Author Topic: Corona virus: D2D, B&N, and survival of Trad publishing.  (Read 6992 times)

HSh

Corona virus: D2D, B&N, and survival of Trad publishing.
« on: April 23, 2020, 11:35:56 PM »
Just received the following email from D2D.  As this is a public forum, I will save speculation and merely offer a hollow laugh, and the phrase "caveat emptor."

Quote
An Update on Barnes & Noble, and We Need Your Help

Recently we informed you of certain issues facing Barnes & Noble, resulting from the impact of COVID-19. We wanted to update you with some news, and with a special request.

Just as each of us has individually faced unexpected challenges during this worldwide crisis, so have major retailers. With many of B&Ns storefronts closing during the pandemic, the retailer has seen a dramatic drop in cashflow. One result of this has been a delay in paying publishers for ebooks sold via their Nook Platform.

We've been informed that these delayed payments are being done for larger accounts, such as Draft2Digital, and not necessarily for all smaller accounts.

Barnes & Noble has advised us that full payment may be delayed up to 90 days. However, B&N has agreed to pay us 1/3 of the total for February sales now, and to pay the remaining 2/3 of funds at a future date.

As a demonstration of faith in our distribution partners, we at Draft2Digital have decided to establish a line of credit, so that we may cover the remaining 2/3 immediately. As such, once we receive the 1/3 payment from Barnes & Noble, D2D will immediately initiate the full 100% of payments owed to our authors for the month of February.

While we cannot predict what may come, and we have no way of knowing how Barnes & Noble will handle future payments, we are confident that B&N will resolve their cashflow difficulties. We will also continue to honor our terms of service and pay our authors once we have received funds on their behalf. We will never delay payments due to you.

We have had a strong relationship with B&N in the past. Considering that relationship, along with our own financial position, we believe it is worthwhile for us to take this risk and ensure our authors are paid.

We expect that B&N will overcome their current cashflow challenges and continue to be an excellent distribution partner for our authors and their work.

We would like to ask you to extend the same faith, and to continue to keep distributing to Barnes & Noble, during this time.

Currently, ebook sales are doing incredibly well on all retailers, including Barnes & Noble. In fact, ebook sales have never been higher than they have in the past month. For this reason, we believe that any cashflow problems B&N is experiencing will be resolved.

Continued distribution to B&Ns Nook platform could, in fact, be what turns things around much more quickly. By keeping your books with the platform, you could be helping to bolster this iconic business during a time of great need. This helps B&N, it helps you, and it helps all indie authors. It also helps your readers, who may be depending on your books to help them get through this challenging time.

This is the best time to be an independent publisher, with ebook sales on the rise worldwide, and more readers desperately seeking an escape from the news and strangeness around them. This is the time to rally, and to stay fast. We are asking you to share our faith that this, too, will pass, and that betting on independent authors and publishers is always the best and safest bet.

We know that this is a difficult time, with more challenges than we ever thought wed face. We believe in you, and we believe in Barnes & Noble. We are willing to take a risk, in the name of that belief, and we ask you to do the same.

Thank you for your continued support, as we face these challenges together.

The Draft2Digital Team

I will not post further in this thread.

[Changed title and moved into off topic near other Corona threads. t.]
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 11:55:22 PM by TimothyEllis »
 

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Re: D2D: "An Update on Barnes & Noble, and We Need Your Help"
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 11:40:22 PM »
That suggests to me that eBook sales are propping up B&N's brick and mortar stores.

Regardless of what their stores are doing, what they take for eBooks should be being preserved to ensure authors get paid on time.

The fact this isn't happening, suggest B&N is in a lot more trouble than they want people to know.

Edit: I think this might be the first death knell.

When you start paying your own bills out of the part of sales that is not yours, you've crossed a line which is almost impossible to come back from unless you sell the business, get taken over, or bailed out.

Either way, this may be B&N on its way out.

I'm not wide, but the choice is take your books out and hope buyers there buy somewhere else, or leave them in and hope you get paid someitm, or get paid anything. Not sure, but I think I'd be baling on them right now to cut the losses.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 11:50:19 PM by TimothyEllis »
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notthatamanda

Re: D2D: "An Update on Barnes & Noble, and We Need Your Help"
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 11:49:49 PM »
That suggests to me that eBook sales are propping up B&N's brick and mortar stores.

