The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about how self-pubbed e-books are totally upending the e-book market. My favourite quote is from author John Locke, who sold 369,000 downloads of his seven novels on Amazon just in March. Locke says, “When I saw that highly successful authors were charging $9.99 for an e-book, I thought that if I can make a profit at 99 cents, I no longer have to prove I’m as good as them. Rather, they have to prove they are ten times better than me.”
With the economy faltering and readers still hungry for books for all those e-readers they got for Christmas, the market for cheap novels is going way up. Who wants to spend $14 for a quick read when you can get 14 novels for the same price? If ten of them are unreadable crap, you’re still ahead if you’ve discovered four good novels. Hey, you’re still ahead with two good novels.
But their are others out there who see this too. F + W Media has just launched a crime imprint that will sell just e-books, no print versions. Mystery authors who don’t want to self-pub should be getting their book pitches ready.
Those people at F + W are savvy. I’m guessing they’ll be pricing the mysteries higher than 99 cents, but way less than $14. I also bet they’ll offer authors better than 25% for e-book royalties. This is the future.