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eBook Sales Level off Book Sales Dip 19%
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureHere is a summary of my relative book versus eBook sales from Amazon's affiliate program for 2009 through 2013. The graph does not reveal revenue generated or units sold, but it does show the mix of book, ebooks and other everything else sold, via the Amazon affiliate program, over the last 5 years. Interpret the graph this way, if I sold 100 products in 2009, 81 of them would have been books, one would have been an eBook and 18 would have been anything from a curling iron to a flash drive. You can see that eBooks, as a percentage of everything else sold, has not changed from 2012 to 2013. The explosive growth of ebooks relative to physical books, on AALBC.com, over the previous theee years has slowed dramatically. The literature I've read indicates that the same trend is true industry wide. Over all, the number of items sold was down 19% compared with 2012. Unfortunately revenues decreased more sharply as commissions on ebooks (often selling for 0.99 cents), dwarf commissions generated by physical books.
Why readers have it more difficult today (writers too)
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureThe Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader The convergence of several trends leaves the book-buying public out in the cold. by Colin Robinson, co-publisher of OR Books. “TO read a novel is a difficult and complex art,” Virginia Woolf wrote in a 1925 essay, “How to Read a Book.” Today, with our powers of concentration atrophied by the staccato communication of the Internet and attention easily diverted to addictive entertainment on our phones and tablets, book-length reading is harder still. It’s not just more difficult to find the time and focus that a book demands. Longstanding allies of the reader, professionals who have traditionally provided guidance for those picking up a book, are disappearing fast. The broad, inclusive conversation around interesting titles that such experts helped facilitate is likewise dissipating. Reading, always a solitary affair, is increasingly a lonely one. A range of related factors have brought this to a head. Start with the publishing companies: Overall book sales have been anemic in recent years, declining 6 percent in the first half of 2013 alone. But the profits of publishers have remained largely intact; in the same period only one of what were then still the “big six” trade houses reported a decline on its bottom line. This is partly because of the higher margins on e-books. But it has also been achieved by publishers cutting costs, especially for mid-list titles. Read the rest of this article at the NY Times.
Power LIst - Best-Selling Books Read by African-Americans
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureThe list is out! Visit http://powerlist.info
Highlights from the U.S. Book Consumer Annual Review
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureAll of the data shared below was derived from the, 2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors Annual Review, which is prepared by Bowker Market Research and Publishers Weekly and published 10th August 2012. I attended a presentation, given by PW and Bowker earlier this week where copies of the report were made available. The list price is $999, so I was happy to score a copy. The presenters Jim Milliot Co-editorial Director, Publishers Weekly and Carl Kulo U.S. Director, Bowker "The Annual Review explores demographic changes in the context of overall market trends culled from the Bowker Market Research consumer panel of almost 70,000 Americans who bought books of any format and from any source in 2011." Again, the information in the 2012 book reflects purchaseS made in 2011 (the 2013 edition will be out soon), so that data presented immediately below is somewhat stale, but still interesting and valuable if you are involved in the book business. Some highlights from the 2012 book include; Amazon is the country's largest bookseller; not matter how you measure it sales (26%), units or book buyers Online retailers accounted for 39% of consumer book spending Independent Bookstores' share of the book market rose 1% Bookclubs shared dropped to 2% from 13% in 2009 (ex. Black Expressions, Book-of-the-Month Club) B&N was the 2nd largest bookseller with a 16% share During the presentation the 2012 data (from the forthcoming 2013 edition) was presented and discussed. Online sale represent 43% of book purchases. Amazon continues to lead the way -- no one else comes close. Walmart and Costco appear to be scaling back on book sales. It looks like B&N will close stores going forward. Also we see that; eBook sales have slowed and the decline in the sales of physical books is slowing and appears to be stabilizing. women represent 60% of book buyers, 65% of units and 58% of dollars spent While discussing how people learn about books, social media was not listed as a significant factor. While many in the audience reacted in surprise. I was not surprised in the least. The most common way people learn about a books are; Like this author (23%) Other at 22% (includes, Radio, TV, bestsellers lists, reviews and advertising), In-store display 19% Of course this is just a microscopic sample of the information provided and discussed. The presenters Jim Milliot and Carl Kulo U.S. Director, Bowker Market Research will also be presenting at Book Expo America in a few weeks.
