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The Authors Guild: A Mouse Roaring

10 January 2016

From the Managing Director at a small publisher via Medium.com:

It is interesting to watch the Authors Guild take the next vital step in proving itself irrelevant.

“As part of its ongoing effort to raise writers’ income,” reports Publishers Weeklythis first week of January, 2016, “the Authors Guild is sending an open letter to members of the Association of American Publishers. The Guild will begin mailing the letters this week, with the first going to the largest publishing houses; in subsequent weeks the Guild expects to hit the remaining relevant AAP members, said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Guild … . The letter recaps the highlights of the Guild’s Fair Contract Initiative, which the association began at last year’s BookExpo America, and which sets forth the Guild’s contention that if authors are to be adequately compensated for their work, the standard publishing contract needs to be reworked.”

Among the demands of this initiative are 50% of NET proceeds from eBook sales, the return of rights to the author once a publisher stops “supporting” a book (support being vaguely defined), and the discontinuance of non-compete and options clauses which inhibit an author’s freedom to embark on further projects in a timely manner.

. . . .

 The Guild’s simplistic understanding of the publishing economics for eBooks — on which they base their demand for a 50% royalty on NET — has been debunked by more than one industry pundit, perhaps most clearly by my longtime friend and sometime editor Peter Ginna, former publisher and editorial director at Bloomsbury Press. I’ll not repeat what he has already said so eloquently. You’ll find his piece here. Simply stated, eBooks are not cash-cows.

As to the automatic return of rights once a publisher stops “supporting” a book, I’m guessing this might mean once a publisher puts its editions out of print. But here the Guild forgets that nearly all trade publishing contracts (at least those negotiated by agents who are not drunk at the time) have long included language obligating publishers to return rights for out-of-print books to authors upon demand — either that or republish the work. Here the Guild also forgets that in the new digital publishing environment, the eBook edition of a trade book usually never goes “out-of-print” — thus the demand seems moot.

Finally, the fact that non-compete and options clauses inhibit authors’ abilities to bolt off immediately from one publisher to another is completely true. This is the intent of those clauses, and always has been. These clauses protect publishers who don’t want a similar book by the same author competing directly with a front-list title for which they’ve paid a hefty advance. These clauses also protect publishers from having to bid on a follow-up project from an author before seeing what sales they have earned from that author’s current front-list title, and what benefit they’ve derived from not just their royalty guarantee investment in that author, but also their investments in editorial time, publicity, etc.

. . . .

 It must be noted that in terms of real dollars, most authors published by legacy houses wind up making far more than even today’s standard contractual royalty rates on a per-unit-sale basis. Why? Because any agent worth his or her salt negotiates the largest royalty advance possible, and the vast majority of books from legacy publishers never earn-out on those advances.

. . . .

 Get the picture? There’s a hell of a lot of talent out there, boys and girls. Realtalent. Excellent writers. All competing. And all tending to make it a buyer’s market for new and innovative content, save — of course — when it comes to blockbuster “name” authors, whether these be actual writers such as King or mere inarticulate celebrities such as (God help us all) Snooki.

One feels rather through-the-looking-glass as one watches the Authors Guild make demands from this powerless position.

Link to the rest at Medium.com and thanks to SMH for the tip.

Perhaps it’s a good time for PG to remind everyone that he doesn’t necessarily agree with everything he posts on TPV.

Big Publishing, Contracts

53 Comments to “The Authors Guild: A Mouse Roaring”

  1. Agreed PG, they be silly, but you have to admit the title is mostly correct as the publishers take little/no note of AG’s ‘roaring’ — other than to laugh.

  2. Nice and clear: business as usual in publisher land.
    Author concerns don’t matter.
    Reader concerns don’t matter.
    And the Author groups don’t matter.

    At least they got the last one right.

    Take that, Mr Twist.

  3. Yes, there is a hell of a lot of talent out there, and every one of them can make a whole lot more than 50% on retail.

    That’s the reality small publishers (and large ones) just won’t face. It’s an intractable reality.

    The fact is, publishers will still find plenty to publish, but not because authors are powerless and have to take their terms, but because there will always be talentless idiots out there who don’t know better.

    This is the reason contracts are getting worse rather than better: because a publisher’s only shot at catching a quality author these days is because the author is ignorant — better catch them before they know better! Then tie them up and never let them go!

    • It’s not “talentless idiots”. It’s authors with talent who have bought into the idea that it’s too much trouble to keep up the business end of writing. I admit that part is a major pain in the a** and a time-suck. But it’s the part that ultimately saves you a large percentage of your royalty income.

