Home » Ebooks, Self-Publishing » Indie Authors Are Responsible for the US eBook Decline

Indie Authors Are Responsible for the US eBook Decline

31 May 2016

From Good EReader:

Over the course of the last two years the modern bookstore has been undergoing a resurgence in sales. The publishing industry have all reported that e-book sales are down between 2-6% year on year and 12% across the board. The funny thing is,  publishers  for the most part are making more money, primarily due to higher e-book prices, but most are seeing a modest increase in print sales.

Why are bookstore chains like Barnes and Noble enjoying a robust increase in book sales? I think the main reason is because they only stock physical books by new authors that the publisher is really hyping and of course, perennial bestsellers by recognizable authors. Simply put, it is far easier to discover a great book in a bookstore, than try and find one online. So why are digital sales truly down? The answer is too many e-books being self-published by indie authors.

Independent and self-published authors release more books on a monthly basis than the trade houses do. This creates an influx of new titles that fall by the wayside and pollute the search engine results,  so it is almost impossible to casually browse and find something good.  E-Books are immortal, so they never go out of print. Like cobwebs constructed of stainless steel, they will forever occupy the virtual shelves of e-book retailers. Every month there are more and more books for readers to choose from and there are now fewer eyeballs split across more books, this is the real reason why e-book sales are down across the board.

. . . .

Spamming out e-books is obviously working for indie authors right now. In two short years, the market share of paid unit sales between indie and Big 5 e-books has more than inverted. The Big 5 now account for less than a quarter of e-book purchases on Amazon, while indies are closing in on 45%.

. . . .

The big reason why indies are enjoying more success right now is because their titles are priced anywhere between .99 and $5.99, while major publishers tend to charge between $9.99 and $18.99.

. . . .

Indie authors might be doing well right now selling their under priced e-books, but the Amazon is making more money right now selling physical books. This is driven by steeply discounted hardcovers and paperbacks, which in many cases were priced even lower than the e-book editions. Things are going so great for print right now that in 2015 Amazon generated more revenue selling physical books than e-books.

I think indie authors days are numbered selling digital content online because of big new trends in the publishing industry that they are unable to capitalize on. One example are adult coloring books, which many credit them with saving the traditional publishing industry’s overall 2015 sales figures.

. . . .

Some of the brightest minds in the publishing industry also agree that there are too many indie e-books being published right now and this is leading to a decrease in overall digital sales in the United States.

. . . .

Chuck Wedig mentioned in a recent blog post “The sheer number of releases is an issue all its own. It becomes increasingly hard to stand out merely by publishing a book in either form. It’s like trying to get a droplet of water to stand out in an entire goddamn ocean.”

. . . .

Some people just don’t see why people should self-publish at all.  Andrew Franklin, founder and managing director of Profile Books, blasted authors who self-publish. “The overwhelming majority of self-published books are terrible—unutterable rubbish, they don’t enhance anything in the world.” He ranted on by saying, “These books come out and are met with a deathly silence, so the principle experience of self-publishing is one of disappointment. I was very shocked to learn you can buy Facebook friends and likes on social media. That is what passes for affirmation in what I think is the deeply corrupt world of self-publishing.”

Link to the rest at GoodEreader and thanks to Dave for the tip.

PG says too much choice is a terrible problem. That’s why nobody buys anything from Amazon or reads anything on the web.

Ebooks, Self-Publishing

177 Comments to “Indie Authors Are Responsible for the US eBook Decline”

  1. “Indie Authors Are Responsible for the US eBook Decline” of Trad-Publishing”

    FTFY …

    ETA

    And the rest of it was even worse …

    • Actually the real fix is:

      “Indie Authors Are Responsible for US Ebook Growth”

    • Reality Observer

      I’ve always heard that marijuana is a gateway to the harder and more mind-bending substances. We now have proof positive.

      Considering that the highest and best use of at least 98 out of 100 (I am kind) books published by the “Traditional” outfits is to be shipped to the poor benighted, begrimed populace of Venezuela – they are quite delusional.

  2. Hear that guys? We’re deeply corrupt because we don’t want to sell our books to publishers who have a long history of being total dicks to us!

    • That’s okay, if we write something that takes off they’ll try to buy it from us — like 50shades and adult coloring books.

  3. Gee, I wonder who wrote this.

  4. Was this from The Onion? This can’t be for real. 😉

  5. I just can’t wade through this bull anymore.

    Oh, it’s that click-bait anti-indie Michael Kozlowski guy. Nothing to see there.

  6. the Other Diana

    “One example are adult coloring books, which many credit them with saving the traditional publishing industry’s overall 2015 sales figures.”

    and

    “The overwhelming majority of self-published books are terrible—unutterable rubbish, they don’t enhance anything in the world.”

    You mean like Coloring Books?

    • !! +1

      UGH. This is beyond stupid.

      The trad pub needed coloring books to ‘save’ the industry?

      All this shows is their method is broken. They aren’t offering their stuff at a reasonable price. I would also argue they don’t offer enough of what readers want (meaning they’ll decide there’s been enough of that topic and stop offering it, leaving the door wide open for indies to fill that niche).

      • Traditional authors are very lucky to be associated with big publishers. They can easily pivot from novels to coloring books with words at the bottom of the page. And when the popularity of coloring books fades, they will be well positioned for the paper-doll book craze.

    • Adrienne Lecter

      Does he realize that indies publish and sell coloring books, too?

      • I’m pretty sure publishing adult coloring books started with indies. Coloring pages were a thing on Pinterest for a long, long time before the Big #? caught on.

        And what’s wrong with people wanting to color pretty pictures? It’s actually very calming and enjoyable. I like to color every few days, while I’m waiting for sleep. Choosing the colors, getting shading and texture in, all very much a fun thing.

        But, it was a tremendously funny article. I’m still giggling about how I helped ruin traditional publishing. I tend to think they did that all by themselves, but who am I to shrug off even a tiny bit of world ending? I do write PA fiction, after all.

  7. I have a firm policy with this guy: don’t take his link bait. As for the article, it is idiotic.

  8. Where am I supposed to go to collude with all my self-publishing colleagues? I somehow missed how we are organizing to do all this bad stuff on purpose just to ruin life for the big publishers who declined to buy our stuff.

    I would like to volunteer.

  9. Relatively certain many of us have readers who would be disappointed if we stopped releasing new titles.

    I think I’ll worry about them, instead of this guy, or Big Pub.

  10. I think he makes a fair point.

    If the self-pubbers would stop polluting the book landscape with trash ebooks, REAL books by folks like Snooki would have more breathing room.

