Buffalo Avenue Books are available at Smashwords.com, Amazon.com, Apple iStore, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com, Sony, Kobo, Whitcoulls, and the Diesel eBook Store.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Holly, Jolly Christmas

From Publishersweekly.com:

Santa Brings Random House Record E-Book Sales 

December 25 and 26 were the two biggest e-book sales days ever for Random House, the publisher reported today. Combined e-book sales across e-retailers on those two days rose more than 300% over last year's sales for the same two-day period, which had been Random's best two-day e-book sales period ever.

Among Random’s e-book bestsellers were the titles in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy (with a combined 115,000 units sold in e-book format across e-retailers), John Grisham's The Confession, George Bush's Decision Points, Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.Random also reported a “significant” sales increase for e-book versions of its children's picture books, including the 1961 classic Go, Dog, Go.
Random's president of sales, digital and operations, Madeline McIntosh, said, “We are delighted by the volume of consumers flocking to Random House books across all our e-retailers, and not just to our best-selling titles which are clearly as popular in e as they are in print. Consumers are also using their e-reading devices to discover titles deeper in our list, including David Nicholls's One Day, George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, and Max Brooks's World War Z."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In My Shorts, Hitler's Bellhop and Other Stories: Now Available!

Click on the cover image to order from Smashwords.com!

eBook Price: $3.99 USD. 40,570 words. Fiction by Paul Kupperberg, published by Buffalo Avenue Books on Smashwords.com on December 14, 2010. 
Six short stories by the author of Two Tales of Atlantis, including a savage look at the dark side of creativity (“Food for the Beast”) and the comedy screenplay that Jerry Lewis never wrote but might have (“Hitler’s Bellhop”), with stops along the way to fight vampire squirrels, live the life of a superhero, visit a graveyard, and bow before the zombie king.

Retail, Up! Book Sales, Down!

The news continues to be depressing for bookstore sales, according to a piece on today's PublishersWeekly.com:

October Bookstore Sales Drop 2.5%
Bookstore sales fell 2.5% in October to an even $1 billion, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline was less severe than the declines in August and September when bookstore sales fell by more than 6% in both months. For the first 10 months of 2010, bookstore sales were also down 2.5%, to $13.32 billion. For the retail segment in general, October sales rose 5.7% and sales in the year to date were ahead 6.2%.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brick & Mortar Ain't What It Used to Be

Yesterday, PublishersWeekly.com reported that eBook sales are on the rise, albeit at a slower pace than before. Google's new eBookstore is expected to have a large impact on sales going forward, but every book purchased electronically is a printed book that's not bought at a brick & mortar retailer, or even from an eRetailer like Amazon. Bookstores are hurting, and despite its play for Barnes & Noble, at Borders "for the first nine months of the year, total sales fell 15%, to $1.52 billion, and the loss increased to $185.2 million from $169.3 million in the comparable period last year."

The story is covered in the article Borders Sales Disappoint, Loss Soars; Liquidity Issues Arise, .

Thursday, December 9, 2010

eBook Trends

From today's PublishersWeekly.com, an article whose title is pretty self-explanatory:

© Publishers Weekly

New Survey on E-book Trends  
A survey of 600 publishers from across the industry spectrum found 64% now offering e-books with 74% of trade houses producing titles in that format. The trade and STM segments had the biggest gain in number of publishers producing e-books in the survey, the second one conducted by the conversion and technology services company Aptara. There was no dominant factor among the publishers that don’t produce e-books about why they haven’t entered the market, with 71% giving no particular reason for staying out of the business.
The profitability of e-books has been a point of contention between publishers and authors, and according to the survey 66% of trade houses have no clear picture if the return-on-investment from e-books is better or worse than for print books; 15% said the ROI was better, but 13% said it was worse. Aptara attributed the murky picture to publishers “retrofitting existing print workflows” to produce e-books, an inefficient process that inhibits publishers from producing cost savings. The report predicts that as more efficient and scalable digital workflows are implemented, and more backlist titles move to digital, ROI will improve. The two most important reasons trade houses move backlist books into e-books are a desire to extend the life of a title and market demand.
Publishers are still selling e-books from their own sites (38%), but Amazon is now a close second (37%), while the report found the iTunes store to be the fastest-growing distribution channel with 22% of publishers now offering e-books there compared to 9% last year. (The report did not ask respondents specifically if they sell through Apple’s iBookstore).
The top challenge in producing e-books—for all types of publishers—was content format and compatibility issues. Forty-five percent of all publishers said that was their biggest issue, up from 21% in the summer 2009 survey, a development attributed mainly to the plethora of new e-reading devices introduced into the market in the last year that adds to costs and confusion.
Despite some problems, 49% of all publishers said e-books are of “high importance” to their growth plans, with 55% of trade house putting e-books in that category.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's The Economy, Stupid?

A story in today's PublishersWeekly.com:

"E-Book Growth Slows, Still Up 112% in October 
Facing some harder comparisons, e-book sales posted their slowest growth rates in 2010 in October. Still, sales jumped 112.4%, to $40.7 million, from the 14 publishers who reported results to the AAP’s monthly sales program. For the first 10 months of the year, e-book sales from the 14 houses rose 171.3%, to $345.3%, 8.7% of the trade sales of reporting publishers. The three adult categories all had declines in October and for the 10 months of 2010 adult hardcover sales from 17 reporting houses fell 7.7%, and sales from 9 mass market houses were down 14.3%. Sales of trade paperbacks from 19 publishers were flat."

