Amber Sims Hinterplattner

Is Amazon Losing its eBook Domination?

As digital publishing explodes, more and more players are tossing their hats into the ring—including authors, publishers and device manufacturers. How is this affecting the long-time industry leader, Amazon?

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Since launching its revolutionary, best-selling Kindle eReader in 2007, Amazon enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the digital book market until recently. In the third quarter of 2010, the Kindle device retained a smaller, yet still impressive 41.5% market share, representing 1.14 million of 2.7 million eReaders sold during that period.

However, the online giant is rapidly losing ground to up-and-coming competitors like Apple’s iPad tablet, Sony, Pandigital, Kobo and the Barnes & Noble Nook, which now claims 25% of the eReader market.

When it comes to eBook sales Amazon still reigns supreme, boasting 950,000 digital titles that represent 60-65% of the market, as announced at BookExpo America last month. This past January, Kindle sales surpassed paperbacks in the Amazon online store and as of one month ago, they are outselling all printed books offered by the company.

If the iPad2 and Nook Color continue gaining in popularity, Amazon will be challenged to maintain its domination of the eReader and eBook markets. They have already responded by offering a lower-priced, ad-supported version of the Kindle, and it will be interesting to see what comes next.

Stay tuned and we’ll be sure to keep you updated at Between the Lines, our BookRix blog!

Self-Published Authors Blake Crouch & J.A. Konrath talk with Author R. Lynn & Amber of BookRix

self-published-authors-ja-konrath-r-lynn-blake-crouch-with-amber-sims-hinterplattnerAs many of you may have seen on our BookRix YouTube Channel, while at the 2011 BookExpo America, I had the opportunity (and lucky chance encounter!) to meet in person and grab an exclusive interview with two of the most successful self-published authors of our time: J.A. Konrath and Blake Crouch. Currently, they are grossing between $30,000 and $50,000 a month in eBook sales!

Watch this video (turn up your speakers) if you are serious about self-publishing your novel or book. They offer helpful tips and important messages to not only Author R. Lynn, who’s just started her journey down the same indie path with BookRix as a sponsorship partner (and was the perfect person to ask these guys some serious questions), but for all of the BookRix community and writers in the world wanting to expand their book’s potential horizons.

In this video Blake Crouch and J.A. Konrath discuss what it’s been like since they left their legacy publishers and how that’s changed their options.

They also talk about the importance of marketing and finding key influencers to write book reviews for their books (pre-launch), building a fan base and platform to sell books online and so much more.

Be prepared, the REAL, authentic and humorous personalities that Author R. Lynn and I got to see emerge during the interview are included, but with all seriousness about why they left their legacy publishers and the power of social media sites for authors including Facebook, Twitter and of course your very-own BookRix.

Follow the authors on Twitter:

@JAKonrath
@BlakeCrouch1
@AuthorRLynn

“Go the F**k to Sleep” Title Helps Book Go Viral Before Release

Top selling book "Go the F--k to Sleep" by Adam MansbachNow here’s a book that topped the Amazon charts before it even hit the shelves, with an unforgettable and unmentionable title: “Go the F**k to Sleep” by author and father, Adam Mansbach.

As it stands, this book is the second most popular book (was #1) out of the top 100 books on Amazon and getting tons of rave reviews.

This off-putting title may not sit well with everyone, but according to last month’s LA Times article by Susan Carpenter, the independent publisher of the infamous book actually had to push back the release date four months due to the sheer number of book orders they received pre-release, augmenting the first print run of the book to 150,000.

Author Adam Mansbach was inspired to write the unusually-titled book “for fun” in 2010 based on the “grueling” experience of getting his then 2-year-old daughter to fall asleep.

To quote journalist Susan Carpenter’s article, “It’s Mansbach’s handling of this inescapable parental reality that has helped propel the book to the No. 1 Amazon spot, but it was after a 10-minute reading the author gave at an art salon in Philadelphia that the book went viral.”

