BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Strategy Analytics' "Global eBooks Market Forecast 2001-2020" predicts that the global consumer ebook market will more than double from $7Bn in 2013 to $16.7Bn in 2020, driven by more consumers accepting e-reading, more content made available through different business models, and the accelerating growth of emerging markets, especially China.

Click here for the link: http://bit.ly/1srb1Fq

Globally, more consumers of all ages are now including ebooks as a part of their reading behavior.

"A clear trend in recent years has been the shift of e-reading from desktop computers to mobile, in particular to reading on smartphones and tablets. At the same time, more readers are choosing multi-purpose tablets over dedicated e-readers as their primary ebook reading device," said David MacQueen Executive Director, Apps and Media. "All in all, we expect ebook reading penetration to increase from less than 10 percent of the total population in 2013 to close to 25 percent in 2020. China, the biggest smartphone market in the world, has just begun to see accelerated growth in the ebook market. We are seeing China join the traditionally big book markets in the US, Japan, Germany and the UK to form the 'billion dollar club' in 2020."

"From the content perspective, more publishers are releasing books simultaneously in digital format and print format. Meanwhile, an increasing number of new and established authors are opting for digital self-publishing only, made possible by ebook service platforms, which brings them closer to the readers," said Wei Shi, Analyst of Wireless Media Strategies (WMS). "Another nascent but significant development in the ebook market is the subscription based services launched by more platforms, including Amazon. In essence this is similar to how Spotify and Pandora have evolved the digital music market beyond downloads. We expect to see subscription service gaining more momentum in the second half of this decade, and contributing to close to a fifth of the total market by 2020."

The burgeoning ebook market in Great Britain has found a home on Amazon. Kindle dominates the market, which is not surprising. It also isn't surprising that 61 percent of these books are free - meaning, they are self-published through Amazon's KDP Select program.

This is bad news for publishers trying to break into the ebook market. If two-thirds of the ebook reading public expect to read a book for free, how likely is it that they are going to shell out the type of money that publishers charge for ebooks?

It is both good and bad news for self-published writers. The good news is that readers are enthusiastically downloading self-published ebooks. The bad news is that they aren't paying for them.

79% of UK Consumers Use Kindle

Source: MediaBistro, September 13, 2013 10:34 AM

By Dianna Dilworth

Seventy percent of UK consumers use Amazon to download eBooks, according to a new report Ofcom and Kantar Media. According to the report, which looked at media consumption in the UK March-May 2013, Kindle dominated as the service used to download or access eBooks in the past three months. Apple held a very distant second place with 9 percent of UK consumers using it to download eBooks. A Google Search and eBooks.com tied for 4th and 5th place at 6 percent of consumers using these channels.

The report also examined the digital versus print downloads and revealed that during the three-month period, 58 percent of all books sold in the UK were print and 42 percent downloaded were eBooks. The study found that 61 percent of eBooks were free and only 39 percent cost money.

Eighty-three percent of these free eBooks were consumed legally and 17 percent were consumed illegally. Here is more from the report: “We estimate that 7 million e-books were consumed illegally online in the past three months – equating to 4% of all books (downloaded, accessed online, or bought in physical format)."

This fascinating little industry tidbit (below) appeared in Publisher's Weekly a couple of weeks ago. Wattpad, for those of you who are not familiar with the site, features free chapters of self-published books. It boasts a readership in the millions. (Its Alexa ranking in the US is 2,553, which is very good.) This makes Wattpad an excellent platform for new writers, who generally care more about getting noticed than raking in the cash. (That comes later.)

Given Random/Penguin's recent launching of its various e-imprints, Loveswept among them, I was wondering how it was going to compete with the lure of Amazon's KDP Select, a program that has dominated the self-publishing scene for more than a decade. KDP Select allows writers to give away their books during 5 out of every 90 days in exchange for exclusive distributing rights. As a promotional tool. nothing beats giving something away for free, so Amazon, which has an immense reach, drew writers to it in droves.

Random/Penguin's strategy, apparently, is to give books away for free before they are released. Chapters will be published on the Wattpad site in serial form, another tried-and-true method for hooking readers.

The progress of Knox's novel, Truly, is something the industry will no doubt keep a close eye on. If Random/Penguin's strategy works, it will solve the pesky problem of how to build an online readership while undercutting Amazon's most successful marketing scheme.

Random House's Loveswept Partners With Wattpad

Publisher's Weekly, Aug 19, 2013

Thanks to a deal between Random House's digital-only romance imprint, Loveswept, and Wattpad, author Ruthie Knox will have her new series appear in serialized form on the online writing (and reading) community. Through the deal, Knox's novel Truly, which is the first title in a planned series, will debut on Wattpad as a free story in the fall, before being released as an e-book by Loveswept in August 2014.

