as ebooks? I'm hearing (not in this discussion, but in
general discussion with others over the last few months) wildly
different assessments and recommendations. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #92 of 209: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Mon 8 Aug 11 13:14
    
As a supplement to my post above, one person in the industry had this
detailed comment for me about the Kindle option in particular:

"I would strongly counsel you not to go with any solution that
produces a Kindle-only (or even a mainly Kindle-centered) outcome.
Naive people, especially in the author community, assume Kindle is
going to be the dominant e-reader until Doomsday because it's the
best-known one right now. That is highly unlikely. There is increasing
evidence that readers enjoy reading books on (of all things) iPhones,
despite the small screen.

But far more to the point, Kindle is designed to purchase content from
one vendor and one vendor alone: Amazon. It is a highly limited device
that permits consumers to do one thing: read stuff. It is sensible to
assume that the majority of consumers aren't going to buy one more
device that does only one or two things and that purchases content from
only one source. They will opt for iPads and other tablet readers,
Netbook-sized computers, and other devices that are capable of playing
music and films, maintaining calendars, communicating with other
people, and also reading books and periodicals.

Moreover, Amazon has amply demonstrated that its practices are mainly
predatory, and that once it achieves the monopoly over reading content
it seems to desire, it will be able to establish whatever pricepoints
it wants for digital content--in its own service and not in the service
of authors.

The main issue, though, is that it doesn't make sense to create
digital content that is only readable on a Kindle when you can create
digital content that is readable on a Kindle but also on all other
e-reader devices. My view, anyway."
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #93 of 209: Jennifer Powell (jnfr) Mon 8 Aug 11 13:34
    
You might check out Dean Wesley Smith's "Think Like a Publisher"
series.

<http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=3736>

DWS and his wife, Kris Rusch, work both in trade publishing and have
also self-published both backlist and new work. Dean's writing on the
subject is top-notch.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #94 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Mon 8 Aug 11 13:37
    
Going with one vendor is a reasonable concern.  But Kindle is not just
a device, and that's where most of that argument is flawed.

Note that your industry adviser didn't know that one can read kindle
books on an iphone -- there have been favorable reviews for a long
time, such as this one: 
http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/07/review-kindle-reader-iphone.html

Mobile phones, pads, etc., can get Kindle apps.  

This underlines that Amazon has a huge problem in that they want to
sell their spiffy device, but they really need for everybody to know
that the Kindle content can be read on other devices too.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #95 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Mon 8 Aug 11 13:51
    
Thing is, it's a proprietary format, so at the least you have to
download their app to read the files. I have nothing against that, but
I see where Ritchie has a problem. Also: lots of photos in these books?
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #96 of 209: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Mon 8 Aug 11 14:33
    
Hi Ed, I'm not too worried about formatting the books, though I know
it will take a lot of time. My concern is more about what outlet is
best for both wide distribution and reasonable/fair financial payback.
As I would with any sort of investment, I'm also concerned with trying
to make the best long-term (five-ten year) decision, not necessarily
the one that might be best for the next year or two, as I'd like the
books to be available in ebook form for a long time.

Yes, there are lots of photos in those books. Four of the five have
about several dozen in each, and one has more than a hundred. In the
one with more than a hundred photos/illustrations, they're especially
key to getting the best experience out of the book, even though the
book itself has a lot of text.

Again, I've gotten all sorts of conflicting advice about using the
photos and illustrations in the ebooks. Someone even glibly said he
didn't see it should be a problem, as I should just contact all the
photographers/illustrators/rights-holders and get their permission.
Lots of logistical and legal problems there. The rights to use them in
the hard-copy books were negotiated by the publisher, or rather the
publisher that was sold to the current publisher. I don't have those
agreements, doubt that the current publisher would cooperate in finding
them for me, and frankly doubt that the current publisher could even
locate them, such has their disorganization in most matters been.

Even locating the rightholders on my own would be immensely
time-consuming, and licensing ebook rights would probably be too
expensive for my budget. Advice on the other side of the spectrum has
suggested I could just load them into the ebooks on my own, and
negotiate agreements if any of the rightholders noticed and complained.
That's highly impractical considering I don't have most of the
photos/illustrations, or even good-quality copies of most of the photos
(again, those reside with the publisher, even they could even locate
them); highly unethical, from the perspective of the rights-holders;
and a foolish risk, considering that it might take just one or two
lawsuits from rights-holders to sink me.

The unhappy compromise seems to be making the books available as
text-only editions. I don't see how clearing the photos would be
manageable. Trying to renegotiate a new ebook deal with the current
publisher of the hard copies at a lower rate (they have left the door
open to do so) is not an option, as it's taken me 1500 words to outline
the many contractual problems I've had with the publisher on several
levels over the last five years, and I don't want to deal with them
again.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #97 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Mon 8 Aug 11 15:08
    
Well, my experience with one book only (Keith Richards' Life) says if
pictures are important, don't go with Kindle. They haven't got that
figured out yet. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #98 of 209: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 9 Aug 11 03:10
    
The vagaries of technology! No question the e-market is established,
now it's a matter of ubiquity...and we can thank Amazon for that, even
tho it has pushed Barnes and Noble to develop the Nook, to the demise
of their brick and mortar stores, a bit faster than they probably would
have liked. Platforms, devices, the move to mobile all make this an
interesting time to be publishing. 

As a reader I like all my choices, especially the area of Singles -
one I expect to see great growth in...we want our data byte size. Beach
and 'long reads' require the extravagance of time, which, being
retired, I fortunately have. But my sense is that most folks have
serious time management problems and when it comes to reading they want
it short and sweet. That would seem to cater to the Singles' market.

As writers, does this focus you differently? Free you up to pursue
several projects at once, rather than one big 60,000 word effort?
Change the way you approach your work? I see the natural transition for
journalists, article writers, pamphlateers, but I'm getting more at
those of you who have generally thought in large scale terms. 

Along with this, what do you see as the future of the long format?
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #99 of 209: Peter Richardson (richardsonpete) Tue 9 Aug 11 07:59
    
I'm enjoying this discussion and learning a lot from it.  I especially
like the notion that we can produce pieces in that middle range,
longer than magazine articles and shorter than books.  That was a real
limitation of the old system, which required 20,000 words so you could
get at least 96 pages.  (That's as slim as you can go with perfect
binding and still get a legible title on the spine.)  And of course we
skip all the burdens of the old system, especially returns but also
shipping and warehousing.  

That said, I think we tend to underrate the printed book as a piece of
technology. The real problems with the old system weren't
technological but rather the way we handled the retail side. My father
was a retailer, and if he bought goods and couldn't sell them at the
retail price, he marked them down. Booksellers can return them to the
publisher for full credit.  That's where the system is incredibly
inefficient.  The shipping costs alone were bad, but it also made it
difficult to pay out royalties, since the publisher never knew how many
books would make their way back to the warehouse.  

The ebook solves a lot of those problems, but we could have solved
many of them without ebooks, too. I prefer to read anything long in
print, and of course all the tech problems--photos, system
compatibility, etc.--are non-issues in that format.  I know I'll be
doing a lot more reading on a screen or device, and that's fine.  But
the really burdensome legacies of the old system were more
institutional than technical.       
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #100 of 209: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 9 Aug 11 09:17
    
Downloaded the Kindle app for my Android today and inaugurated it by
downloading Jane's single on Haiku - it came up on page two of the
rankings!...still looking for Ed and Jacque's singles via KS page
ranking...just curious where they come up...I'll use search if I don't
find them soon:)
  

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