From author Kaz Augustin:
An interesting email landed in my Inbox earlier this week and, as it was addressed to me, I think I’m safe to use my own discretion and share it with you. The email had to do with pricing changes. I am told:
Last fall, we told you that we were undertaking the task of looking at our pricing and changing backlist pricing where appropriate. After several months of working on this…and getting approvals from our leadership team, we’ve finalized all changes and will be rolling them out in April and July.
…[W]e are no longer pricing based on word count, but utilizing that as only one of the factors.
As Jon Stewart says, chin on palm: Oh, do tell!
. . . .
Please note that, while Marketing, Retail, Sales and Editorial were included in these oh! so very important decisions, nothing was mentioned about the poor Author who, it appears, is only a footnote in this orgy of revenue reorganisation. You will also note “the new addition of the $1.99 price” point.Ouch! $1.99? Them’s scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel words! Not so bad for short stories and novellas but I would hate to be an author with a print-viable novel (55K words and above) forced to that price point.
. . . .
Let’s look at DRYNN by Steve Vera. It’s a whopping 91,000 words. (Congratulations Steve. No, I really mean that. It takes a lot of effort and ability to keep a novel humming for that length and, having done something similar after which I collapsed in exhaustion, I salute you.) Its price? Does $5.99 sound fair? It does to me. No, would you believe, $2.69? For 91,000 words. Not self-published.
Is Carina serious? In my last statement from Harlequin (April to June 2012), I received $27.21 on the sale of 29 books. That works out to an average of $0.94 per book on a cover price of $5.99.
. . . .
Remember, 94 cents on six dollars. If the price of my book drops by two-thirds (as I’ve been informed it will), then I can only expect about $0.31 per copy on future statements.
. . . .
For a 91,000 word novel, the author will be getting approximately 16% of the cover price. This is due to various Harlequin shenanigans involving their mother company in Switzerland “selling” rights to their own companies in other countries and thus stiffing authors of at least half of their royalties, then on-selling to etailers who take 50%, etc. So, after all this financial bait-and-switching is done, the average royalty is around 16% (An auditor! An auditor! My royalties for an auditor!) and I think I’m being generous here.
So, on a $2.99 digitally-released 91,000-word novel, the author will be getting 48 cents in royalties.
. . . .
Carina Press has professional editors, so do I. Carina Press has a Twitter account, so do I. Carina Press has a Facebook account…well, I don’t have one because I detest Facebook. Carina Press has a website, so do I. Carina Press sells through various etailer outlets, so do I. In fact, Carina Press does bugger all more than I do all on my lonesome (almost three years later and I’m still amazed at what a skinflint organisation Carina Press is on the marketing front) and I’m still making a multiple of the figure a powerhouse like them can come up with.
Link to the rest at Fusion Feuilletons