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July 2014 – Barnes & Noble

28 July 2014

From Author Earnings:

In February, we took a snapshot of 5,000 genre e-books on the Nook store to compare with our Amazon reports. It’s been nearly half a year, so we thought it was time to go back for another look.

The first chart is a simple count of the number of titles on the major genre bestseller lists, broken out by publisher. For each of the four sets of charts, the current snapshot is followed by what we saw back in February:

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Not much change in the count of titles on the lists. But look at estimated daily unit sales by publisher:

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This effectively captures the average ranking of the ebooks on these bestseller lists. Note the increase for indies and the decrease for nearly every other publisher.

Knowing the sale price, we can estimate daily gross earnings by publisher:

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Again, note the changes. Finally, knowing industry royalty rates, we get daily author earnings by publisher:

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One thing of note with the last three sets of charts is that Hachette titles have suffered on the Nook store over the past five months. It’s possible the ongoing negotiations between Amazon and Hachette are impacting their sales on other digital retail outlets. More striking, though, is the market share gained by indie authors. If you scrolled through Nook’s genre bestseller lists, and tallied each book and how it was published, you would find that over half are now self-published.

While Nook’s e-book market share is much smaller than Amazon’s overall, it is just as indie-friendly as the Kindle store. And the daily royalty share going to indies is nearly twice as large as the share going to Penguin Random House authors. In fact, indies seem to be on their way to overtaking the Big 5 combined, just as they have on Amazon.

Link to the rest at Author Earnings

PG finds the speculation of Hugh and Data Guy that the decline in sales of Hachette’s titles in the Nook Store is a result of the decline of those titles on Amazon interesting.

Because of the Nook Store’s terrible design, some owners of Nook ereaders have discovered that it’s easier to locate new books on Amazon, then go buy those books at the Nook Store.

If correct, this speculation speaks to the scope of Amazon’s power. If Amazon can make sales go up or down on the Nook Store, what use is it for publishers to pay money for prime exposure on the Nook website? That would be yet one more reason for talented employees still working at Nook to actively seek other employment.

However, PG suggests an alternate possibility:  Hachette is spending so much time, money and energy promoting its anti-Amazon message that it has failed to spend time, money and energy promoting . . . books.

This would be a typical screw-up for a poorly-managed company – taking its eye off the ball during a crisis and sliding down the tubes financially.

Hachette marketing and PR people are expending so much effort feeding talking points to Colbert and drafting letters for Preston, Patterson et al that, by the time Happy Hour rolls around, nobody has the time or energy to schmooze with The New York Times book review editors or tweet about a new release.

If you’re a tradpub author considering whether to send a book to Hachette or another publisher, might you not wonder how much time and effort Hachette will devote to your book when its principal business seems to be bashing Amazon and sales of Hachette titles are tanking all over the place?

Or if you’re an author who only has Hachette as a tradpub option, might you not feel that now is a good time to see what this self-publishing stuff is all about?

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Amazon Firefly

24 July 2014

Thanks to Patricia for the tip.

PG doesn’t have an Amazon phone, but he does have an Amazon app, including bar code scanner, on his phone.

Even if PG plans to purchase something in a store, if he’s unfamiliar with the product or product category, he sometimes pulls the item up on Amazon to read reviews and gain much more information about the item (and competing items) than he can obtain from the product packaging.

Of course, he sometimes discovers more highly-rated competing products on Amazon that aren’t available in the store, so it’s a product selection tool, not just a way of determining if Amazon has a lower price.

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