New Releases February 2017

February is the month of love, and as expected, we have a whole slew of new romances from our members for you to enjoy. Aside from the ones listed below, do you have an Aussie romance, new or old, you’d like to recommend ahead of Valentine’s Day?

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New releases January 2017

It’s been a hot, sultry summer in Sydney. Perhaps that’s why we’re still in holiday mode. Speaking of holidays, it’s Australia Day tomorrow, and we thought you might need something to read.

Happy Reading!

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New releases December 2016

Sun, sand and blue water … summer has arrived in Australia along with the countdown to Christmas. There are several delightful seasonal offerings among our member new releases this month, and composing my book list for self to put under the tree. What about you? Are you planning more reading or more writing along with your Christmas feasting?

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October new releases

Whew! It’s October already. Competition season is upon us and there is no substitute for reading when it comes to improving your craft. It’s one of the myriad benefits of being a romance writer and reader – you can educate yourself and enjoy yourself at the same time!

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“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.”
– Emily Dickinson

Happy 1 September everyone. I can certainly feel Spring in the air, taking the chill off mornings and extending daylight in the evenings. This means, of course, more light to read by 🙂

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August new releases

It’s conference month but even amidst all the bling, chatter and learning, a girl must have a book to read. Try one of these new titles from our members.

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RITA winners announced

Ahead of the announcement of the Romance Writers of Australia’s RUBY and Emerald award winners at our 2016 conference in Adelaide, we share the winners of RWAmerica’s RITA and Golden Heart winners. The RITA and Golden Heart awards are for published books and unpublished manuscripts respectively. It is interesting to note that when publishing the shortlist, RWAmerica pays tribute to authors, publishers and editors.

The 2016 winners are:

RITA AWARDS

  • Romance Novella Nice Girls Don’t Ride by Roni Loren
  • Contemporary Romance: Long Brokedown Cowboy by Maisey Yates
  • Young Adult Romance The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  • Historical Romance: Long Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist
  • Romantic Suspense Flash Fire by Dana Marton
  • Paranormal Romance Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles
  • Erotic Romance For Real: A Spires Story by Alexis Hall
  • Historical Romance: Short It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long
  • Inspirational Romance A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
  • Contemporary Romance: Short The Nanny Plan by Sarah M. Anderson
  • Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
  • Best First Book Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

RITA winnersGOLDEN HEART AWARDS

  • Contemporary Romance Shelter Me by Gabrielle Luthy
  • Young Adult Romance The Beekeeper by Meg Kassel
  • Historical Romance The Earl and the Pussycat by Elizabeth King
  • Romantic Suspense In the Wrong Sights by Tracy Brody
  • Paranormal Romance Don’t Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets
  • Inspirational Romance For the Love of Termites by Kimberly MacCarron
  • Short Contemporary Romance Rescuing Riley by Carrie Nichols

For further information and links to the books and authors go to the announcement on the RWAmerica website page.

July New Member Releases

Brrrrrr! Cold winds are sweeping all across the Eastern states. Lucky you, if you live further North and your feet aren’t icicles. Definitely time to stay indoors, tucked under a doona and read a stack of romance novels.

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The importance of backlist sales

More analysis of the May 2016 Author Earnings Report

The AuthorEarnings (AE) May 2016 report studied one million titles. That covered 294,091 authors, broken down as follows:

  • 123,371:  Small/Medium Publisher Authors
  • 75,943: Indie Authors
  • 35,457: Big Five Authors
  •  1,822: Amazon Imprint Authors, and
  • 57,498: Uncategorised (either single title authors or those that AE could not categorise as one of the above)

One of the subsets of the report looked at how much of a boost non-listed titles add to a bestselling author’s bottom line. This is an interesting question. Essentially, it is a look at backlist sales and how much they add to an author’s bottom line.

