Friday, October 28, 2011

Emerald City Writer's Conference : Publishing In The Digital Age with Angela James

Carina Press Executive Editor Angela James did a great overview of the history of digital publishing for us, and then opened the room to questions. Quite brave of her! Here's my abbreviated notes ::

Digital Publishing Timeline
1st ebooks published in 1971. The Declaration of Independence was the first ebook, and that is how Project Gutenberg began.
In 1998 the first ISBN was issued, to an ebook. ISBNs individualize a book on search engines and for retailers. The first dedicated ebook devices came out that year – Rocket Reader and ebookwise.
1999 – Bane Free Public Library A pioneer science fiction publisher, provided some of their backlist for free to encourage readers to pick up their new books.
2000 – Steven Kin self-published his first book, make $500,000 and declared it a failure. Ellora’s Cave was founded, allowing women to access different kinds of content and paved the way for a lot of different publishers.
2006 – Sony Reader hit the market.
2007 – Amazon launched Kindle. 
2009 – sony released a new edition, as did Kindle. JA Konrath self-published his first book.
2010 – ipad changed the scope of reading. Apple introduced the ibookstore and the agency model.
  • Over 70% of all digital piracy happens outside North American borders. They are pirating because they can’t get legal access to the books because of rights issues.
  • How do sales differ with length. Best selling length at Carina is 70K+ @ $5.99, though some of the best-selling titles are novellas.
  • Carina looking for erotic novel length books because of Spice dissolving, there is a need for those stories in overseas partners of harlequin. Contemporary romance and romantic suspense sell well. Looking for steam punk and space opera. No YA or inspirational, hard to market alongside erotic content.
  • Bloom of digital publishing in a decimated economy in a world without Borders. A huge hit to the mid-list author. There was a lot happening in a bookstore beyond the bottom line sales of books. It is harder for publishers to take chances because book buying is a luxury.
  • Google developed an algorithm to see how many books were published ever. 130million books. In 2010 3 million ISBNs were issued, only 316000 to traditionally published books. For 2011, closer to 6 million. Standing out from that kind of crowd is the biggest challenge, which is why building a brand is so important.

No comments: