Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster are trying to merge. The government is blocking it due to concerns of the new enormous publisher monopolizing the marketplace. We’ve received several questions about the particulars of the testimony, but the ones about this quote stand out:
Is this a lie? Yes and no. Yes, a publisher can make most books into best sellers. What they can’t do is make a book profitable. Publicity costs money. However, money is very loud, and publishers certainly will try to use it to make some books profitable. This doesn’t always turn out well for the author.
Suppose a publisher purchases a book from a debut author and drops an massive chunk of money as an advance. Let’s say $1,000,000. This signals that they expect this book to be a major bestseller. The audio companies see this and rush in with their own offers. The foreign rights agents follow. German, Taiwanese, Spanish, French, Korean rights are sold. It’s a feeding frenzy. A film company jumps in and buys the rights on an off chance that the book will blow up and become a valuable commodity. ARCs, advance reader copies, are sent in the thousands to every reviewer. People talk about receiving them. They are excited. Everywhere you turn online, you see the book mentioned. It is in Waiting on Wednesday lists and Must Have lists and Buy This or Miss Out Forever lists. A controversy occurs because someone found something problematic, and the Book Tok community splits into two camps: pro-book and anti-book. This only ratchets up the book’s visibility.
Then the book comes out finally, and it’s meh. It still charts on the bestseller lists simply because enough people heard about it to buy it, but it doesn’t really make that much money in sales, certainly not enough to recoup the publisher costs. However, the publisher also received audio and foreign rights payouts. They didn’t just break even, they made a slight profit. So the publisher is fine. The author? Not so much. The author is now a failure because their sales are nowhere near to earning out their advance. Even though they are sitting on a pile of money, that pile will not last and nobody wants to buy the next book because the sales show they are a risky investment.
I have seen this happen and more than once. So they can make you an “artificial” bestseller. The question is, do you want to be?
The most profitable books to the publisher are the ones that are by unknown authors with small or average advances that unexpectedly explode. Twilight. Throne of Glass. In film terms, the best book is like the first Paranormal Activity movie. It cost $15,000 to make and earned 193 million worldwide.
We are all writers and readers here. We know how things are said is important. Colleen Hoover “does not take up most of S&S’s resources.” Authors who take up their resources. Take up. Authors are clearly a burden.
S&S takes 75% of their authors’ earnings. 75% in ebooks! I know we are about capitalism, but there have to be some ethics in business. It is their contractual and ethical obligation to devote their resources to promoting the books they purchase and to not act like we are leeches because we want basic things that would help our books succeed. Quality editing. Quality copyediting. Covers that don’t make people cringe. Advertisement online. Promotional efforts across ebook retailers. Hell, most authors would settle for being treated like they matter and they are part of a team rather than getting petted on the head and told we are pretty every time we try to have some input.
If I have to hire my own publicist, as the following tweets suggest, then I might as well go solo and keep all the money I earn.
It is exactly like that. Exactly. Magic Bites and Magic Burns were sold for $5,000 each. This is not a typo. That is the correct number of zeros. How much promotion do you think they got? That’s right, very little.
Magic Burns actually lucked out. BN was doing one of those cardboard displays and they already had two titles in there. They needed a third, so our editor suggested Magic Burns and that was amazing. Thank you, Anne!
We didn’t see that level of promotion again for a bit, even though the book series accelerated in sales. They didn’t wake up to the fact we were selling until we hit #1 on NYT. I remember when “online promotion” in your marketing and publicity summary meant the publisher mentioned your book was coming out on Twitter.
We have never gotten a publisher-provided billboard at Times Square. Those of you who are writers, have you? I bet 99.99999% of you haven’t. Here is your paper plate.
To be fair, it is questionable how much a billboard at Times Square would contribute to sales, but it is the simplest way to illustrate the disparity without going into deep and confusing detail. Also, we can buy our own ads at Times Square now. It costs an arm and a leg, but it can be done.
And this brings me to present day, which is an interesting point in publishing. We have our print run numbers for Ruby Fever. For the first time ever, our mass market print run numbers for Ruby Fever are less than our very first print run of Magic Bites.
The preorders are up across ebooks and audio, so it’s not that there is no demand or there will be a drop in sales because the readers have cooled on the series. It’s not because Avon is not promoting it. They are and they are working very hard on it. No, the print run cut is driven by the shrinking retailer space. Drug stores no longer stock books. The shelf space at BN is contracting. Do you want to know how many books BN ordered? 3,312. That’s it.
Mass market was always a bargain hunter’s format. It was the cheapest way to read a book. I feel like I am beating a dead horse here, because I’ve been saying it for literally years, but ebooks have overtaken that particular format. Yes, there are some diehards who hold on to mass market, so the need for it will never disappear, but the days of 250,000 mass market print runs are behind most of us.
However, print sales are up. They are driven by trade paperback and hardcovers. Again, I have been saying it for years, because I’m a mother of two now adults who read everything they could get their hands on when they were teenagers. Ten years ago I knew they liked to have a large pretty printed book in their hands. Printed books make for the best social media photos and videos. Teenagers also like trading books. A lot of them become more passionate about reading as they grow older. We all know it’s addicting.
Going forward, we will be looking for a publishing partner willing to experiment in that space. We want pretty printed hardcovers or trade paperbacks and a publicity and marketing package that makes sense.
+1 to pretty prints! Looking forward to seeing them in the future if all works out <3
These posts are always interesting. I’ve been an ebook reader for a while (exactly for the reason you said – price!), but recently I’ve started buying paperbacks again because a) I enjoy the experience of reading an actual book, and b) I want my kids to see me READING, not just looking at a screen, even if I’m still reading when staring at the screen. I love pretty books!
I switched to a eReader years ago because I was running out space for all the books I had. I often read favorites over many times and never wanted to get rid of my books! Example I just reread all the Wild Fire books in anticipation of Ruby Fever coming out! I take at least 3 books on a weeks vacation camping. I love my eReader because I can have hundreds of books in one place available to me, the prices of ebooks is a faint secondary consideration.
Andrea Smith says
Lol! Apparently, I’m selfish. I don’t like anyone touching my hardcover books.
I never ever loan out my books, they are all stored behind glass cabinet doors. I have been known to buy my friend a copy rather than hand over my precious…
Andrea Smith says
My hubby told me pick between my house plants or physical books. I’m went with ebooks and buy pretty cover for my favorite’s. We were running out of room😂
I can say my reading format has changed so much over the years. I don’t buy small paperbacks hardly at all. I do sometimes buy the larger ones or get them as gifts. Nowadays I usually get books either as hardbacks or electronic.
My question about people that get ARC’s are they complete books? Does giving them cut into sales?
Moderator R says
ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) are usually in digital form, and no, they are not the finished manuscript. They are distributed for promotional purposes, and do not cut into sales, they boost them (or at least spread the word about the book) 🙂
Moderator R says
Yes, this was brought up before. One does have to wonder why the authors are putting up with getting only royalties on material that had no editorial input or effort from the publishing house. They could simply sell their draft novels themselves and pocket all of it, not 20%. The authors are being taken advantage of and the readers are being taken advantage of, paying for unpolished manuscripts. But I suppose if one wants to pay the publishing house a lot of money for no reason, one is free to do it 🙂
Wendy Morrey says
I know it’s not an Innkeeper post but I have never seen the comments at only 4 😂😂😂
Arcane society Special edition 👀 I’m here for it 💰💰💰💰💰💰 take my money lol
Grace Draven says
AS puts out some truly stunning books!
Yes! I have been hoping and putting this into the universe, because the treatment Arcane Society gives to the books put into their care is exceptional. They make the books as stunning visually as the words inside that make up these unforgettable books. And they make them affordable. I would rather pay $5-10 more for a special edition than a regular hardcover.
I’m an ebook convert for a few reasons, and cost was not one of the primary reasons, although it is helpful.
1. Stuck in a long line somewhere? Open Kindle on my phone and read while I’m waiting. Carrying a paper book in my purse on the off-chance I might have time to read it is annoying. And heavy.
2. It’s harder to read books in dimmer light like when I was younger but I can read an ebook easily in dimmer light.
3. I have found wayyy more books that I’d want to read through the Kindle app landing page than a brick-and-mortar store, because the genres I read are getting smaller and smaller spaces in the stores. There used to be 4-6 (short) aisles of these genres. Now they may take up 1 or 2.
That said, if I’ve read a series for a long time and started with hardcover/paperback, I will sometimes still buy the paper book, too, like I do with anything by House Andrews. But that number of paper books I buy is way down.
Martha Christina says
Same here… but I have to admit I usually carry my e-reader *and* a paperback in my bag when I go out (which even I have to say it’s a little insane)…
you have to be prepared in case your ebook battery dies. you cannot be without reading material!!!!
Exact same reasoning for me. I started bc I read A LOT and pretty quickly (don’t worry— fast once but then re-read the good ones over and over — eg. HA books fersure), and when I went away, it was always tough to pack enough books. Also, they took up so much space and if I loved them they took more space coming home. So I started reading on my iPad and the rest is history.
Then I found my Library’s online borrowing Ap and it exploded, since I could be anywhere and reading.
I still love hardcovers and buy them for the kids but I’m pretty much e-reading now.
However, the amount of $$ going back to Authors is criminal. So conflicted much??? Yeah.
Same boat here, and an additional reason for me is shelf space in my own home. Sadly, I do not live in a house with separate wings, one of which being a library (but, oh I can dream!!!!). I made a deal with the husband, if the series is already going in print on my shelves, then it may continue, however, anything “new” needs to go into ebook format. I’ve been known to pull a book off a shelf and open it and stick my e-reader inside it to kind of cheat so my kids still see me reading, but I mostly don’t have that kind of time when they are awake, so it’s not that big of a deal, yet.
Deb Swanson says
I’m all about the font. My eyes aren’t what they used to be but I still love to read, That means ebook so I can blow it up to the size to read it easily.
My youngest son, now 32, is who introduced me to the Innkeeper series and the fact that it was serialized on a blog which is online. He loves books in print! We went to the library and came home back in the day with bags of books. He still reads and loves the printed word. E-books are useful too but even my 4 year old grandson loves to go to the library! I guess the point I am trying to make is print or ebook it doesn’t matter if the story is good someone somewhere will shout it out to family and friends whether published by a huge firm or self published.
