Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ebooks!

Seven years ago, ebooks were the Next Big Thing in publishing. Agents sold them for big bucks, publishers tripped all over themselves making sure they acquired the rights, and everyone was expectantly waiting for the day when the printing presses stopped forever because we all would be carrying libraries in the palm of our hands.

Well, it didn't happen.

Ebooks were published, in a variety of downloadable formats. But they never really took off. I blame several reasons:
  1. They were overpriced. Who would pay $15 for a text download when they could buy the paperback for $8?
  2. There was no standardization or universal compatibility. Different gizmos and websites used different formats.
  3. The equipment wasn't user-friendly. Reading on a tiny screen isn't fun, and trying to adjust margins on a PDA is a pain.
  4. Books are warmer. There's something about the feel of a book that people like, and they can drop it in the bathtub or take it to the beach without worrying about losing valuable electronic equipment.

So ebooks have arrived, but they don't seem to be doing much. On my last royalty statement, I believe I sold around five downloads.

But I think the tide is starting to change. People are more at ease with downloading content these days. The devices have gotten better, and less expensive. The Amazon Shorts program is getting customers to read on machines rather than on paper. Sony has released their long-awaited Portable Reader System. Project Gutenberg has almost 20,000 books available online. Google Book Search and Amazon offer searching through the content of books. And there's more and more websites that sell ebooks: www.ereader.com, www.ebooks.com, www.fictionwise.com, www.booksonboard.com, and dozens of others.

What does this mean for writers? Here are my predictions:

I predict that downloadable book sales (text, and especially audio) will continue to grow. People these days are either on their computers or traveling someplace, and both are conducive to reading.

I predict that books will become multimedia things like DVDs, offering more than just text (photos, music, video, interviews with the author, etc.) Print copies may soon be packaged with a DVD which contains a pdf or txt file. Downloads will have extra content, and will drop down in price.

I predict the viral nature of the Internet will help to create print bestsellers. Not necessarily through marketing or advertising, but through actual content. By this I mean giving the book away.

So I'm going to try it.

The savvy may have noticed the two book covers over the links in my sidebar. These covers lead to a new webpage on my site, which offers these books, in their entirety, for free.

I'm not the first person to try this. Matt Reilly released a YA adventure on his website in installments for free. Scott Sigler has been podcasting his books in installments. Stephen King wrote a story online in installments with mixed results. Douglas Clegg has been doing it for years. And there's an author whose name escapes me that will email you a story a week if you sign up for this service.

What I'm doing differently is giving away the whole thing at once. And I have a very specific reason for doing it this way.

I want to see what happens.

I'm a midlist author with a modest fanbase. Will that fanbase embrace the new technology? Will these freebies lead to new fans? Will this result in more website traffic, or publicity, or an increase in my print book sales? Will editors and movie producers start fighting over the rights?

Or am I giving away the milk, ensuring that I'll never sell the cow? Am I alienating my fans by giving them something other than Jack Daniels? Am I diluting my brand? Will I tick off my print publisher or my agent? Am I crazy to give away for free what I toiled over for years? Is this simply an exercise in vanity?

I truly dunno. But I've often thought that the best promotion in the world would be to give away 50,000 books. Get people hooked on the writing, and they'll become buyers. Like drugs.

I can't afford to do that. But I can give away ebooks.

I tried this in a limited way last year, for only a few weeks. Then I chickened out, worried about the many things I've mentioned above.

This time I'm going to stick with it until I'm able to draw some sort of conclusion.

So if you like James Rollins, Michael Crichton, and Preston & Child, check these books out---they're in the same vein. And feel free to pass the word along to others.

I'll be watching my StatCounter, and checking my bandwidth, and seeing what happens. It should be interesting...

48 comments:

The Dark Scribe said...

Hey Mr. Joe,

I, for one, think this is a great idea, and not just because it means I get to read more of your work for free. I'm in charge of the Bargain Department at B&N, and I've always been a believer in Publishers Remainders. Sure, the authors don't make a penny (directly) off the sale, but if the reader likes your work, he/she/it will come back and buy your backlist, and then your new book. It's an exercise in promotion.

