Ebook Experiments

Our experiment with the 99 cent ebook edition of Clarkesworld continues onward. Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that a few of our authors have been running ebook experiments of their own:

I look forward to comparing the results of our little experiments and hope that you’ll consider supporting all of us by spreading the word, buying copies and reviewing them.

PS. If I missed any CW authors that have been testing the ebook waters this month, please let me know.

Ebook Battle for Control of my Mind and the Price of Clarkesworld

We’ve been publishing $2.99 ebook editions of Clarkesworld Magazine for a while now. Why $2.99? Well, Amazon and B&N, our two biggest resellers, have a tiered royalty system that provides publishers with an incentive to do so.

70% royalty (minus delivery fee) for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, 35% royalty for everything else
B&N.com 65% royalty for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, 40% royalty for everything else

I’m not terribly distressed by the $2.99 price point. It’s less than a gallon of gas or a 2 liter bottle of Coke, but then again, when I turn on the TV, I get barraged by commercials for $1 Value Meals. Is $1 the magic number? It certainly doesn’t indicate quality, but it is popular. I was talking with a friend about all this and they issued a challenge… "You offer more quality than a Value Meal. Lower your price to 99 cents and you’ll kick ass!" The idea has been festering in my head since. (Or maybe that was the cold I’m just recently over.)

$0.99 for an issue of a Hugo-Winning magazine.

The logical/mathematical side of my brain is screaming, NO, NO, NO, we would have to sell nearly 6 times as many books at Amazon and 5 times as many at B&N.com to maintain our current income. We need that money… Then the not-so-logical side of my brain (the one that decided to launch a magazine) steps up to the mic:


The two side slugged it out for a few days before eventually coming to a compromise. The result: it’s time for an experiment. For one month, at our two biggest resellers, we will be selling copies of issue 54 for 99 cents each. At  the end of the month, I’ll look at the results and determine whether or not this will be our new list price.

Will our special value meal of quality SF&F be worth a buck to enough people to make this price change workable? With the short window I’ve set for this experiment, I’m going to have to count on our friends and readers for a little help. Please spread the word, near and far, electronically and in person…

Clarkesworld #54, only 99 cents @

Amazon (Kindle, Mobi)
B&N.com (epub, Nook, Sony, iPad)

I’ll let you know what happens.

Quick Clarkesworld Update

It’s the middle of the month and that means a new podcast. This time around we have "Three Oranges" by D. Elizabeth Wasden. Check out the episode here, text version here, or subscribe to our podcast here.

In other news, I finished work on the ebook editions of four more vintage issues of Clarkesworld:

Issue 20 – Catherynne M. Valente, Garth Upshaw (Amazon, B&N, Direct)
Issue 19 – Jeffrey Ford, Jeremiah Sturgill (Amazon, B&N, Direct)
Issue 18 – Jay Lake, Stephen Dedman (Amazon, B&N, Direct)
Issue 17 – Stephen Graham Jones, Alexander Lumans (Amazon, B&N, Direct)

Reading Clarkesworld on your Ereader

One of the most import ways that we raise money for Clarkesworld Magazine is through the sales of ebook editions of the magazine and our annual anthologies. Every penny we make from ebooks goes straight back into paying for content. You can buy individual issues from:

and I am very pleased to say that the good folks at Weightless Books have set up a way for us to sell subscriptions. We’re still hoping to convince Amazon and B&N to offer subscriptions, but it hasn’t been all that successful. If any of our fans have an "in" with someone there, we’d love to hear about it. (I do know about Amazon’s beta magazine for Kindle program, but it’s better suited to newspapers, a lot of extra work, and would result in a watered-down version of CW).

Please help us spread the word. Marketing ebooks is a bear and getting the word out is our biggest challenge. If you buy from Amazon or B&N, please consider starring or reviewing that issue on their site. It does make a difference.


other ebooks I’ve designed…

It’s been pointed out that I should mention the other ebooks I’ve designed or published (original list here):

Designed and Published
Realms 1: The First Year of Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Nick Mamatas and Sean Wallace
Realms 2: The Second Year of Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Nick Mamatas and Sean Wallace
Last Drink Bird Head edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
Clarkesworld Magazine  Issues 21-51 are currently available. I’m working backwards through the rest of them.

Lightspeed Magazine Issues June-December 2010

The above links take you to Amazon Kindle editions. You can get ePub files for your Nook, Sony, iPad, etc. from B&N.

ebooks I’ve designed…

Over the last few months, I’ve been doing some freelance ebook design for Prime Books. A bunch of them just went live on Amazon and are now available for the Kindle:

Digital Domains edited by Ellen Datlow
The Hugo Award Showcase: 2010 Edition edited by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2009 Edition edited by Rich Horton
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2010 Edition edited by Rich Horton
The Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker
The Return of the Sorcerer: The Best of Clark Ashton Smith by Clark Ashton Smith
Federations edited by John Joseph Adams (new ebook edition, same content)
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Volume 1 edited by Paula Guran
Zombies: The Recent Dead edited by Paula Guran
The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
The House of Discarded Dreams by Ekaterina Sedia
Running with the Pack edited by Ekaterina Sedia
People of the Book edited by Rachel Swirsky and Sean Wallace
Sleeping Helena by Erzebet YellowBoy

Want ePub editions? They are also available at B&N for the Nook and other ePub devices.

If you notice any problems with those, please let me know. I’ll fix them and send the book back to the publisher.