I have been addicted to reading since I learned how. If I had my way I would still own every book I read. However, I would not be able to live in my house if that was the case. I went to ebooks for the space and ease. Also I never know what I’m in the mood for and have a wider choice at hand. I’ve discovered some fabulous authors I would never have heard of on ebooks. Having said all of that I miss the tactile feeling and smell of an actual book. I still buy one occasionally but sadly not as many. In the long run I prefer the author to be better compensated and to continue to educate and entertain us.
Yes!! Space in the house also a major consideration.
Karen the griffmom says
Amen to that. We have no more space for bookshelves. None. The floors in certain spots upstairs dip in a somewhat alarming manner: round items roll toward the bookshelves.
Natasha Johnson says
I love pretty books! I read a lot of ebooks just because it is more convenient for travel and price but I also buy the paperback or hardcover of books I really enjoy because I’m like a dragon with books they are my treasures and I want to be able to see them on my shelf, I have also started buying more paperbacks of books I reread constantly because as I’m getting older the screen is harder on my eyes and causing headaches even when I wear my glasses because if I’m really into a book I won’t put it down until I have finished it and it’s a lot easy to do that with paperback.
Arika Ito says
I’m a huge fan of physical books but I do not have the space for them! I do most of my reading via Kindle Unlimited and Libby through my local library and that does me just fine. Of course the books that I absolutely adore and love and will reread until I’m dead? They go on the shelf. Coincidentally, I now have 2-3x copies of the Hidden Legacy, Kate Daniels, and the Edge series. I haven’t been able to find the Innkeeper Chronicles series in the wild. When Sweep of the Heart comes out, I’ll be getting. P.S. this might have been over kill but I got 4 copies of Ruby Fever bc I’m crazy. I also have my sister who introduced me to Ilona Andrews in the same house tho lol.
Megan H says
Love the insight. I do a fair bit of e-reading but always buy the books in a series so I can lend them out to others, and have something to read when the power is out and I can’t charge the tablet lol. I tend to buy paperbacks but love the trade size and when the hardcovers include maps and art they are my choice.
I read e-books because I can get them at midnight. I usually get a house Andrews book in paper as well. But I have to wait a few days for that one.
For me, ebooks are not about price but about being able to manage font for aging eyes and pain in hands. And space in my Library aka the third bedroom. I do still have stacks of books everywhere and will buy print to share.
Always interesting to see the business side of creativity. (Husband is an artist)
I switched to ebooks years ago because I was tired of lugging around an extra suitcase full of books every time I went anywhere. I have no regrets, but I really miss how easy it was to swap books with a friend, or loan someone your copy so they could try out a new (to them) series. I just don’t get that flexibility anymore.
Everything author I read I buy an ebook. Also, for my favorites, I also buy a paper/hardback book. I like them on my shelf. I like knowing I’m supporting a favorite author. And, if the opportunity arises, I like to have a physical book that can be signed. For fans, that last one is a big deal. A tangible link to the author. I don’t see my buying habits changing. I’m in.
Leigh Ann Parente says
Same. Except for me it’s audio. I’ll try an author / series on audio. But if I LOVE an author, then I have ALL THE FORMATS!
Like for launch of Ruby, I’ve been going back to my paper copies of the rest of the series, to hunt for details and clues. So much easier to do on paper.
I do almost the same. I buy the ebook for the convenience of reading it anywhere. I love being able to pull my phone out of my pocket anytime I have a few minutes to read. However additionally for authors or books I love, I also buy a paper copy to keep—hardback if available.
I collect all of the IA series. For the innkeeper series, because it can appeal to so many (low sex & violence, high humor & storyline) in addition to paper, ebook & audio for myself, I send a copy of each new release to my granddaughters, and buy a “loaner” set I use to introduce friends to the series and authors. If my local library had shelf space for paperbacks I’d buy IA books for them.
As a reader, I’m extremely unhappy with the way big businesses deal with authors and are controlling the marketplace. Not only are established authors mistreated to the point it makes them question their career choices, it discourages new authors and “low volume” story lines. Sad/bad for us all!
I would EAT UP limited edition KD or HL hardcovers. I recently joined Litjoy Crate and Illumicrate for their limited and unique hardcover options and based on the waiting lists those companies have, it’s becoming a popular trend.
I e-read most books. I do not have the physical space for all of my library if it were printed. I have found that for certain authors, present company included, I buy the hardcover version + the e book. I can have the tactile enjoyment of a physical book on occasion, and not wear it out with multiple readings. Also don’t have to worry about my books self destructing over the years.
When I was in my 20s and moving every few years, I had to consider carefully every physical book and the advantage of having 100s of ebooks vs physical was a real consideration. Now that I own my house and can think about things like a library in my study, I’m leaning back to physical books for sure. I still buy ebook copies for traveling but I’ve gone from 90/10 ebook vs physical to 50/50.
Donna Richmond says
I am almost exclusively e-book and audiobook now. I used to buy hardbacks if available, paperbacks if not. But then my house burned and I lost all my books. It’s been 10 years and I still have trouble buying an actual paper book because I’m afraid of what will happen to it. E-books and audiobooks don’t have that problem. Price isn’t the issue, if I like a book, I generally buy both the ebook and the audiobook because I’m a re-reader/listener.
As an author- do you have a preference between Kindle or Apple I-books, or some other e-publisher?
Leigh Ann Parente says
Omg. I’m so sorry.
My heart stopped for a second.
+1 That would be horrifying. I have a lot of OOP stuff. Some of it would be ridiculously expensive to find in a physical edition now. Not that I reread some of it that often, but when I want to reread, I want to reread NOW.
Moderator R says
I’m so sorry to hear of that loss and the trauma is fully understandable!
No, House Andrews have always stated they have no preference, the want the readers to get to the books however it’s most convenient, just please don’t pirate. The terms of various e-platforms are pretty similar 🙂
When I read A Flame In Byzantium by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, the most horrifying moment (despite being a vampire novel) was when I realized she was going to describe the burning of the Library of Alexandria.
I am so sorry. I know how that feels. Happened to me decades ago and there are still books I miss. Second hand sellers have helped me out a lot, as has the ABE website. I wish many happy years of reading to come.
Very interesting reading. Anothet factor that will pmay into my future purchasing is the following. Recently kobo changed their t and c for pre orders. They now take the price on the date of pre order rather than before when the price was taken on the day of publishing.
So now I will be waiting to buy the book on the date of publishing rather than have paid 6 months ahead. Bit of a *beep* situation for the authors I think as it will look less good on numbers of pre orders, if lots of people do this.
But honestly it is annoying
Many thanks Maria
So they don’t give you back the difference between the price at pre-order and the price at release? They’re not supposed to charge you until the item is “shipped”, so how can they justify charging you something other than the price at the time of shipment? That sounds like a complaint for the FTC (I think that’s the correct agency).
no unfortunately, they changed the T&C for most international ( ie Not US, Canada and a few others) So the guarantee was removed. So the day you order is the day you buy and hand over the money. It is unfortunate as now i will not pre -order very far ahead… So like for Ruby fever, I pre-ordered months ago – for any further releases, I will likely just buy the day of release or maybe a little before
I bought mass market paperbacks because they were portable. You know what’s even more portable? My cell phone, upon which I have a nook app (my preferred eReader format) and a Kindle app (because sometimes good books get published on Kindle only). Almost infinite books, in the palm of my hand. I even have audiobooks packed into the same space.
I miss the easy visibility of print books in all the places that they used to be, but I understand their fading.
I am surprised that there has been a significant surge in popularity of other print formats though. I still buy a few of them; from authors I particularly love, or if I come upon a foreign language edition that interests me. I’m not surprised that they haven’t had a reduction in sales, since the easy access and portability wasn’t really a driver there. But an increase does surprise me.
I am an older reader who does not like ebook or audio. I want to hold and own the book I bought, not just the right to read it. My format will never cease to be supported. I don’t buy hardcover because it is 1)expense,2)heavy, and3)takes up too much space. Since I have run out of wall space already, I must curate my collection.
I have also noticed that the quality of the binding on hardcovers has declined significantly, while the price has gone up. A pretty trade with decent spacing and ink is the way to go for me.
Leigh Ann Parente says
Pretty printed, yes please.
I know you’re preaching to the choir here. We’re in your blog. You’ve already got our money.
But – I’m sad that my shelf looks like this. See those few Kate hardcovers, that don’t match the rest of the series? I want ALL THE HARDCOVERS!!!!
Also. Like. This pic was years ago. You’ve got your own shelf now, all IA, just IA.
I can’t get IA to fit on one shelf unless I turn them on their backs and stack them vertically.
Leigh Ann Parente says
LOL! Yes. I actually have the trade paper Kate’s stacked vertically to fit.
It makes perfect sense. I buy your books in at least 3 formats, audio, which, is how I more often consume the books, a pretty hopefully hardback for my shelves and ebooks so if I want to read it, I can enlarge the print and it’s easier to hold.
For nearly all other authors, I’m usually audio and sometimes ebook.
My three young adult children will only read books in print format. They are all readers and love to pass on a book they enjoyed with each other. They can not stand to read books in an ebook format. They make faces at the thought of reading a book digitally. For them their devices are for videos only.
I used to love books in my hands and bookshelves – well all over my home. I’ve skewed to e-books because my living space has shrunk, my life became more hectic (hence hard to tote and keep track of things), and my eyesight got worse. My appetite for reading was the only thing that grew.
That being said, despite the user friendliness of screen reading (coordinate latest page read across my laptop, Kindle, and phone? Sweet!), I still prefer books – their smell and feel are so satisfying. I will buy books for pretty covers and to support independent bookstores. I will keep my preferred editions of YA books because the older ones had illustrations in them.
Finally, I read the preface of Ruby Fever, and was moved to buy a paper version (as well as the e-book) to support your contribution to relief efforts for the people in the Ukraine. Thank you for all you do – your interesting posts, your great stories, and making a great online corner where great people can read and share thoughts on common topics of interest.
ELLEN RYAN says
💯 agree on the mass market/hardcovers! My 22 year old reads voraciously and only likes those formats. I am not sure how she can hold some of them up to read given the length and thus size of her preferred genre 😁.
Amy H says
I was looking everywhere for a hardcover edition of the KD series and struck out. I read them every year or so, and would love to spend that time with physical books rather than my kindle. I am hoping you all find a positive publishing partner so we can enjoy those pretty books!
Also, I really appreciate your transparency and perspective on all things publishing. It is fascinating!
Moderator R says
There is no full hardcover set of KD, I’m afraid.