Regardless of what their stores are doing, what they take for eBooks should be being preserved to ensure authors get paid on time.

The fact this isn't happening, suggest B&N is in a lot more trouble than they want people to know.
Is it B&N's decision or is it the corporation that owns them decision? How does that work?
 

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Re: D2D: "An Update on Barnes & Noble, and We Need Your Help"
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 11:52:20 PM »
That suggests to me that eBook sales are propping up B&N's brick and mortar stores.

Regardless of what their stores are doing, what they take for eBooks should be being preserved to ensure authors get paid on time.

The fact this isn't happening, suggest B&N is in a lot more trouble than they want people to know.

Edit: I think this might be the first death knell.

When you start paying your own bills out of the part of sales that is not yours, you've crossed a line which is almost impossible to come back from unless you sell the business, get taken over, or bailed out.

Either way, this may be B&N on its way out.

I'm not wide, but the choice is take your books out and hope buyers there buy somewhere else, or leave them in and hope you get paid someitm, or get paid anything. Not sure, but I think I'd be baling on them right now to cut the losses.

Is it B&N's decision or is it the corporation that owns them decision? How does that work?

No idea. But it is ominous. It might not only be small business which goes down from the virus.
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Gerri Attrick

I'll leave my books there for now, 'cos it's a rare month when I make more than $10 at B&N.

Certainly my e-book sales are soaring this month - it could be my best month ever - but that's with a new release out on April 10th, AND it's all on Amazon.
 

notthatamanda

I wonder what they are doing for authors that are direct. Glad I never got an account with them.

I'm with Gerri, I don't sell enough at B&N to worry about it. I'll keep them in, if I find new readers there and eventually B&N disappears completely, there are lots of other places they can get my books if they like me enough to try (admittedly low odds on that).
 

Lynn

I'm direct. I'm not holding my breath on payment but I haven't (yet) gotten any notice saying the payment is going to be late or delayed.
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Marti Talbott

I'm staying in, mostly out of loyality to D2D. They've been great and they're losing their cut on our books too. I used to be direct but had problems with B&N paying me personally instead of my business account, and D2D eliminated that problem for me.
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JRTomlin

Barnes & Noble payments
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 04:31:30 AM »
I'm watching that closely. It is always alarming when a bookstore starts delaying payments. On the other hand, I've never sold much there anyway, but that is never a good indicator. 🤔
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Barnes & Noble payments
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2020, 06:14:56 AM »
I got the email from D2D saying they're extending a line of credit to B&N to cover February's shortfall.   :icon_eek:  Very gallant of them.  Risky, but gallant.

D2D implored us to have faith in B&N and keep our books there, and I will, though I don't sell much there anyway, so it's sort of a moot point.

UPDATE:  Just noticed there's already a thread about D2D's email.  Tim's been shuffling everything around, and now I'm getting lost in the thread maze.   :dizzy
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JRTomlin

Re: Barnes & Noble payments
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2020, 06:28:21 AM »
i saw that other thread on it just now. Didn't mean to do a duplicate. Maybe Tim can move this one there. I never sell enough at B&N to worry about it much to be frank, but it sounds like they are going into 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' mode. That never bodes well.
 

Jeff Tanyard

It's a gallant move by D2D to cover the shortfall on B&N's behalf.  I just hope they don't go too far with it.  I'll be really pissed if D2D ends up falling on their sword for B&N.  I doubt that'll happen, though.  D2D is, in my opinion, the best-run business in indie publishing, and I'm sure they know when "enough is enough" when it comes to extending charity to distributors in arrears.


I wonder what they are doing for authors that are direct. Glad I never got an account with them.


I have a direct account with them, but I don't use it.  I decided long ago, after reading about numerous problems direct authors had, that it's worth the 10% cut to let D2D handle any problems on my behalf.  And I'm happy with that decision.

I haven't logged in to my direct account in years, so I don't even know if it still works or not.  In any event, B&N hasn't sent me any emails about delayed payments.  No correspondence at all.  I can't remember the last time I got an email from them.  It was 2019 at the latest.


Edit: I think this might be the first death knell.


The first death knell was years ago.  It's a miracle the company has survived as long as it has.
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Twolane

B&N reaps what they sowed, along with the rest of the Pig 5. Tradpub ebook pricing in the 15 to 25 dollar range is and always was a non-starter, but that's what the publishers wanted from Amazon, so Bezos complied. How did that work out for them concerning ebook sales? Hahahaha.

