They are coming, they are coming! It’s time to lock up your daughters, take to the hills, emigrate, or do whatever you normally do in the face of an unstoppable alien invasion.
Think RABBITS, Australia. Think CANE TOADS. Our way of life is being threatened by this imported menace, and no-one is doing anything about it. Your friendly, neighbourhood book chain store is either teetering on the brink of collapse, or has collapsed already. What are we going to do?
Well, firstly, we have to accept that the ebook is here to stay. Amazon, the biggest book retailer ever in the world, is already selling far more ebooks than print books. Barnes & Noble say they are currently selling two ebooks for every paper one.
Established publishers are in two minds. Although they will not admit it, they love ebooks. They make far more profit from an ebook, which is only a computer file and involves zero expenditure on ‘real’ printing and stocking. All of their production budget can go on expensive business lunches, advertising and (of course) expensive business dinners. Their waist lines will be expanding with their ebook sales. (Probably follows that you should not let a skinny publisher owe you money – he may not be long for this world.)
But, you are muttering, I love the feel of real books. The smell of them, and the whole experience of going to bed with a good, real book. Will I still be able to buy them?
That might depend on how rich you are, and also on what you like to read. If you are a Mills & Boon fan, your favourite tipple is probably safe – for now. They have an established market and can print so many copies that the extra cost is low. If you are looking for something less mass-market – the news is not good. If I write a popular novel on an Australian topic, it will be in the shops at $30 per copy. That high price is driven by the retailer, the distributor and the printer. I take about a dollar of that thirty, on a good day, with the wind behind me.
On the other hand, when I sell the same thing as an ebook, my up-front costs are minimal and I might get anywhere between 25% of the retail price (if a publisher is involved) and 75% if I publish it through my own imprint Q~Press. That means I can serve it up to you for $3 instead of $30 – and still make twice as much in my pocket.
That simple economic fact has the industry scratching its head and wondering where their next big dinner is going to come from.
©Jacqueline George All rights reserved.
Jacqueline George lives in Cooktown, Far North Queensland. She enjoys the relaxed lifestyle there, and finds plenty of time write books, some of which are far too naughty for her own good.
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