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How a Traditional Publisher Could Harm a Writer’s Career
A close look at the numbers indicates that those authors who continue to publish via traditional publishers might be harming their long term career prospects

Most ebook market watchers fixate on dollar sales, which, while important, mask the true tectonic shift now underway in book publishing.

In 2012, E-Books in the US will likely approach 30% of trade book sales measured in dollars, up from about 20% in 2011, 8% in 2010, 3% in 2009, 1% in 2008, and 1/2 of 1% in 2007.

These numbers understate the unit market share of what people are downloading and reading, because E-Books are priced lower than print.  At Smashwords, the average unit price (not counting free downloads) of customer purchases is $2.99.

Back in April at the RT Booklovers convention in Chicago, I presented data (click here to access the presentation deck) that examined how price influences unit downloads and overall earnings for indie authors.  It wasn’t a surprise that free books generated the most downloads, and lower priced books sold more units than higher priced books.

One surprise, however, was that we found $2.99 books, on average, netted the authors more earnings (profit per unit, multiplied by units sold) than books priced at $6.99 and above.  When we look at the $2.99 price point compared to $9.99, $2.99 earns the author slightly more, yet gains the author about four times as many readers.  $2.99 ebooks earned the authors six times as many readers than books priced over $10.

Complete article here.