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View Full Version : Do people buy MG and YA ebooks?



nitaworm
07-16-2010, 06:20 PM
I'm wondering if folks purchase ebooks in MG and YA?

Do they buy them to read themselves? Or for their kids? I know that I have kids and wouldn't spend that much on an ereader for them since they barely take care of their cellphones.

I believe the only way I would purchase one for them would be if they begged for it, or their school books were accessible on it.

KTC
07-16-2010, 06:32 PM
I have a Kobo ereader. I purchased 7 YA books in the past month for my Kobo. To read myself. My 14 year-old read one of them on my Kobo...but he doesn't have his own Kobo and wouldn't use it enough for me to get one for him. I started a thread on this topic a few weeks ago. I too was curious about the YA ebook market.

KTC
07-16-2010, 06:33 PM
I should add...that I mostly buy from Kobobooks.com and always books from tradional publishing houses. I have only bought 2 or 3 ebooks from ebook publishers...and never any YA.

PortableHal
07-16-2010, 09:08 PM
Our own VJ Chambers has written and sold a number of titles. (Here (http:////vjchambers.com/).) Some of them are in print, too, but I think most of her sales are in the e-version.

Echelon Press has a teen imprint, Quake Books, and it primarily features ebooks. (Here (http:////echelonpress.com/catalog/quake-books/).)

Hope that helps.

nitaworm
07-16-2010, 09:21 PM
One of my MG is ebook. Only cost between $1.99-4.99 on various sites and they are not selling at all. Only the paperbacks are selling.

zpeteman
07-17-2010, 01:05 AM
Mine sells well and consistently.

Shady Lane
07-18-2010, 09:53 AM
I buy them. E-book sales so far for BREAK have been negligible compared to hard copy.

Melissa_Marr
07-18-2010, 11:12 PM
I buy them. E-book sales so far for BREAK have been negligible compared to hard copy.

Yes. This, exactly. I did the percentages last year. The percentage of ebooks compared to the ebook sales of friends who write adult genre was noteworthy, too. The devices simply aren't yet in hand for young readers, so while we get some adult readers and some teens w devices (or reading via an app on a smartphone), the cost of the devices means that ebook buying in the teen & younger readers hasn't built up yet.

Presummably, that will change as the devices become more affordable.

Cathy C
07-18-2010, 11:19 PM
And remember that YA and MG are hot, hot HOT in the industry right now. It's easier than ever to find a print pub willing to take a chance on the "next big thing." Just ask the lovely ladies who posted above me...who BECAME the next big thing! ;)

valeriec80
07-19-2010, 01:04 AM
Aaah!!! Melissa Marr? For real?

*chokes and has embarrassing fan girl moment* Wow. I love Melissa Marr. L-O-V-E.

I think what she said is pretty on point. Interestingly, though, I think teenage girls are more than okay with reading an entire novel on a computer screen. Perhaps if ebook publishers pushed the .lit versions?

The other issue, though, as I mentioned elsewhere, is cash flow. Teenagers often have jobs and their own money to spend on stuff like books, but they don't often have bank accounts or credit cards, making it difficult for them to purchase stuff online.

I don't have any real experience with MG, but I would think that between the genres, YA books would experience ebook growth before the MG books.

MJWare
07-22-2010, 09:42 AM
The Kindle boards just had this same discussion. The consensus seemed to be most of the YA eBook sales were to adults and MG isn't selling very well at all.

I do agree that parents want their kids to read. So when the prices fall to the point were parents won't freak if it gets smashed up (maybe under $100), or when phones start coming with 4"+ screens standard, then we'll see an explosion in YA and MG eBook sales (IMHO).

Christine N.
07-24-2010, 04:16 AM
Yes.

I think more copies of my books have sold in Kindle and other ebook formats than in paperback. If not more, than it's pretty close. I make more per ebook too, so I have absolutely no problem with this.

I seem to attract the Rick Riordan readers who want more mythology - at least if you believe Amazon. A few months back my books were listed w/ The Last Olympian in the "Buy this+this+this" deal. Now it's The Red Pyramid. Somehow Amazon has tied our books together. *shrug*

I know I've had readers buy it and read on their Smart phones too. So it probably IS more adults, but then again, adults usually purchase the books for the MG's and YA's anyway.

frandavea
03-04-2011, 11:26 PM
By far, the biggest selling ebook genre is romance. Based on my research, YA/MG ebooks do not sell that well at all.