      I am not a delicate flower who is unable to figure out the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry, or hire (at reasonable rates) people to do various jobs for me. While I was writing the first novel in my series, I spent a fair amount of time researching the publishing industry because I’d been out of it for a decade. That’s how I found TPV, among other blogs.

      I strongly urge new writers to read up on the industry via blogs and a few books. Most of what you need to know is freely given in many places. The sidebar here has many other writing blogs.

      Just the thought of giving control of my books to someone else for the next 100 years gives me the willies.

      • I didn’t say all authors who buy into traditional publishing are talentless idiots. I said “There will always be talentless idiots.” Which is absolutely true. There WILL Always be talentless idiots. And publishers will always be able to count on them.

        (I was making a foil for what the article was saying, which is, in essence — there are talented and savvy people out there who will take your place if you don’t behave. I was pointing out that the talented and savvy people will soon all be out of the pool. Not now, but it’s inevitable.)

        It is true, I also meant it as an either/or. There are talented idiots, and talentless smart folks. But I think the pool of talented idiots is shrinking. It takes too long to actually get a publishing contract for most of them not to learn a thing or two from their fellow authors in the meantime.

    • The fact is, publishers will still find plenty to publish, but not because authors are powerless and have to take their terms, but because there will always be talentless idiots out there who don’t know better.

      There will always be very talented authors out there who don’t know better.

      • We could probably do without the name-calling, thanks. I trust I’m neither talentless nor an idiot, having had books in print for 4 decades, with books earning steadily from my long backlist and largely ebook frontlist. I’m also still selling to legacy publishers, mainly to leave myself free to focus on writing new material. Being your own publisher can make higher royalties of course, but at a certain cost I’m not eager to pay. Doesn’t mean I couldn’t; just means I choose not to at this point. I never say never. As I’ve always said, there’s no one way to write – and these days, there’s no one way to publish.

        • Disclosure – I’ve never belonged to the Authors’ Guild, but do belong to the Australian Society of Authors, Romance Writers of Australia and Fellowship of Australian Writers.

        • Again, I didn’t say people who are published by traditional publishing are talentless idiots.

          I said that talentless idiots will always be there … and therefore, publishers will always have fodder, no matter where the talented and savvy people actually go.

          I should point out that I have been a member of SFWA. I am totally in sympathy with the writers trapped in legacy publishing — whether it’s because of old contracts, or ignorance, or simply because that’s where they prefer to be.

          The point I was trying to make (apparently ineptly — proving the idiocy concept extends to comment threads) is that the author of the article is wrong. Authors shouldn’t keep their mouth shut just because there are so many more talented people out there. And publishers don’t have a right to treat authors badly for that reason either. Those highly talented people have a choice.

          Publishing is not “take it or leave it” any more. If people stick with traditional publishing, it’s not because they have to. It’s because they choose too. If a publisher treat them badly enough, they will leave. And when that happens, eventually the only ones left will be the very people he is implying we all are: the not very talented ones, and the suckers.

          • And publishers don’t have a right to treat authors badly for that reason either. Those highly talented people have a choice.

            Of course they have the right. We can observe it everyday.

            The large number of authors submitting to the publishers provides the opportunity for the publishers to exercise their right.

            Nothing will change until the supply to publishers changes.

  4. “Simply stated, eBooks are not cash-cows.” I beg to differ, eBooks are cash cows for publishers. See my blog on Goodreads about this subject https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/9455429-ebook-pricing

    • Now now, he’s completely correct in stating: “eBooks are not cash-cows” — he just left off: “for writers foolish enough to sign away their rights to any publisher with a ‘shaft the writer contract’ waiting just for them.”

      From what I’m seeing and hearing ebooks can be cash cows for indie/self publishers …

      • My cows are quite productive.

        The cash-flow they provide is great, but I would argue that the leverage they provide is just as valuable. That leverage continues to grow as more and more authors find success with self-publishing. The doors that the Big 5 can open that I cannot are shrinking in number every day. Like most things in business, their loss is my gain.

        • Heh, all true.

          And this was “the Managing Director at a small publisher” making fun of AG, you know the bigger publishers think even less of them.

          As others have said, until AG/AU and the others start telling their members to ditch the publishers and go indie, the publishers have nothing to fear from them.

          Heck a big boost would be AG warning their members off of all the ASI/vanity press brands.