Chapters from Truly will begin appearing on Wattpad on September 3, and continue to appear until the conclusion to the story is posted on November 4. Throughout the process, RH will invite Wattpad readers to take part in choosing the cover for the e-book. The effort, RH said, will also allow a high level of author access to Knox as readers will be able to use Wattpad's platform, which has mobile engagement, to contact her

Allison Dobson, v-p of business development and digital publishing at RH, said that Wattpad offers an "innovative approach to content creation and distribution," noting that the site already draws "millions of voracious readers" from all over the world.

Last November, Random House announced the inauguration of three new digital imprints: Hydra for science fiction, fantasy and horror; Flirt for "new adults"; and Alibi for mystery and suspense. Random House, of course, has many imprints, but what was unusual about these imprints is that they were digital only. Even more unusual was the fact that authors could submit their manuscripts directly to Random House - without an agent. Major publishers have not allowed unchaperoned authors to enter their hallowed halls for decades.

The announcement, though welcomed by potential authors, was received with skepticism by those who knew better; In the publishing industry the deck is always stacked in favor of the house. The House, in this case, was offering "revenue sharing" in place of an advance. Random House was also requiring authors to foot the expenses of production, and, most onerous of all, demanding rights for the term of the copyright. (Why even have a copyright in that case?) John Scalzi called the Random House conditions "a horrendously bad deal" and advised authors to "run away" as fast as their legs could carry them.

Random House eventually bowed to pressure and offered a more traditional deal for writers. Apparently, that deal was sweet enough to attract several new authors. Of the six titles Alibi will release next year, five are by debut authors.

RH Imprint Alibi Announces Debut Titles

Publisher's Weekly, August 14, 2013

Alibi, the digital-original mystery and thriller imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, announced the acquisition of its first six titles. The new publishing program will launch with The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick, the first novel in the Darla Cavanaugh mystery series.

Alibi senior editor Dana Isaacson has also acquired the following titles, scheduled for release in late 2013 and throughout 2014: The Garden Plot, by Marty Wingate; The Final Age, by Pierre Ouellette; Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulewitch; The Travel Writer by Jeff Soloway; and A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage.

Inspired no doubt by the fabulous success of Fifty Shades of Grey, Amazon has started its own fan fiction store, Kindle Worlds. Anybody can write new stories inspired by a selection of movies, games, TV shows, comics, and of course, books. Like other Amazon platforms, authors can earn 35% royalties. (The 70% book option is not available.) Amazon has obtained licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group's Alloy Entertainment for Gossip GirlPretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries; Valiant Entertainment for Archer & ArmstrongBloodshotHarbingerShadowman, and X-O Manowar; Hugh Howey's Silo Saga; Barry Eisler's John Rain novels; Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines series; and The Foreworld Saga by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Eric Bear, Joseph Brassey, Nicole Galland, and Cooper Moo. More licenses are on the way. Read the FAQs here.

Is this a good idea?

If you write fan fiction, this is a great idea. Personally, I am not a fan of anything Amazon can obtain a license for, and, even if they did, I'd have a really hard time writing fan fiction for The Complete Works of Shakespeare. The only drawback I can see to Amazon's latest bid to take over the world (mwahahahaha) is that getting a license for, let's say, Star Trek, will be nigh on impossible. In other words, die-hard fans of really popular shows still won't have an outlet for their frustrated desire to improve upon, continue, elaborate on and otherwise embellish the plots/characters of anything that could be truly lucrative. (Trust me, if they did, Spike would still be alive.)

So, if you inhabit any of the "Worlds" Amazon is currently allowing you to live on, go for it.

If you are weighing the economic pros and cons of epublishing, it always helps to have a report from the trenches, so to speak. Lindsay Buroker has done us all a huge favor by not only telling us how much her books are earning, but how she managed to support herself on ebook sales. The secret to success? Keep writing! 

Are More Authors Than You Think Making a Living Self-Publishing?

By Lindsay Buroker 

About this time last year, I wrote up a blog post detailing how I was doing, financially speaking, on my new e-publishing endeavor (I got my start in December of 2010). When it came to ebook earnings, my grand total for March of 2011 was $724. At the time, I had two novels out, a couple of 99-cent short story collections, and the first Flash Gold novella (it, and my first Emperor’s Edge novel, are free in case you haven’t checked out my work yet and are dying to do so).

I didn’t think that $700 was too shabby considering I hadn’t been at the e-publishing thing for long. But when you look at how much time I was spending on promotion and writing, it wasn’t exactly a huge income either.

A year later, though, things have continued to pick up steam. I have two more novels out, two more novellas, and a new stand-alone short story. In March of 2012, I sold more than 4,000 ebooks, not including downloads of the freebies, and will earn over $5,000 (my ebooks range from 99 cents to $4.95).

Read the rest of Lindsay's illuminating article HERE.

Now you see it, now you don't.
The world of epublishing is in nearly constant flux.

With big publishers jumping into the fray, it has become increasingly difficult for new authors to make the choice between self-publishing their book as an ebook or signing on with a publisher and letting them handle all the things, including electronic rights.