AmsterdamAssassin
03-04-2011, 11:57 PM
Excuse me, what's MG?

I expected romance e-books to sell like crazy - finally the high-powered executive doesn't have to cover up their romance novels with philosophical dust jackets, since nobody sees what you're actually reading on your e-reader...

KTC
03-05-2011, 01:05 AM
MG = Middle Grade

AmsterdamAssassin
03-05-2011, 01:48 AM
Ah, thanks - some abbreviations are too culturally specific.

PortableHal
03-05-2011, 09:25 PM
By far, the biggest selling ebook genre is romance. Based on my research, YA/MG ebooks do not sell that well at all.

Dave, I thought the same thing -- until I discovered Amanda Hocking. She writes YA and (according to the Toronto Star, here (http:///www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/article/948078--how-a-failed-author-made-2-million-from-e-books)) collected $2 million on ebook sales alone.

My writing partner and I have an offer from a small publisher on one of our YA books -- print/ebook/small advance -- and we're debating whether to turn it down because of Hocking's success.

VoireyLinger
03-05-2011, 10:32 PM
I know several teens with e-readers and my 10 yo has about 25 books on my e-reader.

valeriec80
03-05-2011, 10:32 PM
Yeah, Amanda Hocking's YA ebook success has really blown all our predictions out of the water, huh? :)

CheG
03-08-2011, 10:11 PM
Yeah, Amanda Hocking's YA ebook success has really blown all our predictions out of the water, huh? :)

The price point on some of hers may be helping too. I've seen at least the first book in the series at $.99. I'd like to know how she markets too.

For me a stumbling block is the price and the unknown quality.

There are self pubbed/Indie YA and MG but even at .99 I wonder about the quality. Reviews help a little but not all of them have reviews.

And while some MG books are reasonable I refuse to pay a lot of money for is a FILE. My gawd people! I'm not paying $9.99 or MORE for a virtual item.

I did notice Amazon pimping the Kindle to parents last X-mas so I do think they will catch on more with younger readers.

cameron_chapman
03-08-2011, 10:22 PM
The price point on some of hers may be helping too. I've seen at least the first book in the series at $.99. I'd like to know how she markets too.

For me a stumbling block is the price and the unknown quality.

There are self pubbed/Indie YA and MG but even at .99 I wonder about the quality. Reviews help a little but not all of them have reviews.

This is why virtually every ebook retailer allows you to download a sample (usually the first 10% or more). I won't buy a book until I've read the sample, whether they're self-pubbed or traditionally published. I did that with Hocking's books (which I love). I did it with Melissa Marr's :hi: book, too (which is next on my "to-buy" list, since I finished the sample).

I downloaded a couple of free ebooks from mainstream publishers a couple days ago (and I'm talking big-six publishers) and they were awful. Maybe it's just my particular taste, but I shouldn't be laughing hysterically if it's not a comedy...

One thing a lot of the mainstream publishers are doing wrong when it comes to ebooks is putting too much front matter in them. I downloaded one sample the other day, and it didn't include any of the actual book. It was just the title page, contents, and about 15 pages of praise and reviews. The sample ran out before the book started. At $9.99, I'm not going to buy a book when I can't at least read the first few pages, regardless of how great the reviews are.

CheG
03-09-2011, 01:25 AM
I downloaded a couple of free ebooks from mainstream publishers a couple days ago (and I'm talking big-six publishers) and they were awful. Maybe it's just my particular taste, but I shouldn't be laughing hysterically if it's not a comedy...

One thing a lot of the mainstream publishers are doing wrong when it comes to ebooks is putting too much front matter in them. I downloaded one sample the other day, and it didn't include any of the actual book. It was just the title page, contents, and about 15 pages of praise and reviews. The sample ran out before the book started. At $9.99, I'm not going to buy a book when I can't at least read the first few pages, regardless of how great the reviews are.