I’d love this as well! I’ve got a paperback/ebook mix but would kill for a hardcover collection.
Jana Oliver says
Walsh is wrong.
I’ve experienced the “paper plate” promotion (US publisher) and the “china plate” promotion (UK and Germany). I will always remember the marketing meeting for my second in the series. I gave the US team my detailed 2-page plan for promoting the book launch, which was a ton of promo on my part. A friend of mine (a marketing pro) helped me fine tune it. Then I asked the team what they would be doing. The answer: Posting on their blog that my latest book would be coming out. Which they didn’t do until I reminded them.
Contrast that with the UK and German marketing teams who were fabulous, with targeted promotions, videos, a customized logo for the series, the works. The books hit the bestseller lists there. I know that often marketing/promotion doesn’t always help you reach new readers. In my case it did, providing the publisher actually gave a damn.
And to be honest, howadays authors are lucky they even get a paper plate.
Elizabeth Krentz-Wee says
You make an interesting point about book formats.
I like to switch between ebook and audio, and I need large type. Arthritis means that the last thing I want is a large print paper book that will tax my hands.
My 32 year old daughter? She loves her paper books, and buys her fav authors in hardback.
She and I do share a kindle library,
The last part is very true in our house. I read a lot and I reread books I like. I don’t have the space for all my books so I buy ebooks. My high schooler loves trade paperbacks. And, yes, she and her friends trade, borrow and gift them. She gave a friend one of the Heart Stopper books as a birthday gift, it was a huge hit. I don’t think it is even available in mass market paperback. My college student faces the smaller campus living spaces. She prefers trade paperbacks, but is buying more ebooks or borrowing from the library. The only mass market paperbacks we buy are in the ones for my kid’s english class.
I love a good book in my hand and am a daily reader. It’s my calm (coloring helps too). I can be patient and not be tense anywhere if I have a book with me. E-books allow me to have a book with me just about anywhere and not only one book but a multitude.
We travel and I used to have to figure out how to either lug books in my backpack or leave shoes (heaven forbid) at home to have space for 4 or 5 books. E-books solved that. My happy place is to have an e-book reader for everything but also the printed books for my favorites. You are definitely in the favorites category!
I love the bigger font ebooks, hardcovers and trade paperback offer. Mass market are hard on the arthritis and eyes…lol I also listen to audiobooks. Favorite authors like you have me buying multiple formats.
I am one of the diehards holding onto mass market paperbacks.
Whenever possible, yes. I want something I can stick in a pocket when I head into a waiting room or airport lounge. My Nook is too big, and my eyes are too old to read for long on my phone. I’m thinking about loading a few favorites onto it for emergencies though.
Deanna Zinn says
Sadly, there’s a major paper shortage nationwide currently that may be contributing to the lack of print orders, as well.
I have an ereader that I carry with me everywhere. I also buy hardcover/softcover books of my favorite authors, what I call my ‘keepers’, which are duplicated in my ereader.
Karen E says
Great editors ROCK!!
Roxanne Wynne Davenport says
I’m a retired librarian and I’m all in for supporting authors and making physical books available. In an academic library, in particular, we still see researchers who want to spread out with multiple print resources. That being said, we also have the issue of what to do with physical copies when they age out. I also face that problem in my personal life. My parents kept every book they ever bought, along with a bunch passed down in the family, including years’ worth of those blasted Reader’s Digest Condensed Editions. When cleaning out the estate, I was faced with evaluating, sorting and trying to dispense with over 1000 books. No amount of selling, sharing or giving away even dented the pile, and no nonprofit wanted them. Most ended up at a recycler or in a landfill. I still have 4 tubs full of my dad’s vintage Westerns because many of them are out of print and exist nowhere digitally, and I can’t bear to trash them. I have no kids and I own several hundred books already. I switched to Kindle years ago for convenience but also to alleviate this problem.
If your dad’s books are in the public domain, you can digitize them and submit them to Project Gutenberg if you are interested. They might be willing to digitize them for you, I really don’t know. It’s all done by volunteers as far as I know. I have supported them a number of times and also picked up books I was looking for from them. https://www.gutenberg.org/
Hi Roxanne, another retired librarian here ::waving::
Some academic institutions collect “popular culture” items like comic books, movie ephemera, and genre fiction. Last year I donated about half my books to Bowling Green’s Browne Popular Cultures Library to make room for new interests. If there’s no place in your area you might look into them https://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl.html
You might also want to check with nearby nursing homes, senior centers, even jails and prisons. Some of them may take donated books.
Sarah T. says
When I finished college 17 years ago and didn’t know what to read “for fun”, the public library and physical books were my best friends. Once I got caught up on a series, I started dabbling in ebooks –I received my first eReader in 2009. I had to move back home, thanks to the Recession, so my mom and I would share our ebook libraries with each other. We were reading the same genres which made it cost-effective for me.
Now, because Lore Olympus published the first two volumes of its web comic, I am making an effort to buy ebook AND paper versions of the things I truly enjoy reading. I’m lucky that my city has two really good local bookstores that can order paper versions of most books (I pre-ordered Ruby Fever in both formats 😁).
Thank you for the explanation. I hate that most of my favorites receive the paper plates of publishing practices (say that five times fast!) I prefer print but have widened due to necessity. My personal problem with the reduced amount of mass market books is that I lose track of some authors I love. Ebooks, self publishing, etc are good but i can’t follow every author I adore. I miss the thrill of finding a new book has come out because it’s right there- larger than life- in a pretty print format 🙂
Similar issues in the entertainment market for home video (DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) versus digital (DTO, VOD, Streaming).
Pop culture titles tend to handle better, and with it corresponding genres like fantasy/sci-fi, comics. Those fans are more likely to want a special in-the-hand precious still. And don’t want to rely on it being digitally available where they can access it still, especially if services or device support disappears.
We need competition, so we can have more variety, and better prices for consumers.
Please, please bring us trade paperbacks. Trade paperback or e-books are easiest for me to read. I buy HA mass markets because that’s the only way I can get them to have on my shelves and show my support for HA (hard covers are not an option for me). Then I will often borrow the e-book from the library to actually read. I love paper books but the mass market print is just too small for me.
Donna A says
The idea of a monopoly in publishing is worrisome. I mean a monopoly anywhere is not great but for books, the gateways to knowledge, this is scary. Even if authors go the self-pub route the amount of power a single mega publishing house could wield is disturbing. Say for example one day the big boss decides they don’t like a particular genre and won’t print it. Then this would spread and trickle down insidiously through the marketplace as prejudice. Next thing you know that genre is sidelined. Everyone knows big boss and the monopoly don’t approve – if you want their stock, the only stock pretty much available, the stock that all competitors have, that they can spend all the money promoting, then you have to fall in line. Now that genre is obsolete and suppressed. It has no voice. There’s no other publisher it can go to, the genre can’t afford to compete with the monopoly, the bookshops can’t help and the consumers don’t know any different because they can only buy the monopoly.
Now extrapolate from there. Exchange genre for anything you like. Something tiny even or something so much bigger.
It doesn’t matter what format it is, freedom of expression is not freedom if it’s only held by one group.
And fiction may be a minor thing, ‘it’s just a book’, ‘it’s not important’, but it’s a slippery slope to risk teetering on.
Monopolies are tyranny in capitalist clothing.
Hopefully you can find something that works for you. I’m one of those die-hard mass market paperback fans who buys trade paperbacks if there’s no mass market option. I keep trying e-books and will buy it sometimes due to cost, but it makes me feel like I’m reading fan fiction.
I have not been following the trial and I must say it does sound interesting, but not sufficiently heh. I suppose I would be much more interested if I was an author having to deal with the behemoth.
Wow, I really did expect B&N to order more than that. I think they have a little more than 600 stores across the nation, so that means they’ve ordered 5-6/store. Glad I’ve already ordered my paper copy with bookplate!
I am amazed by the numbers you quote for sale of your first two Kate books. Truly, I didn’t see that coming. I know you were new authors and it was quite a while ago, I just guess I thought it would be a tad more lol. From previous posts, now that you are well established, self publishing sounds better and better all the time. But even so, some publicity never hurts to get the word to new readers, which I suppose makes dealing with a publishing house of some kind also attractive. Sigh
As to paper books. I do still buy them but I buy more ebooks than not. It’s a matter of storage mostly and convenience partly. Plus quite a number of the most recent authors I’ve been reading are self published and a paper copy is POD and expensive.
I have gotten rid of all the hardbacks in my library as they take up too much space. Some I replaced with paper and some as ebooks. I have no objection to trade paperback as opposed to market, but having said that, I tend to buy the smaller book. Storage space again. But if only the trade paperback is available, then that’s my choice. Just my two cents!
Moderator R says
It is interesting for us readers as well, speaking personally. As Donna A underlined higher up in the comments, a monopoly means that one policy (that of the monopoly holder) will dominate the market. This will lead to less diversity overall, as genres, ideas, authors etc who do not fit in the purchasing target of the mega-buyer will not have access to trad publishing any more.
It will also lead to fewer imprints and fewer editors. Which means a lack of book quality too and overworked publishing staff given projects they can’t detail. Fewer editors with experience in the business affects self-published authors too, btw, so as readers we can expect an overall decline.
Fewer debut authors, fewer midlist in general, because as the contracts number shrinks, there’s less risk appetite- the big names get signed and that’s it. Agents and authors in general will hold significantly less leverage, and will have to “fall in line” and possibly sacrifice creatively if they want to be traditionally published.
All of this would impact my reading habits negatively.
I prefer reading my eBooks for a large variety of reasons. BUT – I also like pretty hardbacks\large format softback books on my shelf for specific authors even if I never open them and only lug them out to get them signed. It’s like artwork and supports my favorite authors.
The reason for my eBook format is I can change the font, increase\decrease the brightness or change colors – for when my eyes are tired or I’m battling a migraine. Pre-COVID I traveled about 5 out of 7 weeks – and lugging 3-4 books to read on top of 1 – 3 laptops, tech & clothes w\o checking luggage just wasn’t in the cards. Even now that I don’t travel, I have learned to love my tablet to read – which I do almost daily. Before I traveled I was 100% dead tree books 🙂
I am glad more folks are seeing how the publishing industry really is. Authors make a pittance in comparison. Authors that sell do a good living, but the publisher makes the lionshare. I’m ecstatic that you guys can now be more independent and am totally here to buy books (in whatever form) to support you.