Indie publishers are doing quite well, on the other hand.

Dean Wesley Smith briefly mentioned several scenarios that could, in his opinion, happen in the not so distant future:

Agents are done. In my opinion, I think the lot of them will end up taking any money and will run far and fast.

Not so many big publishers will survive.

B&N is done. No surprise there, really. They're not paying invoices, so guess where the money is going, along with author revenues that aren't being paid.

A major printer and an outfit that wanted to buy it are in trouble. One declared bankruptcy - LSC Communications. Quad no longer prints books and has scrapped the purchase of LSC.

Think about it if you signed a tradbpub deal. No printing. No bookstores to take your work anyway, whether it got printed or not. Heard of returns? That ought to break a few publishers alone when the returns on work already shipped come home to roost, since there's nowhere to sell books.

KKR has an interesting post on it all, too, in her Business Musings blog.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 07:31:55 AM by Twolane »
 

She-la-te-da

Well, I guess we've seen how that old "Gee, I just can't pay you" thing works out. Hat's off to D2D for stepping up, I only hope it doesn't come back to bite them in the butt. They're good people there.

I agree with DWS on a lot of things. I think agents are on the way out, as are many of the big (and probably a lot of the smaller) publishing houses, or a turn towards specialty publishing. Maybe a few bigger houses get sold off and manage to reboot and reorganize.
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selyons

Re: Barnes & Noble payments
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2020, 11:48:59 AM »
I'm not happy about it. I made $28K there last year, which was about 14% of my total revenues.
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I've begun speculating if this signals a total shake up of the publishing industry.

The Trads have steadfastly continued to be based on paperbacks, pricing eBooks as close as they can to them.

Suddenly now, book stores are closed, delivery times for POD are way up, or even blocked, and that side of the industry is very vulnerable.

Could this be the final nail in the coffin of paperback and hardback dominance?

Is there any evidence of reader device sales increases?

Are we about to see the Trads go down, or will we see them wholesale reprice their eBooks to match Indie pricing, in an attempt to stay viable?

Either way, what will the effects be for Indies?

Could be interesting.
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spin52

I will leave my e-books with B&N, too, having got the email from D2D that they are covering the payments for the time being. I don't sell enough on B&N to be too worried, but it would be a shame if they were another victim of Covid-19. I just hope D2D don't regret their actions. My sales through them in April (mostly Apple) are way ahead of sales on Amazon.
     


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notthatamanda

I've begun speculating if this signals a total shake up of the publishing industry.

The Trads have steadfastly continued to be based on paperbacks, pricing eBooks as close as they can to them.

Suddenly now, book stores are closed, delivery times for POD are way up, or even blocked, and that side of the industry is very vulnerable.

Could this be the final nail in the coffin of paperback and hardback dominance?

Is there any evidence of reader device sales increases?

Are we about to see the Trads go down, or will we see them wholesale reprice their eBooks to match Indie pricing, in an attempt to stay viable?

Either way, what will the effects be for Indies?

Could be interesting.
I'm not sure the devices are really necessary. A lot of people have a tablet already. I get a lot of free downloads on Apple, which could even be phones. My teen reads her books for school on her phone. There is a whole generation so used to it, they wouldn't care about a Kindle or similar.

How does this work legally? I mean when you just not pay people money you owe them. In the case of bankruptcy, the court would decide who gets paid, right? But if a company is owned by another company and they just dissolve it, who tells them they have to pay their creditors? Do they have to be sued? I googled a little yesterday but I didn't get far.
 

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How does this work legally? I mean when you just not pay people money you owe them. In the case of bankruptcy, the court would decide who gets paid, right? But if a company is owned by another company and they just dissolve it, who tells them they have to pay their creditors? Do they have to be sued? I googled a little yesterday but I didn't get far.

I can't argue legal.

But it will only need a few high profile authors not being paid thousands to start being blogged, and Indie authors will drop them like a hot cake.

The smaller Trads would then have to consider it as well.

It's a very bad line to cross. Because it doesn't take much to panic people into abandoning ship.
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notthatamanda

How does this work legally? I mean when you just not pay people money you owe them. In the case of bankruptcy, the court would decide who gets paid, right? But if a company is owned by another company and they just dissolve it, who tells them they have to pay their creditors? Do they have to be sued? I googled a little yesterday but I didn't get far.

