Sunday, August 5, 2012

ebook Price Survey

Price of Top-selling ebooks Continues to Rise.

It has been seven weeks since I last checked the prices of Amazon’s 100 best-selling ebooks. Some trends seem to be continuing while others are faltering. Overall, the price of a best-selling ebook seems to be going up.

The trends that continue include a drop in the number of ebooks on the list selling at 99 cents. This time there were seven ebooks at 99 cents, compared to three last time which was massive drop from 34 in February.

The number at the ebook guru price of $2.99 continues to drop. This time there were 15, last time 22, which was down from 32 in February.

$3.99 has been confirmed as a hot price with seventeen ebooks at that price, compared to 13 last time and four in February. $4.99 might be a new hot price too, with eleven at that price this time.  

Thirty-two ebooks were priced over $7 compared to 47 last time. But overall the price of the 100 best-selling ebooks is increasing. I think part of this increase is due to mainstream publishers publishing more ebooks and therefore making it harder for cheaper self-published ebooks to get on the list.

Ray Bradbury on Writing.

I recently read that Ray Bradbury recommends writing students write a lot of short stories. He said that if they write one a week, in a year they will have written 52 and “I defy you to write 52 bad ones. A story will come that’s just wonderful.”

A story a week! I would struggle coming up with the ideas for a story a week. And how long are these stories he suggests they write each week? As a writer I find it hard to keep any story under 5,000 words. As a reader, I find most stories under 5,000 words aren’t large enough to wow me with fully developed characters and worlds, and that offer an original take on an idea, theme or plot.

The more short stories I read the less I am a fan of them. Only about one in five engage my imagination while I am reading it. One in fifty I might remember the next day because the story resonated with me. And usually that one in fifty will be a story over 10,000 words. And I am so sick of stories written around a twist: ha ha I tricked you. Well many times the writer hasn’t because I have picked up the obvious twist well before it came along. How about exploring a theme or idea instead?

I know a lot of writer’s choose the short story route as a way to improve their writing and build up a reputation. But I can’t see the point bothering with a form of writing that generally fails to excite me. I much prefer to engage with a world and its characters over the extended period of a novel.  

Ray also suggested budding writers read a short story, a poem and an essay every night. What about novels? When I read a short story at night, I usually then pick up a novel. I do read a lot of newspaper articles, blog posts and web articles on writing, so they would go some way to making up my essay quota.

As for poems, I find most say nothing to me. For a poem to resonate with me I think I have to be in a similar head space to its writer when they wrote it. As my headspace is very different to most people, finding a poem that speaks to me is much rarer than remembering the short story I read the previous night.

But I must read a Ray Bradbury short story collection to see what his stories are like.  


Anthony J. Langford said...

Ray Bradbury was essentially a short story writer so naturally he would say that. I read some of his work when i was devouring sci-fi as a teen, which I enjoyed.

Totally agree with you re twists etc. Can't stand them. It's cheap. So is this edict about show vs tell. A topic for another time.

Chris said...

Agreed! Short stories traditionally don't do much for me and yep, so not into those 'clever twists'! But, publishers look for publishing history, so if you don't have any... It might be the only way to break into this hard arse of an industry!