According to AuthorEarnings, the answer varies by publisher type. Indie authors and Big Five authors with one or more bestseller listed titles benefit the most, gaining an additional 30% and 21% respectively in sales. Authors with small to medium publishing houses get an additional contribution of 13%.

The AE report doesn’t comment on when these backlist sales are highest, but I would think that authors get the biggest boost to backlist sales at launch or shortly afterwards when you are top-of-mind with the reader in question. Promotions of backlist titles within two to six months after launch of a new book could be very beneficial. Of course, this is all based on the premise that your new book was a ‘bestseller’ and made enough of an impression for readers to remember you favourably.

Here’s a graph* reflecting the boost backlist sales give an author by publishing category.

Blog graph

The data for Amazon-Imprint Published authors with listed bestsellers is of an anomoly. Their other non-listed titles only contribute an additional 5% to their bottom lines. AE speculate that this

  • Either reflects the small number of both authors and titles that Amazon Imprints publish,
  • Or that superior Amazon marketing strategies and solutions keeps a higher percentage of these authors titles visible on the bestseller lists in the first place.

AE also pulled related Amazon data on 900,000 top-selling print titles and 67,000 top selling audiobooks, including every format of every single title by any author who had even one title of any format on any Amazon bestseller list. This made it the most comprehensive AE report ever.

They say that their report is very representative of the US market, and that, in fact, in the American market, Amazon accounts for 50% of the sales of all traditionally published authors and 85% of all indie authors.

However, I have some quibbles:

  1. The AE report authors do not say how they know that 50% of the sale of all traditionally published authors and 85% of the sales all indie authors go through Amazon. I would like to know where that information comes from, especially on traditionally published authors. Most publishing houses are not listed companies and like most private companies, they are notoriously shy about giving away information. I have asked them the question and will let you know when I get an answer.
  2. They acknowledge that their study does not include the non-Amazon.com sales: print sales through brick and mortar bookstores and other mass merchandisers; ebook sales through Apple iBookStore, barnesandnoble.com, Kobo, and Google Play; audiobook sales through iTunes; print books sold online through non-Amazon.com retailers; library sales; publisher-direct sales; author-direct sales; non-US digital and online print sales through other Amazon stores such asAmazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.au, etc.; and other foreign sales.
  3. They are not overly fussed about sales in other markets as they say most US authors earn the majority of their income in America. However, that applies equally for Australian authors; most Australian authors will make the bulk of their sales in Australia so if you are not an American author, you have to be aware that other factors may be different in your market, including the percentage contribution of other retailers and outlets.

I’ll keep looking at the results from the Author Earnings May 2016 over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you would like to read the full report, you will find it here. You can also sign up to receive their reports of follow them on Twitter: @AuthorEarnings

Note: Graphs provided by AuthorEarnings.

Author Earnings Report May 2016

A million-title study of US author earnings from Amazon.com reveals indie authors outperform Big Five authors in terms of percentage market share of ebook unit sales and author income but Big Five still hold edge in gross $ sales, despite declining percentage.

For some time now I have been on the mailing list of AuthorEarnings, a website by authors for authors whose purposes is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions.

They’ve taken on a big challenge given how difficult it is to extract data from different sources within the publishing industry to cover the sales of all book formats – hardbacks, paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks. As they say in their most recent report, ‘Data in the publishing biz is hard to come by. Without widespread sharing of data by retailers, publishers, agents, and authors, we are all left like the blind to describe different parts of the same but seemingly disjointed elephant.’

However, AuthorEarnings has made enormous strides, especially in the area of ebook sales data, and are gaining respect and credibility amongst publishers, agents and retailers as well as authors. This year they were asked to present the keynote speech at the Digital Book World 2016 conference.

Their methodology employs a software spider that crawls across Amazon’s bestseller lists. The 200,000+ titles on those lists make up roughly 60% of Amazon’s daily sales. However, AuthorEarnings acknowledge that this leaves an appreciable number of titles and sales unaccounted for.