Apparently during the reading of each subsequent verse in Philadelphia, with Ricardo Cortes’ images screening behind him, the room was filled with laughter and the 200-person crowd was said to be thoroughly engaged.

A now notorious sentence including the f-word reads much like any other children’s book, only this one ends it’s sweet lullaby with a word many people find sour:

The cats nestle close to their kittens. The lambs that lay down with the sheep. You’re cozy and warm in your bed my dear. Please go the f… to sleep.

According to the book’s listing on Amazon even musician David Byrne raved about it after checking out a PDF version, calling it “hilarious,” while bestselling author Jonathan Lethem said it was “total genius.”

At the time of that eventful reading in Philly, the book wasn’t scheduled to be published for months, but the author directed interested audience members to Amazon for pre-orders and the next day after that reading the book jumped to No. 125 on the site, then, a few days later, it escalated to No. 2 before reaching No. 1 at it’s peak.

The book now sits as No. 1 on a New York Times Bestseller list. It can also be referred to as GTFTS, according to Adam’s author page on Amazon.

What do you think about the title? Yay or Nay? Comment below!

BookRix Interviews Author R. Lynn at BookExpo America

As some of you may have heard, BookRix has chosen to sponsor famed community member and writer R. Lynn with her very popular book, Descendants, which she’s authored over the last year and graciously shared with our online community members during the entire writing process. Recently, she attended the BookExpo America with BookRix as we announced the launch of our author services to the publishing world at BEA, with Author R. Lynn as our ambassador and first-ever sponsored author for BookRix.com.

While we enjoyed a couple of fantastic days at BEA with R. Lynn, I was able to get a few quieter moments for our community to interview her.

As a self-published author, she’s kept her options open and held onto 100% of her rights. In this interview, she shares with me what she loves about BookRix and details about her journey and why she writes.

This year Author R. Lynn turned down a traditional publishing offer to accept an opportunity to become our BookRix sponsored author as we launch eBook distribution and print on demand later this year. She reviewed both options and chose BookRix, as she truly understands her fans and how they want to be reached: online with social media! Using our platform, she has consistently connected directly as an author with readers and pushed forward to gain a growing fan base.

With access to the same distribution channels and eBook outlets as traditional publishers offer and an upper hand over her own marketing already (you’ve probably seen her around on the site), she decided she’d rather self-publish through BookRix to retain the rights of her book, Descendants, and earn a much better margin on each book sold.

She was excited about the BookRix offer to support her with professional editing and marketing services in addition to the eBook and printed book distribution in exchange for promoting the new author services also launching this year, acting as the perfect poster child for a changing industry.

R. Lynn’s not the only one excited about the launch of her novel. Author R. Lynn, also known as Rebecca, was joined at the BookExpo America in New York with her supportive mother, Bonnie, and grandmother, Sylvia, in tow to promote Descendants. In this next interview I also captured at BEA, the three generations share with me family insights and the adventures of what the last year has been like.

Interested in an Advanced Reader Copy of Descendants? Email me at amber@bookrix.com or stay tuned to our BookRix Facebook fan page or @BookRixUS Twitter account where we’ll be giving away a few special copies this summer! Want to connect directly with Author R. Lynn? Check out her author website here!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend BEA in NYC

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Your BookRix USA team has traveled to NYC for the internationally renowned BookExpo America (BEA) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, officially taking place May 23-26. If you’ve never attended before, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. That’s why we have compiled the Top 10 Reasons you should make a point of attending this event, whether this week or in the future:

1. Meet publishers, editors, agents and other industry professionals at the Exhibition Halls with over 1,300 companies represented.

2. Participate in many free educational sessions to hear industry leaders discuss the latest trends, developments and technologies affecting the book industry.

