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Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis the Season for Digital

Greetings all.

Today's post has to do with an upcoming event that may provide an opportunity for those Self- or Indie-Publishers who are prepared to take advantage of it.

I'm talking about Christmas. Not the holiday celebrating Jesus' birth. The holiday when Americans everywhere spend $450 billion dollars each year on gifts.

Why is this gifting day an opportunity? Well . . . according to predictions, a whole bunch of the gifts to be given this year are going to be Kindles, Nooks or other digital readers.

Which means . . . everybody will want to try them out. And how do they do that? By buying digital books, of course.

Time to Re-Consider Pricing

Not only will everyone be buying new eBooks, they won't have any idea of what the pricing of eBooks should be. Most major publishers release their eBooks at a price of $9.99. My personal experience with selling eBooks tells me that I actually sell more books at a price of $6.99 than at $2.99. I'm going to take advantage of the new buying crowd to bring my book prices more in line with the industry standard.

I'm raising my eBook price to $8.99.

This may sound high to some of you. But compared to the trade paperback versions of my books, which sell at $15.95 and up, $8.99 is a bargain. Shipping is free and immediate. And the buyer gets to play with her new toy right away.

Whether you choose to raise book prices, lower them, or keep them the same for the shopping holidays, you should at least make a conscious decision about pricing. Don't let past experience dictate your future. We are entering the digital book age. And it officially starts Christmas morning.

Go Digital, Go Fast

Besides the pricing issue, timing is important.

According to my thinking, all authors should aspire to have as many of their titles available on Kindle, Smashwords, PubIt and in the iBookstore before Christmas as possible. If yours aren't there yet, you'd best get hopping. There can be delays in the process of going digital.

Conversion SNAFUs, image size restrictions and publisher "technical difficulties" are just a few of the obstacles you may face when converting tree books to 1s and 0s. By way of example, three of my Amazon Kindle books magically became authored by a fellow named "Peterson" last week. Anything can happen. So it's best to get started right away.

I have sold the most eBooks on Amazon Kindle. And they control about 70% of the eBook market. So if I were you, I'd get my books into Kindle format and on Amazon first. Here's a link to Amazon's Digital Text Platform, aka Kindle.

The next best-selling eReader is Barnes & Noble's Nook. B&N now has its own epublishing division call PubIt. You can get started publishing your Nook Books here. (NOTE: PubIt is still new. So expect some hiccups and a non-responsive tech support department.)

And you can get plugged in just about everywhere else at Smashwords.

BTW, all of the above eBook retailers allow you to list your books on their sites for free. Their only payment is a commission on sale. In other words, they don't get paid unless you get paid.

So assemble your materials. Carve out a slot of time. And get those eBooks in circulation.

Fellow writers, 'tis the season to go digital. May your eBook conversions and listings go smoothly.

That's it for today.

All the best!



  1. I'm designing books for the iPad, but there is not yet an easy way to publish straight to the iPad unless you are a US resident.

  2. Kay.

    I believe you are correct. Kindle and Nook both have iPad apps. I don't know if Sony or other manufacturers of eReaders do.

    Thanks for stopping in.


  3. I read an article today that Oprah is planning to give Kindles to her audience on Monday's show next week. When she did that last year, the Kindles sold out on Amazon and weren't available again until February.

    Definitely a great time to be an ebook author. I wish my novel was in shape to release, but it needs a thorough round of editing. Hope to have it ready in January.

  4. Cheryl,

    Thanks for the Oprah info. That's interesting. What an effect that woman has on our society!

    Yet another reason to go digital as soon as you're ready.

    Thanks for stopping in!


  5. I'm late on the game to this one. Do you really sell more books when you raise your prices? I've been at $2.99 since October and haven't seen as many sales as I wanted, even with good reviews. I never thought about raising the price...