Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thoughts and Explanations of the Lawsuit against Apple and Publishers

So. This is happening: U.S. Sues Apple, Publishers Over E-Book Pricing (goes to the Wall Street Journal, so the link may expire).

For those of you who don't engage in regular discussions about the business side of publishing books, this is probably a case out of left field for you, but it's probably going to affect the consumer just as much as it does the companies involved.

By way of brief summary, here's what's going on:

Amazon sells books cheap.
Apple doesn't want to compete.
Publishers fear monopoly.
Apple and publishers accused of price-fixing.

If you want the slightly larger story, I elaborate:

(BIG FAT WARNING NOTE: I am not a lawyer. I am merely well-read. All of the information I'm giving to you has been condensed from other articles and essays and blogs elsewhere on the internet. Do not take what I have to say, word for word, as irrefutable truth. This is simply the situation as I understand it.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sales Report for March 2012

Well, we're a couple months into this whole indie publishing project now, so I suppose it's time for another checkup.

As I said last time, I'm not posting these to brag, but to give a picture of how a career begins to take form and grow into a profitable and sustainable lifestyle. No idea when that'll happen, but I will get there in time. So, if you're reading this today, I'm hoping you'll hang in there with me. If you're reading this from the future (following a major publication or award, I'm sure), I hope this gives you a picture of how long it took me to get there.

Right, now with the numbers. I have yet to figure out an easy way to report all this information, so I'll stick with the overly long listing method.

"Reserved for War: Paradise Remnants Episode 1"
Kindle: 2 ($0.70)
Nook: 0 ($0.00)
Smashwords: 0 ($0.00)

"Divided by Victory: Paradise Remnants Episode 2"
Kindle: 0 ($0.00)
Nook: 0 ($0.00)
Smashwords: 0 ($0.00)

"Armed for Battle: Paradise Remnants Episode 3"
Kindle: 0 ($0.00)
Nook: 0 ($0.00)
Smashwords: 1 ($0.56)

Kindle: 0 ($0.00)
Nook: 0 ($0.00)
Smashwords: 0 ($0.00)

So, for March, we have a total of 3 sales earning me $1.26. Lets set that up against the numbers from previous months:

January: 6 ($2.36)
February: 4 ($1.61)
March: 3 ($1.26)

Yeah, not all that encouraging as a general trend. Diminishing sales is usually a bad thing, right?

But I'm trying not to be discouraged. Three months does not a career make, after all. And I'm sitting here with no outside advertising (like, from magazine or novel publications) leading readers to my indie material. That's something I aim to remedy in the coming months, but it's a process that takes time.

The other, more encouraging trend that I've noticed, however, has to do with which items are selling. While I may have only sold 13 copies in the past three months (hey, I broke double digits, awesome!), it's important to note that 9 of those copies are of the first installment -- "Reserved for War." What I take this to mean is that people are starting to see a series developing through my consistent releases and  feel an urge to take a look. Whether or not they enjoy that first installment enough to continue reading (or to spread the word!) remains to be seen. And while this is hardly enough data to really prove anything (yet), I still find it an encouraging sign that the plan behind my whole gamble of "episodic releases" might actually be working.

That's all I have to say for this month. Now I'm off to prepare another release (slightly late due to Easter. Sorry.)

Until next time...
-joshua kehe