        • @ Randell

          “My cows are quite productive.”

          MOOOOOO! 🙂

          (Heh, heh. Gotta go; it’s milking time!) 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • “my cows are quite productive”

          Quote of the day!

  5. “Finally, the fact that non-compete and options clauses inhibit authors’ abilities to bolt off immediately from one publisher to another is completely true. This is the intent of those clauses, and always has been.” Remember the Golden Rule: He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules.
    This is not only applicable to books, but to every product. Watch the Shark Tank and see the rule applied every time. That’s why Indie Publishing is better.

    • For Pete’s sake, no-one is forced to sign these clauses. Negotiate any clauses that don’t work for you. I currently have NO option clauses through my own choice, and always rewrite non-compete clauses to suit myself. Ditto when contracts tried to “own” my characters and backgrounds, I set limits on them. My agent of 22 years is as much manager as agent these days. Even then, I read every clause and we discuss what I want before signing anything. That approach to contracts has kept me writing fulltime for 40 years and I’m far from a dinosaur at that. In fact I’ve recently changed my writing to accommodate screens and devices. In a post about Twitter last week on FB I was the only one of a hundred posters to mention that aspect. So it’s not ignorance at work here; I’ve always taken control of my career and been prepared to walk away rather than sign anything not in my best interests – counselling other writers to have the same attitude.

  6. Remind me, wasn’t the AG one of those groups that fought so hard for Hachette during the Amazon dispute?

    This post only shows the disdain publishers have for writers and author “advocates”.

    What the AG should do is begin telling authors to self publish–don’t even bother submitting to publishers. Help authors to self publish, teach authors how to publish themselves, show authors there is another (and better) way to publish their work.

    • Smart Debut Author

      Any Authors Guild worth a sh!t would be doing exactly that: advising writers to self publish and guiding them through the process. And using that threat to force concessions out of publishers like the arrogant douchebag who penned this sneering article.

      Sadly, I agree with his his basic premise: the AG is totally irrelevant.

      And worse — they are actively harmful to writers.
      Instead of teaching writers they have options and are in control of their careers, these toothless AG beg-letters reinforce the message that writers are subservient and powerless, and that publishers are not only necessary but sovereign powers to be petitioned, hat in hand, for a few more scraps.

      I don’t understand how writers allowed publishing to devolve into such an unprofessional and exploitative joke of an industry.

      Instead of flat-out *owning* the industry built on their labor, most idiotically hand over all of their rights, control, and earnings to a parasitic layer of overreaching middlemen whom writers should instead be hiring and firing at will, based on performance. Then they sit there meekly and allow posturing puppets like the AG to dare presume to speak for them. *rolls eyes*

      Old-school writers who suck up to middlemen have no one but themselves to blame for their plight.

      Gullibility is its own reward. 🙂

      • [quote]

        I don’t understand how writers allowed publishing to devolve into such an unprofessional and exploitative joke of an industry.

        [/quote]

        I can. Once people have limited options, a dream they want to see come true, and a lot of competition for limited spots–they will doanything to get what they want.

        If you look at the current ssituation where indies are desperate to be discovered among the millions of ebooks published, you’ll see actions that can disregard a healthy future in order to get what they want now.

        Corporations use that desire to increase their own power. Once there are no more choices–the corporations exert their power.

        • Can’t really blame writers for deciding to take the only option available at the time. Hard to say ‘No, I’ll just do it all myself if you don’t want to give me a decent contract’ when the big publishers needed an army of salesmen in short-sleeved white shirts and ties driving around the countryside, selling books to gas stations and drug stores.
          You could try to sell your own stuff, but you’d never make money at it.
          Barnes and Noble didn’t really explode onto the scene until the early nineties and, by then, the big houses had a lock on writers. The big houses had no trouble, dictating terms to individual writers who had little in the way of options.

      • @ SDA

        “Gullibility is its own reward.”

        Cruel of you to say so, but absolutely true. 🙂

        (PS, I’m so stealing this!)

  7. Wow. Just wow. The disdain is dripping there.

    If publishers don’t want authors to “bolt” after the first book, then treat them right. I suspect if there is respect, consideration, and proper financial remuneration, authors won’t feel the need to “bolt,” will rather feel loyalty and comfort with their original publisher.

    Maybe AG should pool resources, hire staff, become the ideal publishing house, and all the big names should switch over to be AG authors going forward. Show publishers how to do it right. And this is not even impossible. Didn’t big name actors do that way back when– Fairbanks and Chaplin and etc? United Artists, right? Maybe United Authors’ time has come.