AuthorEarnings say, ‘Independent authors familiar with our data have claimed to be making a livable wage without a single one of their books appearing on any Amazon bestseller list. These are the truly invisible among the already difficult-to-discern. We wanted to see if they could be found.

‘So for this report, instead of just looking at Amazon’s bestseller lists, we had our spider follow links to also-bought recommendations and also through each authors’ full catalog. This resulted in a million-title dataset, our most comprehensive and definitive look yet at author earnings. We were able to tally up precisely how many indie authors, Big Five authors, small/medium press authors, and Amazon-imprint authors are currently making enough from Amazon.com sales to land in a number of “tax brackets”.

They ended up with daily sales data on a million of Amazon’s Kindle ebooks — nearly a third of all titles listed in the US Kindle store. They captured practically all of the titles selling with any frequency whatsoever, the vast majority of the infrequently-selling titles, and many, many of the non-selling books. Their dataset includes:

  • Nearly every single Kindle book selling 1 or more copy per day (98.5% of them)
  • 90% of all Kindle titles selling at least 2-3 copies a week
  • 81% of all Kindle titles selling 1 or more copies a week
  • 64% of all Kindle titles selling 2 or more copies a month
  • 32%of all Kindle titles listed in the Amazon US Kindle store.

With this report, Author Earnings is now capturing and breaking down a full 82% of daily Amazon Kindle ebook sales. Only 18% of Amazon’s daily ebook sales remain unaccounted for in their data — and they say that  18% is coming from titles selling less than a copy a day  and most of that coming from titles selling less than a copy a month. These are books by very lowest-selling authors on Amazon, who have no other titles making any significant sales either.

Obviously Amazon is only a proportion of the market, but it is a significant proportion of the market. The AuthorEarnings report is US-centric, but I do think it provides an interesting analysis of trends that are relevent to Australian authors, especially those who have books for sale in the US. This particular report breaks down sales and looks at trends in terms of five groups:

  • Big Five published authors
  • Small to medium-sized publishing house authors
  • Indie authors
  • Amazon-only published authors
  • Uncategorised single author publishers

The data confirms what so many long-standing authors tell newbies: the more books you have, the more readers you will gain, the more success you will have and the more money you will make.

Ebook Market Share: 27 month trends

The first AuthorEarnings report was published in February 2014. For the May 2016 report, they had a look at trends over the last 27 months: how has the distribution of ebook unit sales, gross consumer $ spending, and author earnings changed among publisher types?

Indie-published author sales continue to grow at a significant rate, by approximately 17% over the 27-month period to 43% of total Amazon ebook sales. Big Five published author sales continue to drop but seem to have bottomed out at around 23% of Amazon sales as the average price  of their books has dropped from $10.31 in January this year to $8.67 in May. Big Five author earnings continue to drop to reflect their lower market share.

Trend ebook unit sales by publisher typetrend ebook author earnings by publisher typetrend ebook gross $ sales by publisher type

How much of a boost do non-bestselling listed titles give to a bestselling author’s bottom additional author earnings from other ebooksline? The answer varies by publisher type. Indie authors and the Big Five are the  beneficiaries of these additional sales. Indie authors on average receive the highest increment of additional revenue – 30% – versus Big Five authors who make an additional 21%. The contribution for authors with a small or medium publishing house is 13% on average. The data for Amazon-Imprint Published authors with listed bestsellers is particularly interesting. Their other non-listed titles only contribute an additional 5% to their bottom lines. AuthorEarnings speculates that this either reflects the small number of both authors and titles that Amazon Imprints publish or that greater Amazon marketing adeptness of their books keeps a higher percentage of their titles visible on the bestseller lists to begin with.

I’ll continue to explore the results of the Author Earnings May 2016 over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you would like to read the full report, you will find it here. You can also sign up to receive their reports of follow them on Twitter: @AuthorEarnings

Note: Graphs provided by AuthorEarnings.

 

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