The Future is Ebooks

Over on A Newbies Guide to Publish­ing,  Joe Konrath argues against the notion of an ebook bubble. He quite rightly points out that a bubble simply doesn’t make sense in this context. What’s clearly happen­ing is that ebooks are grow­ing as paper books decline and anyone crying bubble is prob­a­bly just look­ing for a way to deny that fact.

But that argu­ment sort of misses the point. Ebooks vs. paper books is just a format war. And anyone who’s into comput­ers must be used to those by now. The bigger issues involve distri­b­u­tion and pric­ing.

On The Tech­nium Kevin Kelly posits the 99 cent book. Some of which already exist as a result of Amazon’s Kindle publish­ing plat­form. The key here is his math. Kelly comes to the same conclu­sion I have, which is unless you’re a big name author you’ll make as much money per book sell­ing your ebook for 99 cents as you will sell­ing a paper back at market rates.

And if the ebook market contin­ues to grow as it has been, you’ll make more money sell­ing that ebook direct through Kindle rather than going through a publisher. Good for read­ers certainly and not neces­sar­ily bad for authors either. Though it may put even more empha­sis on market­ing.

Now all I have to do is get off my rear and actu­ally start writ­ing that web series I’ve been work­ing on…

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?


  • Thanks for list­ing my blog. Every­one is argu­ing but numbers aren’t some­thing that one can argue against. With my tradi­tional publisher, a $5.99 paper­back nets me .47. With my own publish­ing, a .99 lead nets me .34. With the $2.99 follows, I earn $2.09.

    • I think the reason there’s so much debate is it’s still diffi­cult to take those per book figures and fore­cast per book money. 

      I tend to think that a $0.99 price point could bring in enough sales to eclipse paper­back income, but that doesn’t factor in publisher advances. And how price sensi­tive are consumers? What is the differ­ence in sales between $0.99 and $2.99? But there are so many factors involved, its hard to come up with a conclu­sive answer.

      The more I look at it though, the harder it is to justify the current publisher model.

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