Recently, the book “50 Shades of Grey” has been selling online and in bookstores like hot cakes. Yet, it has the richest author in the world quite in a “bind” over it. The author of the “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling, is disturbed by the pace of sales and the vast amount of copies “50 Shades of Grey” has sold. She believes the book is nothing but Twilight fan fiction rubbish and housewife fantasy p*rnography. She is not alone though. Many critics and reviewers of the trilogy concur with J.K. Rowling’s assessment of the originally self published “50 Shades”. With Rowling’s legendary billionaire author status (richer than the Queen of England) – Rowling Rips 50 Shades became headline news in the publishing world.
On the flip side, could the Harry Potter scribe be a trifle jealous of the success of E.L. James? It’s quite the possibility. With over forty million copies sold to date and movie rights and merchandising right sales, its not hard to see why J.K. Rowling is a bit miffed by the success of this tawdry book. And coincidentally, J.K. Rowling herself has penned another book, suited towards the adult market this time, but she says it is nothing like “50 Shades of Grey”. Hmmmm. Ironically, Rowling admitted in another interview that she hasn’t even read “50 Shades”, but was told by others that the book is horrid. So, that is pretty much what she is basing her judgement on, the quips of her friends. Still, the famous author shouldn’t waste her time reading a trashy modern day “bodice ripper”, she has bigger fish and chips to fry with her new book coming out. And it’s doubtful that E.L. James millions will ever be able to close in on J.K. Rowling’s billion.
If you are thinking about writing or developing an eCookbook, research your niche first, before you embark on a fruitless endeavor. The eCookbook deluge is working against most cookery authors. Why? Electronic cookbook authors have too much free competition. There are many free websites where contributor-based recipes and photos are posted. Those who are willing to pay for recipes often join membership websites, especially if they are “run” by celebrity chefs who the members follow. For those not looking for individual recipes, but entire cookbooks, there are thousands of free e-cookbooks online. Many cookbooks have hit the public domain and are republished online totally free. Also, eCookbooks published by authors who wish to pump up their Amazon Kindle unit sales for a month may set their price to “free”. There are even online forums for foodies to locate freebie eCookbooks. The second most popular Google search after “ecookbooks” is “cookbooks free”. That is a very revealing search stat.
How can you compete in the eCookbook deluge? It isn’t easy. You will need to find a niche that isn’t overpopulated or have something extremely unique to add to your niche. You will have to keep your price low. The market has dictated that eCookbook buyers don’t want to pay a lot. Your labor in producing your book may turn out to be a labor of love rather than turning much of a profit for you if you don’t do your research first.
Sell eBooks Where? — is a frequent query of new authors in eBook author forums. Most eBook authors know about selling their eBooks on Amazon, nevertheless, there are other popular online eBookstores where authors should also list their eBooks for sale to maximize sales and exposure. Some of these stores require specific file formatting of an author’s eBook. One example of specific formatting requirement is by iTunes; an author will need to get an eBook manuscript file converted to iTunes’ required file format. In addition, each online bookstore has different revenue sharing arrangements which an author should take time to review. Not that any of these arrangements are unfair, but an author will want to understand each bookseller’s pay-out structure for eBook sales.
The top online bookstores and eMedia sellers are Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble’s Nook.com, SmashWords.com, Google eBookstore, GoodReads.com and iTunes.com. Many readers consider SmashWords and GoodReads not to be as “elitist” as Amazon or B&N and enjoy the boutique and social-friendly atmosphere that these booksellers are known for. Many readers are members of the “Cult of Apple” and own only iOS devices and computers, so having a presence on iTunes will capture that spendy, trendy market. There isn’t any downside on featuring your eBook on all of the top online eBook seller websites.
If you are writing an eBook, you need to look into getting a catchy graphic design cover for your book. While readers are looking online for books for their eReaders, they are visually motivated. A book’s cover is a factor when making a buying decision. If you have a very unique cover, it will catch a buyer’s attention. If you have nothing but the default cover on Amazon or a text only or very plain cover, expect your sales to be abysmal. Publishers know that covers have definitive impact on book sales. Although a cliche, relative to eBooks, a buyer can judge a book by its cover, “judge” as in decide to buy it or not to buy it.
Well designed eBook covers and a smart title and tag line can boost your monthly eBook sales. Let’s face reality, a well designed cover creates a better image of what your book is about. Graphic designs for eBook covers can range from anywhere from free to $100. Caveat emptor, you get what you pay for. Using intriguing stock photos or even original photography integrated into the graphic design is another great way to create a unique and highly visual book cover. You can find inexpensive stock photos at stock photo websites. One of the least expensive and most popular stock photo houses online is DepositPhotos.com. Exclusive art or photography will add more cost to a book cover, so unless you and your wallet are prepared to spend hundreds you haven’t made back from sales on your book, you may wish to start with a less expensive, but highly unique design.
If you want to be an author, the daunting ordeal of trying to get published is in the past. Authors are now self publishing to get their books out there in the marketplace without going through a major publisher, indie publisher, vanity publisher or small press. Authors can sell their books as eBooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Goodreads, Google eBookstore, iTunes and SmashWords among some of the top online bookstores. Authors can also promote their books free through web 2.0 social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Squidoo and Shelfari. So with today’s new technology and the ever expanding world of social media, any writer can take the self publishing route to get their book out and use free social media marketing to promote it.
However, there are a lot of writers who pen a plethora of mediocre to poorly written pleonasmic opuses and place them on popular eBook seller sites. So if you think about it for a moment, with so many authors putting their books out plus promoting them, this clutter of novice works makes it difficult to rise above and gain readership momentum. Most writers are stuck at the 99 cent Kindle book level and dream of becoming the next E.L. James, the author who wrote “50 Shades of Grey”. E.L. James self-published her best seller and sold millions of copies of the 50 Shades trilogy before publishers were throwing themselves at her feet.