May 13

E-Books Outsell Paperbacks for the First Time

The Association for American Publishers announced last month that during February, more eBooks than hard-copy paperbacks were sold. Here are the numbers. I am quoting the AAP Monthly Sales Report for February 2011, released in April 2011:

"Other highlights in the February 2011 report (all February 2011 vs February 2010 unless otherwise noted):

Digital categories:
E-Book sales were $90.3 Million, growing 202.3% vs February 2010. Downloaded Audiobooks were $6.9M, an increase of 36.7%.

Trade categories:
Adult Trade categories combined (Hardcover, Paperback and Mass Market) were $156.8M, down 34.4%. [that's Catherine's emphasis. ]Children’s/Young Adult categories combined (Hardcover and Paperback) were $58.5M, a decline of 16.1%

*Year-to-date 2011 vs YTD 2010: E-Books increased by 169.4% while all categories combined of print Trade books declined by 24.8% . . . .

The AAP monthly and year-end sales report represents data provided by 84 U.S. publishing houses representing major commercial, education, professional, scholarly and independents. Data on e-Books comes from 16 houses. The report does not include all book and journal net sales but provides what’s acknowledged as the best industry snapshot currently available."

The report says that the spike in E-Book sales is credited to people receiving Kindles & other E-readers as holiday gifts. (Have one yet? Remember 2008 when Kindles were new and $399 and now they're going for half that?) E-Book sales have been slightly lower in subsequent months. But you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows...Those of you with books, how will you rethink your sales strategies?
May 05

Harper's Choice: Evolve or Go Broke

What did I write here a month ago (Jan. 17) about a pair of successful authors saying, to everyone's shock, that Sure they'd show free chapters on their website, sure they'd give freebie advice on their blogs, sure they will. . . and do. . .and "You can't give too much away". . .

Now read this from today's NYT: Harper Collins is Giving Away Free Books on their website! This is the way of the 21st century. All writers waiting for Maxwell Perkins to rise from the dead, discover you, believe in you, cultivate your talent line by line, and publish all your work in The Atlantic and then your books through Scribner's. . . . it's time to evolve.