Thursday, 7 November 2013

Scary Stories and Falling Book Sales



Hey all,

I’ve been working a fair amount of my horror story, and I do say that it is a good deal of fun. I still have a bit of trouble getting into the right mindset when it’s super sunny outside, but now that it gets dark at 4:30, that’s not nearly as much of an issue. I’m taking a couple days off Dreamstate II to let all my new edit ideas settle into my brain, but come next week I should be back to it hard at work—good fun all around in the writing world.

Continuing on, the falling book sales in the title are not referring to my own. I’m doing just about as well as I always have been. Apparently, though, Indigo books, or Chapters (more or less Canadian Barnes and Noble) has lost some 10 odd million dollars over the last few weeks and their stock prices have plummeted. Mind you, most of this is way out of my range of things that I normally pay attention to, and if you do a quick Google search you’re sure to find a number of articles that are far more knowledgeable than me. It did, however, pop up in the news search for ‘Books’ that I run every few days and I found it interesting. It’s mostly interesting to me because Chapters has its own e-book site, its own e-readers, and everything in between (they cover all the books things). Now, it didn’t quite make it clear whether these losses were from the brick and mortar stores, or from their online collections (I’d imagine losing money on physical stores would be a lot easier to do); but I’d be curious to see what exactly went wrong. There is probably the standard competition from online retailers (Amazon, Apple, etc.) but also I’ve noticed a new type of e-book store popping up.

I only took note of these sites when Smashwords told me that they were submitting my Dreamstate books to the catalogue of novels. It’s, as far as I can tell, the e-book equivalent of Netflix, but the authors get paid if someone reads 10%+ of their book. It’s a cool idea, and I was happy to throw my texts into the fray, but I do wonder if this is going to start chomping into the profits of full sale sites. The subscription model will, in all reality, probably overtake the single sale way of doing business (especially when dealing with digital products). People aren’t going to pay $10+ for a single book when they can get as many as they want for a $10/month subscription. I can see physical copies of books still selling, because they don’t rent all that well, but digital is a bit more ethereal than that. I dunno, this is just my own speculation, but that’s why you’re here, reading my thoughts. And also, if anyone wants to know the name of the subscription site I can post it in my next blog entry.

-Trevor

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