Monday, July 30, 2012

More About Digital Publishing from Smashwords

Another bit from the Smashwords newsletter that I found interesting was about pricing and how the big publisher’s pricing on the digitals is actually hurting authors. Big publishers charge more for their digital uploads than indie publishers like me (although it doesn’t cost them any more to post a book since the service is free and they cheat the reader by not allowing Amazon to loan to friends or even different readers owned by the same person – while I have to agree to that loan or charge less than $2.99 and receive 35% instead of 705). The publishers charge more because it justifies the high price of their paper books. However, they confuse money made with units sold. And units sold is what builds your following and your brand. From Smashwords: “One surprise, however, was that we found $2.99 books, on average, netted the authors more earnings (profit per unit, multiplied by units sold) than books priced at $6.99 and above. When we look at the $2.99 price point compared to $9.99, $2.99 earns the author slightly more, yet gains the author about four times as many readers. $2.99 ebooks earned the authors six times as many readers than books priced over $10. If an author can earn the same or greater income selling lower cost books, yet reach significantly more readers, then, drum roll please, it means the authors who are selling higher priced books through traditional publishers are at an extreme disadvantage to indie authors in terms of long term platform building. The lower-priced books are building author brand faster.” What is amazing and delightful is that only five years ago the digitals didn’t exist.

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