Tag Archives: ebook

Open Call Ends August 31, 2020

Sunspot Literary Journal is dedicated to amplifying diverse multinational voices. We offer an Editor’s Prize of $50 for the annual edition. Artwork selected for a cover will be paid $20. Visit SunspotLit.com to download digital editions for free.

All types of prose from flash fiction and poetry to stories and essays, including scripts and screenplays, are welcome. We also accept long-form, novelette, and novella length works up to 49,000 words. Translations welcome, especially with access to the piece in the author’s original language.

One piece per prose submission; two works of visual art per submission.

Use the correct form according to the length of your prose and poetry. Works longer than allowed by the form used will be declined unread.

The Fast Flux options offer a two-week turnaround, with most responses going out within one week.

All submissions must be unpublished (except on a personal blog). Simultaneous submissions welcome. Submit as many times as you like.

Submissions must be sent through Sunspot’s Submittable page.

Why authors and artists in developing countries are so disadvantaged

Marion Grace Woolley, author and piano maker, lives in Rwanda. She’s posted an interesting commentary on YouTube.

Why authors and artists in developing countries are so disadvantaged

Link here to view, comment, and learn.

Reedsy Selects Inception as 2019 Best Writing Contest

Reedsy Best ContestReedsy, a huge freelancer’s site, selected Inception: $250 for the Best Opening as one of the Best Contests of 2019. Check it out before it closes October 31.

Discount Sale on Urban/Dystopian Fantasy Sparks Price War Between Amazon and Google

So, like many folks, my novels occasionally go on sale. Right now, Reparation’s ebook is on sale until October 3 (links at bottom of this post). Usually, this is where I would give you the book’s slugline, which is:

ReparationEbookHaruki Murakami’s 1Q84 meets Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale as a man battles sinister forces associated with a Native American peyote cult.

I would also inform you that the work has won a national award, and that the usual ebook price is $9.99.

Now, here’s where things get interesting.

The sale price was made available through two ebook channels: Amazon and Google Play. Both provide worldwide distribution, and both offer fast and easy access for readers.

Usually the buying choice is entirely about habits and preferred methods. Some folks like to run all their purchases through Amazon. Others prefer Google, while another set don’t display any particular loyalty.

Today, with Google’s continual efforts to pry their way further into the book market, we see one clear step they are taking to gain more share: beat Amazon’s price. Importantly, this will be done without dropping the revenue earned by the book. So, everyone wins…especially the ecosystem that provides readers with more choice through more distribution channels.

Where will you buy today? Let me know, and we’ll see if the sales figures back you up!

Now, finally, about Reparation!

A beautifully written supernatural story—the work of a master craftsman.”
“Endlessly compelling. A fascinating fusion of forms.”

“Whatever is dangerous, let me do it…I am supposed to die.”

When Aidan Little Boy leaves his ailing mother’s side to visit his sister on a peyote church property in South Dakota, he encounters a religious cult run by an apparently superhuman leader. Suddenly his nondescript life becomes tangled in a world that has grown disturbing and strange.

In a series of remarkable events, the ancient beings of Native American folktales are manipulated by people with strong connections to the parallel world of spirits. Soon Aidan uncovers evidence that his sister and the rapidly growing congregation are in danger. He must understand these unknown powerful forces before the Reparation, a ceremony that will slaughter thousands of innocents.

This complex and surreal novel merges folktales, history, and contemporary lifestyles with magical realism in a hypnotically addictive original tale.

Honorable Mention, Writer’s Digest 2016 Ebook Award

Currently discounted on Amazon and Google Play. At the time of this post, Google is beating Amazon’s price by $0.48!

Grab it now, because these deep discounts won’t last long!

Oyster Now Offers 500K Titles

Oyster, an ebook subscription service, recently topped the half-million title mark. Its major competitors, Scribd and Entitle, offer far fewer with 300K on Scribd and 125K on Entitle.

Any of these subscription services can enhance an author’s career. They are focused on discovery, so they help readers find your titles. My own three titles have been available on Scribd for only a few months, and already they have achieved a surprising number of reads…without any additional advertising push.

Subscriptions offer smaller payments than purchases but if you’re looking for eyes on your work, these services can help you enhance your visibility and provide a modest income at the same time.

Digital Royalties

Ebooks have become a substantial profit-maker for heritage publishers, Some houses are reporting that over 30% of their revenue comes from ebooks. With the lower costs, many people assume digital is a big area where publishers can thrive.

Authors have been confused about what they’re likely to see as their cut of the benefits of lower costs. While many indie authors find that they get about 70% of the price, heritage publishers are still holding the line at 25% for authors. This includes works they are looking to republish under new contracts that include digital rights for works that came out before digital was part of the marketing plan.

Many people don’t feel this is right. But comparisons to indie authors’ royalty rates don’t account for the fact that the indies have to finance all the marketing themselves. For first-time authors, receiving a contract from a traditional house (even a very small one) can still be the easiest and most cost-effective method of building their fan base.

