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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Keeping it under your hat!

Declining eBook sales, and this has nothing to do with the effects of Brexit, this is routine sales figures for the last quarter. Nate Hoffelder at the-digital-reader.com flags up the recent reticence of the Big Five/Six to discuss eBook revenues, and the apparent decline in sales.

Jim Milliot picked up the thread in Publishers Weekly looking at the decline in eBook sales, citing user preferences changing and wanting more time away from screens.

The article follows the familiar traditional publishing focus and the comments below throw in the question of cost and the pricing of eBooks by the BPH, his second piece takes the line further, again focused on the commercial sector, saying nothing about the sales experienced by the Independents.

The point raised in the comments  to this second article by Ed Renehan, MD of New Street Communications LLC points directly to the eBook pricing policy of the Big 5 as a likely cause of the decline in digital sales. He quotes the elasticity of demand and question the rigour of the research involved, the parameters and how they were set, what to include and the geographical reach, he finishes his note by linking to his own piece at medium.com and research by PricewaterhouseCooper

Whatever the situation may be with the big boys, the figures don't always show what's happening in the independent sector.

The Calendar has just turned a page and a new month stares from the wall, I don't know how full your calendar is at the moment but there may be gaps, some big some small enough to settle down with the new book, hard copy or digital, that you've picked up in the last few weeks.

It has been suggested, and I've explored the idea myself on this blog that the sales drop might be simply that the tag on the eBook is too high. Pay more for a digital copy than the print version? Match the price by all means, but no more.

The turn of the month also ends the Smashwords Summer/Winter promotion and all the books discounted for the duration, including all of the Grange novels are now back at their normal price. Iceline is still a freebie, the others can be found at their repesective places by following the link at the head of the blog; The Grange Series.

The higher pricing may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, discouraging sales from customers who are thinking twice about shelling out for what is sometimes only a loaned download, not sold outright.

If you are among those considering the options and holding off purchasing because of the price tag, do your bit to skew the figures, check out the independent authors and publishers available on line.

Be independent and grab a piece of the action.

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