    • Instead, the gold-plated backwards gang set up Authors United to fight the biggest retailer on behalf of their exploiters.

  8. Exactly. Pure disdain there.

    Sure, the AG is a toothless old lapdop making noises.
    And it doesn’t occur to the publishers to question why their loyal lapdog is making whiny noises? Why its showing its gums at this late stage in its senility?

    Instead, it’s “Shut up. You *can* be replaced.”

    Also note that the easiest complaint of all to address, the lack of support for backlist, flew right by them.

    After all, the book is listed in ebook stores in perpetuity; what more support could anybody *possibly* want for their old, stale books? Promotion? New covers? Discounts? Don’t they realize these people are busy promoting their fresh new produce and scoping out smaller publishers to buy out?

    • And it doesn’t occur to the publishers to question why their loyal lapdog is making whiny noises? Why its showing its gums at this late stage in its senility?

      Maybe to keep members paying annual dues?

  9. If eBooks aren’t cash cows why did the big publishers consistently report large profits from them in their year end statements?

    • The article the article in question linked to about why ebooks aren’t cheap had some good points. Kind of.

      The combined sales of all editions must cover the cost of producing the book. Ideally, common costs such as editing, marketing, publisher overhead (salaries, rents, etc), and such would be distributed among the various editions proportional to the unit sales of each edition while unique costs (printing, warehousing, distribution) are born by individual editions. This is not how the traditional publishing industry keeps its books. Common costs are assigned in total to one edition, and that never the ebook.

      Big 5 ebooks are not a cash cow because they need to cover their share of common expenses. (Those expenses are much higher than for indies with lower overhead and fewer people in the chain with their hands out.)

      Big 5 ebooks are a cash cow because their accounting methods do not assign a fair share of common expenses to the ebook edition. Also the Big 5 price ebooks to not compete with the print editions.

      The Big 5 are paranoid about ebooks cannibalizing print sales. Probably unfounded because:
      1) The industries own studies have repeatedly shown the hardback customers will buy hardback even if a paperback is available and paperback customers will wait until the paperback is released. (This does not apply to event books such as Snookie’s latest tell all.) And,
      2) If ebooks are cutting into paperback sales, print fewer paperbacks. A sale is a sale.

      • If a hardback customer will buy a hardback, no matter what, then why can’t they price the ebook way lower. I’ve seen some ebooks near in price to the hardbacks.

        Costs should be considered into the book format, since the remuneration to the reader is not the same. I can resell that hardback or loan it or pass it on as a collectible or use it in art (there is a form of art that uses printed pages). I can frame the cover art (yes, I’ve done this). I can’t do that with an ebook. It only has value to me in reading it and no more.

        • In the last three years I’ve noticed the following trends among the big publishers (chronologically):
          Hardback, paperback, ebook releases staggered.
          Hardback release, then simultaneous paperback and ebook releases with the ebook priced to match the paperback.
          ETA: Hardback and ebook released simultaneously with the ebook priced to match the unreleased paperback and the paperback released later.
          Hardback and ebook released simultaneously with the ebook priced to match the hardback, then the paperback released later and the ebook price (sometimes) dropped to match the paperback.

          Of course, different publishers and imprints do different things. Baen (I think) routinely releases all three editions simultaneously with different prices. Baen also experimented with the Baen Free Library and found it greatly increased sales of its backlist.

          Publishers know exact costs and have pretty good estimates for sales of various editions. They could distribute common costs relative to estimated unit sales and unique costs to the appropriate editions and price each edition so each unit sale creates the same profit regardless of edition. In practice, it would be reasonable for them to extract extra profit from hardbacks (upselling the hardback experience) and ebooks (upselling convenience), but that would still leave the ebook the cheapest of the three. Charge what the market will bear.

          They don’t do this. I don’t know why. There is also slight evidence that they have misjudged what the market will bear for ebooks. By their own figures, Big 5 ebook sales have stayed flat recently while by Amazon figures total ebook sales have increased. They may be protecting their print sales, but if they aren’t making as many sales as they could (of all editions combined) is that good or bad?

          Flat Big 5 ebook sales seem to be borne mainly by their new authors who are experiencing declining ebook sales relative to new indies. New authors are the Big 5’s future. This could be bad for them in ten years or so.

          • Baen doesn’t release all versions at the same time.