I am also an older reader, like Bunny, but I do most of my day-to-day reading (yes, it’s every day) on my iPad or phone. It is a matter of weight and space. I have my phone where ever I am, so I always have a book when I have a moment to read.
My Kindle library is more than 8K books. I have some of them in hardcopy, but simply have no space for those books, plus the ones I have from 60 years of book acquisition.
When my favorite authors (like HA and Patricia Briggs) have a new book, I buy it in ebook and hardback if possible. I like the portability of the ebook, but still love the “real book” feeling.
There is also the durability issue. I have worn out many of my older books. I can read my ebooks without worrying about cracking the spine or losing pages that have come loose.
I started with an e-reader while living in the NYC area. I had an hour train ride twice a day and e-books saved my sanity. I could read so many books that I ventured to other authors. That is how I found the KD series and on to other House Andrews writings. I am never without a book or hundreds.
I started reading ebooks mostly for space in my house :). And the fact that I can make the font bigger on my tablet is an extra bonus. That said, if I ever get my library straightened out, there will always be those authors that I have in multiple formats.
Laura Blayney says
If and when it happens, I will rebuy every title you have in trade/hardcover! I actively dislike mass market so titles only available in that size I tend to buy the ebook. But I love hard cover and trade- especially when a completed series is sold together and just looks amazing on my shelves.
Point to you.
In the past five to ten years, the number of print books I have purchased has dwindled to a tiny fraction of the number of ebooks/audio books I have purchased–hundreds of electronic to one print–and of the print books, all are hardcovers or some other form of “special edition” format. Which makes sense. Electronic is convenient and highly portable, and I can jump from print to audio and back again as the situation allows, but it’s not as “pretty”.
For the most part, I don’t have time to sit down next to a cozy fire and read the day away; I’m squeezing in a few minutes here and there between appointments. So, when I do find those rare few hours of uninterrupted time, it’s nice to spend them with something “special”. And in the meantime, they look awesome on my shelf, and seeing them there makes me happy. 😊
Bill W says
I went to ebooks for space reasons. I also like the ability to search for a book by typing in author’s name and title if known instead of searching through stacks of books. I also got tired of taking a suitcase just for books on vacation. I am interested in understanding why not all authors ebooks are lendable. The discussion of how physical books are shared and new fans are developed, indicates that the ability to share books is one of the best marketing techniques available. The cost difference between an ebook on Amazon is so small ($1-$2) that I assume that the author doesn’t make more money on paperbacks vs ebooks.
I was a die-hard print only reader until the second gen fire came out. Then I dabbled in e-books. I still buy most of the books I read just because my sibs and I pass them around. We are in our 50s, so it’s not a kid thing, LOL. Space, however, is becoming an issue. Our local library did a call for books, and I took three hundred books in for them. 300. and I still have multiple bookshelves that have books stacked at least two deep with more on top of those. I’m warming up to e-books….
I love paper books; ever since I was brought to public libraries in grade 3, print books have been associated with fun, thrills, a bigger world. I love taking a book off the shelf, knowing ‘spatially’ where to open to read a particular scene; or flipping back and forth to check plot/character/map details. I haven’t been able to develop that dimensional sense with digital media. Also, a comfort during power outages like the 5 days I had this spring. Like others mentioned, they’re easier to lend. Easier after long days staring at work screens.
Digital has advantages; like others said, it’s convenient to adjust font and read in the dark, plus I find audio is like going to a well-known play with different actors, bringing shifting nuances or interpretations.
But I’ll buy paperbacks (occasionally trade or hardcover) for all my fave authors for as long as format is available. With some books in more than one format. 😉
Judy Schultheis says
The only family joke about me that bears any resemblance to reality is that I learned to read when I was five and haven’t stopped.
The only Ilona Andrews book I’ve every bought hardcopy is Gunmetal Magic. I have all of them on my Kindle. And I do mean ON my Kindle. I pre-order everything you guys write as soon as you post that it’s available.
There are a couple of authors that I read from the library when a new book comes out and buy the hardcopy when the mass market paperback finally arrives. There is one series that I buy the e-book and then the mmpb both.
I’ve tried many authors I’d never heard of because of recommendations on this blog. I’m still reading several of them. Even if I didn’t dearly love the stories you tell, I’d stick around just for the good advice.
Breid Foxsong says
I read trade paperbacks if I can. As a librarian with a very limited budget (both me and the library! LOL) books that are not in the system but I own, end up getting shared with my patrons, especially older books (example, I own the entire Weather Warden series by Rachael Caine. Our 3 county system only bought her Cainsville books and, since the WWs are more than 3 years old, they won’t spend the $ to acquire them….so my books come in and are “checked out” by patrons. If I donate my books, they will be disposed of as “random paperbacks” in 3 years as part of the standard culling process. ) I will get books on Kindle, but if I plan to reread them, a trade paperback lets me share.
Moderator R says
Could your library use a donation of Ruby Fever in paperback form? Please send details to email@example.com if interested 🙂
Thanks for the interesting insight into book sales. I really wish publishers treated their authors better.
I have a friend who works for S&S, I know a number of them are concerned about what will happen to their jobs if/when the merger goes through.
I held out a long time, but I am almost exclusively ebooks now. I fought against it not because I prefer actual books, but because I knew that having immediate access to whatever I wanted to read whenever I liked was going to get expensive quickly. And it did, but I love it!
For me it’s also about space. My husband’s also a big reader, and our house is very small. If we didn’t limit most of our books to e-format, there wouldn’t be space for us, let alone our cats.
Danielle Danielle says
I’m definitely in that demographic. I used to buy paperbacks all the time. I have not purchased a paperback for myself in about 8 years. I prefer to read an ebook on my phone. I love that I can download a book anytime as long as I have data or wifi.
I buy actual books for my kids (tween & teen) but they don’t seem to care if it is hardcover or not.
For me it comes down to space and convenience when discussing ebook vs physical copies. Who has space for a couple thousand books, or the ability to take 25 books with you on vacation because you’re not sure what you will be in the mood to read when you get there??
Grace Draven says
Is Walsh living under a rock? The paper plate/fine china thing is real. I’m a midlist author who self publishes and is also contracted with P/RH. I’m pretty sure if I approached P/RH to foot the bill on a nationwide, in-person, book signing tour for the trilogy I have with them, they’d laugh themselves silly, then tell me in no uncertain terms “No.”
I miss the days of buying new books at the grocery store or drug store (plus I spent hours at the bookstore), but nothing can beat the convenience of digital books. I often find myself getting a new book at 1:00 am and I could not imagine waiting for it to come to me anymore. However, I still want them to be available for others! I would be so sad if print books disappeared forever.
Anymore I tend to buy special edition physical books and then ebooks for everything else. I didn’t start reading ebooks because of the cost, I did it because I was going on a week long cruise and my suitcase would have been MAJORLY overweight if I had packed the number of books I would actually read on vacation. So I book a nook and purchased a bunch of books I had on my “want to buy/read” list and went on my cruise. I read through almost all of them between sitting in the airport, on the plane, and evenings on the balcony listening to the ocean. Probably the most relaxing vacation I ever took.
But once I made the switch I was hooked, because now no matter where I am I have either my nook or my kindle with me (or the apps on my phone) so I am never without a large number of books in easy reach. But ebooks also helped with storage, because I quite simply don’t have the bookshelves or the space to store every book I want to keep and read (and reread).
It also means that when I pay for physical books I’m looking for something special, whether it is signed copies, special editions or what have you and I generally am willing to spend a lot more when I do buy physical books because of that. I still buy the ebook version, but my favorite authors, IA included of course, I have multiple copies of their books in multiple formats. Hardback, paperback, audiobook, and ebook.
One downside of people not reading as much in paper formats is the second-hand market, most of my favorite authors were found because I picked them up in a used bookstore because at the time I was still in school and working a minimum wage job, books were a luxury that I saved for. Now I am a lot pickier about what I will pay money for, I might try new authors if I find them on sale, otherwise I only pick them up because someone recommended them. And there is no more browsing the bookstore and wandering the shelves and randomly picking up books with interesting covers to see if the story is interesting too. So I do less impulse buying. But it does mean that my book budget has more wiggle room these days, so I’m willing to pay a premium for the “special” books.
If IA were to put out illustrated special editions, I would be all over that, pretty much regardless of price.
Marisa V says
As a Spanish woman who reads books in English, ebooks were my holy grial, as paper books costed an arm and a leg. And, as somebody who is able to read 5 books or more in a week holidays, ereader were a savior (11 paperbacks from London to Madrid in a backpack didn’t help my back). And I’ve never been a book fan, I’ve always been a reader, who purchased the cheapest format so she could buy more books, and it hasn’t changed, only the cheapest, comfortable format.
I buy both paperback and digital because 1) authors are way under paid for the joy and comfort they give! I just reread the entire KD series for probably the 10th time. 2). I can have the books at my fingertips! I love reading a real book but sometimes you’re stuck either in a place where carrying books around isn’t really possible 😅 like on vacation (especially when you can go through a book a day!) Or when you’re at a boring family event! Then I have my best friends right there ready and willing to help me escape! I hated reading growing up (undiagnosed dyslexic) but now you can’t catch me without a book! Keep the books coming and I’ll keep buying! 😉
Terrie C says
Katew, I think we are on the same KD re-reading schedule. I just finished the entire KD series, including Blood Heir. They are a joy each and every time I read them. I own them all in eBook form but I do have a few special books in paper format. Even though I resisted in the beginning, eBooks makes it easier to ALWAYS have the book on hand that you want to read in a particular moment.
Thanks so much for sharing. This makes perfect sense. As a retired, voracious reader (and fledgling author), I buy almost exclusively in e-book (kindle) format. The adjustable font size lets me read without glasses in the evening without keeping my hubby awake. I’m slowly replacing the best books in my hardcopy collection with e-books unless the covers are especially beautiful and the book is a first edition.
I have always read 4-5books a week. My kids don’t remember me without a book. I read ebooks now.I go through 7-8 books per week . 3 of my children are big readers , the fourth child has a processing disorder and dyslexia , he tries to read its a lot of work for him. Example is important for children. When they are grown it’s in grained. They are in their 30s. We have family dinner every week .
I’m a multimedia reader. I have noticed that there are differences in how I experience a book if I read the physical copy rather than the e-book version. I do make a point of having physical copies of books that I like to reread. (And am somewhat paranoid that the Kindle platform will suddenly disappear or ration the number of books I can keep in the cloud.) There are authors I follow that are only available in e-format.
