11 December 2010

Books Launch Promotion Timing

Two ebooks launched this past week - Torc of Moonlight : Special Edition and Contributions to Mankind and other stories of the Dark - just in time for Christmas buys. Not that it was supposed to happen like that, but life just got in the way, mine and a few other people's. I'd had promotions booked well in advance, an interview at Molly's Musings on 9th and this weekend promoting on Kindle Author, but in the end it was a close run thing to have the books available.

It reminded me of last year with the paperback of Torc of Moonlight which kept getting delayed at the printer (I was told by its publisher), so that finally I had to pull all the promotion I'd readied and by the time it was available it had missed the deadline to go into local shops for Christmas buyers. I hand-sold copies, but the flush passed me by. It was one of the reasons I decided to go indie. Despite this close call, it's a decision I've not regretted.

While I was being interviewed on Molly's Musings, also in the USA Publishers Weekly put out a piece stating ...e-book sales posted their slowest growth rates in 2010 in October. Still, sales jumped 112.4%, to $40.7 million...

And this is supposed to be bad?? It only covered 14 US publishers, not the industry as a whole, an industry that insists on windowing - a practice of putting out hardbacks, then paperbacks, then ebooks, often with months in between - or even worse, pricing ebooks higher than hardbacks - something ebook buyers have taken huge exception to, showing their discontent by slapping one star reviews on such ebooks regardless of contextual merit. Poor author, who wouldn't have had a say in any of it.

But what about indie sales in all this? Not mentioned. Indies are the elephant in the room. From initially eyeing indies with suspicion, readers are beginning to realise that, just as with print books, there are good and not so good, and the good outnumber the rest. For the price of a paperback they can read three indie ebooks. Not only are they doing so, but they are spreading their reading net outside their usual fishing zones, and liking what they find.

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