Feb 9 2012
In the UK, romance checkouts at the library are being overtaken by crime fiction titles. Does that mean that the interest in romance books is declining? Melville House wonders if, instead, readers are going digital.
But while this story is being billed as romance vs. crime fiction, it seems like there could be a digital subtext. Much has been made of the migration of the mass market, especially romance genre readers, to the digital platform. Cheap, fast, and perhaps the allure of being anonymous are the key contributors to this fundamental shift in preference among romance readers.
There has been a lot of subtext in these reports that romance readers are flocking to digital because of the anonymity which isn’t supported by any actual data. Just a few anectdotes and supposition. In looking at the past data collected, avid readers moved to the digital platform first. Avid readers. Not just chicks embarrassed by the man titty covers.
The division between Harlequin and Mills & Boon is very confusing for me but the big news across the pond is that M&B is experimenting in ebook shorts.
M&B is releasing ten original e-book only shorts for Valentine’s Day, to be priced at £1.99. The seven novellas, all by established M&B authors, and published on 14th February itself, will be His Darling Valentine by Carole Mortimer, The Billionaire’s Blind Date by Jessica Hart, The Bridesmaid’s Proposal by Rebecca Winters, The Ordinary King by Nina Harrington, Chosen as the Sheikh’s Wife by Liz Fielding,Their Baby Bond by Amy Andrews, The Governess and the Earl by Ann Lethbridge, Italian Boss, Housekeeper Mistress by Kate Hewitt, The Reluctant Queen by Caitlin Crews, and The Count’s Secret Child by Jennie Lucas. The e-books will be available across all digital formats and devices.
The price seem really high considering that Piatkus is putting out digital releases of full length books for £2.99.
Goodreader has floated a rumor that Amazon is thinking about opening retail stores. Nearly every other news source has picked it up. Let me be the latest bandwagoner.
Seattle is where Amazon’s main headquarters is based and is known as a fairly tech savvy market. It is a perfect launch location to get some hands on experience in the retail sphere. A source has told us that they are not looking to launch a huge store with thousands of square feet. Instead they are going the boutique route and stocking the shelves with only high margin and high-end items. Their intention is to mainly hustle their entire line of Kindle e-Readers and the Kindle Fire. They also will be stocking a ton of accessories such as cases, screen protectors, and USB adapters.
The biggest issue, as Goodreader points out, is the one of sales tax. Amazon has fought paying local sales tax, lobbying for a federal sales tax law.
John Bergmayer argues that Barnes & Noble’s refusal to carry Amazon published books is good for all of us because it helps to support the nook platform. Amazon cannot be allowed to operate in a vacuum, the only player in publishing.
I’m glad Barnes & Noble is at least trying to keep ebook distribution competitive. Now that most digital music is sold DRM-free and from more than one source, people can purchase music from Amazon, Apple, and artists and labels directly, shopping around for a good price and without worrying about lock-in. We only have this competitive marketplace because labels saw that an Apple-dominated future wasn’t in their best interest. Publishers and many writers see that an Amazon-dominated future isn’t in their interest, either, but they’ve haven’t done much to actually counter it. (Of course, an Amazon-dominated future might be better for writers than the status quo—but I’m comparing it to an imaginary competitive future.)
You know what else would help ameliorate Amazon’s lock on digital publishing? Removal of DRM.
Sally Clement is from Ireland but she is reaching readers worldwide. For a brief moment, her book “Bound to Love” was number one on Amazon’s romance bestseller list. Clement put her book for free:
Over two days, 31 December and 1 January, 19,000 readers opted to download “Bound to Love” free of charge. “Most of these were in the USA,” she told the Leader this week
Following the free download, the Kildare author was more than pleasantly surprised to find that around 2,200 copies of Bound to Love were sold.
The publicity of the free downloads has led to some of her other books seeing a ten-fold increase in sales.
Just thought this was an interesting datapoint that 19,000 downloads led to 2,200 sales.
I’ve been listening to more audio books and so have been spending more time at Audible. This week they are having a $4.95 deal on the first of various series. Audible.com Link. Sample titles include Secrets of a Summer’s Night by Lisa Kleypas, Soulless by Gail Carriger, First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (narrated by Lorelie King), Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep, The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter, Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Virgin River by Robyn Carr, Kiss at Midnight by Lara Adrian, Storm Born by Richelle Mead, Ruthless by Anne Stuart, Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara, Naked in Death by J.D. Robb. There are 50 romance titles included in the sale.
Avon is having special pricing for Rachel Gibson books.
- True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- True Confessions by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Sex, Lies and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- I’m in No Mood for Love by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Tangled Up in You by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Lola Carlyle Reveals All by Rachel Gibson * $5.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
- It Must Be Love by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
- See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
- The Trouble with Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
- Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S