Our December 31st eNewsletter - Plus a Rant
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureThis eNewsletter is numbered 197, but I've published well over 200. I only have them archived going back to February of 2001. I guess it never occurred to me to save them. I guess I never thought I'd be creating them for so long... http://aalbc.it/newsdec12 Let me know what you think good or bad -- seriously. I've been doing this thing for almost 15 years and there are things I can still learn. At the top of my wish list is an editor, I could also use more fiction book reviews too. There no fiction book reviews in this issue that may have never happened. Book review writing It is a dying art, but so desperately needed. So many reviews I read are simply promotional copy written to benefit the author -- or haters doing the opposite. I see you can get some positive "verified" Amazon reviews written for 5 Bucks over at Fiverr. Indeed reviewers especially for a film will review a movie more favorably than it deserves in order not to lose access to future films or to the principals involved. Would you believe we have lost access to an individual for slamming a film. Reviewing is a corrupt, petty business. Without independent entities with the willingness to tell the truth and ask hard questions we are all being lied to. That is one thing I miss about Thumper he never pulled any punches you could disagree with him but if he did not like your book, that fact would be plain as day -- the same was true if he liked it -- authors and readers appreciated his honesty, nothing political just his honest opinion. I've begun to solicit subscribers to pay a modest $7.99 annual fee to receive the enewsletter. Thank you Cynique and any other lurkers here who may have paid for their subscriptions. The money will help pay book reviewers and the overhead to produce the eNewsletter. I started to drop a few thousand subscribers names from my mailing list to save some money. The bigger your mailing list the more it costs to maintain with these 3rd party services. I ran some queries to identify people who had not opened an eNewsletter in over a year and figured I'd drop them and save some money. But I ran into a couple of snags because unless people down load the images in my eNewsletter, which is optional in programs like MS Outlook, I can't tell if they actually opened the email. The email contains an very small image which tells my system the email has been opened, so if they only read the text or can only accept text, I can't tell if the opened the email. I got too many email from people who said they read the enewsletter when I'd flagged them for deletion. It looks like I'm not going to save any money dropping subscribers - I can't risk dropping people who actually read the eNewsletter. I got an email from someone who wrote they would pay for a subscription if I did not cover Urban Fiction. This is not an uncommon sentiment. I wanted to say go "F" yourself, but I tried to show how I cover all types of authors. I knew I was wasting my time as people like that are really not interested in really understanding a different perspective... I get emails all the time from authors asking if I can review their book or cover them in an eNewsletter. None of these author have paid to subscribe to the eNewsletter. Of course this is not a requirement... I'm just saying. Jayne Cortez, passed a few days ago. More people should have been aware of her work. Frank Yerby, who I included in this month's eNewsletter is perhaps the highest grossing African American author who ever lived, but I don't think anyone knows who he is. Shoot a lot of people don't know who Alice Walker is... Today everyone knows Spike Lee does not like Django, but know one knows the title of Spike's last movie. Maybe if Tarantino would trash Lee's next movie publicly some buzz would be generated. Over the years, it seems to me that Black people know less and less about their culture as time goes on. This is just based upon what attracts people's attention as viewed from the narrow lens of my eNewsletter and website activity. i had no intention of writing all of this. I was just going to post a notice that I'd pubbed a eNewsletter. I guess i needed to vent , before going out an drinking too much for my own good tonight. Happy New Year Everyone!