Physical storage is a problem -when the stair case stacks get unstable it can get dangerous!
My older eyes do tire now with the small print in paperbacks – so I do head for Trade size and with the favorites- hard cover.
The decline in quality of paper and bindings is distressing. (The first hardcover I ever purchased for myself when I was in high school has held up better than some that are only a few years old. – And I agonised over the price, a whole $4.95! -A Mary Stewart novel btw.
And House Andrews definitely is bought in all forms – physical, e-book for travel comfort reading and audio.
Several years ago I was at a literary festival and went to a panel with some big name authors in children’s/middle grades lit as well as Margaret Atwood and China Mieville. At one point there was a discussion about publishers requiring authors to publish a certain number of blog posts and interact on. Tumblr and twitter to help with advertising. Several of the authors were frustrated by this as it wasn’t a good use of their time or they didn’t feel comfortable with social media. I believe it was Atwood who said that (at the time) she absolutely wouldn’t do it. She said her publisher had never approached her about it and if they had she would have said no. Why should she do their marketing for them while they are taking a cut of sales was the gist of it. She also acknowledged that she had a lot more sway with publishers than newer authors, but it still wasn’t fair to ask them to do the advertising the publisher had promised to do when singing a contract.
Terrie C says
I was book in hand until 2019. I was going on a cruise and needed a way to read books without carrying a bunch of them.
In the beginning I still preferred having book in hand, but with everything going on, including COVID, I have become a convert to eBooks. I still buy them (or at least all of IA) but most of my purchases are eBooks and I go to the library for paper books. I will purchase an actual book if it’s special, but it is usually only after I read it online.
I have actually started reading Bulfinch’s Mythology, which I don’t think I would have if it wasn’t available online.
Yes to the non-cringe covers. It is bad that the Kate Danials and first 3 Hidden Legacy books had such bad covers. The first thing to cover is that these are not Harlequin drug store romances.
I really want to see authors having absolute control over the cover art. I had no idea that this wasn’t so. The art of your stories on your blog is so much better than what was sent out into the world to represent your works.
Then the publisher keeping 75%!!! OMG 😱 Robber Barons. 👿
Moderator R says
In traditional publishing, the authors have little to 0 input into cover design, audiobook narrator etc. Even the title is sometimes suggested by the publishing house, who makes all these decisions for marketability.
Self pub gives back control, but also means the writer has to pay for all of it, as well as do the research and try to find the best options and best practices- which takes time away from writing https://www.ilona-andrews.com/2021/i-have-the-power/
It’s one of the many trade-offs between the two paths 😊
Pam F says
Holding a book just brings joy. The space needed for paper books is an issue for me nowadays.
Here’s the article that incorporates all the reasons I gave for spending my allowance and book money on paperbacks and hardcovers growing up.
Patricia B. says
Thanks for the link. Fascinating article.
“Holding a book just brings joy.” So true 🙂
The last time I went to BN, years ago, I spent 20 minutes looking for one of your books. I finally went to the counter and asked where it was. They told me they didn’t have it but could order it for me and I would get it in a week or two. That was the last time.
I have always liked an actual paper book in my hands. What has come up in the last few years is realizing no one else in my family are readers. Daughter is busy with work and watches tv for down time. Grandkids are busy with sports/school/work. (sigh) No one wants my books…. 2 walls each 9 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 2 books deep. I have been collecting books for 50 years. Some hardbacks but mostly paperbacks because of space and price. I like being able to walk in at midnight, think of a wonderful book I read years ago and pull it out for a reread. But my taste has changed and finding authors that appeal has become challenging…. so discovering Ilona Andrews, a few years back, was an exciting, delightful surprise. Thank you for sharing your wonderful imagination with us.
As long as I have the house space for them, I will buy print. The prettier, the better. I *also* buy ebooks.
1. Because the print book often comes later (I’m ordering from Germany and the days when Amazon delivered books on the publishing day are long over) and I want to read the book *now*!
2. I can take it with me on vacation or on a trip and re-read as often as I want.
But… I actually find reading on an e-reader a lot more strenuous (despite it being a paperwhite with background lighting and all) than print. And I like to flip back and forth in a book – and can’t do that on an e-reader. And I like to sometimes take a quick peek at the ending. Or am looking for something that I *know* I read in this or that chapter.
I find a print book a lot more accessible for me than an e-book.
But… I will buy both. One to keep on the shelf, one to read everywhere. And both, so that I can support my favorite authors. 🙂
Ronwen Guest says
Yes, it’s addictive.
But I had many ebooks, then Amazon stole them off my desktop and stranded them in the web. They tell me I can download them anytime, but, really, I can only borrow them.
I paid full price, they stole them without any permission or notice.
Where can I buy books in pdf or epub. I’ll stash them in Calibre.
Think that should isolate them?
I don’t want House Andrews book free, I want to make a copy mine.
I don’t throw books away. Never have. But it’s been ages since I bought a physical book.
Not since my 1st e-reader. I’m on my 4th now. A PocketBook after 3 Kobo’s.
Plus I have several apps on my phone and tablet. Kindle, Play Books, Kobo.
Occasionally this makes it difficult to find a book. Where, oh where did I buy it?
It’s my personal belief that mass market paperbacks are mostly sold at airports to travellers who forgot their e-reader.
I began reading fantasy & sci-fi as a teenager. Neither my school nor local public libraries carried most of what I was reading, e.g. Herbert, Anthony, Howard, Moorcock, Heinlein, Jordan, McCaffrey, LeGuin. I had a fabulous collection featuring complete series of mm paperbacks you couldn’t find easily. Some have been OOP for ages and are difficult to locate on the secondary market.
Never bothered to catalog everything because it was and then lost everything in a house fire. Oof. Very foolish of me.
So as much as I still love the physical presence of books, I’m completely digital nowadays. Moved back with my parents, sufficient storage is a huge ongoing problem, and storing them in a reader already organized into collections is so much easier.
That said, I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully reconstruct what I had due to costs and the lack of digitization. I miss my old Conan paperbacks.
I love this. As someone looking to publish my first book in the next year or so, it is fascinating to hear your journey. I’m terrified of which way to even try to go – self publishing is so different now than it used to be. But there is still so much unknown. I’m reading and researching everything I can while working with folks on editing and such. It’s wild. I admire your story so much (and your books!!)
Anyway, I’m am STOKED for Ruby Fever, and I love the idea of printed hardbacks and trade paperbacks. I buy ebooks like they are going out of style, but if I really love a series, I will get printed books if they exist (or if the author runs a special where they do a print series). It’s fun to have them. I definitely have a lot less than I did when I was young, though.
Moderator R says
Best of luck, Kristi! I hope this link might be of some use on read vs self pub pros and cons 😊 https://www.ilona-andrews.com/2019/hybrid-authors/
I absolutely have noticed that shrinking shelf space at B&N. I only pre-order on my auto-buy authors like you, so anything else is often a matter of checking which B&N location by me actually has a book in stock.
Also, I will absolutely buy trade or hardcover editions of your books if that becomes a possibility.
I’m old now. I still prefer mass market paperbacks to e-books. Especially if the e-book and the paperback are the same price or close to it. If I’m forking over nine dollars plus tax I want the book. I still don’t understand why e-books are priced so high. It’s not a physical object . Other than they can get away with it what is point of charging such huge prices? Trade paperbacks I buy sometimes but they are more money. Thank goodness for libraries.
A publishing house should help with editing, fact checking should be used for non-fiction books, and basic promotion at least. Cover art isn’t necessary but would make the author feel more a part of the process. Taking 75% is a lot it should be worth something.
That should say cover art selection.
Joyce Hunt says
I love to read and I attribute that to my mom reading to us kids at the breakfast table and in the evenings. If she wasn’t reading to us and wasn’t cleaning house then she was reading for herself and I grew up wanting to read her books in addition to mine. A trip to the library was like winning the lottery. Now if I try to read a book or on my Kindle for any length of time I get a migraine so now I’ve switched to audio books and I love them. It’s great to listen to a book as I clean or sew or whatever. I wish we could purchase used audio books as I have a lot that I wouldn’t mind trading for something new to me… but not my favorites that I listen to over and over.
I have mostly switched to e books. When I move I usually am downsizing at my age and it kind of hurts to give away books that I have kept for years and years. I also have found that paperbacks don’t stand up physically to rereads like they used to. Yes I am really old.
I love hardcovers and I do love the Subterranean Press editions. I got the Innkeeper one but the shipping has stopped me from getting the Small Magics one. Iirc the shipping was 50 dollars. Something like that anyway
I do love the hardcovers that I have in series that I read for the ease of looking up something in a past book that is referred to in a current one. I just had to do that this spring
This was so interesting to read. I always wonder if those “celebrity” autobiographies make back their allowances. For instance, the memoir Prince Harry is releasing supposedly had a multi million dollar advance. I just have a hard time seeing those types of books making a lot of money. I do not mean anything negative about Prince Harry or his wife just using that as an example of the type of books I was talking about. In the past, I loved to have hardbacks of my favorite writers. In fact I have a whole shelf of Mary Higgins Clark and I got to meet her and I have multiple of her books signed. But I just feel like I should be more environmentally conscious so these days I stick almost exclusively to ebooks or audible books. I love to sew and quilt. It is so relaxing to listen to a favorite book while I quilt. But, yes there is a quiet joy to holding a book and reading it.
I am on pins and needles for Ruby Fever. I have already reread the entire Hidden Legacy series.
Moderator R says
Ilona touches on celebrity books and their royalties here https://www.ilona-andrews.com/2021/earning-out-and-other-questions/
At this very moment, Jennette McCurdy autobiography has sold out everywhere one day after release because of the uproar on social media, and unless you watched Nickelodeon at a specific moment in time, you might even struggle to remember who she is.
Those books do sell.
I can’t believe that Barnes and Noble only ordered 3,312 copies for all of their stores!!! Meanwhile, my county library system already has 16 holds on the 7 copies they have on order. The demand is there! I’m eagerly awaiting my print version’s arrival. I do have a Kindle and occasionally read IA books in ebook format, but I still prefer the tactile sensation of flipping to a section in the book and re-reading a favorite passage.
Many years ago I worked in a quirky little bookstore that sold only Trade paperbacks and pretty hardcovers. No mass market. And they sold even though at the time they were twice, sometimes three times the price of mass market books being sold by the local chains. People like pretty books for all kinds of reasons and they make the space for them.
