Friday, August 5, 2011

CCLaP intersection spotlight thing Take One - Karen the Small Press Librarian.

With CCLaP's fourth anniversary rapidly approaching the center is receiving all sorts of well-deserved attention and adulation. In general, we couldn't be more excited about this, but we are especially excited because so much of the attention is coming from venues we quite dig, the first of which is an interview recently posted on the Karen the Small Press Librarian blog run by TBWCYL, Inc. favorite Karen Lillis. Now, how about some excerpt? Word.

How has the reception been for the e-books you’ve published so far? I’m not trying to single out your authors, but more to ask how you reached out and found an audience, and what you learned about how to find your readers in between Book #1 and Book #4.

When I talk to my friends who run more traditional basement presses about this subject, it looks pretty certain that in general terms, CCLaP is generating the same amount of paying customers from the ebooks as they are from their paper books, which as most people know is nothing to sneeze at but no great shakes either. The nice thing, though, is that since the ebooks are released under a "pay what you want" scheme, it means that our paying customers only make up around 25 percent of the book's total readership; and so if you're talking just about how many eyeballs the center's books are getting in front of, you can think of it in general terms of about three to four times the amount of a typical basement press. The biggest lesson I've learned so far about gathering an audience is that this stuff really does fall along traditional age lines to a great extent; so that is, whenever I publish a middle-aged author with a middle-aged audience, downloads of the electronic version are always smaller than a title by a twentysomething with a college-aged audience, even when that book will often generate the same amount of press and interest away from the internet. The adoption of ebooks is truly a generational issue, I'm slowly learning.

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