3. Be inspired by new and best-selling authors, while getting a sneak preview of the Fall Lists.

4. Collect autographs from more than 500 of your favorite authors!

5. Rub elbows with celebrities like Jane Fonda, Charles Frazier, John Lithgow, Jane Lynch and Michael Moore.

6. Get the latest updates on digital content and technologies.

7. If you’re a blogger, there are two concurrent events at BEA: BlogWorld and New Media Expo NY May 24-26 and a special one-day Book Blogger Convention on May 27.

8. Shopping!!! BEA has North America’s largest selection of children’s books, a remainders pavilion where you can locate both recent and hard-to-find books and music, and even a gift shop for non-book items.

9. Explore and enjoy the Big Apple!!!

And last but certainly not least:

10. Meet the BookRix USA Team! Gunnar Siewert, the CEO himself, Tim, Ayelet, Stefany, Amber and Andy! Plus, our newly appointed BookRix sponsored author, R. Lynn, will be making her debut appearance on Wednesday with her book, Descendants, edited, printed and promoted by BookRix!!!

We’re pulling out all the stops and unveiling our new author services at BEA which you can read more about in our recent press release or on our special BEA website pages. We’ll be hanging out at our exhibitor space in the International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF) Digital Zone at booth #2110.

If you can’t make it to BEA in person you can listen to the recent podcast about our attendance online and connect with us through our social media to stay in touch and meet the team. Feel free to ask questions, share your thoughts, mention what you’re reading or writing, or just say hi!

Be sure to stay tuned in via the blog, our BookRix Facebook fan page and our @BookRixUS Twitter account as we’ll be bringing you on-site coverage highlighting the best of BEA 2011—the largest book publishing trade convention in North America!

Water for Elephants—From NaNoWriMo to Hollywood

So, have you seen the popular film adaptation of author Sara Gruen’s bestselling-novel Water For Elephants yet? If so, you’re far from alone! Box Office Mojo, says that the Fox-distributed movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz and Robert Pattinson has taken in over $40 million worldwide so far.

Water-for-Elephants-Sara-Gruen-Book-turned-into-movieThe story of an orphaned Depression-era veterinary school dropout recruited into a traveling circus, where he falls in love with a dazzling equestrian performer, has captivated readers, movie audiences and critics alike. With 4.3 million American copies of the novel currently in print, translations into 44 languages and multiple awards, this success story is a ray of hope to every aspiring writer in the BookRix community.

According to an entry in Wikipedia, Water For Elephants first made the New York Times Best Seller list for 12 weeks after its hardcover release in May 2006 by Algonquin Books, followed by a #1 ranking of the paperback version a year later. In a resurgence boosted by the film’s debut on April 22, Gruen’s third novel is currently holding FIVE #1 spots on the NYT Best Seller List, including E-Book Fiction, Combined Print & E-book Fiction and Paperback Trade Fiction, where it has held court for 118 weeks and counting.

Here at BookRix, we find one of the more delightful aspects of Sara’s success to be the fact that she first drafted this best-seller as a participant in National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, held in November each year since 1999. Her second novel, Flying Changes (HarperCollins 2005) and her latest work, Ape House (Spiegel & Grau 2010), which has already been optioned by Ellen DeGeneres’ production company, were also penned during NaNoWriMo. In her Pep Talk for fellow participants, Sara shares humorously about overcoming the distractions to writing that life tends to bring. And in this excellent About.com interview, she ‘fesses up to locking herself in a walk-in closet to complete Water for Elephants.

Sara also had some very valuable parting advice from an interview with Luan Gaines at Curled Up with a Good Book that we think everyone should take to heart:

Instead of thinking about writing, just write. You can edit darned near anything into shape, but you can’t edit a blank page.

Love talking about books made into movies? Come say hello in our Books Made Into Movies group on BookRix, where we chat about examples like this one. Love writing fictional stories or have a memoir that you’d like to put down into words? Join the BookRix community and free the author in you! You never know if your story could someday wind up on the big screen!

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