LOL! I've downloaded a couple aweful freebies too! From major publishers, and I think that explains why they were free...

But yeah, I'm going to download some samples and try out some indie books. I think I'll devote $5.00 a month to getting $.99 books and try them out.

And the thing with the samples from publishers- I think it's due to them putting up the literal first pages of the print book which are going to be the title page, copyrights, and that 15 pages of glowing praise. If they were smart they would start with the first chapter and make that available.

valeriec80
03-09-2011, 02:37 AM
I'd like to know how she markets too.


Like most windfall successes, I think most of her success is from word of mouth. She says on her blog that she sent her books out to review blogs, and the sales jumped up a bit, but that the really big jump in sales came from something she couldn't pinpoint.

It probably doesn't hurt that she seems like a genuinely nice person, who interacts with her readers directly.

Torgo
03-09-2011, 03:07 AM
I'm wondering if folks purchase ebooks in MG and YA?

Do they buy them to read themselves? Or for their kids? I know that I have kids and wouldn't spend that much on an ereader for them since they barely take care of their cellphones.

I believe the only way I would purchase one for them would be if they begged for it, or their school books were accessible on it.

According to a recent survey (IIRC) 40% of teens have read a book on a computer and 17% on their cellphones. That absolutely blew me away.

Looking at our own sales figures (and this is in the UK, a little behind the US), YA ebook sales outstrip MG by a handy margin. Before last September, sales were negligible; but they quadrupled as soon as the Kindle was released over here. Then they doubled again on Christmas Day 2010 as lots of people got Kindles and tablet PCs. The top tens are slowly starting to mirror the print editions, which is a good indicator that ebooks are taking a real slice of the market.

PS: If your kids have cellphones or iPods, they probably have ereaders already - I read practically everything on my phone these days. I wouldn't look for kids to be toting around Kindles much; I think more likely they will want more multipurpose devices like smartphones and tablet PCs. The install base isn't quite there yet because that stuff is still a bit expensive, but the minimum you really need for reading books is a screen the size of an iPhone - a lot of the new Android handsets will be perfectly adequate, and cheaper too.

CheG
03-09-2011, 03:57 AM
Well, all this talk of e-book MG and such got me curious so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and bought 3 MG books for my Kindle cold! Wow!

They are all $.99 books and come with good reviews. I'm sort of going to track my progress on my blog for anyone interested (points to siggie it's the Vow of the Pantser link).

Sydewinder
03-09-2011, 04:27 AM
I think the only people who buy MG ebooks are adults. Not many 8-12 year olds with ereaders.

CheG
03-09-2011, 05:00 AM
Sort of. If you read the Amazon reviews adults are buying the books not just for themselvess but for their children who they apparently lend their Kindles too their kids.

And if someone is buying it who cares who it is?

MartinD
03-10-2011, 04:14 AM
I think the only people who buy MG ebooks are adults. Not many 8-12 year olds with ereaders.

You're right. But I'm positive that will change and soon.

eward
03-11-2011, 11:07 PM
Sort of. If you read the Amazon reviews adults are buying the books not just for themselvess but for their children who they apparently lend their Kindles too their kids.

Yes, my mom got a Kindle, and my little sisters (17, 13 & 13) use it nearly as much as she does. They like having physical copies of their favorites (like Cassandra Clare's series) but others, they buy on Kindle.

LMILLER111
03-18-2011, 02:17 AM
You're right. But I'm positive that will change and soon.


For YA, maybe. For MG? I don't think so. I don't think eBooks will ever be a good idea for MG or for picture books. In fact, there aren't many MG books available in eBook, from what I've seen.

Good luck all the same.

CheG
03-18-2011, 02:44 AM
For YA, maybe. For MG? I don't think so. I don't think eBooks will ever be a good idea for MG or for picture books. In fact, there aren't many MG books available in eBook, from what I've seen.

Good luck all the same.

Technology changes to quickly to make such a blanket statement. Higher resolution e-paper screens are no doubt on the horizon and well as the ability to do color without having a backlit LCD. We just don't know.

sambgood
03-19-2011, 05:54 AM
I don't think eBooks will ever be a good idea for MG or for picture books. In fact, there aren't many MG books available in eBook, from what I've seen.

