The Walking Dead hits three of the four charts we’re looking at this week, and so does Injustice: Year Two, but the Nook chart remains solidly impervious to these trends and continues with remarkable consistency from week to week.
1. The Walking Dead #120
This week’s best-sellers line up about like you’d expect, with new releases of three top-selling comics, The Walking Dead, Injustice: Year Two, and Batman leading the pack. It separates out nicely by publisher, too, with an Image title in the top spot, followed by three DC comics, and the rest of the list is all Marvel. So who won the week depends on whether position of number of slots counts more heavily in your reckoning.
1. Hyperbole and a Half
Allie Brosh’s blog-turned-book Hyperbole and a Half tops the Kindle chart for the fourth week in a row, and the latest issue of The Walking Dead and both issues of Injustice: Year Two make the chart as well. There are two George R.R. Martin graphic novels, but overall, nothing we haven’t seen before on this chart except for the first issue of The Unwritten, most likely from people sampling the series as it moves into its final arc.
1. Naruto, vol. 64
This week’s chart is last week’s chart. My new theory about this is that people buy Nook graphic novels in small surges, as when a new volume of Naruto comes out, and other than that the sales are all in the long tail, not the top ten.
1. The Walking Dead #120
The ponies have it in the iBookstore, and that issue #16 in the fourth slot is a pre-order, which means enough people are shelling out for this comic before it comes out to boost it to a decent rating. And then there’s the latest Walking Dead, making its third appearance of the day, and the first two issues of Injustice: Year Two, as more people jump into the series and others pick up the latest issue.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
The bizarrely addictive love story that Glines started in Twisted Perfection comes full circle in the follow up title, Simple Perfection. And despite the alternating POV on a chapter-by-chapter basis, coupled with the overly simplified view of mental illness, it was a fun, quick read.
Having said that, Glines followed suit like so many of her contemporaries and pulled a plot-twist fast one for us, one that was a little jarring at both its suddenness and its departure from the story line of Woods and Della. There was also a very rushed feeling to this book, almost as though the story was spilling forth; considering Glines’ vast fan base, however, it’s also likely that the rush was due to the need to satisfy her fans’ desire to learn the outcome.
What has been fun to see in this genre is the way that authors are exerting more control over their characters and story lines, especially in the era when authors and readers are connecting like never before. Despite the publisher of this series and the industry’s former rigid adherence to tried-and-true romance plots, Glines has been able to construct the story that she and her readers wanted.
Apart from those issues, Simple Perfection was a pleasant read with just the right amount of tension, romance, genuine horror on a variety of levels, and the requisite happily ever after, at least for some characters. The title is available now.
This week, Good e-Reader interviewed two spotlight authors who opted to self-publish via CreateSpace, both from vastly different ends of the genre spectrum but both alike in that they did not actively seek the traditional industry for an agent or a publisher. Steven Konkoly and M. Louisa Locke, both authors who self-published in their respective genres, took note of where the industry was headed and made the informed decision to go it mostly alone.
“I started looking at it, and my timing was really ideal,” explained Konkoly, author of the Black Flagged series and The Jakarta Pandemic, as well as the more recent title The Perseid Collapse, in an interview. “In the fall of 2010, some of these firebrand previously-traditionally published authors like Joe Konrath and Blake Crouch really made me consider self-publishing in terms of not feeling like I had to query agents or go the traditional route. I really wanted to get my book out there, and went into it with no expectations in terms of sales. I had worked hard on a book, and I wanted to get it out.”
In the case of Locke, author of Maids of Misfortune, the author was actually able to help grow the historical mystery genre into what has now come to be known as “cozy mysteries” in the book industry. With three books and two short stories to her credit, Locke transferred her doctorate in history into a popular series of titles about the core concepts developed in her dissertation.
“I knew that someday I wanted to write a mystery based on what I was learning about women,” Locke said, making the point that publishing a dissertation is more for scholarly audiences, but crafting a fictional mystery based on that research would speak to far broader audiences. “I had the idea that each book would focus on a different 19th century female occupation.”
In Locke’s experience at the time of the original writing of her first draft, historical fiction and historical mystery were not widely published genres and many publishers were reluctant to invest in the title. After working with a print-on-demand publisher on her first title, agents and editors refused to even look at the book, still clinging to the stigma that initially marked self-published titles.
Like Konkoly, Locke also read information from Konrath about the benefits of self-publishing, especially true for authors of niche genres.
“The turning point for me was I went to a mystery conference and I went to the sessions about publishing. I asked questions.” At this same conference, Locke was still told by professionals in attendance that they would not even look at a book that had been self-published, a fact that has laughably come full circle as publishers now actively recruit successful indie authors.
In what is becoming more and more common and viable, both Konkoly and Locke are full time authors, writing and publishing their own titles and living off the royalty income, another feat that would have been barely fathomable only five years ago. Now, both authors are contentedly successful in terms of titles published, control over their work, and the growth of a strong reader base.
“There are millions and millions of readers. I’ve reached the 100,000 sale mark recently,” said Konkoly, “but it’s nothing compared to how many other readers there are out there. This is an opportunity.”
So what’s behind the rumor mill that ebooks are or are not faring as well as some data suggests?
One thing that supporters and naysayers alike forget to take into account is how the comparison between digital and print was created, as well as what titles affected the figures. It’s not enough to look at a number comparison when things like blockbuster titles account for distribution. In the case of Scholastic‘s publication of Suzanne Collins’ wildly successful Hunger Games trilogy, print books should have accounted for a higher percentage of sales, given the prevalence of print over digital in that demographic; at the same time, ebook sales of E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey trilogy and the anonymity of digital purchases–coupled with the self-publishing numbers from the first go-round–made ebooks seem to be the clear frontrunner.
Around the world, ebooks have told a different story in terms of sales. Russia has only now moved into the third place position behind the US and China, recently edging out the UK. This rise in sales rank seems to be connected to the popularity of a recent ebook piracy counteraction with the launch of LitRes, who made ebook sales popular for the first time within the country.
The smart money all this time, however, has been that there are genres and markets for both print and ebooks, and that different factors will lead consumers to make purchasing decisions of one over the other. Publishers and authors alike would do well to ensure that reading consumers can access both editions in order to make their selections.
|Please note that I’ve made it so only today’s Daily Deals & Freebies post appears on the front page of The eBook Reader Blog since the deals become out-dated each day. You can still find the older posts in the Deals section for reference. Kindle Daily Deals Amazon has a 75 ebooks on sale today […]|
The RPF Education Team is just back from BETT, the education technology show, and it was very good indeed. I love BETT: you get to talk to lots of interesting people about stuff that you’re passionate about; play with the Raspberry Pi and pretend that it’s work; see all the latest education tech; and generally show off. (At the same time it’s also an extraordinarily gruelling four days of demos, talks, meetings, interviews and PR. I feel like I’ve spent the last week being simultaneously coddled with a tickling stick and beaten with a sock full of oranges.)
The show got off to a great start for us when Education Secretary Michael Gove called Raspberry Pi a “brilliant British tech business” in his opening keynote and highlighted the MOOC that we’ve helped create with OCR and Cambridge University Press. It was also surprising and gratifying to see Raspberry Pis on so many stands and in products around the show. Anyway, it’s Sunday so less writing and more pictures are in order:
Finally, a big thanks to: