E-publishing: solid numbers


publishers-weekly-logo_smallI was looking for some numbers on e-book sales per device and store, and found this article on Publisher’s Weekly.

Here are some highlights:

“According to the Book Industry Study Group’s fourth volume in its “Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading” survey series, 73% of e-book buyers bought (or got an e-book for free) from Amazon, with 21% getting their e-books from B&N (…) Apple’s content stores were only used by 10% of e-book users, but that is expected to change as device sales pick up.”

That’s just for the US, though. I expect B&N was non-existent anywhere else in 2012 – it only just started expanding into Europe at the end of the year. Kobo probably takes B&N’s place in other markets.

I’m not sure why everyone expects Apple sales to pick up, it’s not like they haven’t been selling their devices in droves before – or is everyone pinning their hopes on iPad Mini? If that’s the case, why doesn’t anyone mention Google Play, which is just as expansive globally, and available on more devices? Especially in the light of this:
“iPad is the leading tablet used on Books-OnBoard, representing 63% of all tablet downloads, but Android tablets are growing share rapidly. A year ago, iPad completely dominated this, with 93% of tablet downloads.”

Curious bit about power buyers:

“According to the BISG’s consumer reading survey, “power buyers” (those who purchase e-books weekly) show an increased preference for reading on tablets, with more than 38% indicating so, compared to 19% a year ago.”

“The Kindle Store, for example, accounted for 46% of the e-book purchases of Galaxy users compared to 83% of Fire owners, while “other” outlets represented 19% of e-book purchases of Galaxy owners compared to 5% for Fire owners.”
I wonder what are the most popular “other” people use?

And here’s the bit I was looking for:

“50% of the respondents to a Diesel survey reported that they use dedicated e-readers, 20% use a personal computer, and 16% use tablets, but the tablet component is growing.” So that’s only 20% PC purchases. I presume most of them are still using branded bookstores instead of author websites. That doesn’t bode well for the author-vendor model.

“LiVolsi also pointed to a “migration of about 34% of our readers over the last 18 months” to sub-$100 Nooks and Kindles that don’t support content from other retailers.”

It will be interesting to see where we are next year…

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New Year’s Resolutions For Everyone


I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because they weren’t a tradition when and where I was growing up, but also because they’ve always seemed a bit silly. You’re supposed to make plans, not resolutions. A plan means you’re being serious about something. A resolution is just a throwaway sentence you put at the end of the calendar. Maybe that’s why, according to a study posted on Wikipedia (and we all know Wikipedia doesn’t lie), 88% of resolutions fail.

So these are not my resolutions. These are proposed resolutions for anyone out there struggling to come up with something on the last day of the year.

4. See that place you’ve always wanted to visit.

Seriously. Stop posting pictures of exotic places captioned “I wish I could go there”. It’s 2013, and travel has never been that easy. The only thing possibly stopping you from seeing that place you’ve always wanted to see is in your head.

With no-frills airlines, the tickets are cheaper than they’ve ever been. The accommodation can be free: you can couch-surf, hire yourself out on a farm or volunteer for aid work. There are very few wars compared to any other point in history. Even places like North Korea and Burma accept tourists these days, if that’s where you want to go. If you really want to go somewhere, all you need to do is plan ahead. Save up. Make contacts. Research. And just go.

3. Think about what you eat.

This is the most universal and accurate advice I can give about eating. Whether you’re too fat or too thin, bloated or dehydrated; pay attention to your food.

Eating is one of the three most important things a living being does in its life. It always amazes me how little time people spend thinking about what they put in their stomachs.  If only we cared about food as much as we care about sex or entertainment, the world would be a far better place. And no, counting calories does not count.

Eat seasonal. Eat fresh, and as unprocessed as possible. Have a varied diet. Understand your food: where it comes from, what it does, how is one potato different from another potato, what meat is in your hot dog. If you can, convince your local shop to stock better produce. It may seem at first more expensive and time-consuming than your normal diet – but the investment will eventually recoup itself on time and money saved on doctor visits 🙂

2. Create something of your own.

There are 365 days in 2013. Put away one of those days to create something that you can call your own. Write a poem; learn a song; carve an abstract sculpture out of a block of lime wood. Make it yours, make it unique – something you can put your name on.

Like it or not, we are rapidly approaching a post-scarcity economy. In a few decades the only things of value will be the ones created by human hands – everything else will be replicated by machines. Start preparing for that future. Make the year 2013 the year of creation.

1. Hold the whine.

We’re in the middle of a global crisis. There’s recession looming, and the year will likely start with US falling off a fiscal cliff and Japan failing its recovery.