Get Cash for Your Used Books
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureYou can sell you unwanted book using Cash 4 Books: Use bonus code "BLOGGER3", Sell a minimum of 3 books and get an extra $5 bucks on your order good of all of 2012. There is also a free iPhone/Android application to scan bar codes. You are given a free pre-paid mailing label (you do not pay to ship books). If you sell $35 or more in books, you may use FedEx (which gets you paid faster). You are paid via PayPal or check.
I have not read a book in 3 months!
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureAs crazy as this might sound: The president of the largest, 2nd oldest, most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by of for African American readers has not read a complete book in the better part of three months. It is not that I don't read. I read every single day. I spend more time reading and writing than I do watching TV or talking to other people. Of course part of the reason is that I'm busy. Virtually all of my time is spent doing something related to AALBC.com. If I'm not engaged in AALBC.com related work, I'm hanging our with family and friends or doing something to stay in shape. I'm never idle, you'll never be able to call me up, ask what I'm doing, and get the response "nothing". If I'm watching TV is is usually because I'm too tried to do anything else -- least of all read. Recently I've been on a rant about the rapid closing bookstores across the country, how important they are to communities and related issues. Part of my motivation is the knowledge that websites will follow the course of the stores and we'll, effectively, be back in "pre-Terry McMillian" days when there were less than a handful of popular Black novelists. Sure there will be more books published, each year, but it will be impossible to sort the good from the bad, and there will be no platforms to spread the work -- despite all the social media... but I digress. The last time I walked into a book store, purchased a book (Toni Morrison's Home), and read it from cover to cover, was this past summer. Now I've purchased books, in stores since, but I have not finished reading any of them. I've been "working" on Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns for 3 months -- that is if you count "working" on it as it sitting on my nightstand for 3 months with the hope of being read. Wilkerson's tome isn't lonely, there are 10 other books I'm "working" on to keep it company. This not is my 1st period of protracted non-reading and I'm certain it will not be my last. It is dry spells like these that I realize what a wonderful luxury it is to be able to sit down an enjoy a good book that you've selected for no other reason than pleasure or escape; a book that you can read without dozing because you're drained from a working all day. There have been times when I've been able to really immerse myself in the joys of reading. A few years ago I went to the Dominican Republic for vacation; between the beach and the flight I was able to read 5 books in two weeks. Unfortunately circumstances where I have extended periods of time, disconnected from technology and responsibility are increasing rare. Yes, reading for pleasure is increasingly becoming a luxury activity, even for a guy with a really big website devoted to the activity.
Read and Share AALBC.com's Aug 1st eNewsletter
admin posted a topic in Black LiteraturePlease share the latest AALBC.com eNewsletter with anyone you think would appreciate (or need) it. This is the direct link: http://aalbc.it/augbooks or you ay click the image below. I really can use your support. Thanks!
I just published the latest AALBC.com eNewsletter
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureI just published the latest AALBC.com eNewsletter. You'll discover information on books, authors, events, films, services and more! Check it out. If you like it please share it with others. Peace, Troy
Best Selling Books for Jan/Feb 2012
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureSee the complete list at: http://aalbc.it/best_sellers #1 Best Selling Book Fiction I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang By Leonce Gaiter #1 Best Selling Book Non-fiction Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out: Discover Secrets to a Slimmer, Sexier and Healthier You By JJ Smith See the complete list at: http://aalbc.it/best_sellers
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Literary Work - Winners
Troy posted a topic in Black Literature43rd NAACP Image Awards - Winners and Nominees for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work  http://aalbc.it/nia2012 The awards were presented Friday, February 17th, 2012 at the The Shrine Auditorium Los Angeles, CA
Check out AALBC.com's Latest eNewsletter
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureCheck out AALBC.com's Latest eNewsletter -- full of information on Books and Film! http://aalbc.com/current.htm Let me know what you think I can always use more constructive criticism -- thanks
“...we have fewer independent book sites focused on black authors than we did five years ago. And the ones that remain are even more difficult to find.” Read the rest of the interview: http://aalbc.it/troy2011