Thursday, July 22, 2010

Everyone's Talking About Amazon's Kindle Sales vs. Hardcover!

Long time subscriber of my Sharing with Writers newsletter Virgil Jose, sent this link of an article on Amazon’s Kindle sales. And I’d already cut a clipping from the LA Times. I mean, this is some news, right?

http://www.latimes.com/business/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-us-amazon-kindle-sales,0,7931535.story

Wrong. Everyone is talking about it but most are misconstruing it (Virgil was not one of them. He just knew that it was news we should all be paying attention to.)

Amazon claims their Kindle sales are 80% higher than hardcover books at Amazon. I was having a hard time believing that because Kindle titles are so much more limited and because I could see how my own paperback sales compared to Kindle sales, so I reread the article. And lo! Read a little farther down in a very long article and we find those hardcover figures they’re comparing Kindle sales to do not include paperbacks! Duhh!

So where is the news? It is soooo misleading! A real newsmaker...but misleading! Paperbacks have outsold hardcovers for a long, long time, and these figures don’t include them. Further down in the article, they talk about the recent cut in the relatively expensive Kindle reader and how that may have spurred sales, too. After all, new Kindle customers must have something to read on their Kindles and may load up while they’re at it.

Something that wasn’t addressed at all is that Amazon has so many free titles on Kindle. Were they included in the Kindle sales column? What do you think?

Sometimes multi tasking, speed reading, and skimming headlines are not productive.

So, are e-book sales “up-ending” the industry. Hardly. That doesn’t mean e-books aren’t really, really important. My advice for independent authors and small publishers: Certainly pay attention. Get your titles onto Kindle while you can do it free. I’ve been lagging behind with my four new titles published this year (including booklets). I’m toodling over to Amazon right now to rectify that! But am I going to publish e-books exclusive with the notion that I’m looking to the future. Not on your life!

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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