First, for your Kindle, some deals on “publisher published” books –
- Home in the Morning by Mary Glickman. Price: $4.99 (again). Genre: Jews in the South, Love, Civil Rights. Rated 4.5 stars on 19 reviews.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Price: $5. Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure & Thrillers, Children’s Action & Adventure. Rated 4.5 stars on 1,908 reviews. Supposedly a fun read for adults too.
- A few Kurt Vonnegut books at $5 or so. The deals include Cat’s Cradle at $7, The Sirens of Titan at $5.38, and Slaughterhouse-Five at $8.
After 30 to 45 minutes of searching these were the only deals found.
Why is it so difficult to find good deals on Publisher published books?
It’s just not that easy. No one, except a few Kindle owners at the official kindle forum, is highlighting deals. Amazon isn’t. Publishers certainly aren’t. Authors don’t really have any say in the matter. If they couldn’t stop the Agency Model, do we really expect them to offer $5 deals?
Gary had a comment –
How about news on deals (ie., discounts) on mainstream books? I have little interest in these Indie freebies. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. I’d much rather spend a few dollars for works that have been carefully vetted and edited. Old-guard publishing houses do serve a purpose.
Firstly, we’re not assuming anything about indie authors or smaller publishing houses. Just that there is interest in deals on published books in addition to indie books and the books from smaller Publishing Houses that Amazon loves to trot out in its free book offers.
We are only looking at why there are hardly any deals on ‘published’ books.
Here are some of the reasons there are very few deals from ‘Publisher published’ authors –
- They just aren’t that hungry. There’s never been a published author, to the best of my knowledge, who’s promoted her book (or his book) on any of the blogs or forums. They are happy to let indie authors get all the benefits and let indie authors be the people’s champions.
- They are trapped. If an author wants to run a promotion or lower the price or skip the Agency Model – He first has to get his Publisher’s approval. Plus would an author fight against his/her Publisher, when the Publisher is paying advances and ensuring the author is free to concentrate on writing books.
- They have no idea what to do. How many Published authors would even know how to start self-promoting? Or, for that matter, what prices to sell their books at?
- Publishers can’t really afford $3 deals. They have all their legacy costs. They have to support the costs and wastes of the printed books part of their business.
- Publishers still think of low-priced books and free books as marketing tricks. They aren’t thinking – We might have to live with $5 books. They’re thinking – We can use $2 books and free books to get readers to buy $15 books.
At a fundamental level, it’s a very interesting combination of things – powerlessness of published authors, Publishers’ detachment from reality, Publishers not realizing the market has ALREADY fundamentally changed, Publishers not realizing that they can’t make ebooks pay for the sins of their physical book processes, a lack of understanding that the people’s champions will be the only winners in the future.
Two of these are very important to understand: Publishing has ALREADY fundamentally changed. The People will be the only ones picking winners in the future.
Both of these are almost impossible for Publishers to grasp. Their advantages have turned into disadvantages. Their power has been stripped away.
For published authors, there’s a disconnect – they don’t realize that readers have the real power now. The fact that they get their royalties and their advances from Publishers makes them focused on what Publishers want, and on making Publishers happy. It’s going to kill them if they don’t realize that Publishers are sinking.
Publishers feel $10 is a deal. They feel $7 is an absolute steal. They don’t realize, or are unwilling to accept, that books that are nearly as good are available at $5 and $3 and even at $1. They still think of book deals as something you trot out to increase preorders and trick customers into thinking lots of people bought a $15 book.
Fundamentally, neither Publishers nor Published authors understand that –
- Readers decide everything now.
- $1 to $5 is the People’s Model. It’s much more powerful than the Agency Model.
- $1 and $3 books are their direct competition. Random House going with the Agency Model would have been perfect if they’d chosen April 1st. At a time when they most need to choose the People’s Model they are choosing the Agency Model instead.
So, if you are upset that there seem to only be deals on books from smaller publishers and indie authors, it’s because they are the only ones who are seeing things as they really are. There aren’t that many deals on books published by the Big 6 Agency Delusionals. At some level, they don’t even understand what a deal on a book is.
How could you consider a $7 published novel a deal when a book that’s quite good is available for $1?
Alone was $1 for a long time, The Hangman’s Daughter was really cheap for a long time. Two of Stiegg Larsson’s novels are at $5. Indie authors John Locke and Amanda Hocking have 4 $1 books and 2 $3 books in the Top 20.
In this environment a $7 book can’t really be considered a deal. Yet, Publishers don’t realize this.
Publishers and published authors are either going to accept reality and embrace the $5 and $3 price-points full-heartedly, or they are going to give up the Top 50 spots to indie authors. It’s that simple.
Reality is that a $1 book that’s an 8/10 is ALWAYS going to beat a $7 book that’s a 9/10. This isn’t one person picking out what book she is going to take to a desert island. This is millions of people taking the path of least resistance and the path of maximum value for money.