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Old 02-26-2015, 02:44 PM   #1
PennLady
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Amazon and Ellora's cave

Found this article at Vulture.com today, thought it might be worth a read to those who have any interest in the e-publishing business.

http://www.vulture.com/2015/02/amazo...mid=outbrainrc
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
sr71plt
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I got lost in the verbosity and purple prose of the article, so gave up--so it might eventually be saying some of the same that I have to say about the deflation of Ellora's Cave.

Specifically on Ellora's Cave, I think its major, unique problem is in suffering from rumors it cooks its books--the same thing that deep sixed Aspen Mountain Press with its founder skidaddled to Mexico, leaving authors unpaid.

In general, though, of course the erotica e-publishers are going to level out and decline in profits, I think. They came in at the start of a demand wave and overserviced the demand. Both the glory and bane of e-publishing is that books don't go out of "print" (at least they haven't yet). The catalogs of available e-books just keep on building. Of course, you're going to have more sales when your title is one of a hundred on a distributors site in your genre than if yours is one of one million titles at the same or nearly the same price. That's one.

Also, although you can cram a lot of books into a Kindle, at some point you'll realize you stuffed more in there than you're going to read and you stop buying for the Kindle (which is why there will be a new razzle dazzle Kindle replacement one of these days soon with totally different product requirements). That's two.

And, as you say you like to do, PL, there's a whole glop of everything available for free--and building. The more free stuff out there the less room there is to profit from trying to sell the same stuff. That's three.

I have an essay on Lit. about riding the wave of the e-book revolution. That wave has peaked now and is going into a trough of a glut of product on offer. That doesn't mean you shouldn't continue publishing your works. It means (A) you're not going to be making as much and selling as much as you did at the peak of the wave, and (B) you're going to have to look for the next wave in publishing, which could be anything from new platforms to service to new genres of popularity.

(I'm riding a mini wave at the moment, by the way. Large collections of my short stories have been published for years under the "Grab Bag" title as well as theme titles. The Grab Bag collections are eclectic in theme and are just compilations of short stories I have written in a certain time period, chopped off in, originally 20, now 15, story chunks (the reduction is because my stories are running longer over time--I cut off at something under 100,000 words). I'm working on "Grab Bag 8" now. In the last month, my publisher has been cutting these up by theme and running mini collections of around 10,000 words. They are selling very well--and become a second profit taking off the same material. I also have done well by recasting/expanding books after three years and relaunching them to a newly arrived audience. My books also aren't just playing the e-book market. When they are long enough they are put into paperback print and these sell as an entirely separate market from e-books. All of this is at no upfront cost to me. I'm not self-publishing. I have publishers.)

There are subtle ways to work the market and keep the revenues up--at least for a while on a second wind.
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:29 PM   #3
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Yes, it did cover much of what you talked about, but not everyone will know that, so I thought some might find the article interesting.
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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Interesting find, PennLady.

I found another article that sheds some light on the poor business practices that likely contributed to the downfall of Elora's Cave.

http://dearauthor.com/ebooks/the-cur...-elloras-cave/

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Word of Ms. Engler’s increasingly erratic behavior surfaced on odd places on the internet and then came the lawsuits. In 2008, former employee Christina Brashears filed suit for unpaid monies against EC. EC countersued. Brashears, Publisher and Chief Operating Officer, left and formed Samhain. Bad blood existed which culminated with EC agreeing to a settlement of undisclosed amount. The damages were alleged to be in the high six figures to low seven figures. EC’s behavior during this lawsuit was so egregious, the judge commented on it in his ruling ordering damages to be paid to Brashears. In 2009, EC filed suit against Borders accusing them of illegal business practices. The suit went nowhere.
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:07 PM   #5
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If I recall they require exclusivity which is a big turn off.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I'm working on "Grab Bag 8" now. In the last month, my publisher has been cutting these up by theme and running mini collections of around 10,000 words. They are selling very well--and become a second profit taking off the same material.
I've been hearing a lot about this style, lately. It seems more and more ebook authors are turning back to serial fiction, publishing in smaller units rather than 200,000+ word monoliths. It lends itself well to audiobooks. Audio used to be marketed to women between the ages of 30-55; now it's experiencing a big surge in genre fiction.

