BEA is almost here, IDPF is hosting its annual conference, but sadly I am in the Toronto office, plugging away. Still, there is news:
Amazon has acquired Avalon Books acquiring over 3,000 backlist titles in romance, mystery and western. None of the titles have been digitally published. “I’ve been running Avalon Books–which was founded by my father–since 1995, and it is time for me to explore the next chapter of my life,” said Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen, Publisher of Avalon Books. “I chose Amazon Publishing because they care deeply about the writers, readers, and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future. I am pleased they have asked me to assist during a period of transition to provide continuity and support for our authors.”
F+W launched their original romance ebook imprint today: Crimson Romance. Welcome! It truly is more like the Romance Wars all over again, which means there is lots of opportunty and choice for authors. Crimson is publishing romance in 5 series and actively looking for submissions.
And, of course, Entangled shared some of their amazing numbers over the weekend. As a fellow publisher I am certainly impressed at how well some of their titles are performing, and do think their covers are excellent. I spent some time on their site this week, and realized the majority of their pricing is $2.99 whether the story is a novella or full-length novel in any range. Of course, the $2.99 pricing is attractive to consumers, but what do writers think about it and the future of pricing for our stories.?Will readers only be willing to spend a few dollars on their books? Or does the $9.99 price of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY show that readers will spend whatever is needed to get the book they want?
What do authors think? Are we jumping at short term gain and about to face a bleak future? What about when the big online retailers decide to change self pub rates (you don’t have a contract with them, so nothing is guaranteed). Seventy percent today could easily be fifty, thirty, or ten tomorrow. Even publishers like Entangled who are using the self pub model at these retailers may find themselves challenged.