    Please be more considerate.

    TY

  11. My favorite part was about the segregated books in stores.

    There’s a drinking game in this somewhere. I don’t know the rules, so I’ll just make a Caipirinha.

  12. “That is what passes for affirmation in what I think is the deeply corrupt world of self-publishing”

    Buying your way onto the NYT Bestsellers list which traditional publishing routinely does is totally not corrupt.
    It’s a public service! It’s the higher moral ground!

  13. Smart Debut Author

    “Why are bookstore chains like Barnes and Noble enjoying a robust increase in book sales?”

    Because they aren’t. So far this year, Barnes & Noble’s actual book sales are down more than 5% in unit terms vs 2015. Whether they are making up for that loss with their toys, candles, throw rugs, and pasta, I have no idea.

  14. I’d be tempted to go over to the original post and comment, but I’m too busy creating spam–I mean writing my next book.

  15. This is the most ignorant thing I’ve seen in a LONG time.

  16. Patricia Sierra

    I’ve often seen folks say the vast majority of indie books are swill. I wonder how much research (reading indie works) they’ve done to arrive at that conclusion. Do you think any of them have actually read an indie book?

    • Reality Observer

      Even if you believe that the percentage of indie books that are swill exceed the 98% (at least) of trad books that are swill – the absolute numbers of good indie books is probably around ten times that which vomit forth from the hallowed towers of New York City.

    • @ RO

      LOL

      Read swill long enough and you’ll develop a taste for it!

    • Suburbanbanshee

      Being an old phart, I will now quote the great science fiction writer, Theodore Sturgeon.

      Sturgeon’s Law: Sure, 90% of science fiction is crap. 90% of everything published is crap.

  17. What Mikey doesn’t understand is that indie authors are writing and publishing quickly because their readers are begging for the next book even before the virtual ink is dry on the latest novel.

    Readers had been trained to wait at least a year between series installments. In this age of the ‘binge’, that won’t fly. Suddenly, readers are finding out that indie authors can publish faster, cheaper, and in many cases, better. And many of them are thrilled about all the new choices they have.

    • No, they’re doing it to for survival. Amazon is all about the churn, so that’s why you’ll see so many releasing at least once a month. They know that if they stopped, they’d die.

  18. Yawn!

  19. Wait, guys, I need to get some popcorn!

  20. What Mikey doesn’t understand is that indie authors are writing and publishing quickly because their readers are begging for the next book even before the virtual ink is dry on the latest novel.

    Readers had been trained to wait at least a year between series installments. In this age of the ‘binge’, that won’t fly. Suddenly, readers are finding out that indie authors can publish faster, cheaper, and in many cases, better. And many of them are thrilled about all the new choices they have.

  21. Some of the brightest minds in the publishing industry also agree that there are too many indie e-books being published right now and this is leading to a decrease in overall digital sales in the United States.

    Too many for what?

    • Don’t ask them questions they’re not equipped to understand.

      ‘Brightest minds in the publishing industry’ is a pretty low standard. New York publishing is the short bus of American business.

  22. “I was very shocked to learn you can buy Facebook friends and likes on social media.”

    Really? Really?

    I don’t think Mr Franklin talks to the marketing department much.

  23. I regret reading this. Every point he made seems to have an obvious logical or analytical flaw. It reads like the half-baked “analysis” of a lazy college freshman.

    • In defense of college freshmen, most are smart enough not to try and pass the end-result of their stream of consciousness as “journalism.”

      If the author has any sense of pride, one day he’s going to be embarrassed that he published this drivel.

  24. “These books come out and are met with a deathly silence…

    Sorry, but no. That’s not what happens. If the writer is utterly unknown and has no audience, the start may be v-e-r-y slow. But the good books do pick up enthusiastic readers. One by one by one. That adds up over time.

    • Heh, he’s never met any of my readers (I love ’em!). There is no silence, even between releases. It’s all “When’s the next one?” and “Write faster!”

      • Excellent! You’re ahead of me in gathering an audience, but even my many fewer readers have been known to write glowing reviews. The readers of indie books like those indie books. 😀

        • I pimp fellow indie books to my FB friends who are readers. Can’t guarantee they’ll decide to look (or buy), but usually, at least a few do.

          Shoot me an email through my website.

  25. *Some of the brightest minds in the publishing industry also agree…*

    I promised myself I was done with this – I have to spend time contributing the the destruction of culture today… but I love crap like this.

    If these minds are so bright NAME THEM.

    When I say ‘experts agree’ I am generally thinking of a few lest I be called out on it. When I coach baseball I show the kids how Randy Johnson stands and throws. I show them how Reggie Jackson held the bat and bent his knees.

    I don’t do it myself and reference anonymous ‘experts’. Even kids aren’t gullible enough to fall for that garbage.

  26. The part that makes this outrageously funny is his “solution” to the horrible problem of self-publishers: to separate self- and trad- published books on Amazon. I’d guess that 90% of all readers don’t know who (if anyone) publishes their favorite writer. Readers don’t care. They know the author only. Only a handful of publishing imprints have any name-recognition whatsoever.

    This is leaving aside the obvious problems of determining what is self-published vs. small-press, etc. You’d have to have a list of pre-approved “real publishers”. It’d have to be a small list, maybe 5 or so.

    • No, this is a ‘great’ idea!

      Just have Amazon add an “Over-priced Over-nurtured Over-cultured Under-paid to the Wrirer Ebooks” Category.

      OOOUWE sounds painful enough to me!

      I’m sure trad-pub would love to place all their ebooks in it.

    • You’d still have the pricing issue. When readers see outrageous over-pricing on the trad pubbed side, they’ll just go to the self published section to buy. And possibly start ignoring the traditional publishing section altogether.

    • Did I really read this? “I think segregation is the only answer for the publishing industry.” Sure, just relegate us all into the indie book ghetto using that word “segregation.” Should go over really well.

  27. This guy thinks adult coloring books are here to stay?

    Honestly, Pets.com in 1999 was a better bet than that. In my entire life I’ve never seen anything that screamed, pointless fad more than adult coloring books (pet rocks and mood rings included).

  28. Kozlowski doesn’t know what he’s talking about, as usual.

    E-book sales are ‘down’ only because of how sales are counted. If your ebook doesn’t have an ISBN (which cost money and are a hassle) then the sale doesn’t appear when sales are aggregated.

    All those Indy authors who get by just fine with only an ASIN are invisible to total sales figures. There’s a phantom list of sales out there.