The dynamics change for those who have already created indie success or who have built a fan base after several traditionally published novels. The case can be made that the publisher has little more to invest that laying out the ebook and distributing it…which can be done for under $1K total by freelancers. Heritage publishers still have a network of existing contacts that are the buyers of books. Foreign rights, too, can be sold more easily through a traditional house.

When deciding which way to go, consider where you are in your career as an author. It could make a big difference to your success down the road.

Ensure Quality in Your Ebooks

Keep these points in mind when you’re planning to indie publish a book:

–Anything except text adds a level of complexity that isn’t easily managed in ebooks. You might need a designer to help you lay out the interior if you have pictures, graphics or tables. Writer’s Resource can refer you to top-quality individuals for this.

–Links should be easy to navigate. This means if you link back to an earlier section, be sure to provide a link that returns readers to the place where they left off. Readers don’t want to have to use the “go to” feature to find the page they were reading.

–Publishers might spend thousands of dollars making sure the interior layout works well for readers. Pay attention to this component. An experience that allows readers to sink into the content without the distraction of setup flaws will enhance your career.

Quality counts. Give your readers what they want!

Kindle Sales Figures

Forbes magazine used a number of metrics to estimate the figures Amazon won’t release to anyone about their sales. They found that roughly 43.7 million Kindle devices have been sold, including e-readers and tablets.  They further estimate that each device averages 10 ebooks purchased totalling $530 million in annual sales.

This isn’t a surprise for authors. Amazon continues to be the prime mover of ebooks no matter who published the work.

Publishing Trend: Wearable Book

MIT’s Media Lab has come up with a book that is the true definition of interactive.

The experiment has been called Sensory Fiction. The book has sensors that readers strap on with a vest. As the characters undergo different emotional moments, the reader feels the feedback directly through the use of air pressure bags, vibrating devices, a heater and LED lights.

Watch the video demo here. 

Infographic on Ebooks

Galleycat posted a great infographic on 40 years of ebook publishing here.

The points I found most revealing are:

The first ebook was launched in 1971 by Project Gutenberg. This points to the importance ebooks held before most traditional houses really understood their potential.

In 2000, Stephen King’s novella Riding the Bullet was downloaded over 400,000 times in 24 hours, proving the ability of ebooks to reach existing fans and new readers.

Amazon launched Kindle in 2007, five years after traditional publishers began working with ebooks. So Amazon is not always at the forefront of publishing trends.

Is E-publishing The New Focus for the Big Five?

As brick-and-mortar stores fall and ebook sales grow, a lot of chatter has been going around about whether this is the new focus for the top publishers. Even agents no longer assume that print will be part of their clients’ deals.

Pressure on publishers to release books more quickly as well as to keep an eye on profitable releases is a major driver. Authors fear that with a smaller investment from publishers, the publishers won’t feel that marketing is as necessary as before.

Since these days the main benefit publishers can offer is the ability to get books into stores, it’s a tricky situation for everyone. What are your thoughts?

Matchbook Grows

Amazon’s bundling initiative, where purchasers of print books receive the ebook for free or a very low price, has already grown. The launch day offered 10,000 titles. Within a very short period of time, the number grew to 70,000 titles.

Currently, one of the biggest complaints about Matchbook is that most of the titles are backlisted…they are older titles that don’t hold much interest for readers. Try offering your own works now on Matchbook and be one of the few recent titles available. It’s an additional benefit that might help sales.

New Ebook Purchase Model Might Benefit Authors

Gale has launched a new purchase option for libraries. It’s a Usage-Driven Acquisition (UDA) model for ebooks. It allows libraries to purchase ebooks based on actual usage.

Since one of the latest trends among readers of ebooks is the frustration over not being able to share or gift their ebooks to others, this model might be something everyone can utilize to open DRM barriers that currently stop the average purchaser from sharing an ebook. If applied, it could provide authors with income based on actual readers.

Ficton Contest Now Open

The Laine Cunningham long-form fiction contest is open. Now in its fifth year, the contest awards $1,000 to first place, $500 to second place, $250 for third place, and a certificate for honorable mention.

Fiction ranging from 30,000 words up is eligible. The manuscripts can be novels, novellas, short story collections, mixtures of various forms (including short prose and flash fiction), YA, New Adult and adult romance, sci-fi, literary, mainstream…pretty much as long as it meets the minimum length requirement, anything goes.

Details are available on Writer’s Resource’s website under the Writing Contest tab.

Self-published Book Titles Jumped in 2012

Bowker, the ISBN provider, found that the number of self-published books in 2012 rose 59% to over 390,000 titles. Ebooks have led the charge, although print books still accounted for about 60% of self-published titles.

The analysis also found that more than 80% of self-published titles came from just eight companies, including Smashwords and CreateSpace. Fiction is the most popular self-published genre followed by inspirational/spiritual works, books for children, and biographies.