Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Writing Week: Issue 2, Year 5

Hi all,

As a personal stand against the ebook price race to the bottom, I made a resolution at the start of last year to only purchase ebooks priced over $5. Here is what I ended up downloading:

WTF, an anthology by Pink Narcissus Press, $8.99
Marketing for Authors by Anita Revel, $4.97
The Last Albatross by Ian Irvine, $6.99
Oxygen by John Olson and Randy Ingermanson, 0.99
Turing Evolved by Dave Kitson, free
My Name in Lights by Patty Jansen, $1.99
Creating an ebook by Paul Hurst, free

Ah-huh, Graham was not very good at keeping his resolution you think, but wait until you read my rationalisations.

I sent Dave Kitson an $8 donation when I finished reading Turing Evolved.

Patty Jansen’s ebook was a 33 page novella. I think $1.99 is a fair price for a novella.

I read Randy Ingermanson’s newsletter, sometimes hurriedly, and mistakenly thought Oxygen was a novella with some writing tips at its end.

Creating an ebook, by Paul Hurst is only a small non-fiction book.

And I was not going to quibble about three cents in the price of Marketing for Authors.

So I reckon I kept my new year’s resolution.

Australian Book Sales in 2011.

According to an article in the Age by Jason Steger, the number of books sold in Australia last year dropped by 7.1% to 60.4 million, with their value dropping 12.6% to $1.1 billion. Most of the drop in sales is put down to the collapse of Angus and Robertson and Borders. I wonder how much was spent at overseas online bookshops by Australians.

In the US sales dropped from 717 million to 651 million. In Britain the value of book sales dropped $150 million. 

The same article said Mathew Reilly’s Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves was the top selling Adult novel in Australia in 2011, selling 124,000 copies. It was the third bestselling book in Australia last year. Di Morrissey’s The Opal Desert was the eighth bestselling book, with 92,000 copies sold.

My Novel Writing.

I finished chapter thirty-three on Tuesday and then got bogged down in chapter thirty-four. That chapter is told from the point of view of the XO of the starship as he organises its evacuation. I kept on changing the chapter as I thought about how he would manage the evacuation and what supplies he would take when there was virtually no chance of rescue and only eight tonnes capacity available. So a lot of words were deleted and I did not get to my 1000 words on any day. I ended the week with 69,000 words of the novel written.  


Anonymous said...

Crap. If I'd known about your resolution, I would have priced all of Dark Continent's e-books at $5.01. ;-)
Seriously, though...what a good idea. And I applaud your brave stand. Although I baulk at the other-end-of-the-scale excesses of mainstream publishers pricing their e-books higher than the paperbacks.

Gregory said...

what's the point of your resolution?
You can buy more at lower prices; spread the wealth etc.

Anonymous said...

Hey Grant, do you know if the novelette of Patty's that you read is the same as the one published by the Grantville Gazette?

Just curious. I think she's done a good job of finding a second market for stories she's already published. She also has a number of eBooks out.


Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Graham,
Glad to see you bought Marketing for authors...I was a co-contributor as well as Simon Haines, John Birmingham, Joanna Penn and MORE.
I read your resolution to buy eBooks over $5. Interesting. I'm still working out what I'll price my 'Memoir of Madness' when it comes out in May.
Good luck with your Sci-fi book.

Graham Clements said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graham Clements said...

Hi Gregory,

Sure I can buy more at lower prices, but I still only have limited reading time. After filling my bookshelves with a lot of books I may never get around to reading, I have no intention of doing the same with my Kindle.

Except for a few lucky authors, most cheap ebooks are the result of writers desperate to compete. When authors find it is a hugely crowded market, with many ebooks free, their probable next step will be to make their ebook free. So why buy a $2 ebook when in a few months it will probably be free?

I have been checking Amazon for years and most of the bestselling ebooks on Amazon are free.

Not much wealth is going to be spread when just about all ebooks are free.


Graham Clements said...

Hi Karen,

I bought Marketing for Authors after you mentioned it on your blog.


Graham Clements said...

Hi Ethan,

It would seem that it is the same version. But as I hate reading more than a few pages of text on a computer screen, I would have been highly unlikely to read it at the Granville Gazette site. Reading on my Kindle is so much easier.

I doubt that Patty got paid that much by the Granville Gazette. Like I said in the post, I downloaded Turing Evolved for free, but then sent the author a donation of $8. Authors should be rewarded.


Graham Clements said...


I had a look at the Dark Continents website. I do read a bit of horror - more novels than short stories though.


Anonymous said...

The Grantville Gazette pays pro rates, 5 cents a word. Patty probably made about $500 off the original sale. Anything she gets beyond that is gravy, since it's available online for free. It's a clever move on her part.


Anthony J. Langford said...

Best of luck with your novel Graham. I tend not to edit as I go, but if something's clearly not working, then you know.

Don't worry too much about your word count or how quickly you get there.. it doesn't matter as much as getting that first draft down properly.

Very scary news re sales, but as you say, im sure people are buying just as many books, if not more, in cheap places like Book Depository and Abe Books.

Graham Clements said...

Hi Ethan,

I was looking at the title page of Patty's ebook the other day - trying to find out if she had published it using an imprint name that she had created, and I noticed on her title page that the novella has been published in the Grantville Gazette, so she was not hiding the fact.