Giving away a couple of ebooks is no different, really. People will surf in and take a taste. The worst that can happen is they hate your writing, or think it's "despicable filth." Too bad. It was free, so they can't complain too vehemently. On the other hand, maybe they'll think you've got something good here, and as a bookseller, I can assure you that leads to lots of sales, especially with your backlist.

I applaud your effort. And thank you. And now, I'm going to devle into Origins and try to work out where the hell I came from.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you've given up on trying to sell these books traditionally? Just curious...

JA Konrath said...

Thanks for the kind words, Paul.

Anon--I'll never give up trying to sell these books traditionally.

Of the nine books I wrote prior to Whiskey Sour, these are the two I really thought had potential. NY didn't agree with me. All the big houses passed, and they sang the same song "technothrillers shouldn't be funny."

If I ever attain a small degree of fame, maybe a publisher will snap these up. I wish they would see print, because I believe in them. That may be bias on my part, but I don't feel that away about any of my other orphaned books.

meika said...

ebooks will come of age when you can buy a 300+ page e-ink device on which one can download a novel over USB or similar and read it like an ordinary book and thus it will have NO BATTERIES and it will work and look and feel more like a normal book

current ebook readers have one e-ink screen which has to be refreshed for each page, this is a crap design, but then with my dream wish design e-paper has to be 300 times cheaper than it is today

BTW you can download my own little effort at self-publishing at http://meika.loofs-samorzewski.com

Or download the PDF of .before Country directly at http://meika.loofs-samorzewski.com/pdf/beforecountry-meika.pdf

I'll be releasing it as a hard copy in February next year, but I can't decide if the PDF is a promotional review copy for the hard copy, or the hard copy is a whip-like advert for the PDF, its had 300 downloads so far

in the digital age the advert is the product

I'll just go and download your now...

:)

Mark said...

I doubt e-books will take off and overpower regular books any time soon for any number of reasons, including cost and difficulty/discomfort reading on-screen, but I expect it to grow in a way similar to audiobooks.

That said, I've read ORIGINS and I'm actually disappointed the NY publishers turned it down. It was a lot of fun. I'll take a look at the other one.

Best,
Mark Terry
www.markterrybooks.com

Aimless Writer said...

I'm not a big fan of ebooks simply for the fact that I can't put them in my purse and take them with me and I can't lay in bed and read them. Ok, I can prop the laptop up on the night stand but that really doesn't work. Besides, I work on a computer all day long! I'd rather take a break from that glaring monitor with the calming pages of a book. Of course I could print them out and then I have all these big lose pages flopping around.
No, thats no fun.
I might check out the "free" ebooks simply because they're free but I'd rather have a book in hand to hold, take with me to the doctor's appointment, keep in my car for those traffic jams or just to hide behind when I want people to leave me alone.

Jim Winter said...

I remember seeing Walter Mosley last year, and he said he loved e-books because he traveled so much.

"I just load up a few books on my PDA, and then airports seem bearable."

Airports are big book markets as it is. Joe, books like yours I always hear referred to as "airport books." So that interminable wait in Hell, known variously as O'Hare or Atlanta-Hartsfield, actually becomes a break from work.

So I think we're onto something here.

Finally.

Chris Howard said...

Thanks! I just downloaded the PDFs of Origin and The List. Hooked from the first page of List.

Have you thought about doing a limited run with these, something along the lines of the short run specialties Subterranean Press puts out? http://www.subterraneanpress.com/

I know you haven't Creative Commons licensed these, but email Cory Doctorow and get him to post about your books on BoingBoing. He's done very well with this model, selling print editions along with free eBooks. He gave me a nodding plug for a YA SF thriller I posted (http://www.lykeionbooks.com/nanowhere/) and I have had over 5000 downloads since May--worldwide.

I know what I'm reading tonight. Thanks again.

