I write to inspire.
Lately, with our changing markets, I need some inspiration.
I set out on this publishing venture with high hopes and a smile in my heart. My first novel, Rain Song, came out in October 2008. Offered only as a trade paperback for $13.99, sales did well. A new author, first novel, a small publishing house and yet Rain Song sold 25,000 copies within 18 months of publication.
I was not on Facebook then. I didn't have a Facebook Fan Club Page. Tweeter had not been created. I was not a member of the American Christian Fiction Writer. My website needed a make-over. I did not attend writers' conferences. In fact, I did not really know but one inspirational fiction author on a personal level.
But I arranged book events at bookstores, and marketed my novel and the next one---How Sweet It Is--when it arrived on bookshelves the following spring. I sent out newsletters and emails and slipped promotional postcards into everyone's hands. I blogged. My publicist was impressed with my efforts.
Now things are changing. Seems it doesn't matter about that number of 25,000 or that it is now at 28,500. Rain Song is going out of print. Immediately.
So is How Sweet It Is.
Oh, they will still be available in e-book format. People won't be able to dog-ear the pages, or underline sections with a pen, but they can download my novels onto their electronic devices.
When discussing sales at Penguin, Penguin Group CEO John Makinson said, ". . . We all recognize that the ebook is a fundamentally more profitable book with cost benefits for consumer, author and publisher alike."
My husband is not a CEO, but he's told me what Makinson stresses. Yet, I still wonder how the author benefits more with e-book sales over trade paperbacks? E-books cost less, yes, and authors get a higher royalty rate, but it all balances out that I get nearly the same amount whether it be 18 or 20 percent from a print book sale of $13.99 or 25 percent from an e-book sale of $9.99.
Are print books dying? Are e-books here to stay?
For five months, paperback How Sweet It Is has been in the TOP 100 categories on Amazon for Christian Fiction and Christian Romance. The novel ranges from #40 to #90 on these charts. I used to keep track of where it stood, now I realize that doesn't seem to matter. Paperback How Sweet It Is is not selling enough to make room for it anymore in the warehouse.
The times are changin' and I'm not liking it.
I need a good cup of inspiration.