I reluctantly switched to an e-reader for most of my reading because 1) I could make the print bigger and it had backlight so that was a huge plus. 2) I downsized my living space, in doing so I had to part with around 600 books. I still have actual books, just a lot less. I still buy physical books because I like reading them, I love the smell and the way they feel in my hands.
As someone who worked as a magazine writer and then providing content for websites, writing is hard. making a living writing is even harder. So kudos to anyone who keeps doing it and doing it well!
I have a fairly severe allergy to dust mites and therefore books that have any kind of years on them are basically unreadable by me. Pick up an old paperback or hardback and within an hour of reading it my hands have welts and blisters. Go into a library and within minutes I begin to feel like there are vise grips on my lungs. I love reading and at 800 words a minute I cover a lot of material. You have no idea how grateful I am for the concept of an e-reader.
I never, ever thought I would give up physical books, but here I am, with books sitting on my shelves that I never reach for. I love books, I still like going to bookstores, but when I read, I pick up my Kindle.
I am slowly building up my audio collection, especially with Graphic Audio.
Emptying out the book collection at my parents house was sad. Adult kids and grandkids each took a few books, but the vast majority went to Half Price Books and the local Salvation Army resale shops. I did find the signed copy of a book written by my dad’s long-ago Masters degree advisor. Kept it not because the subject mattered to me (detailed descriptions and histories of several minor battles of the third Peloponnesian War), but because it is a physical link to my dad and a part of his life before marriage and kids.
Ebooks are great in so many ways, but a physical book is a touchstone.
Martina D. says
I don’t have any clue about your Business, but I totally agree with your explanation about the Teenagers. Two of mine buy and bought books because they like the cover and feeling of books. And they swaped between themselves.
Myself I prefer eBooks. Otherwise I wouldn’t have much room left in our flat
I personally read both physical and ebooks. I collect physical books of the titles I love and the authors who write them. I really do feel the quality of the physical printings of both paperbacks and hardbacks has declined greatly. And I work in a bookstore, so I cringe when I see the condition of how some of these books are shipped to us.
Jude C says
I love mass market paperback because they are small and portable. No real interest in hardbacks due to storage or pretty covers (what?) if they’re more expensive. I will also buy kindle editions at sensible prices. So I’m buying 2 copies quite often and that works for me.
Rowan Parker says
I tend to read a lot of books on my kindle as I read mainly during the night but my absolute obsession are hardcovers, especially special editions. I am fortunate enough to have my own reading room/book nook and there is nothing more satisfying than sitting in there surrounded by beautiful books. Unfortunately living in the UK we are limited to book boxes who post to the UK, luckily my absolute favourite one does and that’s Arcane Society, their covers are stunning, for a new book box they are definitely giving the big boxes a run for their money. So basically YES give me all the covers but I want more than just pretty, I want extraordinary!
I know the odds of this happening are next to zero… but my dream is that Kate Daniels will one day have a special edition hardcover set like the recent Illumicrate Bridgerton set. The spine artwork and other features were lovely.
It drives me nuts that the deadtree set I own are all different sizes. Triumphs is slightly taller than the other mmp, and it makes me want to cry when I look at my skewed shelf. It just doesn’t look right. 😭
Marcia Sundquist says
My family are readers, we have both books and e readers, we lost half of our books to a house fire so we had to recoup our books slowly what hurt the most was some were 1st additions in hard back which we can’t afford now since they were bought back in the seventy’s. But can get them in ebooks now.
I only read physical books, I’m just not into ebooks, but I don’t care what the cover looks like, I doubt I even know what the cover of the book I am currently reading is. The only time I can remember a book cover convincing me to buy a book was “The Selection” series by Kiera Cass, & I won’t make that mistake again. I read story descriptions, that’s what makes me read a book.
Maria Schneider says
I’m moving away from doing print altogether. Not that you are wrong–if you are a popular author, you can and will sell print books. It’s a rather large effort for me that sold decently 10 years ago. Now? Virtually none, even when I have a new book coming out. I also think print sales depends on the genre. I never sold many print books for Dragons of Wendal – romantic fantasy. I hear this from other indie romance authors too–ebooks totally rule in that space. Some of it can depend on page count as well. Dragons is on the shorter end for page count for what I write, and I think that can play into whether people are willing to shell out more for a print copy.
I don’t think you’ll ever have trouble selling various formats because you have a large following and your books cross genres, not to mention you have various series in various genres! But even as a reader, I’ve moved away from print copies (in all genres and I read a number of genres). Space is an issue, and I’m no longer in a place where I need to worry about sharing/borrowing/trading.
Thank you for your words of wisdom on writing and publishing. It is always informative to see what other authors are doing and where you put your energy and time. Love the blog and love the books!
Alecia Register says
I remember being home on leave and finding Magic Burns on the new releases wall at Waldenbooks (rip) reading a few pages and being hooked. Through most of my time in the Navy, I had a 200 dollar a month book habit. Times change and budgeting comes to everyone eventually, but the real reason I mostly use ebooks now over Mass Market is space; I have nowhere to put all the books I own up anymore, and most of my older hardcopies were lost to moves or floods or donation when I ran out of storage.
I miss the feel of flipping through an old favorite to re-read some not quite forgotten passage that I loved, but ebooks are much more convenient in nearly every way, now.
Thanks, I always find these behind-the-scenes glimpses interesting!
These days I buy everything but cookbooks in ebook format. Partly for the convenience on having my library in my purse, but also because adjusting the font makes a big difference now that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.
I also buy your books from Graphic Audio, because they’re fab to listen to when I can’t sit down and read. They’re perfect for walks, housework, long drives.
Bill G says
A fascinating look at background I’d never guessed at. Thank you!
My Kindle Oasis is my constant companion. I love it for the screen clarity, all the viewing adjustments it offers old eyes, and how I can carry around almost my entire library in one little device. I reserve my physical-book buying to the very occasional non-fiction book with interesting pictures. However, my son in his mid-30s likes both ebooks and trade paperbacks.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been buying more and more audiobooks because I like to listen while driving or doing chores that require both hands. I tend to buy audiobooks that I’ve also enjoyed reading; I own the ebook version of about 90% of my audiobooks. However, I’m pickier about audiobooks, as a narrator can make or break a listening experience.
Valerie in CA says
Once, I thought to myself; “if the publisher of Emerald Blaze took that cover to TV, billboards, etc an entirety new group of people would jump into the BDH”.
I am biased. Your books are no comparison for all the garbage shows on TV. Drama! Love! Angst! Adventure! Cool ways to kill people/things! Etc!
Presented with correct spelling and grammar.
Question: has House Andrews ever commented on what they think it would take for Indie Bookstores to be able to sell ebooks? I’ve grown to enjoy the ebook format and I use a Kobo that lets me side load books from anywhere, but I miss being able to support my local bookstores. I worry what will happen to them as ebook sales continue to increase.
One of my local bookstores (Murder by the Book) has instructions on buying Kobo books through their web site (I think) posted in the store.
Obviously, it must be doable somehow, though I have not done so.
Perhaps your local store needs to know people are interested in buying ebooks…
Once upon a time we gave away a Curran POV collection. It came in three formats: pdf, mobi, and ebook and had detailed instructions on how to put these files on various devices with pictures and screenshots.
We got so many emails asking us how to “read this on my Kindle” that eventually we pulled it down and sold it through Amazon because it was easier. Some emails angrily demanded that we put “a button to make it go to Kindle.”
People become accustomed to a certain way of doing things and the learning curve would be massive. Where would these ebooks be read? Would each store have their own app? Their own format? Where would they acquire the ebooks to sell, because uploading ebooks individually to dozens of retailers would not be feasible. You would have to have an aggregate wholesaler like Ingram is for books, but then that wholesaler would charge a fee and the bookstore would charge a fee, which would be passed on to customers.
Why do this when you can easily purchase from Amazon/Apple/BN/Kobo?
E-books are the only way I go. I have 7578 e-books, if this was in paperback/hardcover i would have no place to live
I love mass paperbacks! I would hate to lose them. In the past it was the cost that was important. Now it’s the weight of the book. A hardback and those large trade runs are too big and too heavy! I have an energy problem. It is too tiring to hold a large book now. I hope the smaller books stay viable for my lifetime.
I started ebooks around when my daughter was small and they let me read with the lights off when she slept with me and I couldn’t sleep. Now it’s a primary format. But anyway.. interesting post from “behind the scenes”… It’s hard to imagine the days of spending an hour picking a book to read and sitting at a table with a fresh roasted coffee waiting for someone interesting to walk by. For me this was at Bank Square Books and the Green Marble coffee shop in Mystic CT.
Barbara Swanson says
Yeah. I am self-published and the calls I get that someone ‘wants my book’ are never ending. What they really want is my $$ to purchase their ‘help’ and ‘promotional ability’.
I’m happy not going there. My book is super niche (functional nutrition handbook, hello!), and while it’s well-written and useful, it ain’t ever going to be a bestseller.
Am I the only one who has cats that insist on sitting on my lap when I am trying to read? This does not work with a physical book at all. So ereader all the way for me. Also, aging eyes appreciate the way I can resize fonts. Poor lighting also contributes to an appreciation of the kindle fire’s adjustable backlighting. Last, but not least, I have no room to store physical books or anyone to give them to upon my passing. As far as flipping pages on a physical book, I find the way you can do that on my kindle to be very easy. It is also easy to search for a name or other identifier when you are trying to find a certain passage. And you can highlight interesting passages, words, or sentences to your heart’s delight.
Alas, I can only read around one of my cats. When my Maine Coon Tuna sized @ 15 pounds and floofy) insists on occupying my chest, I cannot see over her. When she deigns to sit lower, there’s no room for the iPad.
I have gotten good at short naps until she moves…
Oops – missed the “open parenthesis” . Sorry
I really enjoy adjusting the font size. I need an e book for that. I thoroughly enjoy the pictures in the Inn Keeper series. As always, i am glad you walk your own path.
I was just talking with a bookstagram friend about how much money we would spend if Hidden Legacy came out in special edition with covers by Luisa Preissler (so?). I know that won’t happen since this series was with a traditional publisher, but I would love, love, love to get my meaty paws on trade paperbacks or hardcovers of the Kinsmen novellas or (fingers tightly crossed) some Hidden Legacy extension works.