I can't argue legal.

But it will only need a few high profile authors not being paid thousands to start being blogged, and Indie authors will drop them like a hot cake.

The smaller Trads would then have to consider it as well.

It's a very bad line to cross. Because it doesn't take much to panic people into abandoning ship.
Oh I wasn't trying to argue, just wondering where it will all end up.
 

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Oh I wasn't trying to argue, just wondering where it will all end up.

Neither was I, and ditto.
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Marti Talbott

Would they be eligible for a Government hand out? I think they have to have less than 500 employees to qualify for the small business loans. I thought most of their brick and mortar stores were already closed.
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notthatamanda

They are going to pay, just landed in my inbox: I bolded part of it.

Quote
Good News Regarding Barnes & Noble


Yesterday we updated you on the state of things with Barnes & Noble, including our plan to cover the remaining 2/3 of author payments for February. We were overwhelmed by the positive response from our authors! Frankly, some of you showed a level of generosity and concern toward us, and toward your fellow authors, that was simply inspiring. We could not be more grateful!

Yesterday, we asked you to share our faith that Barnes & Noble would make this right and that staying the course would benefit all of us. Today we are thrilled to bring you some good news:

Barnes & Noble has informed us that they will be paying the full amount of funds due from February. In addition, they have assured us that all future payments will be on time.

We expect that everyone will receive their payment by Wednesday, April 29th.

This outcome is due, in part, to the outpouring of messages we received from our authors, which we then passed on to Barnes & Noble. Your supportive messages and your concerns did not go unheard!

As a result, B&N re-evaluated our account and determined that there was an errorand its an error that is actually a good sign for all Draft2Digital authors.

The decision to pay only 1/3 of payments due was made with B&Ns large, traditional publisher accounts in mind. The error was that the volume of books distributed and sold via Draft2Digital inadvertently put us in that category.

In short, so many of you publish and sell on B&Ns Nook platform, via D2D, that we were mistakenly considered one of the big publishers!

Once B&N realized their mistake, they rectified it immediately. Funds are being transferred to us, and we will be able to pay you the full amount without having to cover any of it ourselves.

Barnes & Noble was emphatic in their apology for this oversight, and equally emphatic about how much they appreciate and strongly support self-published authors. They have indicated to us that it was never their intention to withhold funds from D2Ds author community.

We are very happy with this outcome, and we appreciate Barnes & Nobles expedience in resolving it. But we want to extend our heartfelt and sincere appreciation and gratitude to you.

We have always said that our authors are not just our business; they are the best reason to be in business at all. You proved that we were right. Our faith in you has been rewarded.

Thank you, sincerely, from the Draft2Digital Team
« Last Edit: April 25, 2020, 12:36:32 AM by TimothyEllis »
 

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Quote
The decision to pay only 1/3 of payments due was made with B&Ns large, traditional publisher accounts in mind.

That still tells me they are skating on thin and cracking ice.

And that the trads have a problem.
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notthatamanda

Quote
The decision to pay only 1/3 of payments due was made with B&Ns large, traditional publisher accounts in mind.

That still tells me they are skating on thin and cracking ice.

And that the trads have a problem.
No doubt. But I'm not losing sleep over that.
 

Jeff Tanyard

I got the update email, too.  Excellent news.   :dance:


Quote
This outcome is due, in part, to the outpouring of messages we received from our authors, which we then passed on to Barnes & Noble. Your supportive messages and your concerns did not go unheard!


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why D2D is freakin' awesome.  They didn't have to pass those emails on.  They didn't even have to read those emails at all.  Some companies would have just ignored the protests of the unwashed masses.  But D2D isn't just "some company."  They are, in my opinion, the gold standard in this crazy biz.
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An interesting reason not to go direct with Barnes and Noble, though one I would never have thought of in my wildest dreams.

Barnes and Noble may suffer from the fact that not enough people see bookstores as important. If more policy makers did, I could see some support coming their way in one of these stimulus packages, but as things stand, I think that's doubtful. And they weren't in great shape to begin with.


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Smashwords has had the exact same experience with B&N.

Told of the delay, complained about it, and had the same answer/result D2D did.

Someone at B&N didn't think out their decision properly, and then had to back pedal madly.
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spin52

Probably the same person who thought up those ridiculous 'diversity' covers for classic novels.
     