P.S. One suggestion: Add your name to the file name, so instead of List.pdf, make it something like, KonrathList.pdf. This isn't as much of an issue on a reader, where I wouldn't be launching the book from the file system.

ec said...

Good for you! :) I've been thinking along these lines recently, for exactly the same reasons, so I'll be very interested in your observations.

My husband recently got the Sony e-book reader, and he loves it--so much so that he has sworn off print books. The screen is the size of a paperback, the book is slim and small and easy to hold, the print and screen are both very easy on the eyes (and the font size is adjustable.) It's great for travel, reading in bed--you name it. He's not a read-in-the-bathtub kind of guy, so that's not an issue.

There are down sides, of course, the price first and foremost. The book downloads are reasonable, but the Sony e-reader itself is about $300. And the Sony e-book website is poorly organized and difficult to navigate. Not a good situation when you can't search an online bookstore by author.

I think e-books will really take off when electronic readers start to replace textbooks in middle schools. That's not as crazy as it sounds. The price doesn't have to come TOO far down before an ebook with textbook downloads is cheaper than a stack of textbooks. (For that matter, it might be cheaper already...) And I'm looking forward to the day when a sixty-pound kid doesn't have to carry a backbag with 45 pounds of books.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I know it' a different genre, but Baen books has had success with that idea. THey have a free library and have cd's with much like the extras you describe.

I look forward to reading your pixelated work.

Rob in Denver said...

I like that authors are using the digital format for their works because any time they get more people reading it's a good thing.

I do, however, disagree that full-length e-books will take off to a degree that's significantly more than what's already occurred.

For one, serious book people are a lot like serious music people (and I put myself in both those camps): they like to be among what they love and with others who do, too. Going to the bookstore or going to the record store is as much apart of the experience as what they buy. As a result, people like me will always want to have something they can put on their shelves and touch whenever they want. This doesn't mean that we disregard the digital versions of our passions... each has its place. Digital music has taken off because, in large part, enjoying it is relatively passive. Reading is a different animal altogether.

The second reason that e-books will continue to struggle for wider acceptance is that people read screen text about 25 percent slower than they read printed text. How many people--without taking a Xerox subsidy from work--can print up a 300-page book to make it easier for them to read? How many even want to? I downloaded Origin back when you had it available at your Web site the first time. I printed it and haven't read it yet (although I plan to). The reason is that it's single-sided on 8 1/2 x 11 paper... a format that's still not easily portable.

At any rate, I'm grateful when people give away free books. So, thanks. I'll add The List to the queue.

Stacey Cochran said...

I am reading this blog in the hospital in Raleigh. My wife is in labor. It's 10:48 AM Thursday, and she and I have been here since last night around 9:00 PM.

So, it's a real treat to get to finally read Origin.

As I am currently writing my tenth novel and my first nine all remain unsold, it is helpful to see where you were as a writer prior to Jack Daniels.

Incidentally, I'll be doing updates with photos from the hospital throughout the day on my blog.

This is our first baby.

Now, back to Origin.

Stacey

Mike said...

I downloaded them.

I think you'll probably get a fair number of downloads wanting to read something that you have written that isn't a Daniel's novel. It's fun to read different kinds of books by one author. I tend to get tired of reading the same characters over and over again for more than a few books.

Also, back before my Palm broke, I used to buy quite a few books from fictionwise but only when a book's price dropped below paperback cost.

JA Konrath said...

Meika--I downloaded your ebook, and it has a much nicer layout than mine. I may have to reformat.

Mark--I rewrote ORIGIN since then, making it scarier as many folks suggested, and lessoning the comedy.

Aimless--I'm not a huge fan of reading on my computer, but I'm hoping people with handheld devices will give these a shot.

Jim--portable devices have two advantages; they can hold more than one book, and they're backlit.

