by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Readers voted with their feet and wallets this past shopping weekend and ebooks rule. Two articles titled Apple, Amazon lead big tech Black Friday and a Big sales jump for ‘Cyber Monday’ by David Gross on CNN.com discuss the hot trends.
Perhaps the most interesting parts to me in both articles are the tidbits buried in the body copy. “Apple’s retail stores had their biggest sales day of all time, according to published reports,” plus “Friday was the biggest sales day ever for the line of Kindle e-readers and tablets, with customers buying four times as many of the devices as they did last year, Amazon said.”
No flash in the pan these ebooks, the future is now. Do the ebooks need to be written well? Priced competitively? Marketed? Tell a good story? Yes. But now every author can be their own publisher and cut out the middle folk by going straight to readers. Is it easy? No. But publishing to a world-wide audience can be done on the Internet.
The CNN articles talked about the rise in the use of phones/mobile devices in shopping, they “accounted for 14.3% of all online retail traffic on Black Friday according to Coremetrics,” wrote Gross. In addition, “more than 7% of the purchases made were on mobile,” devices for Cyber Monday.
Readers are buying items with their phones and reading on their Kindles, iPads and Nooks. This is not a time to debate paper books versus ebooks; consumers are deciding that conversation.
Authors can either adapt or get left behind. A favorite book I like about change is Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D. Authors can whine about the cheese changing (industry technology and process) or we can go embrace the new cheese, (anyone writing applications?). If the New York publishing world was slow to embrace the success of ebooks and still wants to use 1900s methods, even though the cheese has long since left the building, what do writers do now?
Cheese waits for no writer, so let’s get busy hunting and creating our new cheese industry! Because no matter whether we’re etching on rock walls, setting cold type, or using touch pad screens to write, it’s still the magic of “Once Upon A Time” that makes writer’s and reader’s hearts soar.
Being big does not mean you can’t still fail because reader dollars will decide. Those of us who are author/publishers have an advantage over the big guys who have old cheese stuffed in their warehouses. A small writing business can change course quickly depending on industry threats. Just ask the goldfinches in my backyard.