E-books are still a tiny part of the market

Despite the panic among publishers about e-book prices, according to an article in today’s NY Times business section, e-books are still a very small segment of sales:

Last year, less than two percent of all books sold were e-books, according to Bowker, which tracks the industry. By contrast, trade paperbacks and hardcovers made up approximately 35 percent each of sales, Bowker says. Mass market paperbacks came in at 21 percent.

Here are the numbers:
35% Trade paperbacks
35% Hardcover
21% Mass market paperback
2% Audio
2% E-book
5% Other

Also interesting is where books are being sold.

27% Large chains
20% E-commerce
11% Book club
8% Mass merchandisers
5% Independents
29% Other

What startles me is how quickly E-commerce is starting to dominate the picture — and how the independents are suffering as a result. The last time I checked, my own sales through Amazon.com were still under 10% of my total. I wonder what that percentage is now.

The writers of “Rizzoli & Isles”

Here I am with four of the five members of the dream time for “Rizzoli & Isles.” These are the writers who’ll be crafting the episodes of the TV show, which will be premiering this summer on TNT. We are (left to right): David Gould, me, Janet Tamaro (who’s also creator and executive producer), David Caplan, and Joel Fields. This is one terrific team, and they come with a combined breadth of experience from other TV shows, from comedies to dramas. Most of all, they’re truly nice people, with the chops to breathe life into Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles.

I had the pleasure of joining them for dinner when they visited Boston last week on a research trip, collecting impressions of Boston before they head back to L.A. to start writing the next nine episodes of the TV series. So there we were, at a very nice restaurant, chatting about serial killers, weird murders, autopsies, and all the other stuff that thriller writers talk about. I’m afraid we may have given other diners indigestion, but hey — we were just talking shop. After meeting them, I have every confidence that some terrific stories will be coming out of this team.

And in other news: TNT has approved the name for the new show. Yes, after all the hand-wringing over finding the right name, they’ve now decided it’s official:

Rizzoli & Isles.

Coming to TNT this summer!

Amazon vs. MacMillan — what the heck now?

An alert reader just wrote me complaining that the Kindle price for my upcoming book ICE COLD is in the $14.00 range. That’s unreasonable, he said, when brand new releases from St. Martin’s Press are now priced in the $8.00 range. I thought he must be mistaken, until I checked Amazon and discovered that Kristin Hannah’s latest, just published in February, is indeed priced in the $8.00 range. So are Michael Palmer’s and Iris Johansen’s upcoming releases. These books are published under the MacMillan umbrella, which just fought for higher Kindle e-book prices — yet suddenly, their Kindle e-books are going for LESS than other publishers’ new-release Kindle versions.

Did I miss something? Has the war between MacMillan and Amazon just re-escalated? Can anybody fill me in?


And in other news, I just found out I’m the 17th most borrowed adult fiction author in UK libraries — right under John Grisham. A nice surprise!