Chris--a small press would do a nice job with these, but then my name would be attached to small numbers...numbers that would follow me when bookstores order copies. Better to give them out freely until the big boys show an interest. Thanks for the Creative Commons tip.

ec--You can download these to your husband's Sony reader as pdf, html, and the Sony read format lrf. I wasn't able to test them on the SOny because I don't have one, so if your husband would like to try it I'd love his comments on how it looks and the formatting.

Anon--I'll have to check out Baen.

Rob--Good points. Music is passive, and does lend itself to filesharing more than the written word. Perhaps I should take a few days and record these as audiobooks...

Jude Hardin said...

Good luck with these, Joe. Both novels have a "high concept" hook, and that's a good thing.

Some of my internet pals have ebooks out, and I've bought some shorts from Amazon, but I REALLY prefer good old fashioned ink and paper. Of course, I still love wooden tennis racquets and manual typewriters...

I'm proud to be an American...

dinosaur. :)

JA Konrath said...

Stacey--Keep us posted. And when you're holding her hand, take off your wedding ring (when she squeezes your fingers during a contraction it is torture when your ring is on.)

Thanks, Mike. My bias is showing, but I like these two books more than the Jack series.

Rob in Denver said...

Joe wrote:
"Perhaps I should take a few days and record these as audiobooks..."

It might be a worthwhile endeavor. Ian Hocking did it with his book, Déjà Vu.

Get the audio at http://www.ianhocking.com/dejavu/audiobook.html

Jeremy James said...

First off, Joe, this is a great idea!

As someone else already mentioned, Cory Doctorow is one of the pioneers. But I think it's important people realize *WHY* he's doing it. This link ought to be required reading for new and midlist authors: Cory's Speech On Ebooks (transcript).

Coincidently, I've been adding a ton of links on this very topic to my blog, which you can find here: Writing Links. (Lot's of stuff on copyright and alternative publishing business models, too.)

When I finish my novel, I will definitely be releasing it under a creative commons license. Please keep us updated, Mr. Konrath.

By the way, I just bought Whiskey Sour for my wife and she loved it!

JA Konrath said...

Oddly enough, I'm on a panel with Cory about writers and the internet on January 18 at the NY public library for Google.

I dunno if this is free to attend or not. More info as I get it.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you, Joe.

You always take the risks many others won't.

Working for an Internet Firm (we build websites, and I'm their head copywriter and content strategist) I am a big proponent of first adopters.

I imagine this will work for you, especially if it gets viral and some of us do a little work for you.

Keep up the smart risks!

JR

Marti said...

I think that's great! I'm giving away River of Possibilities, my new
paranormal novel.

I blogged the entire book, one page per post. Good picture of
the cover there, which I designed.
http://riverofpossibilities.blogspot.com/

Print version is for sale at:
http://lulu.com/martilawrence

I am eager to hear your thoughts. I firmly beleive that there are people who will read part or all of the free blog version and want to purchase a print copy.

Also running a contest to win a free print copy.

I have gotten a lot of press for Book Squid of late, hope that has sent you some new faces. Uploaded a very nic pic of you from Fantastic Fiction.

Thanks for always being so supportive! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Marti

Allison Brennan said...

Hi Joe: you might not know this, but Harlequin has been doing this for quite some time. They have their authors come in and write short stories or novellas online for members of the eHarlequin community. It's free. I look forward to seeing your analysis.

Like you, my ebook sales are low. Very low. Like .1% of total sales. And my ebooks were available everywhere ebooks were sold. The big authors probably have similar numbers (percentage) -- I heard from one major NYT author that her ebook sales were about 300 copies.

I like giving customers a choice, and I agree that ebook sales will continue to grow as a percentage of total book sales, but I've never believed and I still don't that they'll REPLACE print books.

I like a lot of your ideas about having a DVD sold with the book, added content to the ebook to justify keeping the price the same as the print book, etc. But until the numbers start increasing, I don't see the publishers really focusing on this. It'll take an innovative small press (most likely) to start something that will be successful, and then the bigger pubs will do it, well, bigger.

