Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A New Survey And Konrath Goes With Amazon

On Thursday, Publishers Marketplace drew my attention to a survey, which indicates that "An impressive 28 percent of respondents expect to buy an ereader or tablet in the next year."

The survey by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) encompassed nearly 13,000 people in fourteen countries (including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, China, India, France and Germany). According to Slate's Big Money here:
"... e-readers are poised to take off provided the price comes down and the feature sets go up."
I have to say I'm with the survey respondents. I don't even carry a purse. There's no way I'm going to buy two or three different electronic devices, each dedicated to a different purpose. Give me one reasonably priced and lightweight device on which I can read, write and respond to emails. Thanks to blog reader Peter Winkler, I've been looking at netbooks, but haven't been moved enough to buy one yet. Until I find the right device, my cell phone helps fill in the mobility gaps.

And I'm in good company. The BCG site here indicates that the survey found that:
Consumers clearly want to do more than just read with these devices ... Globally, 66 percent of respondents would prefer to buy a multipurpose device, whereas only 24 percent prefer a single-function device, such as the Kindle ... However, mass acceptance of e-readers and tablets is not guaranteed unless prices drop dramatically.
Slate's Marion Maneker (former publisher of HarperCollins' business books imprint) was right on the Big Money when he talked about what the survey means to publishers and e-books:
The good news is that there's more demand for the product. The bad news is that they've got to give up their battle with e-book prices and start restructuring their costs even further to make new titles priced at $10 profitable for themselves and the authors. Otherwise it will be easy for authors to jump ship and publish themselves or with other promotional partners.
And in a case of excellent timing, go here to read Amazon's press release regarding mystery author Joe Konrath:
AmazonEncore, Amazon's publishing imprint, will release the newest book in bestselling author J.A. Konrath's Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels series, "Shaken." The AmazonEncore Kindle edition of "Shaken" will be available in the Kindle Store ... in October, and the print version of the book will be available in February 2011.
Joe Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, here was enormously helpful to me when I was first trying to figure out how the publishing industry operated. Joe is a master at self-promotion and is willing to take risks to move his writing career forward. He began posting his unpublished works for sale on Amazon a couple of years ago. By last year, he'd become a top-selling author in the Kindle bookstore. Now he's taking the next logical step.

Joe answered questions about his new move on his blog yesterday. Here's the one that interested me most:
Q: Is Amazon going to sell the Kindle version for a lot of money?

A: Amazon is smart, savvy, and pays attention to my suggestions. The Kindle version of Shaken is going to be released for $2.99.
Are you listening, Big Six? If you are, here's one more finding from the BCG survey:
Consumers are willing to pay only $5 to $10 for digital books, ... below the price that book publishers are targeting.


Maria Zannini said...

Ref: Consumers are willing to pay only $5 to $10 for digital books, ... below the price that book publishers are targeting.

And that's been my argument all along with ebooks.

I am simply NOT going to pay more for an ebook than I would for a paperback.

That is my price point. I don't care how big a name the author has.

Maya Reynolds said...

Maria: You, Joe Konrath and I are all in agreement on this issue--and this is coming from writers, who also happen to be readers.

The market always finds its own level. New York can try to artificially control prices. However, it will backfire on them as first readers and then writers move to other venues for publishing.