Is the change announced today of ebook vs. physical sales bad for authors?

- What will this mean for Indie authors?


Personally I favour 'real' books over e books. I've never actually bought an e book, I don't think, but I own hundreds of books. I spend a lot of time encouraging others to buy my e books though! Today it was announced that sales of physical books have increased by 8% and e book sales have gone down by 3%. This is similar to the reversal we have also seen in vinyl vs. mp3. Yeah- I collect vinyl too!

I think this is great in a way. We all know the aspects to love about a physical book, but what does it mean for authors, and in particular indie authors? For huge bestselling authors with major publishers, it will probably mean very little. However, most indie authors rely on e book sales and if habits change, this could have serious consequences. Many smaller publishers concentrate on e book sales and that is true certainly of my publisher. I sell very few physical books. The majority of small publishers use the Amazon company- Createspace, to make and publish books. This gives the option of both e book versions and print on demand copies. However, it typically means that the cost per physical book is huge and puts off readers, as they could buy their favourite author in a supermarket for a third of the price. Amazon take a big chunk of the money up front and typically an author will only see 10% of what's left. This is opposed to e books where an author might receive around 40%, or if they self publish, even 75%.

If tastes continue to change- could this mean the wiping out of many small presses and indie authors?

What do you think?

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