I don't read books on computer. I hate it. It feels like work. I have considered getting the new Sony ereader because it seems to be the best on the market for looking like a book, but there's still some glitches. I might wait for the next version.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe.

This sounds like an interesting experiment, I doubt you'll be the only one monitoring the results.:)

Have downloaded both (HTML) and will read them although I find reading on a PC hard. Can't afford to buy any of these newfangled reading gadgets anyway but I must admit a preference for books in traditional printed form.

I was impressed with the download speed. I'm on dial up and it makes a big difference when someone has allocated generous bandwidth to the download. It also makes sense from a marketing perspective.

Thanks for the freebies. Maybe one day I'll be in a position to reciprocate, in the meantime I will spread your name as best I can.

meika said...

thanks for the compliment on the layout! I spent a lot of time on it because the punctuation is weird and so has to be better than the average to support it

ditto the suggestion to rename your filenames, I suggest,

Konrath, Ja - Bookname.filetype

Its what I immediately did when I downloaded yours.

Which I should do too I guess!!

I read ebooks on a ten year old Apple Newton PDA, except they are heavy they have the largest screen still of any PDA, and a good community support

I still reckon ebook readers should have 300 pages

spyscribbler said...

Hey, thanks! I get to read them on my palm pilot, too!

I think if the iPod ever allows for ebooks, they'll be more of a hit, especially among the younger set. The thought of carrying around all your books with you--like all our music--is a great one. I believe (but who really knows) that if iPod made a big deal out of it, then ebook sales would shoot up. Just my thoughts, though.

Right now, ebooks are most effective in the niche audiences. Not exactly career-making unless you write a ton of them, though.

Tattieheid said...

Hi Joe,

I was anon 5.41 (sometimes I hate blogger's comment system.)

Downloaded Origins and read it (fast) in one go. See what people mean about your gory imagination.

I loved it, had to finish it and will re-read it later to really appreciate it properly.

The publishers were wrong it's a brilliant concept and would also make a great film, easily match Alien for suspense, horror, gore and most of all humour. Try selling the film rights.

I'm off to bed though I hope I don't dream tonight, if I manage to sleep at all. :)

Tattieheid said...

Forgot to mention I'm in the UK it's 3.30am here and way past my bedtime.:)

M.J. said...

Its so funny on the internet - things we did in 1998 happened so long ago that when someone does it now it seems brand new. Doug Clegg did start doing it back then, me too. Lots of people did. And to some degree it helped some of us build up our fan base.

Shorter is better though, most of us found out. Segment the book into four parts and give away a part a week for four weeks and make it an exclusive event. Then wait a few months and do the next book the same way. Don't just leave them up there forever - people stop seeing what is in front of their nose.

Chrystalline said...

Found you from somebody's writing blog
:: blushes and mumbles :: hadn't heard of you before and can't remember which one it was because I just added 40-something feeds to my To Read list in the last week or two...

Anyway!

1. Absolutely true. I actually don't mind reading onscreen (usually Fanfiction;) so I considered buying ebooks in a favorite series (okay, yes, it's Star Trek), but when I saw that the ebook was exactly the same price as the paperback, I decided I'd rather have the paperback. I ended up not buying either one, and have forgotten which title in the series it was.

2, 3 & 4. Definitely. Standardization has benefits for consumers as well as for businesses.

It's a good list, but you forgot:

5. You can't sell a used ebook like you can a used hardcopy. With paperbacks, if you didn't like it, you can give it to a friend/relative or sell it to a used bookstore. With ebooks, all you can do is delete it. I'm not arguing for the right to resell ebooks, mind, but it is a factor.

6. With the copy-protection and DMCA, you often can't make a reliable backup (in some cases, I got the impression you couldn't even use a single ebook on more than one computer) which means if something happens to your reader, you have to re-buy all your books. Yes, catastrophe can happen even to hardcopy books, but it's a lot easier to destroy a huge library of ebooks.

Anyway, haven't read your Jack Daniels stuff (not really into alcohol, so I didn't quite get the whole theme of the titles at first) but I'm going to give your free ebooks a try.

