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Old 05-26-2012, 04:33 AM   #31
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So for Hugh Howey (the author), there goes that market that gives about 1% of a crap about his book. He's made it available at a good price, without DRM, and all you have to do is load it into Calibre, click a button and send it to your device. Less trouble by far than, say, driving to a store to buy a printed book.
That's suposing calibre is installed, that's not the case. And I don't really want to install it.

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In return, for 90 days he gets to promote his book through Amazon with free days, he gets it listed on the Kindle Lending Library where people can borrow it for free (but he gets $2.48 or so for each loan), and there's the always mysterious effect on the Amazon algorithms.

He's made a business decision. Lose the 1% that won't cross the street to buy his book, in order to gain exposure to a wider audience that doesn't have to cross the street to buy his book.
Yeah, so ? I don't care about about these number. As a customer, what I see is that the author obviously don't want me to read his books. I shouldn't have to "cross the street". It's also a question of principle, exclusivity sucks, period.

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Old 05-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #32
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Exclusivity? He has made the book available at B&N, I don't see any exclusivity here. And the UK rights were just sold at auction. Maybe the French rights will be next.

http://www.hughhowey.com/?p=2362

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Old 05-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #33
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The WOOL OMNIBUS is now roaring up the charts, and I like to think of the work as much as a collaboration as a singular effort. It was borne out of the call from reviewers for more and forged almost as it was being read. Cover art has been supplied by (and paid for, of course) by fans. Typos have been rounded up and summarily vanquished by helpful readers. And so the story of WOOL’s creation has become as interesting (to me, at least) as the story contained in the book itself.

The success of the book is every bit the result of readers taking a chance on an unknown. It owes a debt to major media outlets like BoingBoing and Wired.com’s GeekDad that dared review a self-published book. As we worry over what will become of the proliferation of self-published e-books, I say we shouldn’t worry at all. With sites like IndieReader springing up to support the plethora of great underground stories, and with eager shoppers looking for gems in the creek bed, I believe this is a process to celebrate rather than fear. No one worries about the boring videos on YouTube (which I amply supply). We’re too busy sharing links to the best of them.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:01 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
Exclusivity? He has made the book available at B&N, I don't see any exclusivity here. And the UK rights were just sold at auction. Maybe the French rights will be next.

http://www.hughhowey.com/?p=2362

eP
Yup, that's right.
Than why isn't the book on kobo ? or smashwords ?
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:18 AM   #35
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If I were you, I'd send Hugh an email, asking that question ... I did, and he was really graceful about it. At the time, he was Select, but has sonce un-semlected. Not yet reopened every channel though...
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:32 AM   #36
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Yup. Posted a message on the forums there.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:33 PM   #37
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As a customer, what I see is that the author obviously don't want me to read his books. I shouldn't have to "cross the street".
Would you expect him to leave a street corner where he's selling steadily to cross the street and personally hand you a copy, losing five or ten other sales in the process?

It isn't about you. It isn't that any author says, "I don't want So-and-So to read my book." Of course he'd love it if you read his book (or bought it, anyway). It's just that you are not valued 10, 20, or 50 times more than the readers he'd lose by selling to you.

You might better say, "Hey, B&N and Kobo, etc.--compete for chris'sakes! What do you offer indies like Hugh Howey? How do you promote them and help people find their books? How is that people can sell more books by not distributing through you than they can by being on your shelves? What's that about?"


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It's also a question of principle, exclusivity sucks, period.
I agree. I've wanted the ideal of "any ebook on any ereader" for a long time. I'd get rid of DRM and have a single standard and let readers decide for themselves where they want to buy their ebooks.

Publishers and booksellers have chosen not to play it that way. I think that's a mistake, but what do I know? They make the rules and authors play the game.

Anyway, Howey has gotten popular enough through the Amazon Select program that he can now branch out and distribute elsewhere. But there will be more Howeys.
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #38
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Would you expect him to leave a street corner where he's selling steadily to cross the street and personally hand you a copy, losing five or ten other sales in the process?
Where does the figues about "lots sales" comes from ? And how many sales lost because of people just not hearing about the books, because they don't browse amazon ? I wonder what would have actually happen by selling the book everywhere.

And yes, you can't expect customers to go though that much mess just to buy a book.

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Publishers and booksellers have chosen not to play it that way. I think that's a mistake, but what do I know? They make the rules and authors play the game.
And the only thing we can do is vote with our wallets.

