Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Tale of Tails--veinglory

Epublishing is predominantly a 'long tail' industry which sells a relatively small volume of diverse niche products (rather than a relatively large volume of mainstream products).

Therefore you may be surprised to find Anita Elberse of the Harvard Business Review writing confidently that this is not occurring. ("It was a compelling idea: In the digitized world, there’s more money to be made in niche offerings than in blockbusters. The data tell a different story.") Perhaps both long tail pundit Chris Anderson and the current author are simply looking at the wrong industries, obsessed with music and DVDs.

In the area of romance ebooks the long tail is alive and well for publishers--albeit something for a mixed blessing for writer who have to be canny to make money in the tail.

If sales are not going to be massive per unit, one either works for rather lessthan minimum wage, or controls the cost:benefit ratio very aggressively. For example, by writing optimal lengths, choosing the top epublishers and minimising all other other of pocket expenses that do not pay for themselves.

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