Friday, April 24, 2009

Working Hard For The Money

~Claire Collins

Sia is recovering from surgery so I will be your hostess today.
Who am I? Some of you may know me already and for those who don't, my name is Claire Collins. I am the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny.

Don't worry, Sia will return soon. Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.

So what do you do for a living? That whole real job thing is tough isn't it?

I have a real job. Yes, believe it or not, I don’t just sit around all day living the lives of my imaginary people. Shocking, I know. Yes, I have an actual job where I leave home every morning to go work for someone else and I come home at the same time every night. Like most people I know, I fight rush hour and have more than one boss.

Do I want to write instead? Absolutely. Don't you? I’d gladly trade my eight to five job for ten hours of sitting at my computer clicking away at the latest story. The problem, of course, is that I have bills to pay. Oh yes, and children. Lots and lots of children. They like to eat... and argue. So even if I didn’t have to feed them, the chances of me sitting at my computer and clicking away at keys for ten hours is simply never going to happen until they all move away.

I know there are lots of other people out there who have the same desire to get lost in a good novel whether they are writing it or reading it. No matter which end of the spectrum you are, I thought I would share the Association of America Publishers sales reports for the month of December and released February 12, 2009. You can read the whole article here: I’ll share a few things here with you.

Domestic net sales

  • Adult Paperback sales increased 12.5 percent for the month ($132.8 million) and increased by 3.6 percent for the year.
  • The Children’s/YA Paperback category was also up by 37.0 percent in December with sales totaling $54.4 million; sales increased by 6.4 percent for the year.
  • E-books sales jumped up by 119.9 percent for the month ($6.5 million), reflecting an increase of 68.4 percent for the year.
Oh, did I mention that in my real job, I’m an accountant? I have this ‘thing’ for numbers…

Check out the increase in ebook sales compared to the changes in the other categories. Interesting, isn't it? So what does this really mean?
Any thoughts?
Claire Collins lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and their four children. She put aside her love of writing while she obtained a dual Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Accounting.

Claire began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk, and she hasn't stopped telling stories-- or talking--since. After decades of writing in the closet, Claire entered a story Romance Writing contest where she ended up a semi finalist. That little stroke to her ego was enough to make Claire stretch out and seek publication in earnest. She has two books published by Second Wind LLC, a small Indie press, and her third will be released the fall of 2009.

Abandoned by her family, Tysan supports herself waiting tables. One evening, a beguiling, rugged young man walks out of a blizzard and into her life. He possesses the remarkable ability to take photographs of events that have not yet happened.

Snowed in at his mountaintop cabin, Andrew finds Destiny—a young woman left for dead. He assumes that she is in great danger—at least until she shoots him. No one is what they seem in this romantic thriller.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Claire, thank you so much for handling the blog today. I'm feeling better but still hurting and fuzzy. I couldn't have done this and so I'm happy you were willing to do it for me! You're a good friend!

Dellani Oakes said...

I think that e-book sales are up because they are usually far cheaper than paperbacks or hard bound books. As much as I love to hold a book in my hands, if I can get it for half price or less, I'm going to spend less to get more to read. I don't have a Kindle yet, but might as for one for Christmas, then watch out! I'll be upping those numbers!

Maybe one day we'll have more money than JK Rowlings and we can write full time. Tell you what, when I get filthy rich, I'll set up a compound somewhere & we can all live there, write full time & let the servants watch and feed the kids. Sound good to you?

Vivian A said...

I think the recession has people thinking a bit more about there entertainment budget. Honestly, I can buy two paperbacks for the cost of a single movie ticket with one snack or beverage. And ebooks like Dellani mentioned are even a better deal.

Prices for things are crazy, baseball tickets? Casual dining-out, and even video rental prices. I think about if I want to watch a video more than once and if so just buy it, 'cause I've almost paid for it by then anyway.

Other Lisa said...

That paper and eBooks are a good value for the money, especially in recessionary times.

I'd like to see more trade paper releases, personally, instead of hardback. When it comes down to it, there are very few books that I need to own in hardback, and those are mostly reference - part of a specific research collection. Novels, not so much - as much as I love reading them, I'm probably only going to read them once.

Kat Sheridan said...

Claire, how wonderful of you to sit in for Sia! You did a great job with it! And yes, I have that whole "day job" going for me, as well (well, it also often becomes a night job, and a weekend job, get the picture!) I agree with everyone else - in this market, books are an outstanding entertainment value. Like Lisa, I've cut back my acquistion of hardbacks except for one or two authors I dearly love. And I'm a huge fan of e-books, which I am hoping opens up the market more for debut authors.

Sia, glad to see you pop in, and hoping you are doing better today! OK, back to work with me!

Margay said...

I wonder if the increase in ebook sales has anything to do with the instant gratification syndrome we suffer from these days. We are so eager to have what we want now that ebooks fit that need. Plus there are all those fun gadgets you can read them on, too. Whatever the case is, I don't care. The most important thing is the fact that book sales are either going strong or rising and in my book (pun intended) that is a good thing.


Jill Lynn said...