But, to quote Harold MacMillan, “we’ve never had it so good”. Maybe not compared to the year before… but compared to everyone else in history. There hasn’t been a proper war in the West in almost 70 years. Even the Cold War is over. Despite all the bad economic news, we are still better off, on average, than our parents and grandparents. Progress in all ways of life, from gadgets to medicine, is astounding. Just think of all the new technology that’s just around the corner: 3D printers! Star Trek tricorders! A slightly thinner iPad!

So do the world a favour and stop whining. There are very few things about your current life that you can’t change. Move home. Change the job. Sort out the family problems. Do something crazy. Don’t get stuck in a rut, like a broken ox-cart. And if you’re absolutely, positively certain you can’t change anything in your life for the better – well whining won’t help, will it.

So there you are. I had a few more of these prepared, but didn’t want to sound too preachy. Take care y’all, and hope you all have a good 2013. I certainly plan to.

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2012 in review: 15000 views since July :)


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Blog of the Year Award


Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpegSo the lovely Candace Knoebel gave me a Blog of the Year award a few days ago – just in time before the end of 2012. At first I had no idea what it was – which just shows you how “in” I am with this whole internet malarky 😉 – but thankfully she explained it all on her own blog, so now I’m that little bit smarter 🙂

I’m supposed to nominate a few people in turn, so here’s the list of who’s and why’s:

1. Nominating-back Candace Knoebel herself, for launching a full-scale marketing campaign of her book which puts my sorry efforts to shame. Seriously, she’s everywhere! 🙂

2. Saffron Strands, a food blogger from London, whose passion for seasonal produce and Maltby Street Market is inspiring.

3. Collette J. Ellis, a brilliant Welsh artist who paints dragons for a living. I’m working with her on a few projects now, and I’m expecting great things to come from it!

4. Chris Stocking’s Write to Perfect – 1800 followers and counting, a fellow steampunk writer and a prolific blogger.

5. YA Book Bridges – a teacher who reviews YA books from the point of view of teachers and parents. What a brilliant idea!

And now, for those who are as in dark as I was, them’s the rules:

Do you know a blog that deserves an award?

Do you have special blogs that you love to read?

Which blogs do you bookmark and follow?

Would you like to give them an award this year?

Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!

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The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

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Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

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‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

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Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

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‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails

Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

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Worldbuilders 2012


Today marks the launch the 2012 edition of the authors’ charity, headed by Patrick Rothfuss, the Worldbuilders.

Here’s what Pat has to say about it, in his own words:


Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so families can take care of themselves. They give goats, sheep, and chickens to families so their children have milk to drink, warm clothes to wear, and eggs to eat.


This year I’ve donated a couple of my books to the charity lottery, so if you want to help and get a chance to win one of the paperbacks of “The Shadow of Black Wings“, here’s what you do (again, quoting Pat Rothfuss):


Option 1: The Lottery.

You hop directly over to the page I’ve set up on Team Heifer, and donate.
When you donate on that page, two things happen.
1. You’ll move us closer to our stretch goals (shown below).
2. You’ll be entered in the lottery.
After the fundraiser is over, we’ll have a random drawing for all the swag that’s been donated. Thousands of books, comics, DVD’s and other cool miscellany.

For every 10 bucks you donate, your name will get entered into the drawing once. If you donate thirty bucks, your name goes in three times. Think of it as buying tickets, if you like.


There are other options, described over at the Worldbuilders blog post. You can buy Tinker’s Packs, or take part in an eBay auction. There’s also a FAQ if you’re still confused.

As Pat says, “Let’s do this thing”.

Essential Olympic Guide to…


…using ticket gates.

There is nothing more aggravating to a London commuter than a person before them having no knowledge of how to use the tube/railway ticket gates. While it may seem straightforward at first – insert ticket or touch card and pass – it is, in fact, far from it. See, there are some basic rules to the ritual which it takes a while to discover. Some people still failed to grasp these basics.

Tube ticket gate. Green arrow for go, Red cross for error. Railway gates have green and red lights.

The Olympics will be a tough time for everybody, especially on the public transport. So if you or anyone you know is planning to visit London this summer, here are a few important things to remember:

  1. WAIT until the person before you crosses the gate and the flaps fully close.
  2. DO NOT hurry through, try to squeeze, or touch the reader too early. This will cause the bad red light to appear and evoke tut-tuts from the people behind you.
  3. DO NOT enter the gate area (just before the flaps) until you get a green light.
  4. IF THE LIGHT TURNS RED, take a step back (don’t mind the people behind you. Those who know, will avoid you) wait a moment and try again.
  5. IF THE LIGHT IS STILL RED, seek assistance from staff. Most of the time they will just let you pass through the disabled gate.

And there you go. This knowledge should make your travel much smoother. Have fun in London during the Olympics – I know I won’t 😉