I agree there’s a market and a hunger for the pretty books – thinking of Folio Society’s Howl Moving Castle (which I own), Daphne Press’s Sabriel (too expensive for me but gorgeous) or even Intisar Khanani’s kickstarter for Darkness at the Door after her publisher didn’t pick up the finak book (I bought all three books in hardcover because the story is great AND the packaging is spectacular)
Not gonna lie, I buy ebook versions of your work cuz the covers are usually too cringe. Don’t want to be seen reading a physical copy of White Hot in public…. I blame the publishers because your recent self published covers are notable improvements (shout out to the Blood Heir cover artist). The covers for the Small Magics compilation and the French Magic Bites are nice exceptions to this rule of cringey publisher chosen covers.
Moderator R says
Personally, I’m on team “Not ever ashamed of reading a book”.
Martha Christina says
As someone who was bullied at school by idiots for reading – books having covers with Warrior Maids in Armour crossed with Madonna Cone Bra’s (okay the HA books don’t have covers that bad) like some of the ones I was reading back in the 00’s that had been published in the 1960s-80s only made it easier for the bullies to target those of us who were reading at break & lunchtime! The invention of the e-reader to conceal the cover certainly meant for more confidence in reading books which the covers were off-putting.
I know the adage is never judge a book by the cover, but there’s something to be said for the old leather bound books of the 17th & 18th Centuries – no images which can be misconstrued by idiots as to the type of book you’re reading!
Mind you, I love comparing US & International covers for those authors who have different ones – Nailini Singh, Mercedes Lackey & Sarah J Maas are three who jumps to mind, – the US always seems to have more ‘people’ on the covers, whereas international ones tend sometimes to be more – logo-centric, abstract, less person and more relevant detail. Is that just differences in Audience, or just a historical trend that changing?
Patricia B. says
I suggest that a fabric book cover. Then no one has to know.
Re: cringe covers, met one of my dearest friends because of a book cover, mid-1980s. Was reading on lunch hour, cover featured a warrior woman in strappy leather, riding a horse with horns (Daughter of the Bright Moon, I think,) and the girl at the next desk snapped “sorry for asking, but are you into bondage or something?” I almost died laughing, loaned her the book when I finished it, the first of many shared books. And she’s still that delightfully blunt
I wish that we had the French covers of HA books. They are wonderful!
I’ve been lured into the convenience of ebooks. Now if I read a physical copy it’s almost always because it A) has a feature that doesn’t translate as well into electronic format (graphic novels especially or instruction books like cookbooks) or B) I found the book in the wild and had to have it (especially out of print books).
I will occasionally buy all three formats (ebook, audio, physical) if there is something special about that book/series, but I read books so fast and at odd hours that physical books just aren’t practical for me most of the time.
I switched to ebook for a few reasons, though I prefer print books
1. I read, reread, and keep my books. When it got to having 4000 books, yes 4k books, I had to give that up and donated the majority to the library.
2. My eyesite.. due to a genetic issue, I had early onset cataracts. I have had those fixed, but they tire easily and are super sensitive to light. I can’t change the font on a print book to help.
3. Nearest bookstore is 10 miles away, or 20 miles around trip. In traffic that is 75%of a gallon, or $2-4 extra tacked on
4. With ebooks, I always have my library with me
5. I read 5 full length novels a week . Kindle unlimited subscription allows me to do that in an affordable manner and risk new authors that I may end up buying. (Insomnia sucks, but at least I can read)
I still like to hold that book in hand, but I had to bow to convenience. I discovered house Andrew’s when I was looking for a good read. I would randomly pick a shelf and pick up a book by every author on that shelf and read the back blurb. The rest is history.
I leave hard cover books. They hold up for the most rereads.
Thanks for another interesting look into the publishing world.
I love ebooks for the space saving aspect, both for home and especially for travel, but have a couple bookshelves of favorites in paperback.
When I got my first Kindle (the first model!), one of the first books I bought was Magic Bites and I was hooked!!
Amazon German on Ruby Fever: Now Amazon calls the Paperbacks in German “Groschenroman” which is actually a derogative term for 19th century and early 20th C mass market books. I have no clue as to how they got the idea but it may be off-putting or at least confusing to some. It’s happend not only to RF but also other books.
My parents got me a Kindle after they spent days helping me pack books. I still like books but do admit that it is easier to bring enough books when traveling and it is often cheaper. Also some of my favorite authors started (or are still) doing only ebooks since easier if you are doing a niche product or a genre that publishers don’t understand or are uncertain about.
My son has returned to only print on the basis of not giving a corporate octopus (Amazon) any more money.
Before she died, my mother had converted to ebooks since she could adjust font size as needed and start reducing the number of possessions we would have to deal with.
+1 Pretty prints!
I only got ebooks because I was in college and couldn’t afford to have them taking up physical space in my apartment, but there is nothing like reading a paper book. Screens are awful for reading on (maybe one of those OG kindles would be okay, but meh). Sure, you can search through a kindle, but that’s why you wait for a supersale if you *really* need to search through it. Furthermore, the Kindle app can break at any time! Your book cannot!
An interesting post.
To be honest you are the only author where we buy both the ebook and the made out of wood book. That is because we love your work so much.
We have thousands of books we have so many book cases that we can’t fit any more in and we have books piles up elsewhere. The great pity is what happens to all these books when we die?
We got an email from book depository to say that your book is on the way so it may well arrive on or just before the publishing date 🙂 🙂 10 to 15 days delivery to Australia
I love your Avon books’ editing. It must be exciting and also daunting to work with such a talented editor / team.
I go even further in my need to save a buck and will check a book out from the library nine times out of ten. I find that I get the nice bonus of getting to read a physical book without my having to pay for anything more than the occasional late fee.
When I do purchase a book, I prefer a physical copy over ebooks because of… well, several reasons. I don’t have a lot of room for physical books, but I still typically purchase a physical copy more often than the ebook version. After moving across the country with all my books, I did a massive downsizing of my books and decided all physical copy of books had to fit onto the two bottom shelves of my book shelf.
That makes sense. I bought a Louisa May Alcott collection at 16, 24 years ago, for the gorgeous old-fashioned leather-bound cover.
And don’t get me started on the length some of us Harry Potter fans went through to get the European-only hardback cover versions, which book retailers in the Americas finally realized they should stock by the time we hit magic book #7.
Still prefer mass market paperback. Sorry that it’s a format that is disappearing. I read plenty of ebooks but honestly not the same. Cant see it on my bookshelf to re-read or be thoughtful of that author, also no battery to die, no story of when I found the great book at that cute indie on the road trip or in the airport on that layover, they last for decades (see my bookcases with purchases from high school era). And I actually own it to hand to others or keep and reread. And trade is fine but more $ and not everyone is getting trade deals. Not always easy in purse or bag compared to mmp. It is a great format. I still buy every title I can in it. And at mmp pricing I could pick three or four new names and if a couple were meh, that was okay and I supported a new author. Trade is double or more, not so willing to take flyers on new names at those price points. Should have known when the multi-hole racks, often stocked with quality new titles in speculative, romance, thriller together, started disappearing.
Truthfully, was a huge bookstore reader/buyer, over years less bookstores, and less them carrying book types I liked then it was online ordering, to ebooks. So now my buying goes ebook, audiobooks, then physical, and with your books graphic audio….might have to add comic too. Most books don’t make it past ebook to be honest and finding ones that I even want in ebook seem to be harder, I never thought good guys over evil with a story was picky but seems to be from the book recommendations from amazon or barnes and noble. Here I’ve found several that I actually liked so thank you so much for that had to add that. Lol just realized you’ve been a buy since book 2 of Kate Daniel’s and Edge series, it’s when I found your books in the bookstore, after that it was anything I could find that you had written, and in any format since.
So agree on the pretty printed books. I by 99% ebooks but when I do buy a physical book its something like subterranean press, special edition or just have something about the artwork that makes me want a physical copy.
I still like sticking to print copies. No worries about DRM or who actually owns the copy I bought or concerns it might be randomly deleted or the platform shut down.
Plus it’s really hard to get authors to sign the digital books 🙂
I love beautiful book sets and would happily buy all of House Andrews’ books again if and when they are released in a book set format.
Rhonda Conley says
This article (blog page) only confirmed what I have long suspected. In a way, it explained what happens to so many authors whose work I absolutely loved, whose character development I emotionally invested in, and whose work simply disappeared.
It made me a bigger fan of HA , because, how can one not admire the tenacity, along with the tremendous talent, it requires to develop (several) viable series, work on them concurrently, feed the BDH and retain one’s sanity?
Self-published, certainly looks good from my viewpoint, but I am on the outside looking in.
Whichever way your business side takes you, my support (such as it is) will never waiver.
Long may you (profitably and self-sustainably) create, House Andrews.
I stopped buying paper books because I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint, I want to stop buying ‘stuff’. I still like the pretty pictures though.
Thank you for the insights – as always! They continue to open up a world I’d never experience otherwise.
+1 I see more rising in the way of collectors hardback sets than mass market paperback. Would love a set of hardbacks of all the series. I have an dreaded for travel and convenience but still collect hardback books on occasion
I switched to e books long ago mostly because the small print they use these days for paperbacks. These tired old eyes need a magnifying glass for some the paperbacks I have bought in the past
Anne V says
I physically cannot hold books long enough to read, but the niblings read only paper and they keep all their books (and arts and crafts supplies and projects) at mine, because their spartan mom abhors “clutter” – and is baffled by why her kids stop at my house on the way home from school and get home in time for bed.
Martha L says
I have had to move to audio books because my eyes are going. I miss holding an actual book. I love the smell and touch of an actual book.
These posts are do interesting! Not that I understand everything, but we get insight. Given everything, I still find it problematic that so many people have Kindle. I would never buy a Kindle because I don’t want Amazing to get my money. They own enough and destroy enough of the world as it is, then don’t need to monopolize the market as it is. And I also find it weird that publishing companies seem to be so anti-author? Like what do they gain from that? It sad to hear about.
Mary Healey says
I really found this so interesting, understanding the hidden world of publishing. I love to read and have a collection of favored books in both hardback and paperback. But after selling a home and moving all those books a few years ago, and not being 21 anymore, I became more dependent on my Kindle. I re-read my books, so having a device that holds them for me, keeping them readily available is desirable. Having said that, it is nice to hold a book and actually turn the page.
I buy ebooks for 2 reasons – price and size. They’re cheaper is the minor reason, and I am literally running out of room to store more physical books in my apartment is the major reason. It’s convenient for airplane trips too – 1000 books in my pocket and lighter than a single hardcover 😀
I doubt that I am alone in this but I have bought print books, paper and hardback, based on the cover and blurb. A good cover can pull me in.
