It’s a Reader’s Market … by Darla Luke

Ever hear the phrase “It’s a buyer’s market” when referring to housing? With the digital age of publishing in full bloom, I declare it a Reader’s Market! Okay, I might not be the first one to say it, please leave me to my delusions 🙂

Don’t like (or can’t afford) the $12.99 price for a hard-cover book? Find one you like for $3.99, or even $0.99.

Find a new series? No need to scour used book stores for the one book in the series you’re missing … a digital book is never “out of print”, unless the publisher or author removes it.

There are exceptions, of course. I tried to find a newly published book in digital format when it first came out, but couldn’t. Did I ever buy it? Um, nope. I’ve moved on.

It’s a risk publishers take when deciding to hold back the digital edition to boost print sales. Did it work? Hard to tell. We’ll never know if I’m the only reader who didn’t purchase that book. Sad, really. Because without black & white hard facts, publishers won’t make changes.

Here are the self-pubbed books that made the USA Today Top 150 Best-Selling Books list for the week ending 8-2-12*:

Slammed by Colleen Hoover (Amazon Digital Services). This week #22 (last week #17) $2.99.

Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover (Amazon Digital Services). This week #32 (last week #31) $3.99

Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson (Smashwords). This week #40 (last week #59) $0.99

Training Tessa by Lyla Sinclair (Amazon Digital Services). This week #65 (last week 30) $0.99

Perfection: A Neighbor From Hell Novel by R.L. Mathewson (B&N PubIt!). This week #89 (last week #180) $0.99

For His Pleasure by Kelly Favor (B&N Digital Publishing). This week #95 (last week #138) $0.99

Easy by Tammara Webber (Amazon Digital Services). This week #109 (last week #118) $3.99

Bedding the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello (Amazon Digital Services). This week #116 (last week #103) $2.99

Weekends Required by Sydney Landon (Amazon Digital Services). This week #117 (last week, not on the list) $2.99

The Look of Love: The Sullivans, Book 1 by Belle Andre (Amazon Digital Services). This week#118 (last week, #28) $4.99

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan (Amazon Digital Services). This week #148 (last week #229) $4.99

I want to hear from you! What do you think … is it a reader’s market? Have you found a book in print format you can’t find in digital? How long will you wait for a book to show up in digital format after it’s available in print?

This week I’m re-reading Magic Bleeds, the fourth in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. A new book in the series is out now, and I can’t wait to read it!

*I’m human and do make mistakes (a shock to my friends, I’m sure!). If there’s a book on this week’s list that I missed, please let me know. If I misspelled/mistyped an author’s name or book title, I’m extremely sorry.

Darla Luke

You can find me on Twitter @writer_at_work, “Like” me on Facebook, or visit my website:


About Darla Luke

Darla Luke spent her childhood making up stories in her head, when she wasn't devouring every book she could get her hands on. If someone would have told her she'd be a writer when she grew up, she would have laughed herself silly. Now, writing is her passion, and she loves telling stories (especially ghost stories) and believes they all should have a happy ending.

Posted on August 3, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Since purchasing my first Nook, almost three years ago now, I have not bought a single paper or hardcover book (outside of my own for signings or giveaways). I took that time to donate all my hard cover and paper books (except maybe 50 of my sentimental favorites) to the library. Then tried to purchase them all in digital format. Unfortunately, many of the older ones do not have a digital equivalent–which drives me crazy!!!

    When I hear about a new book from an author I don’t know and decide to try it, I immediately go look for the Nook version. If I find out the digital edition is not available, and worse it won’t be released for three months, or six months, or longer, 90%+ of the time I forget about it by the time it is released in digital.

    One other thing that makes me not buy a book, even when it’s available in digital on first release, is when the price is ridiculous. I’ve seen too many instances when the publisher has decided to release a hardcover copy and then prices the digital release at the same price. (This seems to happen a lot in YA) Sorry, I won’t pay that. I’ll wait six months, a year (assuming I remember it by then) for the price to come down.

    Seriously, I bought 122 books last year for my Nook. I’m a great customer. I will frequently try new authors if the blurb sounds interesting and the peek inside or sample download read as interesting. But if it’s not available in digital when I learn of the author, or it is priced too high. I’m not paying $9.99+ unless it is a must-buy-no-matter-what author for me. There are just too many choices. What is a price I’m willing to pay? About what the paperback should be priced at ($4-$7), with a preference in the under $6 range.


    • You hit the nail on the head, and it’s why I believe that self-pubbed authors are doing so well in sales. There’s a perception of value, and consumers (readers) are astute enough to know that a digital edition isn’t as costly to produce as creating a print book. If readers only knew the amount of time, effort, blood sweat and sometimes even tears an author puts into writing, then editing a book, nobody would be able to pay what an author is worth 🙂


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