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Anarchist

Someone at B&N didn't think out their decision properly...

This can be said of their entire business model over the last 10 years. lol
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Someone at B&N didn't think out their decision properly...

This can be said of their entire business model over the last 10 years. lol

It was why I got out of the corporate world. Admittedly I was chucked out to start with, but then I decided it wasn't worth going back.

No-one ever thinks out decisions to cover all the bases, and they hate it having someone around who specializes in identifying where the potholes in the road are before they appear. (I used to be a junior systems analyst back in the corporate world.)

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PaulineMRoss

An interesting reason not to go direct with Barnes and Noble, though one I would never have thought of in my wildest dreams.

I may be wrong, but I think B&N said they would honour all monies owed to indies who were direct with them. It was big companies they were asking to take the hit, and they lumped D2D in with the big ones, not realising that they represent thousands of dinky little indies. That's why they changed their stance (as I understand it).

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An interesting reason not to go direct with Barnes and Noble, though one I would never have thought of in my wildest dreams.

I may be wrong, but I think B&N said they would honour all monies owed to indies who were direct with them. It was big companies they were asking to take the hit, and they lumped D2D in with the big ones, not realising that they represent thousands of dinky little indies. That's why they changed their stance (as I understand it).
Ah, well let's hope that's the case. That would make it much easier on indies.

It's also a risky choice, given that B&N has been propped up by the Big Five. But if they have the sense to realize they still need brick and mortar stores, they probably won't push back.


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JRTomlin

My experience is that once a corporation starts not paying their bills in a timely manner, their recovery is highly unlikely (rarely happens).
 

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My experience is that once a corporation starts not paying their bills in a timely manner, their recovery is highly unlikely (rarely happens).
That's a reasonable assumption, and B&N has been teetering on the brink for a long time.

It's sad, though. It's the only major bookstore chain left in the US. In some areas, it's the only bookstore at all. In others, it's the only bookstore with a reasonably big selection.

I used to browse in bookstores all the time and buy quite a bit. Even with the advent of ebooks, I would have continued that pattern had I been able to. But the number of options has steadily dwindled in my area. Even a lot of the indies have vanished, and there are none left in close proximity.


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RPatton

There's a lot of bad/faulty assumptions being made here and it's causing panic and needless worry.

First, is there a chance BN could go under, yes. But it's always been on the brink.

Second, BN asked for term forgiveness on its invoices (something a lot of companies have been doing). Invoices are coming from publishers, suppliers, and yes, distributors. (This is where the devil lives in the details.) Technically, Smashwords, D2D, PublishDriive, and the others are all sending invoices. They publish to BN through some means, but send an invoice to BN every month for the ebooks sold. Same way Penguin and Random House send their invoices after the books have been delivered.

When you publish direct through BN, it's not invoiced based. As an ebook sale happens, the funds are split automatically, BN takes their cut and the remainder goes into an account that pays authors. That account is supposed to remain untouched. And when BN was public, we knew that account would remain untouched because of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Elliott is a vulture fund. It goes after struggling businesses, but it likes to prop them up and not sell them off in pieces. Elliot acquired BN in 2019 and it was finalized in August of 2019. Elliott is not going to allow its reputation to be slaughtered by stealing from Paul (direct) to pay Peter (invoices). The direct terms are already generous at net-60, most suppliers (whole-sellers) have a net-45 with a discount for net-30. While the direct publishing account might be tempting to someone without scruples and Sarbanes-Oxley, I lean towards trusting Elliott.

In other words, the sky is not falling yet. Asking for term forgiveness isn't something that should be unexpected, and while I blame BN for not communicating with the distributors, I blame D2D and Smashwords for not going back to BN and getting clarification before sending out a massive email that was only going to cause panic. No one can say where or how BN will land after all this, but if you are publishing direct with BN, you shouldn't be worried about not getting paid.
 

Twolane

Good luck with that B&N fairy tale. They don't have anywhere to sell books. There's no one printing books. POD printing wouldn't be able to keep up in any event. Their ebooks are vastly over-priced, and they have no way to do bulk price reductions with any degree of competence, neither on their very own web site, nor on Amazon.

Furthermore, they have too much invested in real estate in the malls for an outfit that sells paper. Now if they could get their act together...