Tom Schreck said...

A couple of my Amazon Shorts hit number one and the other peaked at Number Two but was listed as an Editor's Pick.

I'm thrilled and I printed out the list to show all the girls who wouldn't go out with me in college but I have no idea how many people these stories are reaching.

My goal is to develop a fan base that will follow me when my novel comes out in September.

We'll see. Till then I'll keep hanging around with Joe Konrath for attention.

JA Konrath said...

Did the Internet exist in '98? :)

I should have guessed MJ did this before. She's set the bar for everything.

Would you give away a free ebook again MJ? Why or why not?

I see your point about leaving it up too long, but I've had some short story and article downloads on my homepage for three years now, and each year has more downloads than the previous year. I have to add extra bandwith to my site every few months. My data transfer rate is between 7 and 8 gigs a month right now. In 2003 it was less than 1 gig.

Matt Jarpe said...

Thanks for the free books, Joe. I've loved this subgenre since I read Michael Connelly's "Chasing the Dime."

I'm putting up my "backlist" of short stories on my web site to help promote the launch of my first novel next August. I've got six that were published in the science fiction digest magazines over the past few years. I just wanted to add some content to my web site to keep people tuning in.

By the way, this web site has been an invaluable resources for me in planning my publicity efforts. I'm plowing all of my advance into promotion, and none of it will go towards postcards.

Echelon Press said...

Joe,

I'm not a big fan of e-books as a rule, but I took the plunge and bought an obsolete EBookman and it has been a joy. IT only cost me $40 and I can hold 8 books at a time on it. Not bad.

It has introduced me to authors I may not have read otherwise and it is a very comfprtable device...hold my packages in one hand in line at the post office and hold the device in the other while turning the page with my thumb. Cool thing.

Hope you reach you 50,000 goal with these downloads.

www.echelonpress.com

Marti said...

Congratulations to Stacey - I just checked his blog and they have a baby boy!

JA Konrath said...

Congrats, Stacey! He's adorable!

Stacey Cochran said...

Thanks, Joe!

The baby is doing well. There are photos and videos at StaceyCochran.com.

Incidentally, my novel Amber Page is paired with Lemony Snicket for the month of December. I could sure use some good reviews. That would be an awesome gift, everybody!

Anonymous said...

This is great!

And I love the WAY you're doing it. 1998 was a very long time ago. A complete download is more modern than serialisation (people don't like to wait). And do keep it on the site as long as it's receiving interest - to a brand new visitor it will be a brand new feature.

Thank you, Joe!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

I think you're right about audio. Audio is definitely the lazy -- or busy -- person's way to read. It's about the only way I get anything read these days (when I'm driving).

But I don't think ebooks will ever really work. As promotion? Sure. As long as you stick to short form.

But, like you said, there's something about the feel of a book.

Allison Brennan said...

I love books on tape. I used to listen to them all the time while commuting to and from work. But with the kids? Nope, can't do it anymore. Before kids, my hubby and I used to day day trips a lot or weekend overnighters and listened as well.

MJ said...

Change is a very important part of basic marketing. You have to keep refreshing the message.

I’m not saying your traffic isn’t going up Joe – or that more and more people aren’t buying your shorts. I’m saying if you want to get the most people buying or downloading then use what we know about how people respond to visual stimuli.

They respond when the picture changes. It’s simple -- If you go on a business trip and come home to your beloved spouse after not seeing her for 10 days, chances you’re going to see her different – with a fresher eye—than if you came down to breakfast for the 789th day I a row of having breakfast with her.

That’s why people run different versions of ads within a campaign. Or stop running them after a month, skip a month and start again.

We get used to what is in front of us.

So if you post a new segment every week for four weeks with a different cover each time you should get more people to notice each one than if you left the one cover up for the whole four weeks.

I’m not suggesting serializing – but cutting it into four pieces- have more fun with it. It’s not a traditional book – so don’t treat it like one. Don’t force it into a format just because that’s the old format.