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You might better say, "Hey, B&N and Kobo, etc.--compete for chris'sakes! What do you offer indies like Hugh Howey? How do you promote them and help people find their books? How is that people can sell more books by not distributing through you than they can by being on your shelves? What's that about?"
Oh, right, because amazon CAN'T promote indies books without having to make them exclusives....

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Old 05-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #39
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Where does the figues about "lots sales" comes from ? And how many sales lost because of people just not hearing about the books, because they don't browse amazon ? I wonder what would have actually happen by selling the book everywhere.
Fair questions.

Unfortunately, we don't have two separate universes in which a book is exclusive to Amazon in one universe and sold everywhere in the other, so we don't have hard data. We have to do what we can with anecdotal evidence, of which there is plenty.

The way it seems to work is this:

An author makes his book exclusive to Amazon for 90 days (i.e. joins the Select program). Now two things happen:

1. The book enters the Kindle Owners' Lending Library where Prime members can borrow one book per month for free. Amazon pays the author $2.00 or so for each "borrow." This gets the book out to two groups of readers:
1a: People who want to read it but don't want to pay directly for it. (They've already paid for their Prime membership, probably to get free 2-day shipping on the other Amazon purchases).
1b: People who would have bought it anyway, but now can get it for free.
How much does lending through KOLL cannibalize paid sales? No one knows. How many are new sales? No one knows. It's a subscription service where the reader gets a deal and the author gives a discount.

2. The author can give away his book for free at Amazon for five days, which do not need to be consecutive. Why do this? Because:
2a. It bumps the book up on the popularity lists, which gets it more exposure for a time after it goes off free, which results in more paid sales.
2b. It helps to promote the author's other, non-free books.
2c. It increases the number of "also boughts" at Amazon, meaning that more people will see the book when they buy other books--it'll come up more often on other books' "also bought" recommendations.

Now, the author has to play the numbers game.

Going with Select, getting borrows through Prime and taking advantage of free days, authors have reported increased sales ranging from little-or-nothing to hundreds and even thousands of copies.

How many B&N, et al., sales have they lost during this time? It varies. No one who is selling substantially through the other outlets goes for Select. But if their non-Amazon sales are small, say 5% of the total or less (mine are around .5 - 1%), they have little to lose.

The sales bumps are temporary, unless (like Howey) you hit some kind of magical tipping point. But then, so is membership in the Select program. You can drop out after 90 days.

So, how do you play the game, as an author?

First, you look at how much you can lose. It's finite. If you're selling, say, 5 books a month on all the other outlets, you lose 5 sales a month.

Next, you look at how much you stand to gain. It's infinite or pretty much so (not literally). You'll get some borrows, you'll see a sales bump at Amazon. No one knows how much. You don't have to get much of a bump to make up for those 5 sales at other outlets.

If you're a romance author who makes half her sales at B&N, it would be a stupid move. Generally speaking, for most other genres, you'll do better to improve your sales at Amazon and let your B&N, et al., sales go.

You're quite right that Amazon could offer these promotions without requiring exclusivity. But they don't. The author has to play the game as written.

Notice that nowhere in this scenario does the author say, "I don't want these readers!" But yes, he'll sacrifice the few to reach the many, if that's how he thinks it'll work out.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:39 AM   #40
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So, how do you play the game, as an author?
I wouldn't go for something I wouldn't approve of as a customer, no mater what the potential benefits. I'm not the kind to accept anything for money's shake.That's just monopoly abuse from amazon.

Huges answered my forum post by saying kobo (and maybe goodsread), where on the works.

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Old 05-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #41
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Does it feature a plucky young heroine? (Dystopias with PYHs are big these days)
oddly enough, no. the main female character is pushing 40. i believe the youngest character in the book is in their late 20s. the rest of the big characters are in their 40s and up.

by the time the movie gets through the writing process though the characters will be played by selena gomez, justin beiber and the cast of icarly
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:07 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
I wouldn't go for something I wouldn't approve of as a customer, no mater what the potential benefits. I'm not the kind to accept anything for money's shake.That's just monopoly abuse from amazon.

Huges answered my forum post by saying kobo (and maybe goodsread), where on the works.
It's nice to know there are people who will take such a principled stand, even if it costs them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Obviously, I'm not that principled.
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