Thursday, September 13, 2018

Review: Shadow Tyrants by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison Morrison and Clive Cussler are back with Shadow Tyrants, the 13th book in the Oregon Files series. The series follows the exploits of Juan Cabrillo and his crew, who work under the moniker of “The Corporation,” and draws its name from Cabrillo’s ship, The Oregon.

Shadow Tyrants begins in typical Cussler fashion, with a prologue set in the past that lays the groundwork for the conflict that drives the story...

Read the full review at New York Journal of Books.

Friday, August 17, 2018

57- 2017 Earnings Breakdown and Analysis

Here's the breakdown by vendor and source of my 2017 publishing income along with comparisons to 2016:

Share of Gross Income by Vendor
Kindle: 73.8%
Nook: 5.3%
Kobo: 5:7%
Audible: 5.6%
iBooks: 4.8%
Print: 2.3%
Google: 1.4%
Other vendors: 0.1%
Translations: 0.1%
Trad pub: 0.8%

Kindle: 77.7%
Nook:     6.2%
Kobo:     5.4%
Audible: 4.4%
iBooks:  3.7%
Print:     2.0%
Google: 0.4%
Other vendors: 0.1%
Translations: 0.1%

Income Increase/Decrease from 2017

Google Play 223%
Translations 39%
Apple 27%
Audible 21%
Paperback 14%
Other 13%
Kobo -1%
Kindle -8%
Nook -17%

-Kindle decrease is primarily attributed to the amount of time and effort invested in Kindle Worlds. Those books sold well, but brought in much less per-unit sold than books I published myself. Also, most were underpriced, in my opinion.

-I was pleased to see income from iBooks (Apple) increase.

-Audible increase is primarily due to sales of audiobook bundles as well as terrific sales of Primordial.

-I'm not sure why paperback income increased, but I'm not complaining.

-Google Play increased significantly. This is mostly due to the fact that I didn't have my full catalog in GP in 2016, but I do think their market share is growing.

-Nook income fell, which is not surprising to me.

-Income from translations and from "other" channels (Scribd, Tolino, Overdrive...) increased, but the income from those channels are so small that the changes aren't statistically significant.

Looking Back at Last Year's Musings

Last year: Several of my author friends tell me they are doing very well on iBooks. I'd like to increase my sales and visibility in that store.

 Mission accomplished! 27% increase in gross income and a modest increase in market share.
LY: I'm curious to see whether or not the lending program Kobo is beta testing will have an impact on sales.

Not yet. At this time it's only available to a couple of countries.

LY:Rumors are circulating that Audible plans to roll out an audiobook lending service, which will also be interesting to watch.

As far as I'm aware, this is still limited to the romance genre and authors have been unhappy with the compensation.

With the launch of the Dane Maddock Kindle World, I expect Kindle income to continue to rise in proportion to the other vendors.

In terms of units sold, this did happen, but not in terms of income.

-I am strongly considering going exclusive with Createspace, as the paltry sales through Ingram mean the annual listing fees for all books in my catalog aren't worthwhile.

I did cancel a number of titles with Lightning Source, but I have been experimenting with Ingram Spark. Rumors are circulating that CreateSpace will be going out of business. We'll see what happens.

Looking Ahead
-I expect Google, iBooks, and Audible to continue to grow.

-Not sure what to expect from Kindle. I'm still in the process of republishing the Kindle Worlds books. I'm hopeful they'll perform better now that I can control the advertising.

-I'm interested in seeing what happens with CreateSpace. I will probably experiment with KDP print because you can run AMS ads for print books published with them.

-Indie-published translations have not been worthwhile so far. This year, a single advance on one translated book earned four times as much as I made from my entire catalog of translated works in 2017. I might cancel my translations once the contract terms expire and see if I can sell rights to foreign language publishers.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Book of Bones Part 14

Review: Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott

I picked up the audiobook version of Murder in an English Village on a whim. (I think Audible might have had it on sale but I can't remember). It's not my usual fare, but I enjoy the occasional mystery novel, I like history, and I love British mystery shows like Foyle's War, Hinterland, and Broadchurch, so I thought I'd give it a go. I was not disappointed.

When two old school friends reunite in post-World War I England, their investigation into a young woman's disappearance leads to murder. Their search uncovers a variety of secrets, some dating back to the war years.

The pacing is slow and steady, but seemed about right for this type of story. The characters are interesting and the mystery intriguing with just enough twists and surprises to keep the pages turning. Like any good mystery, there were several times I was fairly certain I knew who the killer was (and I was wrong every time.) When I  neared the end of the book, I was particularly proud of having figured out that one particular person was no good, but then it turned out that I'd only figured out a tiny fraction of the real story. The conclusion wrapped everything up in a satisfying way that didn't leave any loose threads.

I particularly enjoyed the dialogue. The characters' vocabularies, idioms, and manners of speaking were appropriate to the time, place, and their respective social classes. In one of my favorite lines, one of the characters bemoans her friend's cooking skills, thinking that, "What had been done to the sausage was a bigger shame than the fate of the pigs that had provided it." I could almost see the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey making such an observation.

The narration by Barbara Rosenblat is solid and her performance added to my enjoyment of the story.

Murder in an English Village is an engrossing tale certain to please cozy mystery fans.

This is the first book in the Beryl and Edwina Mysteries series, with the second book, Murder Flies the Coop, coming out next month.