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Nick Earls p2

Brisbane author Nick Earls talks about ebooks and other writing business...

Nick Earls pointed out the bright side of piracy. He said piracy only happened with popular things. It gained you a lot more publicity and word-of-mouth. He liked DRM-free ebooks. DRM (digital rights management) is a technological control over who has access to digital content. So someone who bought a DRM-free ebook could easily share it with a friend. But maybe some of these friends would then buy it or other ebooks by the same author.
He knew a literary agent for China and Taiwan who passed on a chance to buy the rights to The Da Vinci Code. The agent had reasoned that the book would be widely pirated in China. Millions of copies were pirated, but the buzz led to millions being bought legitimately.
Thirty per cent of the market for Mr Earls’ novels was for discount stores like K-Mart, Big W and Target, so the covers of the books had a certain look that these stores liked. And they couldn’t be too risque.
When writing a media release for a book, to be handed to radio and other interviewers, he liked to include about four facts that were cues for anecdotes that he could tell. He’d go from town to town re-telling them.
Ebook covers displayed on the Kindle ebook store on Amazon were the size of postage stamps and had to have a single image with a clear font. They were different from paperback covers.
Ebooks could be whatever size he liked, including novellas, short story collections. If readers liked one of your ebooks they might come back and buy them all.
Authors received 25-75 per cent of the price of ebooks, versus nine per cent of the cost of paperbacks.
At the Kindle ebook store, on Amazon, readers were attracted by free books; 99 cent samples (and then went back to buy the whole book); and ebooks with four- or five-star ratings.
Getting your ebook on subscription mailing lists led to bigger sales.
Established readership was a big factor in sales.

– copyright Simon Sandall