I agree, Margay. I also think ebook sales are rising because their authors are getting very good at promoting online. You're innocently (or not so innocently) surfing the net, and come across the author's blog or another's stellar review of an author's ebook. The purchase button is only a click away. Voila. Ease of purchase. It's similar to buying those little doodads placed in the check out lines of stores.

Thanks for hostessing, Claire. I, too, have a day job dealing with numbers (payroll). Interesting how many of us writers seem to have number-oriented jobs.

Hugs to Sia.

Claire Collins said...

Isn't it amazing how books have progressed? As a child, I never would have imagined ebooks or Readers such as the Kindle. Can you imagine what our children will be reading?

Michael Hicks said...

I don't think it's going - maybe five to ten years at the outside - before ebook sales start pulling abreast, and then ahead, of print sales.

Everyone's mentioned good reasons for this increase in sales. I think another reason is that the Kindle (and now Kindle for iPhone) really boosted the profile of ebook readers on the wave of Amazon's marketing campaign, plus the popularity boost Oprah gave it. Even if folks don't care for the Kindle, they're much more aware now of ebook readers than they used to be because of it.

And platform proliferation is another factor: in addition to the Kindle and Kindle software for iPhone, there are a host of other platforms, including most common PDAs and smart phones, using Mobipocket's free Reader software. It's quickly coming to the point where if you have a phone, you have a library at your fingertips.

Lastly, the ebook revolution, coupled with low-cost print on demand services like CreateSpace, are giving independent authors and publishers undreamed of opportunities to get their work published. And this is also creating a new stream of unique titles for readers who crave something other than the standard story du jour published by the mainstream houses.

It's got a long way to go, but the ebook is definitely here to stay, and I for one am happy about that for a lot of reasons! :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

There was a time, not that long ago, when people pooh-poohed e-books as a fad. Not any more.

E-books are less expensive then their paperback contemporaries, and the instant gratification factoe, as was mentioned, does play into it.

Thanks for stopping by all, and thank you again, Claire for taking this blog for me. You're a sweetheart!

Helen Ginger said...

Ebooks are changing the way we read and the way we publish. It seems almost inevitable, given the way the Internet has taken over our lives, our reading, our music, our videos, our mail, our connection to each other. It just makes sense in today's world.

Kat Sheridan said...

Michael, I've been a monster fan of Mobipocket on my PDA for several years now. The very best thing I ever got. When I used to go on vacation for 2 weeks at the beach, I'd have half a suitcase of paperbacks to carry along. Now, I put 30 books in my pocket and save the suitcase space for shopping! It used to be that my choices were a bit limited by the e-book format, but now, just about anything I want is available, and yes, I've also tried a number of self-pubs via that route. Some are great, and some should never have been pubbed, but I'm finding the quality improving over the years. Definately not the red-headed step-child it used to be.

And in today's more environmentally concious times, e-books are a most definate and easy way to go green!

Anonymous said...

Good article, Claire! I've never read an e-book, but plan to try one out soon. My new release, Night and Day, (available from has been out since March. I'm really looking forward to seeing the numbers from its first month out, and am wondering how the figures stack up. I'm very curious as to whether or not some ebook copies have sold, or whether everyone has opted for the traditional paperback.

Anonymous said...

Sia, I hope you're feeling better today and healing quickly!

Sheila Deeth said...

Get well soon Sia.

I wonder if e-book sales are up just because they're cheap. They're really way cheaper than "real" books, and once money gets tight, that might be enough to get over the reluctance to read on a computer. Certainly I'd always said I couldn't read at the computer, and now I have a growing e-book library. (But real books are still nicer.)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Sherrie, thank you. I'm feeling much better, still not completely steady on my feet, but getting there fast. I can and do get around. My brain is much clearer, whcih certainly helps, lol!

~Sia McKye~ said...


I'm the price factor plays into it along with convenience. We are becoming so much more of an electronics generation. Like Michael said, we have PDAs and iphones. We use them for work, or at least originally, and being used to the format, we find all the other things we can do with them. Like a pocket full of entertainment, books, music, the missed episode of Burn notice.

I do think of e-books as real books, but I do enjoy going in a bookstore and seeing all the choices, I like the smell of new books. But sometimes you have a better selection of authors' work available online than you do in a brick and mortar store.

Also, for those that do like e-books, Print On Demand books made available in e format are also going to be popular. E-book prices are more affordable for those books. I do believe that eventually, more and more publishers will be aquiring books to be released straight to e-books and the paperback will be printed on demand. Established authors and big authors will still be printed and an e-book format available. It certainly more cost effective.

We are at a time where we are seeing many changes in the publishing field, as publishers struggle to stay alive in today's economy do a turn around towards healthy profits margins.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thank you Claire for handling the blog for me. It was much appreciated.

Thanks all who stopped by and those who shared a thought and some coffee with us.

Be sure to take a look at Claire's books, they really are an enjoyable read.

Claire Collins said...

I enjoyed hosting Sia and I'm glad you are feeling better. As a sidenote, My books are available on Kindle as well as ebooks through the publisher website at They are also avaialable for iphone, mobi, stanza, and other formats through