07/12 eBooks Royalties article in BookBrunch

Posted on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 12:58

See our article in the 3rd July 2012 edition of BookBrunch regarding the complexities today’s publishers face with regard to the calculation and payment of royalties on eBook sales. http://www.bookbrunch.co.uk/pid/article_free/a_right_royal_mess

Feedback from ALAA:

“Thanks for your great article. It has long been the belief of the Australian Literary Agents Association that this is the real problem facing writers in relation to ebook publishing. Thank goodness someone else is now talking about it.

There are a few main issues for us associated with royalty payments. The main one is a loss of transparency as publishers grapple with what you describe below. Another is that other industries have coped with this change and are paying people based on royalty model and yet the publishing companies have never felt the need to look at who, what and how they do this. Both the music industry and the film industry have dealt with some of the same problems. There is also the issue of ‘net receipts’ which in fact seem to cause many of the problems publishers are facing. If publishers were to move to a split between author and publisher at the etail level on gross it would require a much simpler accounting. It is the clearest and most straightforward way of reporting. Finally there is the problem of the contracts the publishers are signing with the etailers which (apparently) limit what information they can pass on to authors. For many of us at ALAA ebook royalty payment efficiencies are the main issue facing publishers but they do need to face it as you say.

Thanks again for the piece.”

Feedback from an author:

“Thank you Andy for some very insightful information. It seems that like the Polaroid camera some years ago, the publishing industry did not see the digital age coming down the road. I know I am preaching to the choir when I say that my book is now on Amazon and there were three people involved in getting it there, my editor, whom I paid per chapter, The cover design company, and me. I now get readers reviews from around the world and a royalty check every month, instead of waiting for some person in a large publishing house that I never met making a decision on the future of my work.
Thank you again!”