Another trend I'm interested in are platforms such as Wattpad and and Patreon. Wattpad is the extreme end of serial fiction on the go; most of their traffic comes from cellphones. Patreon is a really interesting funding concept that allows fans to "tip" a content creator per diem, sort of like a low-charged but continuous version of Kickstarter. I believe Amazon has started a serial fiction platform of its own, as well.

Interested to see where it all ends up.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:02 AM   #7
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Patreon is going to rapidly burn people out. Everyone down to YouTube Let's Players with 1000 subscribers have a Patreon now.

Web series producers ( some of the earliest and most successful adopters ) are already seeing the pinch of over-saturation. Coming off it saving their fat from the fire when ad revenue dwindled to a pittance, they're now seeing that revenue stream losing steam as well.

Give it a year or two and I think Patreon will be the new Paypal Donate button for most people.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over_Red View Post
I've been hearing a lot about this style, lately. It seems more and more ebook authors are turning back to serial fiction, publishing in smaller units rather than 200,000+ word monoliths. It lends itself well to audiobooks. Audio used to be marketed to women between the ages of 30-55; now it's experiencing a big surge in genre fiction.

Another trend I'm interested in are platforms such as Wattpad and and Patreon. Wattpad is the extreme end of serial fiction on the go; most of their traffic comes from cellphones. Patreon is a really interesting funding concept that allows fans to "tip" a content creator per diem, sort of like a low-charged but continuous version of Kickstarter. I believe Amazon has started a serial fiction platform of its own, as well.

Interested to see where it all ends up.
Short fiction has always done well in e-books. If you look at erotica on amazon, many of the books that are under 5k in the rankings(which means in the realm of 40+ sales a day...below 2k is around a 100 daily depending on what the rest of the site is doing volume wise) you'll see many are A-extremely graphic to the point of "filthy" and B-they are short.

Not many indy books that are novel length sell well these days, but the ones that are more scene than story do, as do anthologies.

In many cases the anthologies do well because I have seen authors selling 20 story collections for .99 why wouldn't they sell?

People on amazon are cheap they look for free, then .99 then "bang for the buck" a book with a lot of stories reasonably priced will sell 200k is fine if its 50 stories in that 200k, a noevl that length....is too long for the ADD stroke fiction crowd.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RejectReality View Post
Patreon is going to rapidly burn people out. Everyone down to YouTube Let's Players with 1000 subscribers have a Patreon now.

Web series producers ( some of the earliest and most successful adopters ) are already seeing the pinch of over-saturation. Coming off it saving their fat from the fire when ad revenue dwindled to a pittance, they're now seeing that revenue stream losing steam as well.

Give it a year or two and I think Patreon will be the new Paypal Donate button for most people.
I want to go on Shark Tank and explain how I want $100k so I can take two years out of work and write as much smut as possible to have enough e-books to sell that I can quit the day job....

It would be worth the looks on their faces just to get up there and pitch it, especially when I describe the plot to Siblings with Benefits and talk about pitching it to showtime as their next late night dirty little secret show...

My wife came up with this while we were watching it the other night, granted it was after she killed a bottle of wine so it came across funnier than it would be....
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Something "real men" should know.

The queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess and frequently has to protect the rather weak king.

Just like in real life.
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
I want to go on Shark Tank and explain how I want $100k so I can take two years out of work and write as much smut as possible to have enough e-books to sell that I can quit the day job....

It would be worth the looks on their faces just to get up there and pitch it, especially when I describe the plot to Siblings with Benefits and talk about pitching it to showtime as their next late night dirty little secret show...

My wife came up with this while we were watching it the other night, granted it was after she killed a bottle of wine so it came across funnier than it would be....

That would be sooo funny lol Mark Cubans' face..lol. Unless you write a story involving the Mavs he would be in. Herjavec, has to have a story involving dogs..that almost sounds bad, but noy mean to be lol.
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