Oh, never mind. I don't really care. The lot of the Pig 5 paper outfits could go bankrupt and it wouldn't affect my ebook sales. Well, maybe they'd go up. That's a good thing.
 

TimothyEllis

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Oh, never mind. I don't really care. The lot of the Pig 5 paper outfits could go bankrupt and it wouldn't affect my ebook sales. Well, maybe they'd go up. That's a good thing.

Probably not. Sales I mean.

It could be chaos for a while. Depends if the Trads continued under administrators, or were sold.

If they simply went down, then it would be chaos. Books would vanish overnight, then start to reappear as new releases from different publishers or as Indies. Think thousands of books suddenly on the new release lists, and reclaiming their ranks as new books.

Sure, a lot of books would probably vanish, but if not all the Trads went down, those who remained would start buying up contracts and re-releasing. And a lot of high flyer trad authors would try their hands at being Indie as soon as their contracts ceased, and they had the rights again because no-one else would be left to take them on, or overextended to far to take them on. And all those books would suddenly be new releases as well.

In the flood of new releases, actual new releases would not get any visibility on those charts. The charts themselves would shake out totally unpredictably, and it would be just chaos.

The result might make finding what you want to read impossible all of a sudden for readers, and sales might drop as a result.

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Re: Corona virus: D2D, B&N, and survival of Trad publishing.
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2020, 01:11:36 PM »
Merged in another thread, and broadened the thread title. What started as a D2D email about B&N is now changing to being about the survival of Trad publishing.
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Luke Everhart

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Re: D2D and Barnes & Noble Payments
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2020, 01:20:09 PM »
I know we've all been distracted, but I read some news on a few websites this week.  Has anyone else received an email about this?  I'll post the link (from KKR and DWS websites).  It comes up in the comments of the business musings post for KKR and she links the answer to Dean's comments.  I'll include both links.

https://kriswrites.com/2020/04/22/business-musings-the-trainwreck/

https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/what-might-happen/

Dean Wesley Smith has an almost perfect track record of being wrong on everything of consequence he's ever opined about. I think his latest "what might happen" will preserve that perfect record.

(I dug back into the archives of that other writing forum some time back and read the post where Annie Bellet discussed her breaking with DWS's classes and advice and charting her own way (which birthed the 20-Sided Sorceress series) and tore DWS a new one. It was brilliant! 🤣 )

Edited to add: Kristine Rusch is definitely the real talent of the couple in terms of writing. She's quite good. Dean... eh?👋
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 01:29:11 PM by Luke Everhart »
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Alec Hutson

Re: D2D and Barnes & Noble Payments
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2020, 03:05:16 PM »
I know we've all been distracted, but I read some news on a few websites this week.  Has anyone else received an email about this?  I'll post the link (from KKR and DWS websites).  It comes up in the comments of the business musings post for KKR and she links the answer to Dean's comments.  I'll include both links.

https://kriswrites.com/2020/04/22/business-musings-the-trainwreck/

https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/what-might-happen/

Rusch quotes the Tor editor who claimed that audio books 'just stopped' at the beginning of the crisis. Now, I released a new audio book in March, but sales certainly didn't 'stop' for me. I'm selling 30-40+ copies a day of that one book, and I'm not close to the top 100 fantasy audio books on Audible. The good-selling indies I hang out with haven't seen much difference in audio sales - ebook sales have been affected somewhat, and (surprisingly) KU seems to have been hit the hardest (maybe down 20-25% on average).

But I do agree with the general thrust of Rusch's article that trad is screwed. It has been screwed for a while, IMO, but managed to keep the failing business model afloat by making things progressively worse for authors. Far be it that they do something like move out of the Flatiron building in NY instead of cutting the marketing budgets for non-bestsellers or reducing advances. Trad always has someone to blame - Amazon, libraries, indies - and refuses to do the hard thing and examine their own failings and poor decisions. In that way they remind me of a lot of segments of American society. 

My general rule on who to take advice from in this industry is to immediately go to their Goodreads page and see their track record of actually selling books. That at least gives me a sense whether they have any idea of what they're talking about.

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TimothyEllis

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Re: D2D and Barnes & Noble Payments
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2020, 03:24:41 PM »
My general rule on who to take advice from in this industry is to immediately go to their Goodreads page and see their track record of actually selling books. That at least gives me a sense whether they have any idea of what they're talking about.

I go to their Amazon bio, and check out the actual ranks on their top performing books.