I remember buying Magic Bites way back when. The cover/title caught my eye and the blurb sold it. I didn’t love the cover but strong female protagonists with a sword were thin on the ground then. C.L. Moore and Andre Norton were my first author obsessions.
I learn so much about the business of publishing from your blog…
Ruth Riegel says
This was fascinating. Thank you for this post.
Years ago I read an article that said that the average per capita number of books read (not purchased) in the USA was 8 a year. So people like me who read upwards of 300 including rereads and audio aren’t buying. We’re borrowing, using print, Libby, Hoopla from our libraries and promotions like Kindle Unlimited. So take out the mega readers, those that don’t read at all, those that use the library or purchase used or borrow from their friends, you’d think publishing houses would actually lower the price of books. I can’t and most of the big readers can’t afford our book habits if we had to pay for them all.
I remember when the big “to do” online with the publishing houses when Kobo and Kindle became a “thing”. They (publishing houses) were determined nobody would read in “e”. They were right, depending on who they were marketing too. Boomers like my parents were determined they weren’t doing it. The rest, Gen X and younger, took to “e” and never looked back. Yes, some would like print, but my kid (and her Mother) is much happier with an Amazon giftcard to purchase her books on her kindle app for her iPad.
Saying that… about 5 years ago my Mother decided that flying to Europe and books weren’t compatible. Since then she doesn’t want books, she wants a kobo gift card. My Father turned 81 this year and for his birthday he wanted an iPad, where he also reads her kobo books on the app. He still likes “real” books for gifts.
E’s a thing. Books are a luxury item. Maybe it’s time publishing houses decided on sales of all authors was important, not just the few they can get rich off because they know those 8 books per person will be bought.
Yes… I do have opinions on the topic. Didn’t realize just how much of one. 🙂
Switching from hardcopy books to ebooks was painful for me. I love the feel and smell of books, and love being the very first person to read a brand new never opened book. But, the benefits of having a hundred books in my pocket, being able to increase the font on demand, having a built in light, built in dictionary, and not having to find space for new books…I will never go back. In fact, when I do read something in hard copy, sometimes I try to swipe to the next page 🙂
It is always “an interesting point in publishing” as through the years I’ve read this you have illuminated that. From the creation of ebooks to the growth of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, something is always happening.
Jean Morgan says
Thank you so much for the educational blog, it was very informative. I had no idea. You both are so very talented and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all your books!
I remember standing in a B&N store in Northville MI, finding Magic Bites on the central display (not the wall), being intrigued by the cover and copy. Buying that first book of yours. Here, with all your books since then.
It was a glorious day with a fabulous story I throughly enjoyed.
I’m not great with specific memories, but I absolutely remember that day, standing there, reading the cover copy thinking ‘this looks really interesting.’
Aaron Matthews says
Growing up (this was in the mid 70’s early 80’s ) anytime I left the house there was Always a paperback book in my back pocket of my jeans. I am a Voracious reader, on average I read 3 to 5 books a week. This means I scoured the used book bins when I was younger an poor n broke. These days it means Kindle Unlimited is mah friend. Having a Real book in my hands is preferred sadly I cannot afford that my personal Library consists of approximately 1000 hardbacked books and close to 3000 paperbacks that range in age from the late 50’s to the mid 90’s in most cases when my wife got sick with Sarcoidosis I stopped being able to afford new or even used books as her medical issues were more important. When she passed away in March of 1999 I was left with a Hefty medical debt that saw ne have to liquidate most of my assets the only reason my book collection survived is no one would buy them.
There’s only a handful of authors I buy physical copies of anymore, and most of those are special publications like the ones HA did with Subterranean Press. I almost exclusively use ebook now since I can make the text big enough I don’t have to hold it in front of my nose to read it. The text in paperbacks is just too small.
I hope they squash the merger. We don’t need anymore behemoths
Cooled on the series? Whaa?
Hi! You don’t mention the library, which is where I get most of my books, both print and ebook. I do have to wait longer to get them, but is best for my budget. I hope you get compensated for library book readers, and I wonder how that works.
Moderator R says
Libraries purchase a number of licences for digital lending, and yes, authors get royalties from them 🙂.
So –and I’m sorry if this is a common knowledge thing, but I don’t know–is there a particular format that is best for the author? I will buy anything you write, and I like paper books for feel, but e-books for convenience and space-saving…so, the deciding factor would be if either gives you, the author(s) a better return on your product. After all, I want to make it easy for y’all to continue to write 🙂
Moderator R says
House Andrews spoke about this a few times, and they want the fans to get the books whichever way is most accessible. Only please do not pirate.
“ Bottom line: I am not going to prescribe to the readers how to buy our books. If you buy in paper, thank you. If you buy it in ebook, thank you. If you borrow it from the library, thank you. We want you to buy it in the most convenient and easiest way for you. Just don’t pirate them. That’s all we ask.”
R. Brady Frost says
This was a great read, and very enlightening about the struggles most traditionally published authors are up against. Major publishing companies appear to be fine expecting new authors to build a platform before publishing their first book. Then they must spend their own time and money publicizing their work instead of focusing on writing the next book when they get the mouse’s share of the profits.
Melisa M. says
I do almost the opposite of most people these days. I love to buy physical copies of books. I just love the feel of them and if I want to reread a particular scene I feel like it’s so much easier to find in a physical copy.
But I do use kindle from time to time like at night when putting the kids to bed so I can read without a light on.
I don’t use a kindle on vacation- i just bring one paperback because w young kids I don’t get the time to read more than that and see the sights haha.
And when I don’t have space on shelves I go thru my collection from time to time and get rid of ones I won’t read again. Yes I wish I could keep everything I read but I just don’t need that. And I can’t and don’t want to reread everything I’ve read. Only the special ones get a reread anyway like everything House Andrews! 🙂
I wish I could buy a physical book easily. Unfortunately it is really hard in Sydney to find American authors. There are lots of regulations here to basically do with color vs colour and so we get British versions if we’re lucky. So a lot of publishing for us goes through the UK- and of course there’s a premium on that.
I also want to buy from an Australian book store
That’s why I buy e books. I can’t buy here. I do buy audio as well
But I’d love a physical book
Thanks for educating me on the knitty gritty. It is easy to lose sight of what authors face when I am ordering book after book. Readers do not think of this while we becoming immersed in character and story. Thank you for putting up with it.
Michael Hall says
Although there are several advantages to e readers for me vs dead tree books, the number one reason that trumps all the rest is adjustable font sizes. As I’ve gotten older my eyesight has been failing, and the ability to increase the font size has become invaluable to me. It has become very difficult (if not impossible) to read a dead tree book. I really don’t know what I’d do without my e reader.
Print books don’t make sense for me as a consumer. I quit buying hard copy books more than a decade ago, likewise magazines. They take up too much space. Ebooks are great. I know they don’t have same texture and feel as a print book but with extremely few exceptions (auto repair manual, etc.) I simply DON’T buy paper books any more. It really doesn’t matter whose they are because then at some point I have to get rid of it. My local library won’t even take them anymore.
I find this discussion very interesting. I would love to get another Innkeeper hardcover from Subterranean Press, but they appear to be very busy. I know of the other subscription hardcover services, like Illumicrate or Fairyloot, but the subscription process seems complicated. I would just like to buy a good quality hardcover.
Is there any talk about rereleasing Katie Daniels books in Trade Paper back or Hardcover for the early ones? I like how they look on my shelf. Lol. But seriously I will rebuy a book I loved from ebook or mass market print to keep in ky meager library. I reread books I live. I am currently am buying certain books second hand because its better for the environment but would buy my favorites new if they were released.
Oh my godddd yes I want you to have pretty hardcovers too 🤩
I’m almost completely an e reader now. Introduced to it on a mom’s trip when I finished the one book I brought and had a huge layover. But since then I’ve become a huge fan, for random pockets of time, middle of the night nursing without glasses or lights, and now simply because the larger fonts are a boon. Instant gratification for the next installment is also amazing.
If I’m paying for an ebook I will pay up to the same as a paperback (not sure ebooks can or should be comparable in cost to a hardcover.)
Jenn in Genoa says
I was an early adopter of ebooks because I have arthritis in my wrists, findgers and hands. But I also had a first gen iPad Pro (12.9”) and a very strong willingness to use reading apps!
Kindle and other EPUB, Mobi, AZW, Apple Books, IBA, etc., etc., were my salvation.
Right now, my biggest library is with A *you know who* and it’s somewhere around 4,000 books.
A good chunk of my first book purchases were by unknown indie authors whose books were selling for 99¢.
I discovered a lot of fantastic authors — and some who really needed a good editor. And I believe Ilona Andrews was one of those authors because I keep looking for new Ilona Andrews books on my “Upcoming” and “Soon to Publish” lists.
Now, at the last, here is my question:
If the merger is allowed to happen, how will it affect book pricing and availability?
Some indie authors have proved to be outstanding in their field. I don’t want to see them stifled by “Big Publishing” if at all possible.
Thank you for your blog space!
My first e-book reader was actually a PDA called a Zoomer which was released back in the 80’s. I picked my 2 Zoomers up in the early 90’s via Yahoo Auctions. The e-books I had was all hand scanned by me or others and most of them was older books that was hard if not impossible to find. Most of them was out of print Sci-Fi books from has early has the 40’s. We would carefully scan them then run the scans though an OCR program and saved them on a computer for reading. A lot of them was also very fragile due to their age, another reason why we scanned them since handling them to much was risky and forget carrying them around. The others was all of my RPG books. Made it a lot easier to carry them around to games. Also made it easier to search though them for specific information. I miss my Zoomers.
I remember when drug Stores and other Department stores and grocery stores had big sections devoted to books and magaizines. Back in the early 90’s WalMart devoted a large space to book racks full of printed books of all generes at the front of the store. Now there is one isle back by the electronics section with maybe a 10th of what they use to carry, and I feel I am being generious with that 10% rating. I don’t remember when the last time I even tried looking for a book rack in a drug store. I love my e-books but I really love printed books best. Kicking back in a chair next to the window, reading while it rain or snowed outside. Carring one with me to read while on break or eating lunch, or even while waiting for an appointment.
The Great Nation of Texas
Mary C says
This is a fascinating read! Thanks for letting us know. Good to hear a writer’s side of the story with everything that is going on!