Tuesday, December 28, 2010

8 Publishing Trends of 2010

This blog runs about 2 posts a month on Publishing, and here are trends I've noticed from my research:
  1. Amazon sells more eBooks than Hardcover books:  This was one of the earliest trends this year, based on Amazon's Q1 results. This trend accelerated in the later part of the year, selling 3 times as many books in the first half of the year, compared to 2009. Bringing me to..
  2. Ebooks sales doubled from 5% of the overall books sold to closer to 10% of the books sold (Association of American Publishers). Ereader owners also read on average 3 more books each month than before.
  3. E-readers Proliferated:       New e-readers entering India and Multiplying like Rabbits. Some estimated Christmas Day Kindle sales to be around a million units (Jeff Bezos said that this day sales was the largest ever in Kindle history). Kindle now is the #1 best-selling product on Amazon, surpassing Harry Potter #7. 
  4. Reading on Mobiles and other Devices:       Reports from Apple iStore show that iBooks is one of their top downloads. B&N Nook has a desktop reading device, and of course several other great independent Mobile/notebook readers like Stanza are widely used.On Christmas, Apple's iBooks e-reader is the #1 most-downloaded free iPad app, while Amazon's Kindle app is #9.
  5. Censorship: Several times this year, Amazon was in trouble for deleting books from Kindles, and for (perhaps accidentally) dropping GLBT books from their listings. 
  6. Closing of indie bookstores: While my favorite bookstore in Bangalore still exists, news reports suggest a struggle to survive elsewhere. While Independent stores are probably the hardest hit, we should remember that Borders and other mainstream stores shut several outlets this year. Google eBooks launched with options for local retailers to sell, hopefully this helps keep folks in business.
  7. Rise of YA: Inevitable, sustained for over two years and massive - this trend has resulted in more teens reading, and also a rise in adults reading Young Adult books.
  8. An Aptara Survey of 600 publishers does a great dive into the impact of ebooks on Publishing: The main eBook production challenge facing publishers is eReader/content format compatibility issues, the same as in our first survey. Even with a nearly universal eBook format standard (EPUB), today's highly fragmented eReader market makes quality eBook production a moving target.

I referenced this list in parts, to flesh out some of my points, from Julie's Book Hooked Blog.

2011 Trend Spotting: Content is King: View
What do you think? Do you have any you would like to add?

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    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Two important Words: "You" and "Because"

    This is my first article about blogging - I don't know if this would be a regular feature here (That depends on you!)
    Most of us want to be better bloggers and keep readers interested, and here are two ways how:
    • Use "You" in the title: Keeping more "you"s than "I" in your blog post makes it more interesting, because then the reader is the focus of the post
    • "Because" is another word that research indicates is a 'trigger' for readers/listeners. The reason why is not as important as making sure that there is a reason given.

    Oh hey, one last thing - a study of 150,000 blogs discovered (to no surprise) that the most commented on blogs had two words in common:
    'Giveaway' and 'Jobs'
    What are the blogposts you comment on?
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    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

    My Summary: The story begins with the bartering of a young orphan theif - Locke Lamora. Trained as a thief before he is 5, the boy couldn't remain circumspect and stick to small, regular-paying thieving routines. Having pisssed off the wrong people, Locke now faces being sold or killed.
    Luckily for us all, he is sold to Chains,his eventual father-figure and teacher with a grudge against the Nobility of Camarra. Locke begins working as a Gentleman Bastard, a tiny group with a Robin Hood-esque sensibility against the rich crime lords in the city. 
    Plus:  A couple of great characters, lots of intricate plots and good buildup towards how and why Locke and the GBs exist. This is a truly swash-buckling tale, and it reads very differently from most of the Fantasy out there.
    Minus: The story does tend to get very tangled towards the  middle, and the plot wanders. Give yourself some time and patience here, it all comes together at the end! A lot of cursing is used, however.

    I first read the The Lies of Locke Lamora last year and I was taken aback by the almost European 18th century world and Locke's audacity. As we move through time and back again, we see Locke's training develop and him grow into a mastermind of disguises. Re-reading this book unveils forgotten tidbits and layers of mystery in the storyline, a great set up for Book #2:Red Seas Under Red Skies.