There are numerous reasons for an author to hang on to as many rights as possible, but nowhere is this more important than digital rights. Why? Because ebooks are selling like hotcakes, and even though publishers charge less money per ebook, authors end up with a significantly smaller piece of the pie.

How does this work?

Publishers spend very little on ebooks. There are no printing costs, no warehouse fees, and no returns. As a result, ebooks cost less. But the reduction in retail cost is not commensurate with the reduction in production costs, which means profits are higher for ebooks.

Because ebooks retail for less, the result is lower royalties for authors. Traditionally, authors make 25% on ebooks, which seems like a lot compared to 10% on hard covers, but the disparity in production costs more than evens the playing field.

According to Brian DeFiore - who serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Authors Representatives as Chair of the AAR Digital Rights Committee - this is how the deck is stacked in favor of the publisher.

"Every time a hardcover sale is replaced by an e-book sale, the publisher makes $2.20 more per copy and the author makes $1.58 less. If the author made the same $4.20 royalty on the e-book sale as he/she would have on a hardcover, the publisher would STILL be making an improved profit of $6.28."

In short, publishers are increasing profits on the backs of authors.

Are we angry? No, we are just disappointed.

For more details on this inequitable, yet somehow completely predictable, sleight-of-hand read Brian DeFiore's post here.

Amanda Hocking
This is one of those rags-to-riches stories that inspires self-published writers. Why? Because Amanda Hocking wasn't "discovered" by an agent or a publisher. She's still self-publishing, and selling 100,000 books a month.

Source: Jezebel

Amanda Hocking's story isn't just interesting because, at 26 years old, she's a millionaire from selling eBooks. Her tale is also fascinating because it remains a work in progress. Success brings new challenges, one of which is often defending that success. Something Hocking is having to do.

Hocking, a self-proclaimed unicorn enthusiast and Muppet activist, writes about vampires, zombies, and yes, romance. According to reports, just one year ago, the Minnesota-based writer was "impoverished," "living paycheck to paycheck," and the manuscripts she sent out were rejected by publishers all over New York. Like many authors, Hocking turned to self-publishing, creating a store on Amazon. She set the prices of her work relatively low — 99¢ to $2.99 — and for every $2.99 book she sells, she keeps 70%. Hocking tells USA Today: "To me, that was a price point that made sense for what I would be willing to spend on an e-book… I use iTunes a lot, and it's 99 cents and $1.29 a song."

Between her blog, Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth, Hocking's stories caught on; she sold 100,000 of her works in December, and over 10 months she's sold more than 900,000. She's about to buy a house, she's getting a lot of press, and Elle magazine is going to profile her. Cue the inevitable backlash.

Read the rest of the story here...

This must-read study was posted on Smashwords on May 8th. If you want to find out what the best price for an ebook is, if long books sell better than short books, how many book sell well, and what the average word count for the 60 bestselling Smashwords romance books is - go HERE.

New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks

May 8, 2013

"Last year at the 2012 RT Booklovers in Chicago, I released a first-of-its-kind study that analyzed indie ebook sales data.  Our goal was to identify potential factors that could help authors sell more ebooks.

Last week at the 2013 RT Booklovers convention in Kansas City, I shared new, updated data in a session titled, Money, Money, Money — Facts & Figures for Financial Payoff.  Now I'm sharing this data and my findings with you.

Some of the results were surprising, some were silly, and some I expect will inform smarter pricing and publishing decisions in the year ahead.

For the study this year, we analyzed over $12 million in sales for a collection of 120,000 Smashwords ebooks from May 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.  We aggregated our sales data from across our retail distribution network, which includes the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Amazon (only about 200 of our 200,000 titles are at Amazon).  As the world's largest indie ebook distributor, I think our study represents the most comprehensive analysis ever of how ebooks from self-published authors and small independent presses are behaving in the marketplace."

Read more ...

If you aren't already reading Publisher's Weekly, you need to sign up and get their free newsletter. This is where you will find Industry news, trends, and occasional juicy gossip. In this article, Bowker director Carl Kulo reveals that paperbacks are still garnering the lion's share of the market. (It's hardly surprising ... which would you rather take to the beach, an old paperback or your brand-new Kindle Fire?)

Online Retailers, E-books Gained in 2012

By By Jim Milliot, PW, May 11, 2013

At Publishers Weekly’s May 8 discussion series on trends in consumer book-buying, held at the offices of Random House in New York City, Carl Kulo, U.S. director of Bowker Market Research, highlighted the major shifts that took place in 2012 in such key areas as sales by format and by channel.

E-books captured 11% of all book spending last year, up from 7% in 2011, Kulo reported, while e-books accounted for 22% of units in 2012, up from 14% the prior year. In 2010, e-books accounted for only 2% of spending. Despite the gains made by digital, paperback remained the most popular format last year, accounting for 43% of spending, down one percentage point from 2011, while hardcovers represented 37% of dollar sales, down from 39%.

Read the rest HERE.