    So Bowker, or who ever’s tabulating sales, is using bad data. Same way the Obama Administration creates an artificially low unemployment rate by not counting certain classes of unemployed individuals. Data can say whatever you want when you fudge it!

    • Do most indies not take advantage of the lower-cost or free ISBNs?

      Draft2Digital offers free ISBNs, and if you list a publishing company name, they make certain it’s listed as the publisher of record at the retailers.

      Createspace offers $10 custom ISBNs, so that your publishing company is listed as the publisher of record (the free one lists Createspace as the publisher, but the custom one puts it in my Bowker account). Smashwords offers free ISBNs as well, but stopped offering the $10 custom ISBN option (which is why I don’t bother with ISBNs there, and one of the reasons I don’t do wider distribution through Smashwords anymore).

      Just saying that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get ISBNs. I’m good as long as my publishing company is shown to be the publisher at retailers.

      • Michael Kozlowski

        Indie authors are for the most part very lazy. They spam out e-books without any regard for quality and think quantity is better. I have noticed over the years that if you mention the e-book industry declining they will always say “its because we don’t want/need an ISBN” and then they will defend the indie movement.

        If indie authors really wanted to be taken seriously they would buy cheap ISBN numbers and be counted. But that takes a few hours worth of work, something they aren’t willing to do.

        Indie authors for the most part are lazy, incompetent and have no regard for the self-publishing movement.

        • You seriously believe everything you say, don’t you? *mind boggle* I thought maybe you were just trying to poke us for the fun of it, but you actually believe what you’re spouting.

          Oh well. Not much we can do to change your mind since you are dead set on what you believe. We are all entitled to our opinions, just as our readers are entitled to theirs. And to be honest, we only care about our readers, not some guy with an ax to grind against indie authors.

        • the Other Diana

          I think our bank accounts show how seriously we take our business. Why hand out $ to Bowker? What’s in it for us?

          I don’t need a pat on the head or some special stamp of approval.

          The end of the month, when my $ hits the bank is the only “approval” I need.

          Fan email is icing on the cake.

          Indies share a wealth of information. Indies are making a living. How many trad pubbed authors can say the same?

          • Felix J. Torres

            One bit of news shared is that ISBNs for ebooks are a waste of money. Another bit of traditionalist overhead to be reengineered out of the production process.

        • “Indie authors are for the most part very lazy.”

          So lazy they can do everything needed to get a story to their readers — unlike those other writers can need an agent to help get someone else figure out all those other little bit.

          “They spam out e-books without any regard for quality and think quantity is better.”

          Is that why trad-pub bought 50Shades — because they knew their readers wanted quality? And that Mars book — which the guy was giving out for free — that one too was written without any regard for quality? Sorry, seems like trad-pub disagrees with you on that. (And we won’t get into coloring books for adults.)

          “If indie authors really wanted to be taken seriously they would buy cheap ISBN numbers and be counted. But that takes a few hours worth of work, something they aren’t willing to do.”

          Why? An ISBN isn’t enough to get you into B&N or most other book stores, so why bother?

          “Indie authors for the most part are lazy, incompetent and have no regard for the self-publishing movement.”

          Too bad for trad-pub then that the readers/buyers disagree with you, for if they were truly lazy and incompetent, the qig5 wouldn’t be losing so many sales to them.

          HINT 1: Even though ISBN ebook sales are dropping, Amazon is reporting ebook sales going up. What else can be filling in that gap but those ‘lazy and incompetent’ indie and self-pub writers enjoying the qig5’s lunch for them?

          HINT 2: If indies were really lazy and incompetent, you wouldn’t be as worried as you are right now over the loss of the old publishing ways.

        • If indie authors really wanted to be taken seriously they would buy cheap ISBN numbers and be counted. But that takes a few hours worth of work, something they aren’t willing to do.

          They are taken seriously by consumers. That’s who they care about, and that’s why they take a larger and larger market share each quarter. It also contributes to the fall in eBook sales the tarditionals report.

          Is there someone else they should seek to influence? Who? Why?

        • You came to the wrong place to call indies “lazy.”

          For some of us, being “lazy” has resulted in writing becoming our full-time job, so you’re kind of in a pool of indies who’ve been taking Big Pub’s ebook market share away. =)

          ISBNs aren’t necessary for ebooks. I choose to use ISBNs for my ebooks because I don’t have to pay Bowker $125 per, thanks to Draft2Digital. If Bowker were my only option, I wouldn’t use ISBNs for my ebooks.

        • OK, Kozlowski. I wasn’t going to waste my time commenting on your drivel at its original location, because I have a pretty strong suspicion that disapproving comments are ‘curated’ out of existence. But you’re here, so I’ll have a bash.

          We ‘indie’ authors are so God-rotted lazy that we actually start our own publishing businesses. We not only write the books; we hire editors and copyeditors, commission cover art, arrange for wholesale and retail distribution, handle our own promotion and PR, and not only that, we, unlike you, actually engage with our end customers, the readers – a section of the food chain that your part of the business is still barely aware of and never listens to. And we do all this on our own time and our own dime, without anybody paying us an advance.

          In return, we get to set our own publication schedules and choose our own projects, and we don’t have to go through an idiotic winnowing process that has no more to do with literary quality than lapping water out of one’s hands has to do with military skill. I don’t expect you to get that reference, since it comes out of a book that was not curated by a fine and reputable New York publishing house, and therefore (one must assume) is beneath your notice. Here is the nub of the story, from one of the more popular editions:

          And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

          So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

          And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

          And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

          (Judges 7:4–7)

          Now as to what you said: Every word of it is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’. To wit:

          Indie authors are for the most part very lazy.

          Dealt with above. We do more work per book than our trad-published counterparts – who, by the bye, in many cases are the very same people. Never heard of hybrid authors, have you, Kozlowski? Care to insult your own suppliers any further? Would you like some ketchup with that foot?

          They spam out e-books without any regard for quality and think quantity is better.

          All else being equal, quantity is better than lack of quantity. Your industry’s antiquated and oppressive practices are designed to artificially restrict the supply of any given author’s books, and of books in general. I know many authors who are quite capable of producing three or four good, well-crafted, well-considered books in a year, but you idiots won’t consider publishing more than one a year – for which you pay a pittance. This practice alone has forced thousands of skilled and capable writers, who could have earned a living at their trade, to do it as a hobby and pay their bills with another line of work. No more.

