Friday, June 15, 2012

My Writing Week, Issue 24, Year 5

Price of Ebooks Going Up????

The last time I checked Amazon’s top 100 bestsellers list was in February. Unless the best seller list I looked at yesterday was an aberration, the prices of ebooks have both diversified and dramatically increased.

At the lower end of the price scale, I only counted three ebooks selling for 99c, compared with 34 at that price in February. Twenty-two were selling for the ebook guru nominated price of $2.99, compared with 32 in February.

Two free ebooks and one for 96c had somehow made it on the list. I was under the impression that free ebooks were kept on a separate list and that an ebook could not be sold for less than 99c on Amazon, so I assume their appearance was a technical glitch. But things might have changed.

Thirteen ebooks were $3.99, compared to four in February. Twenty-five ebooks were priced from $3.87 to $6.96. So 47 of the ebooks in Amazon’s top 100 bestsellers list were priced over $7, including three at $9.09, seven at $9.99, four at $11.93, three at $12.99 and three at $17.05. Compare this with only six ebooks being priced over $8 in February, but there were 22 over $8 in August the previous year.

Maybe in February everyone had overspent at Christmas and could not afford dearer ebooks, or perhaps a lot of people who received a Kindle for Christmas were busy filling them up with cheap ebooks in February.  

However, just for a moment, I could suppose that many Kindle users have discovered that cheap does not necessarily mean good. But, having said that, I have found price not much of an indicator of the quality of an ebook, as the one of the best ebooks I have read, Turing Evolved, by David Kitson, was free – I sent him an $8 donation for it. And I bought the signed paperback version of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother before reading it as a free ebook.

I will have to check the best-selling listings more frequently to see if what was a definite downward trend in prices has now changed.

Chook Lit.

According to an article in a not so recent Age, Random House in Australia say Chook Lit is the only genre of fiction that is increasing in sales. WTF! I hear you exclaim. Chook Lit is a variant of Chick Lit, but set in rural Australia. Most of the books are romances. But before every writer rushes to their computer to write such a book, they better be female and live on a farm, like all the big sellers of this new genre do. 

Rachael Treasure (great name for an author) is a sheep and cattle farmer who has sold 289,000 novels so far. Fleur McDonald lives on a 3000 hectare station and her three novels have sold 56,600 copies. And so on. It appears the author’s authenticity matters with readers, or at least publishers.

My Website.
I am currently re-building my website after a number of false starts. I had a great page constructed using Bravesites, but unfortunately it did not allow me to transfer my large interactive story onto it. If I had linked the Bravesites site to the interactive story it would have meant paying for two website hostings (one for the site and one for the story). So I quit Bravesites.

I have looked, and will continue to look, at a number of other web hosting services. Most seem to be big on templates, which would leave the same problem of not allowing me to transfer the large interactive story onto the site. I also failed to find any hosting services that convinced me of their ability to display my blogger blog on the website.

So I have been using Frontpage, which came with the Office XP I bought a while back, to construct a webpage. Frontpage is compatible with Bravehost, which my interactive story currently sits on. Now if only I could find a way to get my blogger blog running on Bravehost.


Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Graham for offering an update on escalating eBook prices. Interesting.
I've noticed the influx of "Romance on the farm" chook-lit books too.
Love that genre tag. LOL.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Chook-lit... Jesus. If this is the way of things, including 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight etc, then you and I are out of the loop. Seems to me that these books arent about quality story telling, but about fulfilling some middleaged fantasy. Must be a helluva lot of unhappy (dare I say female?) readers out there..

As with ebooks, its like heroin. Give them away, get them hooked, up the price. Less costs, more profits. Victims of greed. We will lose books, but publishers will continue to exist, with increased profits... and we will all see what fools we've been.

Then we'll go underground... and sell printed books on the street... Smells like Fahrenheit 451.

Satima Flavell said...

I've heard that Amazon has changed its system so that the cheaper books don't get as much exposure as the ones over $2.99. So yes, I'd say they are trying to drive the prices up!

Graham Clements said...


Perhaps we will all have to include a bit of bondage in our writing, seems to sell a few ebooks like 50 Shades of Grey.


so that is why all the 99c ones all but disappeared. I was thinking that perhaps the people charging 99c might have decided to just give them away.