And yes, if I had the material, I’d do a free e-book. But I’d try to play with it. I wouldn’t do a 300 page novel. I’d rather do something that would be different in some way. (The problem for me is that for the last 18 months and for the foreseeable future I’m working on novels that are more complicated than what I used to write and I don’t have any extra time.)

JA Konrath said...

All good points MJ, as usual. :)

Megalion said...

I read Origin last year sometime... I guess I was lucky enough to catch it when you had it up then.

It was really good and I was surprised cause I hate the idea of ebooks and didn't think I'd really read it. I ended up spending over an hour at work just reading the book cause I couldn't stop!

So I want a sequel now! I'd buy it. I just sent you email about a possible way to POD... I've been out of touch with your blog lately but hopefully I didn't miss you talking about it already.

meika said...

my trackback

Maria said...

Just adding my opinion after reading all these:

I will read ebooks quite happily if they are cheaper than a paperback. I go for the cheapest quite often and I don't mind reading on the screen, barely notice it.

Yes, it's nice to hold a book. Save me 3 bucks? I'll take the ebook. Same price? I'll take the book or I won't buy at all if I have doubts about liking it.

Joe, if you had done a serialization of a novel, I would not have read it. I HATE books where I'm expected to wait and read on someone else's schedule. I won't read short stories that come out in two parts unless both parts are already out and available at the same time.

Ebooks will catch on if they offer something the hardcopy doesn't--like a cheaper price.

Oh-one other thing I thought...I would associate The List, not with Michael Connelly and other "thriller" writers, but publishers like Baen and Tor.

And I totally agree with whoever wrote that they like to read fresh stuff from an author, rather than series. I rarely read more than 2 or 3 books in a "series" or 3 books with the same characters. I know the publishers think series are great and all, but I'm much more likely to buy a book by an author whose work I liked when it ISN'T a series. Just a personal preference and nothing to do with any particular author.

Anonymous said...

I'll give it a try, I linked to your article from ebooks, ibooks, gbooks

JMcIntyre said...

Hi,

I think you're right about eBooks gaining market share over the next few years. A longtime user of eBooks myself, I have noticed a significant increase in the quality, compatibility, and downloadability of eBooks. As a teacher, I now buy all my teaching materials at http://www.dedicatedteacher.com since I think they've gotten it right. Being able to read the sample chapters that they supply is a big help, and they charge much less than the specialty bookstores that usually sell these books. I think you're on the right track giving away a sample of your books, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the success.

Adrian Forman said...

Hi Joe,

Firstly as a very newcomer to the world of helpful authors on the internet, thank you for your generous help for us newbies (MJ also was a great help with her Buzz-your-Book.

Having decided just two weeks ago to update my book projects website and join the interactive idea with possible fans

I have been researching (And still am) facebook, blog & twitter to decide what suits my books best.
I started with British Society of Authors old Journal articles, then Author websites which have proved a great source...

But alas I am not a author of the popular and readable Thrillers, but a writer of specialised dry old and dusty reference books on mainly military medal (Numismatic) subjects with many images.

A small niche market but I am known in my subject so maybe that will help boost sales as well.

its time to try to put my old titles on ebooks but again not sure if possible as average of 500 to 1000 images in each work.

Joe I am of course deeply engrossed in your great book The Newbie's Guide to Publishing and right now looking at chapter on ebooks hence this response again thanks for Free download.

I have loved books since I was a boy, still surrounded by them, but think ebooks suitable for travelling, coffee shop visits , researching in Libraries or reading in bed, as well as the new younger generations so familiar with the world of modern devices...

Adrian Forman Devon England

Mike Fook said...

I just posted an article about this article you wrote 5 years ago (set to drip tomorrow). Wow... great stuff, even from back then. Obviously your life - your daily marketing of yourself - prepared you for wild success once ebooks gained some traction. It's only going to get better. Glad to be on-board with you - though behind you by a good deal. I think anyone that starts now - can be enjoying success five years down the line.