You can check out that article and see what other books they're buzzing about here.
Or here's the little blurb about my book:
My agent and editor and I tweeted the link in all our giddy excitement, and I posted it to my Facebook page. We got lots of lovely comments and enthusiasm, including a comment from an astute reader who noticed the Download and Go notation above my category. "Will it be available in print, or just e-book?" she inquired.
I'll confess, I felt a tiny flicker of embarrassment when I replied that for the time being, my new three-book series with Entangled will be e-book only. Since I don't embarrass easily, it was enough to make me sit back and ask myself, "what the hell?"
It won't surprise you to know I ask that a lot.
What I realized is that a small sliver of my brain still operates with the assumptions I had about publishing four or five years ago. What that brain-sliver doesn't realize is how wildly the industry has changed in that time, and how many of my previous assumptions have either been rendered incorrect, or were never correct to start with. Like what? you ask.
Allow me to share.
MISGUIDED THOUGHT #1: Books published only in e-book format or by independent publishers = not good enough to be traditionally published
|The first time I saw my book at WalMart.|
But things have changed, both in my own mind, and in the publishing industry. Plenty of awesome books are available in e-book only or published through smaller, independent presses. In the last two years, I've watched a number of mid-list authors with extremely strong writing careers make the switch from traditional publishing to these formats. It's essentially the reverse of what used to happen, where an author might opt for a smaller e-book only deal in hopes of eventually working her way toward a print deal. Why are they doing it? Well, that leads me to my next misguided thought.
MISGUIDED THOUGHT #2: Authors can't make any real money with e-publishers or independent presses
Once upon a time, romance authors in particular saw most of their sales from impulse buyers at WalMart or big-box bookstores. Oh, how times have changed. According to stats from RWA, Amazon.com and other e-commerce or e-book/audiobookretailers accounted for 54% of romance novel sales in 2012. By contrast, WalMart sold 13%, while Barnes & Noble got 11%. That's a pretty big shift from the days the complete opposite was true. According to RWA, "E-book sales of romance books have proportionally doubled in one year, from 22 percent in Q1 2011 to 44 percent in Q1 2012." You can bet that number will continue to climb as more and more people purchase e-readers. Speaking for myself, I can say without question I purchase more books on my Kindle (thanks to my heavy trigger-finger and the "buy with one click" option) than I ever used to buy in paperback. I still make impulse purchases, but I do it in my jammies with a glass of wine in hand.
What does all this mean for authors? Well, book sales = money. Higher book sales = more money. Authors are notoriously tight-lipped about the financial side of what they do, but many of us chatter privately to keep tabs on the industry. I can think of at least half-a-dozen author pals who've segued into indy publishing or e-book only deals in the last two years, and every single one of them is doing better financially than she was before. That's hard to ignore, especially for struggling mid-listers. As my agent has steered me toward book deals with Coliloquy and Entangled in the last year, this is the carrot she's dangled. I love carrots, and not just for their phallic shape.
MISGUIDED THOUGHT #3: Only the younger demographic owns e-readers I do a lot of chats with book clubs, and I was smacked squarely in the face by the ignorance of my own assumption in one of the very first Skype sessions with a group in the Midwest. The book club consisted of about a dozen women, all of whom were over 50. We'd been visiting maybe 30 minutes when I mentioned Getting Dumped, my interactive fiction title that allows for a sort of choose-your-own-adventure quality, thanks to e-book technology. The women were so excited about it, that I hated to burst their bubble by telling them it's only available in e-book format. "That's perfect!" they declared. "We can buy it right now." And every single one of them – including the woman who'd announced her age as 84 – whipped out her e-reader. Color me dumbfounded. I shouldn't have been, really. While younger readers may have an affinity for technology, older readers have the disposable income to afford it. Those with aging eyes like bumping up the type size with ease, and those who travel a lot love the convenience of packing hundreds of books in a device that fits easily in a purse and weighs only a few ounces. Are there still people who don't have e-readers? Absolutely, either because they can't afford the purchase or because they cling to the look and feel of a paperback book. I feel bad about that, and I can relate to wanting to stroke the pages and gaze lovingly at the cover of a paperback. But the more the market swings toward e-readers, the more I have to accept that I can reach the biggest audience that way.
So there you have it – three misguided thoughts I've been working to guide differently in recent years. How about you? Have your perceptions of publishing or e-readers changed in recent years? If so, how? Please share!