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Old 03-05-2012, 02:36 AM   #1
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A6 vs Indie

We've lived with the Agency model for a while now, and we have also seen the prolification of self-published independent authors, some of those have been successfull enough to enter the larger domain of general readers. A lot of these authors offer their works at sub $5 pricing.

The question now is; Do we have any reliable statistics of how well this pricing model fares against the traditional publishers $12 - $15 price range? Are we seeing a decline in sales of established authors, or are the independets purchases added on the top of the others? Are we moving away from established authors based on publishers pricing or are we devouring the new authors together with the established?
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
The question now is; Do we have any reliable statistics of how well this pricing model fares against the traditional publishers $12 - $15 price range?
That seems way too high to me. I buy a LOT of "Agency" books, and I very rarely pay more than £6 ($9) for them. I don't think there are many eBooks that cost $12, let alone $15.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:20 AM   #3
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Maybe it is the Whispernet surcharge? Amazon doesn't specify.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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Could be. We don't have any surcharge in the UK. I believe the surcharge is $2, isn't it?
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:34 AM   #5
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If you're in Australia you quite often get books prices $15 and over for Kindle. It's the latest in the "make them pay" antics of publishers such as Hachette

eg...
Omnibus of A Fire upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky costs $32.95 in Australia.
Pre-order of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 costs $18.95
Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds costs $21.96 (apparently that's a saving)
Flashback by Dan Simmons - $14.04 (at a whopping 50% savings on the listed price)
The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age by Robert Rankin - $18.67 down from $24.95

And this one from Macmillan:
Manhattan in Reverse by Peter Hamilton - $16.46

We're starting to see this more and more in Australia which is why faking a US address is a more and more attractive proposition. You get the books they block from Australia and at a better price.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
If you're in Australia you quite often get books prices $15 and over for Kindle. It's the latest in the "make them pay" antics of publishers such as Hachette

eg...
Omnibus of A Fire upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky costs $32.95 in Australia.
Pre-order of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 costs $18.95
Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds costs $21.96 (apparently that's a saving)
Flashback by Dan Simmons - $14.04 (at a whopping 50% savings on the listed price)
The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age by Robert Rankin - $18.67 down from $24.95

And this one from Macmillan:
Manhattan in Reverse by Peter Hamilton - $16.46
Those appear to be primarily newly-published books, which are only out in hardback. Prices will generally fall drastically when the paperback is released. I never buy hardback-only eBooks; my reading list is so long that waiting a year and then buying it at half the price is a much more cost-effective action.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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Well to get one idea you can take a look here:

Amazon Kindle Bestsellers

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...d_i=1286228011

vs

Amazon Print Bestsellers

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books

The New York Times separates out ebooks in their bestseller lists too.

Looking at the Kindle list, there are a lot of books around $7.00 or under but I'm not sure how many of those are Agency 6 bargains and how many are indies. (Note that the "Bailey Flanagan" books were just discounted a few days ago, so that is why they are appearing there.)

But even if the cheap ones are indies, this doesn't really tell us if the big publishers are actually losing sales to indies, or just continuing to sell print books rather than ebooks.

eP
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Those appear to be primarily newly-published books, which are only out in hardback. Prices will generally fall drastically when the paperback is released. I never buy hardback-only eBooks; my reading list is so long that waiting a year and then buying it at half the price is a much more cost-effective action.
Perhaps they fall - I just grabbed a few examples. How about:

Stephen King - It - $14.27
Stephen King - The Shinging - $13.17
Stephen King - Full Dark, No Stars - $14.27
Stpehen King - all of the Dark Tower series - $14+ for each volume
Stephen King - Salem's Lot - $18.67

Dan Simmons - Hyperion - $14.27
Dan Simmons - Fall of Hyperion - $14.27
Dan Simmons - Rise of Endymion - $18.67

Peter Straub - Koko - $12.08
Peter Straub - A Dark Matter - $14.27

Guy Gavriel Kay - Tigana - $12.08
Most of his seem to be at that price point where they're available

Joe Abercrombie - The Heroes - $21.96
The rest seem to be at about $14.27

I haven't been looking at whether these prices were supposed discounts - but it's possible.

Here's a Hachette bargain:
Patrick Rothfuss - The Wise Man's Fear and The Name of the Wind - $13 each at a saving of over 50% from the listed price.

