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Ten Daring Predictions for 2012 from the Indie Author Trenches

27 December 2011

From author Bob Mayer:

2. Slow will also kill you.  I’d forgotten that “I’ll get back to you next week” in traditional publishing equals “I might get back to you in a few months, but likely never” in the real world.  That’s not going to cut it in the electronic age.  Five years ago, when describing publishing, I’d use two terms:  SLOW and TECHNOPHOBIC.  Both are killers today.  And they’re still damn slow. Tick-tock says the reaper.

. . . .

7. Pricing.  While I believe in the value of the .99 eBook for getting readers, and $2.99 is a nice price for an indie, I think the real value of a novel has to be around $4.99 in eBook format.  As a consultant, I’ve learned people don’t value what they get for free or for cheap.  I don’t see NY lowering it’s prices much except that they will start to see the eBook as replacing the mass market paperback and price accordingly as they cut back on the bloated print overhead they no longer need.

8. Royalty rates.  Going back to #2 above, the 25% rate is a no go.  Not with 70% lurking for indie publishing.  I think 50% of gross is fair.  Which brings up the dangerous term “net”.  Who the hell determines that?  Publishers can play games all they want with contracts and terms, but sooner or later someone is going to turn over all three of the cups instead of just one and find out they’re getting conned.  I see lawsuits pending over publisher accounting for eBooks.

Link to the rest at Write It Forward

Disruptive Innovation, Ebooks, Self-Publishing

3 Comments to “Ten Daring Predictions for 2012 from the Indie Author Trenches”

  1. The point about #8 is that Amazon give 70% for doing nothing except act as the sales platform, plus whatever promotion they throw in.

    That’s hardly comparable to a trad publisher taking a manuscript that may be in need of substantive editing, providing all the services from edit to cover (and back cover, and spine), from format to print and distribution across multiple channels, and some limited marketing, plus any advance they may throw in.

    No question trad pub royalty rates are lousy, but it’s unreasonable to compare the publisher who takes a book from manuscript to finished product, with Amazon who are not, their own imprints aside, publishing at all, just distributing to a restricted marketplace.

    Also important to bear in mind Amazon’s much-vaunted 70% only applies to the more expensive sales, and only in the Kindle countries, not elsewhere around the world, where 35% is returned.

    • Yeah, SURE publishers take manuscripts in need of substantive editing, when hell freezes over, and SURE those services are worth 75% of the royalties.

      *cough* Now I’ll go buy that bridge in NY.

      • The crucial word was maybe.

        We’ve turned down numerous offers from both agents and trad publishers precisely because they insisted on trying to rewrite our book for us, before finding a sensible French publisher that left the script intact.

        As for the trads taking 75%, Amazon take 65% on ebooks priced at $2.98 and under for doing far, far less.

        Further Amazon only pays out 35% itself when it does actually publish, and then it selects books where the author has already done all the work and proven the market.

        Comparing Amazon and trad publishers is like comparing apples and oranges.

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