Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Sales Down? You're Not Alone~

I have seen a lot of romance authors mentioning the fact sales are down for e-published and self-published digital books alike.
The downward turn started last year and continues. We knew it would reach a plateau at some point and I believe it has.
All the predictions that print would disappear and e-books would rule the world has not happened. Print has diminished, but it will not completely disappear.

In a rabid scramble to snatch up decreasing dollars being spent on ebooks, authors and epublishers alike are slashing prices or offering books for free, anything to stimulate sales. Some epublishers are offering books for 99 cents for the first few weeks after the release in order to gain a huge bump and perhaps make those bestseller lists.

The danger here is ebook readers will expect this price point for every release, and the writer's hard work is in permanent markdown mode.

It can be discouraging. The market is way saturated. Granted there are some authors making a lot of money, but let's face it, it may be 5% of new releases making the big bucks.
There are seismic shifts happening in publishing. Some long time digital first publishers are feeling the pinch, Harlequin has just been bought by the media giant that owns Harper Collins. There are more changes to come you can bet and some of them will be painful for romance authors across the spectrum.

Frankly, I am tired of all the so called experts preaching marketing, branding and all the rest. There is no magic formula. Either a book sells or it doesn't, and no amount of tweets, blog tours, posts, giveaways etc is going to move the numbers much in most cases. I am also tired of authors that manipulate reader lists, reviews, gifting books to move up on lists to get Amazon's attention and whatever else to get noticed. But you can understand the desperation. You can smell it.

What is a romance author to do? That is an individual decision for each author. Decide what you want of out of being published and pursue your goal with focus and determination. And prepare yourself for disappointment and take the rewards where you can get them.


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