    I would recommend this to: Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind) fans, Malazan fans, Brandon Sanderson readers, Jim Butcher readers. Folks who enjoy fantasy - the kind that emulates another society, with great characters.
    Buy: The Lies of Locke Lamora from Amazon
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    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #23 - Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

    Red Seas Under Red SkiesToday's rather long teaser is from the page I'm reading, about 30% into the book:
    'You convinced the nobles of Camorr to throw away a fortune on your schemes,' said Stragos without a hint of anger. 'They love their money, yet you shook it out of them like ripe fruit from a tree. You outwitted a Bondsmage. You evaded the trap that caught your Capa Barsavi and his entire court.'

    'Only some of us,' whispered Locke. 'Only some of got away, arsehole.'
    -from Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch.
    This is the second book in the Gentleman Bastards series (Read about The Lies of Locke Lamora here at e-Volving Books tomorrow)

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
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    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Blogger Spotlight - Julie from Book Hooked Blog

    Introducing: Julie from Book Hooked Blog
    Fav Recent Read: Falling Home by Karen White
    What e-reader do you own and how did you get it?

    Falling Home
    I have a basic Nook.  I did some last minute edits on a book for my pastor.  As a thank you, he gave me a very nice gift card to Barnes and Noble and I made a quick decision to purchase a Nook!

    Julie's Favorite thing about the Nook?
    It is so easy to travel with!  In the past I've been the person trudging through the airport with a 20 lb carry-on full of books.  I never know what I'll be in the mood for, so even for overnight trips I'll end up bringing 3-5 books just in case.  Having the Nook makes it MUCH easier to have a variety of books in my purse at all times.
    Click to read on about Julie and her reading habits! Mail me if you want a spotlight of your own!

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    Book Blogger Hop #15 - Dec17 to 19

    Book Blogger Hop
    This is a weekly PARThosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well.
    Thanks for visiting!

    "What do you consider more important: plot or character?"
    For the most part, I would take character any given day. I've felt that most of the experience of reading depends on the experience you have in your head while you are reading a book. I'm more able to enjoy the story if I relate to or like the character. Otherwise, the story becomes secondary to the voice in my head which is grumbling about what I dislike in the book's hero/heroine.

    That usually does not end well.
    There are some exceptions of course - Epic novels like Lord of the Rings, books with vast plot structures like The Malazan books of the Fallen, these are so plot-driven that it is almost irrelevant if you enjoy the character narrative. These authors have also created strong evil characters, multi-dimensional heroines, brave souls - and the storyline lives up to the promise.
    What do you think? Is it an either/or situation? Could it be a good character makes a sketchy plot come to life, but a poor plot can sink anyone?
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    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    What does your bookcase look like? Here's Mine!

    Being installed by the carpenter
    The big event of my day is getting bookshelves installed in our apartment.
    To answer some of the questions you might have:

    • Yes, we had NO bookcases
    • Yes, some people do live like that (i.e. my husband)
    My books being stacked!

    A Close Peek into what I buy

    I have a fairly small collection - a lot of books had to be given away when I moved to the US and back again. Got to get some more books to fill these up, right?

    I've also turned to my Kindle for newer books.

    I've shown you mine, now show me yours!

    Link to photos of your books, bookshelves, or write a post about your bookcases and let me know. I will add links at the bottom of this post to you!
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    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #22 - FREE BOOK - March Upcountry by David Weber

    The David Weber and John Ringo series about Prince Roger and his army numbers highly amongst my favorite space / military fiction books. 
    From Chapter 12 of the March Upcountry ebook:
    "If, on the other hand, we do a steep reentry—which, by the way, is what we're planning—and run out of fuel, we'll just pancake."

    I'm still reading Foucault's Pendulum, but March Upcountry is a welcome break while I struggle through the former! You can read this for FREE here at Baen Free Library or buy it at Amazon. Practically the entire series is available here, thanks to the generosity of its authors.To find out about Baen and its Free Book Philosophy, read this post.