If they don't have a book in the top 300k in the paid store, I find it difficult to take any advice they spout seriously.

(Talking about people who do courses, or write advice blogs, not forum members.)
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Alec Hutson

Re: D2D and Barnes & Noble Payments
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2020, 03:35:46 PM »
My general rule on who to take advice from in this industry is to immediately go to their Goodreads page and see their track record of actually selling books. That at least gives me a sense whether they have any idea of what they're talking about.

I go to their Amazon bio, and check out the actual ranks on their top performing books.

If they don't have a book in the top 300k in the paid store, I find it difficult to take any advice they spout seriously.

(Talking about people who do courses, or write advice blogs, not forum members.)

I find Goodreads to be a bit more accurate, though it does have its drawbacks. Lots of trad authors sell most of their book in brick and mortar, or through other channels. Some middle grade indie authors sell the bulk of their books in paperback. Other authors move a ton of books by driving around to cons. Some authors sell really well in audio but not so much in other formats. Goodreads captures ebooks, paperbacks, brick and mortar, online sales, and audio books. Also (though this isn't as common as it used to be) Amazon rankings / reviews were often manipulated. I remember one author whose fantasy book jumped into the top 100 in the store like clockwork every month for a few days, then slid back down to over 100k until the next month when it jumped up again. No new reviews appeared on Amazon or Goodreads, no spillover to his other books. Often it's quite easy to see who is using click farms to manipulate the system, if you know what else to look out for. 

In any case, 300k is like a single copy every few days. I wouldn't trust someone on the subject of selling books if that's what they're moving. I'd say multiple titles under 50k, with the newest release doing substantially better. There are some authors who make good livings with no huge bestsellers but steady, decent sales over many different books, and those people are definitely worth listening to.

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TimothyEllis

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Re: D2D and Barnes & Noble Payments
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2020, 03:41:30 PM »
In any case, 300k is like a single copy every few days. I wouldn't trust someone on the subject of selling books if that's what they're moving. I'd say multiple titles under 50k, with the newest release doing substantially better. There are some authors who make good livings with no huge bestsellers but steady, decent sales over many different books, and those people are definitely worth listening to.

I was trying to be diplomatic.  Grin

My own interest in my own performance is how many in the top 50k, and how many in 100k. It varies every day, but I normally have 2 to 6 in the top 50k. I classify myself as making a good income, although the last year has been a bit lean, and so tend to judge those giving advice against what I make. I expect them to be doing better if their giving out advice.

Good point about the paperback set though. Could be I am missing something in that regard.
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Lynn

Re: Corona virus: D2D, B&N, and survival of Trad publishing.
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2020, 03:17:55 AM »
It's now May 1 and I updated all my payments received today for April and lo and behold, my Barnes & Noble payment hasn't arrived nor does it show as pending in my account. Sigh.

The email from B&N said payments would be made the last week of April. I'm glad I haven't been holding my breath for this payment. I'm still hopeful it will arrive because this won't be the first time ever that a payment has been a day or two late from B&N, but it's not making me feel confident that it will come.

Has anyone here who is direct with B&N received their B&N payment that was due at the end of April yet?


Never mind. Got it today. :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 01:34:15 PM by Lynn »
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Anarchist

Re: D2D and Barnes & Noble Payments
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2020, 11:58:46 AM »
My general rule on who to take advice from in this industry is to immediately go to their Goodreads page and see their track record of actually selling books. That at least gives me a sense whether they have any idea of what they're talking about.

I go to their Amazon bio, and check out the actual ranks on their top performing books.

If they don't have a book in the top 300k in the paid store, I find it difficult to take any advice they spout seriously.

(Talking about people who do courses, or write advice blogs, not forum members.)

Same here. I go to Amazon.

I look at authors' recently launched books. If a book released in the past 30 days has a sales rank above 30,000, and the book is in KU, I nope out.

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JRTomlin

Re: Corona virus: D2D, B&N, and survival of Trad publishing.
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2020, 01:50:45 PM »
I think it is unlikely there will be a complete demise of bookstores, but it doesn't hurt to remember that the modern bookstore is exactly that, a modern invention. The first truly modern bookstore was James Lackington's Temple of Muse in London that opened around 1794 iirc. If some other type of bookstore eventually takes the place of the current form, that will not be the end of the world. It waS not a chain though. Those came later.