          I have noticed over the years that if you mention the e-book industry declining

          This is complete baloney. Even by your cockeyed and heavily biased metrics, the ebook industry has not been declining for years. You are therefore lying when you say that you’ve noticed it over the years, unless you had some way of noticing it long before it happened.

          But let that pass; perhaps you are a prophet and can see the future – which would be some compensation for your utter inability to see the present. The fact is, ebook sales in units are not declining. Some individual outlets are in decline, but Amazon reports strong and steady increases in ebook sales. What is happening is that large traditional New York publishers are seeing their ebook sales decline, because they have made a unanimous and idiotic decision to price their own products out of the market. The idea that an ebook will sell well for $15 when a paperback edition is available for $10 is a folly. The idea that it is somehow necessary to price the ebook at $15 is a fever dream. Your own business is collapsing because you cut your own throats; not ours.

          they will always say “its because we don’t want/need an ISBN”

          Actually, we don’t need ISBNs, but that is neither here nor there. The ISBN is the 1970s’ answer to the 1950s’ problem. It has very little relevance to how ebooks are retailed today. Actually, the trouble is that Nielsen BookScan (and still more the antiquated methods used by outfits like the New York Times) deliberately chooses to omit a great part of the ebook market. In particular, ebook sales through Kindle Direct Publishing are not tracked by BookScan, whether the books have an ISBN or not.

          and then they will defend the indie movement.

          No, we go out and write more books, and sell them. The ‘indie movement’ does not require any defence. The truth, however, requires constant defence against liars; or rather, people who don’t know that you are a liar need to be continually warned, and your falsehoods set straight. You are darkening counsel and making unnecessary work for those who actually want to see writers succeed and earn money.

          If indie authors really wanted to be taken seriously they would buy cheap ISBN numbers and be counted.

          First of all, we would not be counted for our sales through KDP, as I mentioned above. Nor are any sales counted unless registered with Ingram; and it is of no benefit to ebook sellers to register their products there.

          Moreover, for authors based in the United States, there are no cheap ISBNs. A single ISBN costs $125 from Bowker, the sole legal supplier. A block of 10 costs $295. Larger blocks cost less per unit, but more in the aggregate; few independent authors can justify the expense of buying 100 ISBNs in one block. Nor can authors sublet or share them, as the entire block of ISBNs is tied to one specific publishing entity. ISBNs are cheap for your corporate clients, who buy them by the carload; not for us. And this was done, I have reason to believe, specifically for the purpose of freezing small publishers and self-publishers out of the market. It should surprise no one that most American authors are doing without ISBNs rather than submit to Bowker’s scam.

          But that takes a few hours worth of work, something they aren’t willing to do.

          It takes seconds of work; the problem is the extortionate price charged for it. I myself am Canadian. As a Canadian author, I can get ISBNs free of charge from Library and Archives Canada, and always do. I would not do so if I had to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege.

          Indie authors for the most part are lazy, incompetent and have no regard for the self-publishing movement.

          Indie authors are the self-publishing movement. Period, full stop, end of story. One would have to have the monumental stupidity of a Michael Kozlowski to believe that we have no regard for ourselves. As for ‘lazy’ and ‘incompetent’, perhaps the public can judge who more fully deserves those epithets: a writer who is earning a living by his wits and the sweat of his own brow, or a self-styled journalist and industry pundit who can’t be arsed to look up even the most elementary facts before spewing a hit piece directed against his most dangerous competitors.

          As another famous ‘indie’ author once put it, your brains could be exchanged with the contents of a pie, and nobody would be any worse off for it – except the pie.

          • Reality Observer

            Thank you, Tom. You have probably just saved me a few hours of writing this myself. (Probably you did it better than I would have, too – I tend to pull punches when dealing with the mentally deficient.)

            • Agreed, thank you Tom.

              To be honest, I can’t tell which is sillier, Good EReader hosting Michael Kozlowski’s little rant, or him then coming over here to try to defend it. (And doing such a poor job of it.)

              Oh well, cheap entertainment is where you find it — unless of course the whole thing was to get us mad enough (or laughing so hard) that we didn’t get any writing done for a while … hmmmm. 😉

              • I thought he was trolling. Does he actually believe his own rant?

                • Follow the money. Can he afford not to?

                • I used to think he was “The Onion” regarding the publishing industry. But he’s so consistently ridiculous that I’m forced to accept he really means this crap. If he’s faking, he sure knows how to stay in character.

          • BOOM! Tom lowered it. 🙂

          • +1

          • Wow, Tom. That’s not a comment, that’s a Kindle Single 🙂

  29. He’s just jealous.

  30. *looks up from work on current novel* Ruining the publishing world? And it’s only Tuesday? I’m ahead for the week, then! 🙂 *goes back to typing*

  31. Well, of course the perceived decline in ebook sales and subsequent rise in print sales is the fault of indie authors. I mean, it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with traditional publishing pricing ebooks higher than paperbacks. That would be an absurd notion.

    Traditional publishing still hangs onto the antiquated notion that print is king and the ebook, nothing but a passing fad, soon to disappear like vinyl records. By pricing their authors’ ebooks higher than the paperback, they’re forcing customers to go to the brick and mortar stores to save a dollar or two. Who wouldn’t?

    The decline in ebook sales is perceived by big publishing, simply because they want it to decline and are forcing it. On traditionally published authors. Across the indie community, I hear a chorus of, “My sales are up.” One look at my own reports certainly shows this to be true, I’m on track to break the quarter million dollar mark, probably by mid-summer.

    So, to big publishing, I say; Keep pricing your authors’ works out of reach of the average reader, forcing them to leave their comfortable recliners and head down to B&N to buy your over-priced print books. Soon, your authors will wonder why an indie such as me, is outselling them and may realize they can do a better job than you.

  32. This article made me smile.

  33. Laura Montgomery

    “One example are adult coloring books, which many credit them with saving the traditional publishing industry’s overall 2015 sales figures.”

    Oh, oh. If only I could publish adult coloring books.

    Some of these make me mad. This one was just hilarious.

  34. There is a nugget of truth in his otherwise outdated and ridiculous article.

    Namely, for any given reader, the vast majority of books published will not be of interest. It doesn’t matter if they are “swill” or merely the wrong topic, it’s just that every reader is always in a process of searching for what they want. Physical bookstores meet that need via organizing the floor, having informed staff, and before the Internet would also search in microfilm listings and place special orders. Now we are in the age of online shopping and the traditional publishers, the physcial bookstores, and the traditional media that support the publishing business have completely abandoned updating and maintaining discoverability to Amazon and internet search engines. Instead of developing a worldwide master database of books in print for readers with innovative search and taste-matching features, they have been relying on elitism, shaming, and appeals to authority to actively discourage readers into buying their products.