While a "dip" is never a good thing, the fact that sales haven't maintained the same growth-rate could be attributed to a lot of causes, from the state of the economy, to a simple pre-holiday slowdown as people wait to give eBooks or see which eBooks they'll receive for Christmas. What will the eBook marketplace look like in late-December and January, after everybody who received Tablet PCs, dedicated eReaders, and iPads for the holidays hit the eBookstores in what's sure to be considerable additional numbers?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google eBooks Brightens the Indies Day

On PublishersWeekly.com, Judith Rosen writes about the initial reception by some independent bookstores to Google's new eBookstore launch in Reading Unbound: Indie Booksellers Offering Google eBooks.

The reaction is, as expected, mixed, although not quite as mixed as I had expected. It ranges from "love it" to "we'll see...":

"...Booksellers like Cathy Langer, head buyer at Tattered Cover in Denver, Colo., were happy to have it. 'We haven’t really been in the game until now,' she says."

"'I’m still digesting and determining whether it’s something we will offer,' says Christin Evans, co-owner of the Booksmith in San Francisco."

These are just first reactions and one article's point of view. Maybe it's my inner-Luddite, but I find it hard to believe there's not greater panic by indies threatened by more electronic/less brick and mortar & print. I'm pleased everyone seems to be adapting (although, what's the alternative, really?), but we haven't even heard the start of this yet.


Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm Sure Charles Dickens Awaits His Next Royalty Statement With Giddy Anticipation

From today's Publisher's Marketplace eNewsletter, Publisher's Lunch:

Oprah to Pick Two Dickens' Books
Monday Oprah Winfrey selects Charles Dickens' Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities as her new book club picks, revealed early when the AP purchased a copy of Penguin's special edition $20 paperback with Oprah Book Club logo on the cover.

While Penguin's edition is the official one, multiple classics publishers have the opportunity to benefit from the selections, including Barnes & Noble. Penguin's official ebook edition is priced at $7.99, as previously reported, though ebook editions are easily obtainable for anywhere from free to ninety-nine cents (per book). Google's just-launched eBooks initiative also prominently highlights their free public-domain editions of the two Oprah-selected Dickens titles.

Two Tales of Atlantis

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Google Goes eBook

Google today launched Google eBooks and the Google eBookstore, as reported in Computerworld.com.

This is their "long-anticipated cloud-based system to allow readers to buy e-books online from a choice of booksellers and to read them with a variety of devices," according to the copyrighted CW article by Matt Hamblen.

"Readers will access their e-books like messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa using a free password protected Google account that comes with unlimited e-books storage.

"They will be able to purchase them from the Google eBookstore or from independent bookseller partners as well, (product manager of Google Books Abraham) Murray said.

"As part of the Google eBooks announcement, Adobe Systems announced that its Content Server 4 software will provide digital rights management for the new system. Up to 85 devices across many platforms supporting Adobe eBook DRM will be able to access Google eBooks, using PDF and ePub formats. The Adobe software is a part of the Google eBooks system being used by more than 200 book publishers and sellers"

Just this morning, I heard a report on the news that Google's Android OS was about to catch up to the Apple iOS in market share (Blackberry is losing share but remains, for the moment, the market leader). I'm involved with a company that has a new Tablet PC that's about to launch (my first ever "TV commercial" is up on YouTube) and we went with the Android OS because of its utter ubiquity (another win for Android's open architecture). Now, with Android's momma Google in the eBook biz, you can bet it's going to be easier than ever to access and buy eBooks on everything from your Android Smartphone to your ICAN! 10" or 7" Tablet PC with Android OS (especially when the updated OS optimized for Tablet PC devices is released early next year).

This also puts Google on a direct competitive crash course with Amazon in which some analysts think the Little Search Engine That Kicked Everybody's Tuchus could have a distinct edge: "'All Google has to do is train people away from going to Amazon when they have a book-related search question,' (Forrester analyst James McQuivey) said. 'Even if they are interested in new books, Google can give you samples of copyrighted books and say, "Is this what you are looking for?"" 

Could this lead to price slashing of the sort that's already happening in the Big Box Store hard-copy book market between retailers, which many authors fear could devalue the very concept of "book" and drive the price of books (and therefore our royalties) down permanently?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Evil Book Empire?

An article in the Boston Review looks at Books After Amazon. It raises a lot of questions on all sides (writers, publishers, retailers, consumers) of the evolving age of ePublishing.

At the moment, I'm torn. I love books. I have many thousands of them. But I'm currently packing to move in under two weeks and, as I said, I have many thousands of books!! Imagine how easy it would be  if all I had to do was drop my eReader in my briefcase or slip an SD card into my pocket to have them packed to go! But then, I wouldn't have all those lovely books!

It's a vicious cycle and a problem not to be solved here or now.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Artist and self-publisher Colleen Duran speaks out against the only thing more threatening to the individual creator than the rapidly shrinking publishing market: Piracy.

And Google seems to be wrapping its corporate mind around the true meaning of "copyright." Well, 'tis the season.