            They release hardcover, then about a year later, mass market paperback (sometimes there is a trade paper version, sometimes instead of hardcover, sometimes between the hardcover and paperback.)

            They used to have a flat price for the e-book, but when they started selling on Amazon, they were forced to change their pricing on new e-books, now they are $9.99 when the hardcover is out, $7.99 when a trade paper is released, and $6.99 when the mass market paperback is released.

            Baen has never used DRM and encourages sharing with friends.

            • Yeah, I wasn’t sure if it was Baen that released simultaneously. Someone does.

              As a point of interest, Baen print books XXareXX used to be more expensive than in the US (both list price and actual price) while ebooks are the same price. (Checking Amazon.ca and Amazon.com while writing this, it looks like the most recent titles don’t follow this pattern.)

              Baen seems reader friendly and willing to experiment.

        • Companies price their goods to maximize total profit. Financial accounting and cost accounting can yield different results.

          This can mean a firm will lower prices on one item and raise them on another if the result will generate more profit.

          And allocations? They can easily lead one to make the wrong pricing decisions.

          • Very true, Terry. But lower ebook prices would not necessarily reduce publisher profits. And reduced paperback sales in favour of ebook sales would not necessarily reduce profits if those ebook sales generate greater profit per unit sale even at a lower price.

            Publisher ebook pricing policies seem to be based on protecting print sales, but protecting the unit sales number of a lower profit per unit sale item is not maximizing profits.

            Allocations can easily lead one to a wrong decision, but you cannot not allocate. Costs have to recorded somewhere. Some costs are specific to an edition. Some are specific to a title. Some aren’t associated with any title (office rent and utilities for example) and don’t generate any revenue, but still need to be paid for by revenue generating projects.

            The common policy of pricing the ebook the same as whatever is the cheapest print edition available suggests those publishers pricing that way haven’t considered ebooks as a distinct product with there own associated costs and unique selling points. Bean’s paperback sales seem healthy enough and they usually price their ebooks at around half the paperback list price. (In practice, about 2/3rds the paperback actual sale price.)

            • Higher or lower prices don’t necessarily mean anything. They are simply tactics used to find the profit maximizing mix of prices. Two firms may each move in opposite directions in the price mix, but each can be moving in a direction that increases prices.

              I agree publishers appear to be protecting sales. That is a rational approach depending on the individual publisher’s situation. I think we forget the impact print promotion has on eBook sales. Take away the print, and that takes away the print promotion, and that is a downward pressure on eBook sales.

              Allocations are certainly made. But decisions don’t have to be made based on fully allocated costs. Fully allocated costs often indicate an action will lose money when it will actually increase total profits. Costs specific to an edition are not allocated. They are direct to the edition.

              Rent does indeed have to be paid from revenues. But since rent does not change with an incremental edition, allocating rent to to that edition will likey understate the edition’s contribution to overall profits.

              This stuff is far from easy, and lots of companies get tied up in it. It can be especially corrosive when managers are judged based on fully allocated costs. They have no control over the allocated costs, but are held responsible for them.

              It’s always popcorn time when some guy does a great job on a project, then gets hit with allocations that put him over his funding.

  10. Well, if I were planning to submit to a publisher, I know whose name I’d cross off my list after reading this . . . do these people not realize that the internets is forever when they write these things? Most writers, even the raw newbies, do an internet search these days when they’re looking for a publisher or agent. Back in the days when I was submitting via the traditional route, I remember more than one agent I crossed off my list because of something unwise they’d posted online. Loose lips will sink the ship of tradpub one fine day . . .

  11. C’mon, guys. That 2002 example of his own book was *super* relevant to 2016.

    And only 300,000 books were published in the US (in 2013, the most recent stat I could find and which he appears to use).

    The mouse didn’t roar, but the whale sure did.

  12. If only there was another way of getting my work out there. *ponders deeply*

    • Thanks for the laugh, David.

      • I’m only half-joking!

        Seriously, what is the answer to all of the problems the Authors Guild is (rightly) posing? Do they really expect publishers to, en masse, voluntarily agree to double the e-book royalty rate? Do they think that their strategy of asking them nicely might bear fruit? I’m skeptical.

        But you know what could work? The Authors Guild actually doing its job for a change and educating its members about ALL the options available to them – large publisher, small press, and self-publishing. Educated authors are empowered authors. And if the Authors Guild actually empowered its members instead of infantilising them and encouraging a state of learned helplessness, we might see more of them self-publish, and publishers losing more of their star names, and then the continued loss of that talent then forcing them to improve contract terms.