    • A problem facing independent bookstores is distributors have trimmed their lists of anything that doesn’t sell over a certain number of units. Nowadays I can access many more print books on the internet than either of my very good independent bookstores can source through their distributors.

      Of course, indie authors can make their very low volume print books available through Ingram’s network, so an aspect of the problem must be traditional publishing’s habit of dividing the world up into rights zones. Or Ingram is willing to deal with low volume POD but not low volume stocked in a warehouse. I don’t know. I do know that many times my local bookstores have said they cannot get a book, or cannot get it for less than I would pay online at list price plus shipping and duties.

      Traditional publishing (the path from writer to customer) operates in a completely different world than indie publishing. Unfortunately for them, they also operate in a completely different world than the customers.

    • But do we perhaps miss the point? Readers shouldn’t hunt through the floodwaters for what they WANT. They should hunt for what they’re told to want.

      Meh. My readers vote with their pounds, dollars, euros, and in some cases even kroner (I have fans in Denmark). That’s what matters to me, not whether I am doing all this the right way.

  35. …we can’t capitalize on adult colouring books or plastic briefs.

  36. Smart Debut Author

    Mike Kozlowski is Responsible for the Average US IQ Decline

    • Michael Kozlowski

      Riddle me this then, what indie author has ever won a major literary award? Answer: None.

      Why is this? They are trash and most indies are too lazy to actually get a membership with a major organization like the Romance Writers of America etc.

      • Independents are selling to consumers. Consumers don’t care about major literary awards. Why should anybody?

        Why should anyone bother with a membership in a major organization like RWA? Who cares?

        • Michael Kozlowski

          Awards drive sales to the book, to a massive degree. The “Who cares” mentality by indie authors is why you will never win an award and why NO indie author will EVER win an award. Just like you will NEVER be on the New York Times Bestseller list.

          This mentality is why i hate indie authors.

          • Independent sales refute that idea. They take more and more market share each quarter.

            They don’t care about major awards, and they don’t care about the NYT list. Neither do the consumers who buy their books.

            Independents have found a different way to operate in the market. It doesn’t use the methods traditional publishers use.

            I think what you identify is a lack of respect on the part of the independents for some of the values long held by traditional authors and their supporters.

            So, who cares? Apparently you do, but independents don’t.

            I invite you to heap your hatred on me.

          • “Just like you will NEVER be on the New York Times Bestseller list.”

            You don’t by chance mean that list they had to change the rules on to keep an indie off the top spot? The list they don’t actually list the top sellers if they stay on the top too long? (Those Harry Potter books comes to mind.) That’s the gamed list you think anyone bothers with anymore?

            If ‘everybody’ goes by that list, the qig5 wouldn’t be having this problem with indies eating their lunch.

            And I see below you’ve already been ‘schooled’ on your The Martian error of thought.

          • I’m pretty sure the “awards drive sales” thing was disproven a while back, by traditionally published authors who’d won awards, and were shocked that their books failed in the sales arena.

          • Smart Debut Author

            On the other hand, we just love you, Michael. You’re so cute and funny, we want to pinch your cheeks. Your oh-so-controversial clickbait ploys for attention are inadvertently entertaining.

            It doesn’t matter that no one ever visits your little goodyreader indie web blog — Don’t lose heart. We appreciate you. And that Pulitzer? It’s got your name all over it.

            Never change, man. Never change. 😀

          • Smart Debut Author

            On the other hand, we just love you, Michael. You’re so cute and funny, we want to pinch your cheeks. Your oh-so-controversial clickbait ploys for attention are inadvertently entertaining.

            It doesn’t matter that no one ever visits your little goodyreader indie web blog — Don’t lose heart. We appreciate you. And that Pulitzer? It’s got your name all over it.

            Never change, man. Never change. 😀

          • Jana DeLeon has made the NYT list all on her own. Hmm..

          • On most all your points, I’m sorry, but you are woefully in error Mr. Kozlowski, mainly because of your lacks re in-depth factual research and complete lack of credible citations … You’ve strung together a poorly seamed polemic of sorts, that actually copies any number of rants online by persons who say exactly the same things: ‘x is bad because i say so without facts, and because I deem x bad, [stamping little foot] I cant stand that baddy x.’

            Great. It’s gradeschool nah nah, not a reasoned debate.

            YOU wrote ” Awards drive sales to the book, to a massive degree. The “Who cares” mentality by indie authors is why you will never win an award and why NO indie author will EVER win an award. Just like you will NEVER be on the New York Times Bestseller list. This mentality is why i hate indie authors.”

            You’ve apparently not published with big houses and not published indie. Awards drive sales “massively”? Really? Name the last ten Pulitzers for fiction. Or the last Bookers. Or the last ten Nobels. How about the last ten American Book Awards? You cant. Why? Because awards do not drive sales MASSIVELY. As quickly as publicity or awards fade, so often does even the name of the book fade away, the name of the author fades away from public memory.

            You are dead wrong. If you believe you aren’t, then cite the sales before the Booker and after the Booker for the last ten years. Cite your facts supporting your claim of ‘massive.’ And while you’re doing that, define ‘massive’ with facts. Bloviating will never pass muster as precision.

            We’re trad pub’d and indie pub’d, have been lucky to have won many awards over a 40 year career, and been on usatoday, pw, and nyt and libjourno bestseller lists. If you have proof of your claims no indie will ever win blah blah, look at current nyt bestseller list and see over the two years how many indies were on list. Your lack of precis is easy to spot.

            Your stated ‘hatred of indie authors’ who are in the most part persons you have never met and your seeming dedication to flinging screed, doesnt carry credible merit –for lazy made-up fictions will never trump facts.

          • He’s on a major trolling tear.

          • Your hilarious…you remind me of
            Jacobim Mugatu from zoolanders.

          • It’s sad that you “hate” anyone.

          • Actually, the Nebulas are open to indies now, though I suppose they no longer count because of it.

          • PG needs to take Mike’s posting privileges away for that hating indies comment. He’s devolved into being nasty because he’s been handed his lunch.

            I was going to fisk the man, but why bother? He either believes the load of crap he’s slinging here, or he’s too stupid to research and learn how wrong he is. Either way, not worth the time. I was going to find a huge laughing emoticon, but even that’s too much work, since I need to check my bank account to help blunt the sorrow of not winning some award, or being on the NYT’s best seller list. Color me heartbroken. Oh, wait. Money.

