Digital Royalties

Ebooks have become a substantial profit-maker for heritage publishers, Some houses are reporting that over 30% of their revenue comes from ebooks. With the lower costs, many people assume digital is a big area where publishers can thrive.

Authors have been confused about what they’re likely to see as their cut of the benefits of lower costs. While many indie authors find that they get about 70% of the price, heritage publishers are still holding the line at 25% for authors. This includes works they are looking to republish under new contracts that include digital rights for works that came out before digital was part of the marketing plan.

Many people don’t feel this is right. But comparisons to indie authors’ royalty rates don’t account for the fact that the indies have to finance all the marketing themselves. For first-time authors, receiving a contract from a traditional house (even a very small one) can still be the easiest and most cost-effective method of building their fan base.

The dynamics change for those who have already created indie success or who have built a fan base after several traditionally published novels. The case can be made that the publisher has little more to invest that laying out the ebook and distributing it…which can be done for under $1K total by freelancers. Heritage publishers still have a network of existing contacts that are the buyers of books. Foreign rights, too, can be sold more easily through a traditional house.

When deciding which way to go, consider where you are in your career as an author. It could make a big difference to your success down the road.

Total Book Sales Rose in 2013

Recently I posted on the rise of publishing figures in 2012. Now we have the latest on 2013. Overall, publishing rose 1% that year. Not stellar but at least things continue to inch forward.

And considering that the total figures equal $15.05 billion in sales for just over 1,200 publishers, those figures are quite good indeed.

Kids as Book Reviewers

One of the best ideas to come about these days is turning kids into book reviewers. BiblioNasium is a growing digital network that has long supported literacy and independent reading among children. Their new platform allows kids to post advanced book reviews.

These are the readers of today, and the adult readers of tomorrow. Anything that supports them and makes them feel more engaged will help authors and publishers in the long run.

Ensure Quality in Your Ebooks

Keep these points in mind when you’re planning to indie publish a book:

–Anything except text adds a level of complexity that isn’t easily managed in ebooks. You might need a designer to help you lay out the interior if you have pictures, graphics or tables. Writer’s Resource can refer you to top-quality individuals for this.

–Links should be easy to navigate. This means if you link back to an earlier section, be sure to provide a link that returns readers to the place where they left off. Readers don’t want to have to use the “go to” feature to find the page they were reading.

–Publishers might spend thousands of dollars making sure the interior layout works well for readers. Pay attention to this component. An experience that allows readers to sink into the content without the distraction of setup flaws will enhance your career.

Quality counts. Give your readers what they want!