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July AUTHOR EARNINGS report brings focus on DRM
#11  gmw 07-18-2014, 08:16 AM
It is interesting to have some actual numbers around the DRM issue for a change. Obviously there's lots of stuff we'd all like to know that doesn't exist in this data, but they are still reassuring results for all not using DRM.
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#12  wizwor 07-18-2014, 08:21 AM
Quote
It wasn’t surprising to see that most Big 5 books employ DRM, but we were shocked to see that it is practically 100% of them. Indies, on the other hand, locked down roughly 50% of their titles. Since there isn’t any variation in the Big 5 books, we are forced to look at the self-published titles for any effect on sales, and indeed there is one. The 50% of non-DRM ebooks account for 64% of total unit sales.
I believe the term is cherry picking. Whether the titles are Big 5 or not is not a factor. The fact is that DRM has not impeded their sales -- which dwarf indie sales -- and overall DRM does not impact sales.
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#13  fjtorres 07-18-2014, 08:40 AM
Quote wizwor
Whether the titles are Big 5 or not is not a factor. The fact is that DRM has not impeded their sales -- which dwarf indie sales -- and overall DRM does not impact sales.
1- Yes, it is a factor. BPH titles normally sell in a different pricing band ($8-15) than indies and small/mid presses ($3-10. And if DRM were not an issue, why did Hachette throw the hissy fit when Tor went DRM-free?

2- The only metric where the BPHs "dwarf" indie ebook sales is reader spend. Unit sales are comparable and author income favors indie over BPH.

Again, they aren't claiming DRM has a causal link with sales, just that it correlates with it.

Edit: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
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#14  gmw 07-18-2014, 08:45 AM
Quote wizwor
I believe the term is cherry picking. Whether the titles are Big 5 or not is not a factor. The fact is that DRM has not impeded their sales -- which dwarf indie sales -- and overall DRM does not impact sales.
I am willing to believe that DRM is not a significant factor in sales overall, there may be other factors influencing the results when isolated by indie. But that in itself is interesting, don't you think?
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#15  fjtorres 07-18-2014, 08:52 AM
Quote gmw
But that in itself is an interesting, don't you think?
To some of us, apparently.

My read is that indie publishers that are effective in driving sales of their titles tend to go DRM-free. And that, like Tor, going DRM-free doesn't seem to be hurting them.

Absent any actual direct pro or con causal data, a rational publisher would take this report as a hint to go DRM-free.
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#16  Barcey 07-18-2014, 09:18 AM
I think Felix is correct, it's an indicator of the general philosophy. If you are consumer focused and emphatic with them you are likely to remove DRM. If you are engaged with them and actually listen to them you are likely to remove DRM. If you are internally focused and think about yourself first then you include DRM. Businesses that are consumer focused do better. It is not about just one thing though.

What is just as important is that the data doesn't support the belief that it protects sales. The detractors will claim that it protects sales overall for the industry and not individual titles.
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#17  fjtorres 07-18-2014, 09:27 AM
Quote Barcey
The detractors will claim that it protects sales overall for the industry and not individual titles.
Hmm... interesting proposition.
If they actually believe that, it would explain the hissy fit.
And why nobody else has followed the Tor example.

Cartel thinking through and through.
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#18  BillCollins 07-18-2014, 09:53 AM
But people who buy e-books on Amazon.com have no idea whether the e-book they are purchasing has DRM installed on it or not, right? The sales description does not inform them either way. So they don't base any of their purchasing decisions on whether DRM is present or not.

Just my 3 cents worth.
bill
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#19  avantman42 07-18-2014, 09:59 AM
Quote BillCollins
But people who buy e-books on Amazon.com have no idea whether the e-book they are purchasing has DRM installed on it or not, right? The sales description does not inform them either way. So they don't base any of their purchasing decisions on whether DRM is present or not.

Just my 3 cents worth.
bill
As previously mentioned in this thread (post 10), if there is no DRM, the text "Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" will be included in the product details.

As to how widely known that is, I have no idea.
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#20  gmw 07-18-2014, 10:08 AM
Quote fjtorres
To some of us, apparently.

My read is that indie publishers that are effective in driving sales of their titles tend to go DRM-free. And that, like Tor, going DRM-free doesn't seem to be hurting them.

Absent any actual direct pro or con causal data, a rational publisher would take this report as a hint to go DRM-free.
(Bold mine.) That is largely the point that I would like (for obvious reasons) to take away from this. I'm not (yet) convinced that adding DRM actually hurts sales (significantly) of any author that is already selling reasonably well, but even just with the indie data isolated like that, it seems going DRM-free isn't hurting either.
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