    Recent Popular Posts:
    Mail me if you want to be featured as a Spotlight Blogger 
    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
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    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Blogger Hop #14 - I enjoy reading bloggers' book recommendations

    The question this week was 'What do you like about bloggers and blogging? Is it the giveaways or the book reviews, etc.
    I enjoy meeting people who are THIS passionate about reading and books! Comment on any post you like, I will follow back and comment.
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    Publishing News: Amazon gives larger share of revenue on ebooks

    News: Ebooks can now make more money for Publishers!
    There are some qualifiers to this edict:
    • Customers should be able to read the title on all Kindle devices and applications.
    • Customers can read the title in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.
    If your ebook falls under these rules (amongst others), then up to 70% of the income now goes to the publisher.
    While ebook growth in sales has been phenomenal (the report stated 180% for the year) the total market share works out to $120 Million, Q3 2010 (IDPF Website).
    This is still just under 10% for a Publisher, but the profit per ebook going up will bring some additional focus on this channel for sales and promotions.
    (More on that later)
    Read on:
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    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Review: Calico Pennants by David A. Ross

    Grade: B+
    Pages: Approx 275 (ebook ARC from Publisher)
    Calico Pennants: A NovelIn this award-winning novel, a weekend sailor shipwrecked in the South Seas eventually discovers the island's only other human inhabitant—a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to 1930s lost flying ace Amelia Earhart.
    Summary: The scenes shift between a newly minted sailor in Hawaii and the famous Amelia Earhart's cross-pacific journey for the first half of the book. After closely following her adventure across south-east Asia, Britain and other islands, she crash lands onto a  strange island in the middle of the ocean. Julian and Amelia meet here, across time and space, facilitated by a kooky and talkative parrot.
    Overall: The primary driver of the tale is the well-scripted characterization - the action is fairly slow to start off. It does pick up as you keep reading, and draws one into a beautifully described sybaritic island-world. The run to the ending is strong and pretty fantastic!!
    Plus: The scenes are very authentic in their emotions and reactions. I loved some of the lines in the book - I've quoted one of many I liked at the end of the post. The entire last around-the-world trip Amelia makes is stunningly researched, authentic and gripping. I would almost skim over the Julian bits to get back to her flight. The island scenes between the survivors are completely plausible, and the unveiling of the island's strangeness is a lot of fun to read. 
    Minus: Initially, I didn't take to Julian's character - he didn't seem very much of a strong protagonist to me. However, the interaction between Amie and Julian is real and key to the rest of the book.
    I would recommend it to: Alternate history buffs, Purdue graduates (Amelia and Purdue university had lots of ties - trivia: Purdue also was the first university to get an airport)
    My fav Line:
    "Perhaps there are no accidents", Amie speculated. "What if events and situations manifest out of our deepest feelings and desires?"
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    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #21 - Foucault's Pendulum by Eco

    The most mind-whirling book I've read this year - Foucault's pendulum by Umberto Eco beats Da Vinci code for the sheer depth of mystery and tension around the Templars.
    From Pg 75 of the old library edition I'm reading:
    "The Crusaders were terrible screwups. They marched off without any idea of where they were going or what they would find when they got there."'
    Really having trouble understanding this book fully.
    I can't help but walk around bewildered - is that I am the wrong audience for the book, is there some pre-knowledge required to be able to grasp its concept, is it only for academics and high-brow folks?? - please help me out!
    I'm keeping at it, but it is a heavy read. I'm averaging 40 pages every morning on my commute to work.

    Meanwhile, do check out my most popular latest posts:
    The Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the US
    Why I love the internet today
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    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Oddest Title of the Year?

    If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your LegsSo I just heard of something called the "Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year"
    It is a humorous literary award given to - yes, you guessed it - the book with the oddest title that was published that year.
    Some of my favorites from the list of past winners include:
    • Last Chance at Love - Terminal Romances
    • The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History, and Its Role in the World Today 
    • How to Avoid Huge Ships (wtf?)
    • Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers
    • Living with Crazy Buttocks
    • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs (rofl)
    • Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice (Nude mice??)
    The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today, Together With a Collection of Recipes for Marmalades & MarmaladeI believe some books actually get published with this prize in mind! 
    Have you any submissions for this year's Oddest Title prize?

    More info:
    Wiki on Diagram Prize
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