From Jane Friedman:
Do you remember the digital publishing startups Vook? Booklr? Byliner?
All of these services/companies have been folded into an ebook distribution service known as Pronoun, which was launched in fall 2015 and later acquired by Big Five publisher Macmillan.
Pronoun works with independent authors to distribute and sell ebooks to the five major online retailers: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. Pronoun charges authors nothing upfront, and doesn’t take a cut of ebook sales either.
Let’s restate that, since it’s so remarkable: Authors are paid 100 percent net on ebook sales (after the retailer takes their cut), and authors pay no fees to Pronoun.
Today, Pronoun is announcing some significant changes to their terms, including:
- 70% royalty on ebooks sold through Amazon when the price is below $2.99 (standard is 35% if you sell direct to Amazon via KDP)
- 65% royalty on ebooks sold through Amazon when the price is beyond $9.99 (again, the standard is 35% if you sell direct to Amazon via KDP)
- The ability to make ebooks free at any time through Amazon without being exclusive (not possible via KDP)
- No requirement to be “all in” with Pronoun; you can use them to distribute to just one retailer, several, or all. It’s up to you.
Recently, I asked Justin Renard, Pronoun’s head of marketing, a few questions about Pronoun’s services for authors.
As far as I know, Pronoun is the only distributor open to indie authors that can promise a 70% cut on Amazon sales on prices below $2.99 or 65% at price points beyond $9.99. Do you welcome authors who are already selling their ebooks through Amazon KDP to move their books over to Pronoun to take advantage? How long does it take you to get a book available for sale on Amazon once someone sets up their account and uploads their files?
Justin Renard: Our door is open to all authors who are excited by what Pronoun has to offer, and with our new terms, we offer the flexibility for authors to decide what publishing strategy makes the most sense for their books. 70% sales on books priced below $2.99 will be very appealing to authors who rely on ebook price promotion tools to market their books.
We’ve tried to create a frustration-free publishing experience—from uploading and producing a cover, to preparing a book for success on retail sites. Once you press publish it usually takes between 2 hours and 48 hours for your book to appear on all the retailers we serve.
Right now, Amazon KDP offers authors immediate sales data about their ebooks, as well as total control over all the book information and metadata. Does Pronoun match all that functionality in its dashboard for authors?
We do offer total control over all the book information and metadata pushed out to retailers, the difference being is that on Pronoun, you can push the updates out to all retailers at once. Our sales reporting updates daily from all retailers.
Copies sold, total sales, and estimated earnings are some of the sales information we report from all retailers. We also automatically record major events like go-live dates and metadata changes so authors can see the impact of their work on their sales. Authors can also add their own milestones for promotional activities or any offline marketing.
Link to the rest at Jane Friedman and thanks to Ryan for the tip.