Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3G Kindle at AT&T stores - Random House US goes 'Agency'- Indie author's $$$Sales

KINDLE NEWS March 1, 2011

This means you can "test drive" a Kindle 3 at any AT&T store soon, and there are about 2,200 AT&T stores.  Here is info from AT&T on this.

Also, they will carry ONLY the 3G model, not the WiFi one, since they provide the 3G cellular wireless, which is free for Kindle customers (and best used with text-oriented sites with slower E-Ink) and it's speculated by JPMorgan & Chase Co. analyst Philip Cusick that AT&T will get a few dollars per Kindle sale.  These will sell at the same price as from Amazon: $189.

L. A. Times's Carolyn Kellogg reports that the last of the "Big 6" publishing houses is moving to the Agency model for e-books, which is noted most of all, by consumers, for its higher e-book pricing over the last year that it's been put in place.  Apple's iPad2 announcement tomorrow will probably include that Random House has been accepted into Apple's iBook store, rather than kept out because they would not accept the Agency model terms earlier.

  I mentioned other day that the Agency model and the pricing wars have less to do with the amount of immediate profit-taking than 'control' over the e-book market, which is threatening the paper-based book market and its profits - the main and admitted concern of the Big 6 publishers.
  As Random House put it:
' "Going forward, Random House will set consumer prices for the e‐books we publish, and we will provide retailers with a commission for each sale," Random House said in a statement.  The agency model guarantees a higher margin for retailers than did our previous sales terms. We are making this change both as an investment in the successful digital transition of our existing partners and in order to give us the opportunity to forge new retail relationships." '
  Translation: Apple is ultra-likely to announce Tuesday that Random House has come within the fold.

  Apple and Random House are said to have been in negotiations since December.  We can hope that Random House may choose to set lower prices than the Big5 did during the last year.  The American Booksellers Assn. gave "strong support" to the move.

Not surprisingly, to those following the UK scene, Random House's UK company is not going Agency.  The Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") launched an investigation into e-book pricing in February, and publishers outside the Agency model "said they would be more cautious about it while it was under review."

  The Amazon UK forum "Agency Pricing" message thread is still going strong (with 1727 posts since mid-October, and the last message, dated today, says:
' Posted on 1 Mar 2011 10:21 GMT
Izzy says:
Well I'm glad many of us emailed the OFT and that they are looking into it because Random House US is going agency too, but not Random House UK... phew.  It's very unlikely that any UK publishers will switch to agency while it's under investigation. '
They have been comparing pricing and ways to bring e-book pricing back to what made sense to them as Kindle owners until the Agency plan started taking hold even there.

That's sort of old news, courtesy of USA Today on February 9, but the story has been picked up more in the last couple of weeks and while I won't name the online zines that had so much "misinformation" in them (Amanda Hocking's word), including the misspelling of her name several times in one article as well as statements that she receives 70% of a sale for 99-cent books (not true, it's 35% for books under $2.99), it's been time-consuming to try to get more factually-based info.  But we have access to her blog for that.

Her success in sales should be given some attention by the Big 6 publishers in connection with their favored higher-ebook-pricing Agency plan.  They tend to insist that no one will be 'discovered' without their help.

According to the USA Today article, she started self-publishing in March, was selling hundreds of copies by May and thousands by June, at prices between 99c and $2.99.
' "More astounding: This January she sold more than 450,000 copies of her nine titles. More than 99% were e-books."
. . .
In fact, Hocking is selling so well that on Thursday, the three titles in her Trylle Trilogy (Switched, Torn and Ascend, the latest) will make their debuts in the top 50 of USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list.

A recent survey shows 20 million people read e-books last year, and more self-published authors are taking advantage of the trend. '

  To see Amanda Hocking's list of facts to offset the misinformation online, see the 'Misinformation and Corrections' entry at her blog.

  Essentially, she is 26, has published eight books and one novella, "so there are nine works that you can purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Smashwords."
  She was never traditionally published and still has not been traditionally published.
  Hocking first published two books in April 15, 2010 and in less than a year, she's "sold over 900,000 copies of over nine different books."
  Has been on the USA Today Bestseller list but not the NY Times List.
  She has an interview with Elle that will be in the April issue and is due to be interviewed by Better TV in late March.
  She writes "young adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy, mostly."

  Her Trylle Trilogy has been optioned for a film and is "a paranormal romance without vampires, shifters, mermaids, fae, angels, dragons, ghosts, or ninjas."
  On the other hand, her latest, Hollowland, IS a zombie urban fantasy, a bit more gritty than her previous books but romance remains part of the mix.  It already has 83 customer reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars.  I have no idea why zombies are so 'in' these days and will add that's not a draw for me, but I do like that she has used a background of very-early writing focus and years of serious classes in writing and has exploded on the scene, enjoyed by many paying-customers despite no help whatsoever from the traditional large publishers.  Read her blog to see the avenues she uses for getting the word out.
  Here's her Amazon Author page.

Authors and Kindle Publishing.

A Kindle World Blog history of articles on the e-book pricing wars

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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