Who doesn’t have this e-book thing figured out?
Some authors do very well in both e-books and p-books (paper books).
I was curious if there were authors who were doing very well in paper, but not so well in e-books.
I decided to make this simple, and just look at the authors of the bestselling books at Amazon.com.
The authors (and their agents) do have an impact on this decision, by the way. The author owns the e-book rights, separately from the p-book rights, and can sell them separately. Hypothetically, they could sell the hardback rights to a tradpub (traditional publisher) and keep the e-book rights for themselves…even sell them to a different publisher, if they wanted.
Most likely, the publisher of the hardback would frown on that, and might even have a clause against it…but the author/estate would most likely need to be compensated for not using those e-book rights.
- Rick Riordan: #8 e-book
- B.J. Novak: #2,450 e-book
- Gillian Flynn: #3 e-book
- Cary Elwes: #71 e-book
- Bill O’Reilly: #23 e-book
- Thug Kitchen: #915 e-book
- Rush Limbaugh: #861 e-book
- Atul Gawande: #173 e-book
- Jeff Kinney: #386 e-book
- Walter Issacson: #65 e-book
Interesting! I think this might confirm what some people would think. With the exception of Rick Riordan, I think the books intended for children are doing worse in e-book. There is a reasonable argument that a lot of the books bought for kids to read are bought as gifts (even if the gifts come from within the immediate family)…and that p-books might seem better as a gift, literally more substantial.
I also think there might be some negative impact on digital with a book being a pre-order. It may be that people feel it is less necessary to pre-order an e-book. They aren’t going to run out of it, and you can typically have it within sixty seconds of deciding to buy it.
However, you can pre-order e-books (and I know many people do), so it’s not as simple as that.
I suppose it isn’t surprising that Walter Isaacson, who write on tech related subjects, does well in e-books. I should be clear, I’m not convinced that the e-book market is really techies (I think that’s what Amazon did differently that made the Kindle go mainstream when many other EBRs…E-Book Readers hadn’t managed it in the USA…they designed them for readers, not techies).
Still, there is a significant minority of people who just read e-books…I think as an author going into the future, you’ve pretty much got to make that market work for you. That is, of course, unless you are selling relatively expensive books, where you don’t have move as many units.
What do you think? Could an author live by paper alone?😉 Are some authors just a better read for you in either digital or paper? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.