I’ve been staying out of the Dragon Awards because I haven’t had the funds to buy new books this year and I didn’t want to nominate books that I had not read simply because I was fans or friend of the author. I am glad that Dave Weber, Dave Freer, Larry Corriea, Eric Flint, John Wright and other great people I’ve come to know were nominated. Over all the noms look solid. What makes the Dragon Awards different? Attitude!!! This is the attitude of the Dragon organizers.
I’ve posted about how publishing has gone off track, but this comment from John Wright on Vox Day’s page lays it all out.
That traditional publishing is putting out?
According to Publisher’s Weekly, a report by the Association of American Publishers’ shows that overall publishing industry sales fell by 2.6% last year when compared to figures from 2014. Now that we have a clearer picture of the industry’s struggles in 2015, we can tell that sales declined in five of the seven major markets. The only industry segments to show improvement, in fact, were adult books and books from religious presses, which increased sales by 2.2% and 1.2% respectively. Overall industry revenue fell from $15.82 billion in 2014 to $15.41 billion in 2015.
One of the more glaring narratives to come from the report shows that digital audiobook sales, which rose by nearly 40%, helped carry the adult books segment out of the red. It’s remarkable, too, that audiobooks should be booming in a historical moment that privileges debate about the print vs. digital divide. Along these lines, too, adult coloring books, which are print but not conventionally so, helped bolster trade paperback sales, which rose by more than 16%. And, as was projected, ebook sales fell by 9.5% in the adult category alone. In the YA category, PW reports, ebook sales declined by 43.3%.
The picture given by the AAP report, which surveys more than 1,200 publishers, confirms speculation about weak sales in broader publishing from the end of last year. But some have wondered whether a growing shadow market of self-published ebooks on platforms like Amazon’s KDP may be skewing the total numbers. Given that many of these ebooks aren’t registered by conventional means, it remains impossible to tabulate their impact on the market. The question of whether such a shadow market would bring overall industry numbers out of the red remains unanswerable.
Last year one of the biggest battles in publishing was between Amazon and Hachette over the pricing of books. The big five publishers were playing hardball with their biggest retail and eventually the retailer ended up saying “meh, do you what you want.” What the big five didn’t realize that Amazon on was only responding to their customers and using price data based on customer purchases. Well the numbers are in and the customers have spoken.
It turns out that Amazon was right and customers did not have such love of traditional authors and the Big Five’s books that they were willing to pay full price or more for electronic books. This is good news for indie writers and Very Bad News for the Big Five.
Free Books. What’s to lose. Except the Baen ones. Watch out for those. The late Jim Baen said that free books were like crack. They got you hooked. Jim was an unsung marketing genius.
Well, it depends on the ebook, and where it comes from. Most of the free ebooks being offered by Baen Books range from “good” to “AWESOME” – three stars or more up to five stars. They include books by John Ringo (A Hymn Before Battle, Emerald Sea, Gust Front, There Will Be Dragons), Tom Kratman (Caliphate, A Desert Called Peace), Sharon Lee (Agent of Change, Fledgling), Sarah Hoyt (Draw One in the Dark), Michael Z. Williamson (Freehold), David Drake (The Sea Hag, Old Nathan, Redliners, Northworld Trilogy), David Weber (Oath of Swords, On Basilisk Station, The Honor of the Queen), Dave Freer (The Forlorn), Eric Flynt (1632), and Andre Norton (Star Soldiers, The Time Traders) (note: these are just the ones I’ve read, not all the free ebooks listed). These authors have made one or more of their books available for free. They are all complete…
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