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Old 04-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
Fabe
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Apple Aggregator Policies & Methods

I am trying to select an Apple iBookstore Aggregator for my ebooks. Currently my books are on Amazon, but I would also like to have them available in Apple's iBookstore.

A $500 minimum monthly remittance threshold appears common among the aggregators. While I wish my books sold that much per month, they do not. E-books, which sell for much less, generate less monthly income. Amazon's threshold is $20 per month.

Why can Amazon do this for $20 and long established book distributors cannot? I attribute this to old vs. new accounting procedures. Amazon is a highly computerized company creating transactions for the electronic age. The old book distributors are mentally still in the typewriter/mail era, despite their investment in computers.

The old book distributors policy of remittance 75 days after the last day of the month in which the purchase takes place, harkens back to the stagecoach era. Imagine this: you sell an e-book on January 1. Your remittance will be mailed to you on April 15. If your January total was less than $500, there will be no check at all.

Why put up with this hassle at all? Why not just stay with Amazon? Two reasons: first, Amazon pays 35% & Apple pays 60%; second, the Apple iBookstore will generate a large and loyal user base because of the iPad. I want my work easily available to that group.

Do you think the book distributor industry will change for the sake of the writing public? What experiences have you had along these lines?

I shall continue looking into my options. - Fabe
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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So Apple won't accept the ebooks directly? Huh.

I think you're probably right about old vs new. But it's probably not the procedures so much as its the mentality. As I understand it, the payment procedure is automated (or at least it should be). The actual cost of processing a payment is negligible (which is why Amazon set it so low).

I'd guess that the other companies still think of the cost as being the same as when it was done by hand. That was expensive when compared to doing it by computer.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
So Apple won't accept the ebooks directly? Huh.

I'd guess that the other companies still think of the cost as being the same as when it was done by hand. That was expensive when compared to doing it by computer.
No, Apple is working through a group of distributors (aggregators in their lingo). It's a smart way for them to begin this whole iBookstore project. The bottleneck is the business model of the distributors as mentioned above. And it's true, they have no clue how to utilize computers. They've made a big investment, but are still doing old fashioned business.

Here's an easy scenario to imagine - it's all electronic.
• An order comes in for an ebook.
• Electronic payment is made from buyers bank account to distributors account.
• An ebook is downloaded to buyer.
• Distributor's files are updated.
• Author's file is updated. Author is credited with a sale.
• Funds are transfered to Author's account.
• End of transaction.
Say, 30 seconds to be generous. The distributor gets 10%. A good half a minute's work. - Fabe

##

A follow up - To be fair, these distributors are in between the sales agent - Apple - ad the author. This may take a minute and a half.

Last edited by Fabe; 04-19-2010 at 06:05 PM. Reason: I grew smarter in the interim.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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I may create a spreadsheet comparing the aggregators, if only to keep them straight in my head. One charges a $250 up front fee, another $500, and a third zero. Let me see, if I get 30% of $4.99 on every sale and I pay $500 up front to have my 200K file on a distributor's computer, I will make a profit after how many sales? Pie r square, carry the one, throw out the score from the East German judge, and the answer is: 334.
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