Google has been threatening getting into the book business – ebooks, for a long time now. It’s finally becoming a reality this June-July.
What does this mean? Nobody knows. Right now, as an author it’s easy to sell your books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBook Store, Sony ebook store, Smashwords, and other places.
Will Google allow private authors to sell their books through them? It’d be nice, but I’m not counting on anything. Google is taking 37% of each sale I think I read. That leaves 63% to be either given to the author, or split between author and publisher in case the author doesn’t have digital rights over his/her own book – and has to split it with the publisher.
Here’s a heads-up for those of you that have considered writing a book about Thailand. There have been really few decent fiction novels written with Thailand as a setting. If you get to work and come up with a book about a topic that even 1,000 people want to buy at $9.95 or $14.95 you can make 10-15,000 bucks selling it yourself on your own site.
Add to that another 1,000 sales at Amazon for which you make $5k and 1000 at the Apple iBook store where you make another $5k… and so on… see what I’m getting at?
That’s just one decent book. Write 10 and you have something that will support you a long time.
You know how easy it is to write a 100 page ebook? If you’re a writer – it’s not difficult to crank out 100 pages on a topic. Ebooks are naturally shorter in length than paperback books. Why? There aren’t any great ereaders being produced yet. The Amazon Kindle is about the best reader on the market – and nobody wants to buy it, it’s overpriced and black and white… and does little besides show a black text on a white background well.
Over the next year we should see good ereaders hit the market and slowly the world will use them more than buying paperback books. Digital authors are at the doorway of a revolution… where the power of publishing is their own. No longer do you need to find a publisher to print your book on paper. I don’t know why anyone would want to publish in paper anymore. Not only do you make FAR less money off each book you sell… (about $1.50 per book!) but, you give the publisher the rights to digitally market your book with Amazon and other online bookstores too! So, they get a cut – a big cut – off your work there too.
It’s time for authors to smarten up and learn about marketing their own books. It’s time to create a site for yourself and get to work marketing it. Book buyers would much rather give the author the cash – than the publishers.
As an author, if you sold the 3,000 books mentioned above, in paper with a publisher, you would gross about $4,500. If you sold them yourself and through the other two channels I mentioned, you would get about $20,000. That’s without Google’s bookstore – which may or may not allow authors to sell directly.
Not only would you make much more money – you would own all the rights to the books, and know where many of your customers came from. You could have collected their email addresses and emailed them the next time you released a book.
The smart thing to do is to start now and build your brand. You are the brand. Using your website, Twitter, Facebook, and whatever else, start becoming known for the genre(s) you like to write in. That’s where the power is… take the power away from the publishers and put it back into your own hands…
Write for you… stop writing for agents and publishers that have to approve of it before the public can see it.