Whether or not eBooks are a good idea for picture books, the Nook Color is trying to tap into that market.

From the B&N Nook website:


NOOK Kids introduces a premier and growing collection (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/childrens-ebooks-kids-ereaders-ebooks-digital-animated/379002530/?cds2Pid=35665&linkid=1689238) of popular children's picture books including beloved classics and new favorites. Now kids have a whole new way to explore their favorite stories, in full-color, as they interact with the words and pictures. The latest technology for the newest readers turns storytime into family time.According to the website, the kids can "control the story" and "jump into an interactive adventure." There's also a "Read to Me" function which reads the story out loud to young reader. (That reminds me of the interactive "read out loud" books I had growing up. You know the ones where you press a picture button and the Mrs. Pot says something or the cow goes "Moo!")

Personally, I think picture books, or at least early reader books, can be a good idea for eBooks. It's not too far of a leap from the books with buttons right? Plus, I think the "interactive" part appeals to quite a number of folks.... well, the folks that can trust a $200+ device to child.

FranYoakumVeal
03-19-2011, 04:35 PM
My niece (14 at the time) hounded my sister until she got her Nook. Ereaders are like everything else: if the kids want it, the parents will buy it. Kids are generally more comfortable with new technology than their parents. It's really more a matter of marketing. Once Nook, Kindle, et al start marketing to kids, the YA and MG ebook market will explode. IMO

CheG
03-19-2011, 08:47 PM
Well another thing that seems to be popular on Kindle is choose your own adventure style books that have come back into a fashion because of the interactive ability of the Kindle (and Nook too no doubt, I don't know anything about it having opted for a Kindle 3).

I for one would love to write and illustrate some MG adventure books. I loved them when I was a kid!

FranYoakumVeal
03-19-2011, 09:14 PM
My 15 year old niece loves the choose your adventure books (for Nook btw). As technology continues to advance, ereaders will become more interactive.

frandavea
04-08-2011, 04:34 AM
Yeah, Amanda Hocking's YA ebook success has really blown all our predictions out of the water, huh? :)

Yeah, but she is the exeption to the rule, and her books are price way, way below most other YA ebooks.

pattyjansen
04-08-2011, 05:15 AM
I have a MG out in ebook. I've had some sales, but have nothing to compare it with. Adults buy these books for their kids, but then again, that tends to be the case with paper books, too.
I used to read a lot aloud to my kids, and I wrote the book with this in mind (there are some references adults will enjoy). I have no idea who my buyers are, but presume they're adults, since they're the ones with the credit cards.

pezie
04-08-2011, 05:32 AM
::Raising my hand::

I'm an adult who buys YA eBooks. And I pay the high price for them b/c the convenience of buying directly on my Nook outweighs going to the bookstore (or I just want them NOW). I bought 2 today actually.

Now that I think of it, I have purchased a few MG as well (Rick Riordan books).

As a parent, at this point in time, I can't justify the expense of buying an eReader for my preschooler, but if I had an iPad for myself, or a Nook Color (I have the non-color Nook), I could see myself buying children's books for him to read with my assistance. Kids pick up on the touchscreen technology of devices like the iPad in a matter of minutes. A lot of parents I know download apps for their kids and books for them to read. The child isn't technically the buyer or the owner of the device, but the child does get use of it.

COchick
04-08-2011, 06:13 AM
I've bought books for myself and my son on the Kindle.

Amarie
04-08-2011, 04:26 PM
I just received my royalty statement. My MG book was released on September 1st, 2010 and I've only sold 16 copies of it as an ebook compared to several thousand as a hardcover. I'm hoping as more kids get ereaders, the ebook number will rise, but I expect it will take a few years.

sheadakota
04-08-2011, 04:31 PM
I got my 12 year old daughter a kindle for Christmas- she has download a ton of books on it- the money I save compared to buying her all those books in paperback has practically paid for it already.

MartinD
04-10-2011, 12:08 AM
Yeah, but she is the exeption to the rule, and her books are price way, way below most other YA ebooks.

D.M., most of Hocking's work goes for $2.99. Your Killer Cows (on Fictionwise) is about the same price.