Wednesday, April 27, 2011

E-Book Pricing and Big Bucks

Mike Shatzkin
Mike Shatzkin, who knows more than anyone about digital books just wrote about pricing, and also dropped a dynamite plug for self-publisher John Locke.  (That is, he's a self electronic publisher) Has anyone read him? Shatzkin seemed to think he was the new Lee Child. (Well, he didn't say that--he just pretty much said Locke's as good as they get.) Where have I been?

He MUST be good. According to Shatzkin, Locke made over $100,000 in March! Jeez. If he does that every month, he's raking in $1.2 million a year!

But pricing. Well Mike had a lot to say, so first, the link:  http://www.idealog.com/blog/  .  Locke sells his books for 99 cents and challenges Big Six publishers to prove their books are ten times better. You can bet Mike has some ideas about that.

This, to my mind is the most fascinating thing he said: "Sooner or later, a big publisher or two will start seriously experimenting with this. They will gain knowledge that will enable them to tell an author or agent, “we know things about pricing that are worth real revenue to you if you publish with us.” When that happens, it will likely be more significant to an author than an increase in the ebook royalty rate would be. Maybe a publisher can even add enough value with pricing savvy to pay for their cut!"
John Locke

Now that is a thought!

But wait, I can't thinking about Locke. I  just Googled him.

He's only written four books! (Well, four in his best-selling series.) Mike based his piece on a Wall St. Journal story built around Locke--http://on.wsj.com/dYer7A  --that indicated he was being conservative. The WSJ said Locke's March take was $126,000! Get this: "In March, he sold 369,000 downloads on Amazon, up from about 75,000 in January and just 1,300 in November."

'Bye, now. I'm off to download a Locke title. Just gotta see what I'm missing.

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