            • No need to block him, not when his own words will condemn him better than anything you or I might say about the matter.

              Why does he hate indies? Because they’re hurting those that he depends on for his bread and butter. He hates indies because there’s no real way to attack them without looking like a fool — but if trad-pub has a bad day, so does he because they won’t be leaving him any scraps.

              I’m too lazy (see — he’s right ‘I’ at least am sometimes lazy!) tonight to look it up, but I see him as one of those clown fish that clings to a shark. There’s lots of little sharks and a few big ones, all with their little clown fish cleaners. But now there are small piranha in their waters that are chewing up little bites here and there — and the sharks are starting to notice that their food supply is dropping.

              And piranha think clown fish are just another snack. No wonder this clown hates as he does, he knows it’s only a matter of time that either he slips too far from his shark and gets eaten, or his shark dies and leaves him on his own.

            • PG needs to take Mike’s posting privileges away for that hating indies comment. He’s devolved into being nasty because he’s been handed his lunch.

              I hope not. Let’s see the power of his hate.

        • Reality Observer

          Why would a trad-pubbed author want a major literary award? They don’t get the money – the publisher that paid for the award does. (Which is reasonable, actually – they bought the product, they get the benefit.)

          • I think author does get the money, as in Lannen and also McArthur awards. The others I dont know for certain.

      • Many of the big awards will not accept indie writers. That’s one of the reasons.

        • i think yes you are right Mark C. and I think the day will come, not too far down the road, when indies will have parity … esp if/when the snowflakes begin pubbing indie, which many will as hybrids prob.

        • Yes!

          In fact Malice Domestic, where the Agathas are voted on and handed out, changed their policy this year so that indie authors are no longer allowed to even participate on panels.

          On the other hand, American Christian Fiction Writers has established Qualified Independently Published (QIP) status, which makes indies eligible for the Carol awards. This status is based on sales dollars for a book (and Christian content).

          So some organizations are moving towards accepting indies, while others are still fighting it.

      • I’m hybrid, I’ve won a major award in my niche market, and I’m an active RWA member. Gotcha on all three.

  37. Seems there are so many books, the right books aren’t being purchased in the numbers they should. OK. Consumers don’t care.

  38. This struck a chord with me:

    “E-Books are immortal, so they never go out of print. Like cobwebs constructed of stainless steel”

    It gives me problems. I am getting too much cobweb in my kindle app and am having a hard time organising it.

    Does anyone have a good way to manage items in a kindle library across multiple devices (kindle paperwhite and iphone in this case)?

    • Are collections not sufficient? The iPhone and Kindle Paperwhite both support cloud collections, and books can be in multiple collections. So you could have Fiction, Mystery, SF, and Isaac Asimov collections and include the Foundation stories in the Fiction, SF, and Isaac Asimov collections and the Black Widowers stories in the Fiction, Mystery, and Isaac Asimov collections.

      • I can set up collections on one device (e.g. my phone) but they don’t seem to transfer to other devices.

        Also, books in collections still appear in the library so when I add a book it can be tricky to find.

        Maybe its just me, but I’m sure it could be simplified.

        Doesn’t stop me though

        • That’s odd. Collections are supposed to be part of your sync.

          I agree that collections are imperfect. I’d like the Library tab to take me back to the last collection accessed, not the root library. And I’d like a default No Collection collection for that new book problem you mention.

          • I can sync my collections between Android apps, but the Kindle reader program on my computer and laptop do not sync. Calibre doesn’t help either (I’ve tried). Seeing as I don’t do a whole lot of reading on my laptop, I’ve let it be.

    • A robust title management system would be a downward pressure on sales.

  39. It’s frustrating having to swim through all this indie swill like Andy Weir’s The Martian to get to the quality, traditionally published books like the Kardashian selfie photo book with its two-star rating on Amazon.

    • Michael Kozlowski

      People only became aware of Weir’s book after he landed a major publishing deal.

      • Liar, liar, pants on fire.

        Andy Weir had failed to get agents interested in prior books. He posted The Martian on his website for free one chapter at a time. At the request of fans wanting a more convenient version he made an Amazon Kindle version for 99¢. That sold 35,000 copies in 3 months and rose to the top of the Amazon Kindle Science Fiction best sellers list. Then publishers came knocking, because he was selling.

        Traditional publishing didn’t pluck The Martian from obscurity. Rather it damn near consigned it to obscurity. Thankfully Andy Weir’s reaction to trad pub failure was not to throw the manuscript into a drawer and say “Forget it,” but to throw in on the internet for free and say “Forget it.”

      • In your alternate universe yes. In this one, no.

        Quit being lazy and do some damned research.

        Dav

      • Not true. He was selling thousands of copies–that’s why they approached him in the first place.

  40. true, but it would be nice for the books to automatically group themselves in series in the nominated reading order.

    Paper books cant do that..

  41. People: Don’t feed the Trollowski!

    • This, for the love of God. I have to give Special K credit for one thing: he has a knack for getting people who are much smarter than he is riled up enough to take his bait, even though the schtick never changes.

    • I wish PV didn’t even link to this crap. It’s click-baity and is complete non-sense.

      The best thing would be if it would just slide right by unnoticed…

      • No, you do.

        How else will we be able to help warn others if we have no idea what lies the other side is making?

      • Ugh…

        There’s so much info out there. I find it hard to believe people could be taken in by this idiot.

        I see your point.

        I just hate that the guy gets any extra views/affirmations for his crap.

        • True, but running a search for it now not only gives you his rant, but us poking holes and laughing at him over it vs just his rant.

          (Never mind the added laughs of him coming over here trying to defend his silliness.)

        • I don’t give them a page view. Whatever PG posts here is all I’ll read. It’s enough, and often too much. I could use good manure like the OP on my garden, though.

  42. Chuck Wedig. Too funny. It is Wendig. WeNdig, sheesh. And I’m curious why the author of that didn’t link to the Wedig, err, Wendig blog post in question. Here it is. – Warning, lots of potty mouth.

    Wendig is in fact a hybrid author. And though I’ll never boycott an author he is somebody I’m now more rather than less likely to give a pass to, after reading the mess that was Star Wars: Aftermath and (especially) his reaction to even the mildest criticism of the mess that was that book.

  43. All these comments are exactly what a clickbaiter wants. He succeeded, obviously, judging by the number of comments here and on the original post. All this is about, is gaining traffic and selling his 13-inch e-reading devices. Odd that he hates ebooks, but sells e-readers, huh?