Some of these books are newish - some of them are really quite old, but all of them are well and truly past the paperback stage.

The thing is - some of these I had purchased previously when they were $9.99. With age the prices went up rather than down.

Of course, you could probably not ordinarily buy even these books in paperback in a book store for this little in Australia. It's about the same or even a little bit cheaper than books sold in departments stores (KMart, Target, BigW). But my point was that it's really not hard to find ebooks priced up to $15 at Amazon for an Australian. I really wasn't looking very hard at all for the list above.

Last edited by caleb72; 03-05-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
Well to get one idea you can take a look here:

Amazon Kindle Bestsellers

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...d_i=1286228011

vs

Amazon Print Bestsellers

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books

The New York Times separates out ebooks in their bestseller lists too.

Looking at the Kindle list, there are a lot of books around $7.00 or under but I'm not sure how many of those are Agency 6 bargains and how many are indies. (Note that the "Bailey Flanagan" books were just discounted a few days ago, so that is why they are appearing there.)

But even if the cheap ones are indies, this doesn't really tell us if the big publishers are actually losing sales to indies, or just continuing to sell print books rather than ebooks.

eP
I am in a position to say that I personally not only buy a lot of indies...I am quick to get my family, friends, and acquaintences to read the same books so we can discuss them. I guess that makes me an Indie evangelist as well as an ebook evangelist now.

It isn't a hard sell.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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I am in a position to say that I personally not only buy a lot of indies...I am quick to get my family, friends, and acquaintences to read the same books so we can discuss them. I guess that makes me an Indie evangelist as well as an ebook evangelist now.

It isn't a hard sell.
I'm a indie evangelist myself. I don't know if agency books actually suffered from my passion though. It's not necessarily that they ate into agency sales - more that they added to them.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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I'm a indie evangelist myself. I don't know if agency books actually suffered from my passion though. It's not necessarily that they ate into agency sales - more that they added to them.
The real damage to agencies is not the dollar amount of lost sales now.

It is the promulgation (to young readers) of the notion that Indy books can be just as good a read and give more of the profits to the author. While paying far less money per book. And, (as with Indie music starting fifteen years ago) this is intentional on my part.

Ultimately, to maintain the price structure they once commanded, they should have to acquire the power to stop independant writers from distributing their work by government enforced decree. Which is unlikely.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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The real damage to agencies is not the dollar amount of lost sales now.

It is the promulgation (to young readers) of the notion that Indy books can be just as good a read and give more of the profits to the author. While paying far less money per book. And, (as with Indie music starting fifteen years ago) this is intentional on my part.

Ultimately, to maintain the price structure they once commanded, they should have to acquire the power to stop independant writers from distributing their work by government enforced decree. Which is unlikely.
Until independent authors start producing books to professional standards, I don't personally see them as a threat to established publishers. A few - a very few - independent authors take the trouble to have their books professionally edited; most do not, and, frankly, their work is not fit for commercial publication.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:22 AM   #13
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The real damage to agencies is not the dollar amount of lost sales now.

It is the promulgation (to young readers) of the notion that Indy books can be just as good a read and give more of the profits to the author. While paying far less money per book. And, (as with Indie music starting fifteen years ago) this is intentional on my part.

Ultimately, to maintain the price structure they once commanded, they should have to acquire the power to stop independant writers from distributing their work by government enforced decree. Which is unlikely.
I feel this way as well.

And then you also have a lot of commercial authors going the indie-only or mixed-indie (some traditional, some indie) route which is so amazing.

It's an exciting new world. And -- I'll be frank -- I've found more OCR errors in traditional ebooks than I've found in indie ones.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #14
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It's an exciting new world. And -- I'll be frank -- I've found more OCR errors in traditional ebooks than I've found in indie ones.
Why would an independently published book be OCRd at all? OCR is generally only used by commercial publishers for back-catalogue stuff.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #15
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Why would an independently published book be OCRd at all? OCR is generally only used by commercial publishers for back-catalogue stuff.
My point.

There needs a "humor" tag on this forum.

It's very very rare for me to get a traditional published ebook that doesn't have OCR errors. Partly because I'm buying my backlist to clear out the shelves at home, but if this is the "quality" that A6 puts out, they can keep it.
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