barry eislerOpen Journalism Leads The Way In Investigating The Crash Of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (Techdirt)
Things are made much more difficult by the refusal of local armed groups to allow inspectors full and free access to the crash site. It is in precisely this context, where traditional reporting finds it hard to provide useful information, that an alternative — open journalism — shows its strengths.

20 Marketing Questions Self-Published Authors Must Answer (Digital Book World)
If you’re a self-published novelist, your line of books is your small business. Like any small business, you need a marketing strategy.

Is Kindle Unlimited Good or Bad for Authors? Six Viewpoints (The Digital Reader)
Here are 6 different takes on this question, including a couple which address the point from unusual tangents.

Barry & Joe Discussing The Guardian Discussing AuthorEarnings (Joe Konrath)
I’m a big Guardian fan and think it’s great that they’re covering the data AuthorEarnings has been crunching — data that contradicts a lot of misinformation and legacy industry propaganda. I also think it was entirely sensible for them to reach out to Philip Jones of The Bookseller and Nicola Solomon of the Society of Authors for a contrary view.

Kindle Daily Deal: Little Known Facts (and others)


  1. As with everything involving Amazon, the real issue isn’t whether Kindle Unlimited is good for authors now. It’s whether Kindle Unlimited will continue to treat and pay authors well if Amazon succeeds in taking over the ebook subscription market.

    * Note how Amazon as Audible recently slashed the audiobook royalties for independent authors. That’s the future.

    * Note how well CreateSpace pays in comparison to Lightning Source/Ingram Spark. Amazon still has competition in that market and may be subsidizing POD. That would change if CreateSpace is able to take over the market, but the publisher/bookstore boycott of CreateSpace makes that less likely.

    * Note how poorly Amazon pays for ebooks outside the $2.99-9.99 price range. It pays only 35% or half what Apple’s iBookstore pays. If Amazon is able to rid itself of any effective competition in the ebook market (the covert goal of that Amazon-inspired DOJ lawsuit), it’s far more likely to cut royalties at all price levels than to raised them. Amazon has already told German officials that it thinks ebook royalties should be around 50%.

    Keep in mind that 50% slice of the retail price would be enormously lucrative for Amazon. Apple has been marketing music and apps for years with a 70/30% split and doing quite well at that. Ebooks are no different from music downloads. Both involve a host page, a financial transaction, and a file download.

    And as I heard one of Amazon’s top web services gurus explain when I lived in Seattle, the cost of providing web services such as ebook sales is going down rapidly. Amazon could make a quite substantial profit giving authors 80% of retail at any price level and running its operation on 20%. That’s what it could do. It’s not what it intends to do.

    An 80/20 split of ebook revenue is what authors should be aiming for, with subscription services providing a similar 60-80% slice of revenue to authors rather than a mysterious funding of a royalty pot that takes no account of how much Amazon is earning.

    Indeed, does anyone know how much Amazon’s ebook business is earning? And given the sub-market royalties it pays along with an grossly inflated download fee for books priced $2.99-9.99 (about one thousand times as much as Amazon’s AWS charges for file downloads), most of those profits are coming out of the pockets of struggling authors.

    The problem with anything Amazon does is always Amazon itself. It doesn’t lie in this detail or that detail.

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