    • thing is, clickbaiting to ‘try to’ make an income, is likely for most, like collecting cast off aluminum cans. Thousands add up to piddly small change. Even selling a device. It’s a hard sell to sell anything if the seller cant get their facts straight. How could one rely on the veracity of their claims re their ‘device’ –if they seem an irritable bustle-and hoop-skirted ranter and raver. I’d rather buy from an expert who is calm, seasoned and writes /speaks based in facts. And hates, say fascism, and murderous dictators, for instance, rather than sincere writers.

      I wouldn’t nec. begrudge anyone a few clicks for their trash talk that has no proportion or perspective to it, for on their end, it amounts to a lot of effort put forth, for pitiful gain in terms of time to thrash about and in terms of thence attempting to stir the wet straw further to flame in comments.

      There is a saying about horses that if a ‘new horse’ to the herd, attempts to purposely rile the herd by running at and biting, for instance, that that horse is likely depressed from we might not know what, but has nothing to do with the horses in the herd, but some prior circumstances or event. And in that sense, the rise in energy that horse feels by attempting to stir the herd, is but a temporary excitement/escape/lift to them–from their depression.

      But after the flurry, the horse, which may be a perfectly fine horse, goes back down into the pit of depression again. Then surfaces again aggressively in order ‘to try to feel alive,’ is how we’d put it. Oddly, as with humans, it takes cutting that horse from the herd and spending much time with them rebuilding various in that horse’s psyche and daily experience… somewhat like a doctor would help a human being return to health.

      In humans, I suppose who come in nipping at others, the outcome of earning ill-will from others [who might have been able to assist any self-annointed ‘troll’ [no offense to fairytale trolls, lol] in actual useful endeavor in terms of making a living, and shining in better ways,] far outlasts whatever pitiful margin of income one might derive from trying to be a petty-wanna-be-biter– for the sake of self-excitement/ feeling alive.

    • He’s not getting any clicks on my account. PG is, maybe. I have neither responded to the Kozlowski in his lair, nor linked to his original tantrum. I would have kept silent if he had not come here to insult us all to our faces.

  44. Michael Kozlowski

    I find it interesting that the most commented posts on this passive website stems from articles I write and people weighing. My posts have the most views, the most comments and the most interaction.

    I guess you guys just love hearing my opinion about indie publishing because I am the only person on the internet that writes well balanced reports.

    • Smart Debut Author

      Nah. It’s because you’re such a clown. We just find you entertaining.

    • And boys and girls, he’s back!

      “I guess you guys just love hearing my opinion about indie publishing because I am the only person on the internet that writes well balanced reports.”

      Well, they’re good for a laugh anyway.

      A question if you don’t mind. Do you actually do any research, or do you make it all up? I mean to mouth off like you didn’t even know ‘The Martian’ had been a big hit as a self-pub kind of suggests you’re locked in a closet with a 2400 baud connection through a 1998 AOL walled garden and aren’t quite with the times.

      We have had others come over here and actually defend their beliefs in trad-pub to some extent, but it had been a while since we’d seen one so wrong in so many ways as yours.

      I would say keep trying, and that a broken analog clock is accidentally right twice a day; but we live in a digital world now, and a blank faced clock is never right …

    • My posts have the most views, the most comments and the most interaction.

      Another lie from the liar, and an unusually stupid one. You don’t even have access to information about views on PG’s blog. And there have been considerably many posts over the years that had nothing to do with you, but nevertheless attracted so many comments that it would make your lips tired trying to read them.

      I guess you guys just love hearing my opinion about indie publishing because I am the only person on the internet that writes well balanced reports.

      Two more whoppers. Just to keep in practice, I suppose?

      Kozlowski, your reports are indeed balanced – very exactly balanced – between insanity and ignorance. It is very hard to tell, sometimes, just how much of your addled output is the result of barking mad illogic, and how much comes from the wildly bogus input that you fondly believe to be factual.

    • Look at the ego on that one. Bless his heart.

    • Michael, really. There are many posts here that far far far outrank the comments on your post that PG so generously [to you] linked to.

      I see that factual research is not your forte, but you cannot expect good minds to not realize your lack of factual gravitas. That is what they are commenting on, not the excellence of your argument, but the paucity of it.

      It is easy to disprove claims of most all you assert. As a moderator of a large political newsblog for the last ten years, I can tell you Michael, that most of the posts that get the most comments on, are not because of the superiority of the post [we have our share of muddled writers and excellent writers]… it’s actually because the commenters have formed a community and enjoy talking to each other about how good things are, and how bad things are with regard to others’ points of view. The article is often quite secondary, even tertiary. The interaction between sharp minds [often far sharper than certain article writers] is fun for them. So, I’d suggest that you are drawing false conclusions about your work, based on numbers of comments. Whether you were present here or not, the discussion would go on because of the swiss cheese quality of the logic in this particular blog post.

      I get that writers want to be read. And that you are unbranded and an indie in your own right. I just dont think this is the way a man goes about making his point. I actually cannot recall what you wrote here, other than that you hate people you’ve never met, and that you very much want very very much, to be memorable. Frankly Michael, there are literally millions of haters online, saying exactly what you said, only in slightly different tropes. That’ll guarantee a writer is no original, too lazy to be so, so that his/her prose shines.

      We have a saying out west. “You can shine your boots, shine your saddle, but you cant shine sh–.

      A writer worth his salt, will try to write gold. That can shine.

      • Michael Kozlowski

        I think it is important that indie authors understand the conversation.

        When Amazon, Nook and Kobo first launched they did so with the intention of stocking books with ISBN numbers from small presses, medium and major publishers.

        All of a sudden, self-publishing came along and added over a million titles in a few short years. It became increasingly hard for the average reader to filter out the good and the bad, since indie e-books are stocked side by side with publishers books.

        Now, we have more self-published books bring submitted than books by major publishers. I don’t have a problem with this, but the search engines on these retailers site cannot cope anymore. Barnes and Noble tried to address this issue by creating an entirely new website, but it was plagued with errors since last summer and continues to be buggy.

        Kobo, even with Rakutens money cannot improve search, without revising their entire database system and front-end.

        Amazon is about the only company that refines their search, but they are unable to properly give people a proper e-book discovery experience. This is why they paid millions for GoodReads and Shelfari to address this issue, and mitigate e-book discovery off-site.

        I think indie e-books at this point NEED to be segregated. There needs to be a clearly defined area where indie books are stored. Readers will dig this because they can filter this stuff out and find only the good books.

        Have you noticed lately that tons of e-book stores are closing? Sony Reader Store, Waterstone’s, Diesel e-Books etc? They can’t afford search, so all customers see is Indie s*** and they think to themselves, what garbage and they never buy another e-book again.

        Self-published books need to be segregated for small retailers to survive.

        • I’m positive none of those ebook sites were shut down because they couldn’t afford to have a search engine built for their sites.

          That’s a truly ridiculous claim, because they ALL had search engines. Some of them weren’t very good search engines, but they had them.

        • I think you need to critically examine that assumtion of yours that ISBN is in any way relevant to anybody except physical book resellers and “traditional” publishers.

          As for indie published ebooks being garbage, in fact, as Sturgeon stated, 90% of everything is crap, and indie ebooks are on line with that. No biggie. Booksellers just need to be smart about it and make sure good books (indie or trad) get visible while crappy ones (indie or trad) get lost and forgotten. What’s new ?

          The ebook stores that closed ? Did you get the clue why they were closing ? My take is it’s in part because they couldn’t adapt to sell the 10% “non crap” indie ebooks on which “big players” do well.

          Looks like those small retailers segregated all right self-published ebooks. And look where that lead them…

        • What?

          My first ereader was a nook color. Barnes and Noble’s search engine was always awful. If I didn’t know the exact title of the book, including “The” or “An” or whatever, it never could find what I was looking for. The expensive website redesign brought no change from a consumer POV.

          And how is it an indie problem if Kobo has bad database design? (Assuming what you say is true, which based on other statements of yours, I don’t trust that this one is.) It’s not as if they have to invent their own search algorithm. All they have to do is implement one that works for their business–if they have a good database. If it truly is a database flaw, they’ve got bigger problems than indie books.

          I’m just going to ignore your comment about Amazon.

        • “Self-published books need to be segregated for small retailers to survive.”

          I agree, Michael.

          Amazon needs to put all the qig5 stuff on a pate marked ‘Overpraised Overpriced Overprinted Crap’ so readers know they’re getting the least bang for their buck.

        • many issues in your mix Michael. Makes it hard to see your point. But I think it is, in the main, this essentially:

          Business car mfg usa dominated by four companies
          .
          Suddenly come the foreign carmakers, for instance, with cars that not only jailbreak past the established usa carmakers, but also the long time dealerships already established for distrib, but the cars themselves are easy and cheaper to buy. Many have superior features. Some are duds. The flood of foreign cars upsets the markets. Union auto workers take sledge hammers to the foreign cars and harrass anyone who works at the usa car factory who dares to drive one.

          Time moves on. There is no ‘segregation’ of autos nor automakers, in part because it would be an interference in business advantage for all comers. The market of buyers is left to decide as they wish, to plow through the many brands and models of foreign and domestic cars and trucks, to purchase whatever they like. As more brands and models surface, it’s no longer knee-jerk buying of ‘my dad’s caddie, olds,[gm, chevy or ford’ etc]. Now it’s what works for the consumer.

          Did the autoworkers, assemblers, dealerships go down? Yes, many did. Some were bailed. Some not. DId they say there were ‘too many’ cars and that foreign mfg cars were ‘sh–‘? They did. Did they say the foreign cars should be embargoed, restricted, tariffs raised on, ‘segregated’? They did.

          Did it work?

          No.

          In part because the most powerful player was not the carmakers domestic or foreign, and not the many failing dealerships. The most powerful player in the USA was the federal government and all their favorable treatment of imports, usa foreign based businesses, tax and trade relations. I’m not qualified to speak to what those were precisely, starting back in the 70s especially. But, I saw several things. I saw certain hybrid cooperation between foreign and domestic makers. I saw mergers. I saw all kinds of external tv, radio, internet sites and programs pop up telling their version of which cars they thought were best. The gleaning process was taken up ex cathedra so to speak.

          In our time, AMZ is the most powerful player. They have allowed the import of ‘foreign’ vehicles, giving favorable citizen status to any who come within their guidelines and policies. The other more old time makers and distributors have to either cooperate, or build a better car/book/canon. Trying to repress or segregate those ‘foreigner’ books wont work because the powers that be, dont see it that way. At all. Likely never will. For them, the open field fills their coffers. They arent likely to say to anyone within their policies, ‘yer money aint green enough for us.’

          Highly unlikely

  45. Michael Kozlowski

    Here is a piece I just wrote about how indie authors are directly responsible for all the e-book stores closing, citing numerous examples. This should put this to bed.

    http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/indie-authors-are-forcing-e-book-stores-to-close

    • The other e-bookstores are most likely closing because they can’t compete with Amazon for price, selection, search function, device support, device design, shopping-optimized devices, reputation, or a program that is similar to Prime.

      They are inferior to the Amazon shopping and reading experience in every dimension. If readers want to avoid seeing indie published e-books all they have to do is look for e-books priced higher than $7.99. Or search for physical books and then see if there’s an e-book version. Apparently you assume all readers are idiots incapable of comparing online shopping features and using the search function.

  46. Felix J. Torres

    Lordy lordy lordy…
    So much fail, so little time…

    The most popular posts around here, comments-wise?
    The annual “quitting the day job” updates, like this one:

    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2014/07/indie-authors-quitting-their-day-jobs/

    Second most active? The annual catfights over the “scandals” generated by the mostly irrelevant genre award named after a notorious scam artist publisher of the pulp era.

    One could go on and on, but in general fiskings and debunkings of trolls, tradpub propaganda, and urban legends do rank high.

    As for “independent” ebookstores failing, let’s start by calling them what they are: generics. Because the small ebookstores folding are failing because they have nothing to offer shoppers other than “we’re not Amazon” and not in a good way: they have nothing to differentiate themselves from each other and offer no tangible lure to shoppers: they offer the same books from the same sources at the same prices.

    They are failing because they are built on the fallacy of “interoperable epub” when epub is anything but interoperable at the consumer level and because they can’t really control the consumer experience or their prices.

    They are failing because to compete with an established you need to offer a better, more personal experience, or better stock or better prices and the generics can’t.

    “Stock it and they will come” is not a viable business model in the internet age.

    • felix, what does inter-operable mean in this circumstance.

      I think you are right… the ‘fluidity’ of digital anything able to flow anywhere at any moment, day or night, means one can find say a single ebook anywhere, licit or illicit… hard to get gates/dams on that ka-jillion multi-octopii distribution flood. No exclusivity, really. And price as loss leader, no contest, I think for those who want to set up outside the sway of the biggest spillway, amz.

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