        They’ll never do it, of course, but wouldn’t it be great for their members if they did? Right now, the Authors Guild offers zero help and advice to any member wishing to self-publish. The terrible partnership with Author Solutions is gone (and airbrushed from history), but the Open Road partnership for backlist titles has yet to open – six months late. And the idea that someone might want to self-publish without a third-party company is obviously too beyond the pale to contemplate – despite the fact that it’s the way virtually every successful self-publisher does it.

        I humbly submit that providing its members with information on how to get their backlist titles out (and maybe, gasp, frontlist) might be a little more useful than yet another white paper that publishers will ignore, which is just a rehash of things authors like Joe Konrath have been saying for the last six years.

        • It would appear that the authors who make up the board of the Guild, ought be making those choices. I think if one looks at the culture that makes up that, including the lawyers who work for the Guild who are able to appear before the Feds… it might bring additional insights. It’s not really the AG, it’s a group of people with names who are mostly authors. And several thousand members who elect them by ballot.

          Regarding ebks for back/mid list: beginning with Sony, years and years ago, at what was then called BEA, the first ‘ebooks’ came out… Say more than 20 years ago or thereabouts. Gonna say by 1992, we were visiting not with publishers, but with studios, for the ebooks of the time were far far more elaborate than pouring words into a format doc. They were driving toward ‘multimedia’ and there were a host of truly talented people making them. All kinds of authors and entre people began calling for midlist and back list to go into the new medium. But for oh about 14 years or so, authors, with the exception of those into the ‘new’ multi’media’ –paid no attention. They went on making more deals with trad publishers until the trad publishers either dropped them on their heads for whatever trumped up reason, or just laconically declined the author’s next book.

          It took quite some time for authors to awaken and even more time for authors to start speaking up and to find an audience for that ‘speaking up.’ In the meantime, one of the greatest barriers isnt the will of authors who have not gone indie [yet or ever] … it is the tourniquet that is on their rights by the pubs on contracts signed in the 60s/70s/80s/90s and at turn of century. Many of the old contracts are just that, made in a different time and place and as someone pointed out upstream in comments, they were ok contracts then given all else in culture and econ and the often huge book tours and fetes and publ and more for the midcentury and later authors. But when the brothers sold RH and big weasels began eating up smaller ones… what and how many authors were treated in ways that helped their work, stopped. Just dead stopped. For consolidation reasons, for ‘rightsizing’ and other blah blah.

  13. OMG! This is the most wonderful piece of comedic fiction I’ve read all year!!!

  14. Wow

  15. His tone was patronizing and obnoxious but he’s right in what he says about publisher’s attitudes towards writers. In fact he is an excellent example of that himself.

    The thing is, publishing, big or small, is a business. No publisher is going to offer any terms ~at all~ that are not to ~their~ financial advantage. Especially not publishers owned by massive media conglomerates who are ready at any time to do away with a part of their company that might not be bringing in a certain amount of profit. Which Wall Steet insists must be larger every year to be considered “performing”. I predict that if there is any way to make contract terms even worse for authors they will do it.

    AG is just trying to prove to their members that they are doing something so they don’t lose any more dues by people dropping their memberships.

    • Which Wall Steet insists must be larger every year to be considered “performing”.

      An expanding economy is necessary to generate employment for an expanding population. We have seen the result of an economy that is expanding at an historically low rate.

      We need that performance.

  16. What I find a bit confusing is how every title I looked at that is put out by New Street Communications is listed as part of KindleUnlimited. They’re also all $2.99 in ebook format, at least of the books I looked at. They’re also apparently not bothering with ebooks via Barnes and Noble or Google Play. Couldn’t find any of the three books I checked in ebook format, though B&N did have them in paper.

    That article was confusing as heck for me to get through, but it sure looks like this publisher — in its operations — is about as pro-Amazon, pro-reader as it is possible to be. They’re certainly wedded to Amazon as a platform over all other options.

    • Interesting.

      But if New Street Communications sales strategy is the same as indies (Amazon exclusive, KU, $2.99) aren’t the author’s making less per ebook than if they’d gone indie? Print revenue per unit sale might be higher as the publisher might be using resources to print much cheaper per copy than POD.

      What development, promotion, and sales resources does this publisher offer authors?

      The publisher might be pro-reader and pro-Amazon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re pro-author. They may be, but I would ask what value do they offer a writer in exchange for taking part of the writer’s earnings?

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