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Old 09-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #196
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Can I ask a question. what percent of e-book sales do you guys think the author gets for royalties? I am curious to see what you think.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:11 PM   #197
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I'll give 2 answers - what do I think they *should* get, and what do I think they actually get...

I think they should get at least 50% of the money that reaches the publisher. I'll admit that it's an arbitrary figure, but it reflects that it's likely to only come out after HB and PB editions, and has very little in the way of production costs - so there's only marketing and administration to worry about... (I won't pretend to understand the economics of how much of what I pay for something reaches the Publisher).

What do I think they actually get? I'd imagine it's as low as the publisher can gouge them for... (Sorry - I'm a cynic when it comes to commercial organisations, as they're mandated to maximise return for shareholders). So probably more like 5-10%...
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:45 PM   #198
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On the other hand it absolutely cannot be less than paperback editions. If it is then publishers rip off the authors and they(authors) should reconsider who to deal with.
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:34 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Zedd View Post
Can I ask a question. what percent of e-book sales do you guys think the author gets for royalties? I am curious to see what you think.
I can answer that question as far as eBook sales at Baen. When I buy a book as part of a WebScriptions bundle (6-8 books for $15; royalties split 50% on a per-book basis and 50% prorated by paper sales of the books in the bundle), the author gets more than if I bought the book in paperback, but rather less than if I purchased a hardcover. When I buy a book at the one-off price (single book for $6), the author gets quite a bit more than if I bought a paperback in the store, but not quite as much as if I purchased a hardcover in the store.

I rather suspect that the numbers are worse (maybe even much worse) for books from other publishers purchased through other outlets.

Xenophon

P.S. I have no inside knowledge at Baen. The above information was gleaned from various public statements by Baen authors, Jim Baen (when he was alive), and Toni Weisskopf (now Publisher at Baen).
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:10 PM   #200
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Unlike its major competitors, the house pays its authors a handsome 20% in royalties for its eARCS (electronic Advance Reader Copies) and individual e-book sales.
http://baens-universe.com/articles/ed2
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...where a Baen title, typically, will pay electronic royalties that are somewhere in the range of five percent or more, measured against paper royalties.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:10 PM   #201
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See one of you thinks they should get 50%, but only get like 10.

One says baen gives authors 50%, yet another has an article that says the get a handsome 20%. BTW 20% sucks and is ot handsome at all.

I like this quote from the first article:

Quote:
Baen Books instituted the policy of buying all electronic rights in contracts with its new authors. Unlike its major competitors, the house pays its authors a handsome 20% in royalties for its eARCS
What is should say, is all publishers will not publish an authors books any longer unless they sell them the e-book rights too.

Also you see how most places give less then 20%.

So if you are an authot who owns the e-books rights to you older works and your publisher wants to put them out and says you can only have 10-20%. Would you do it?

Liek in the one example is it worth it for the extra 84 bucks the author made?
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:11 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by astra View Post
On the other hand it absolutely cannot be less than paperback editions. If it is then publishers rip off the authors and they(authors) should reconsider who to deal with.


ahhh....but what if all publishers did the same thing?

Where do you go?
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:33 PM   #203
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ahhh....but what if all publishers did the same thing?

Where do you go?
You go into business for yourself if you have the resources for it, or with fellow authors to pool resources and experiences, or form a union of authors to give you some collective bargaining power...
I think, on balance, that publishers need authors more than authors need publishers - especially with the internet broadening the ability of the creators of material to reach their audiences with fewer intermediaries... We're probably not quite there yet - but I'm pretty sure we'd get there more quickly if most authors started self-publishing, publishing only in e-book format or doing some serious collective bargaining with publishers...
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:48 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Zedd View Post
<snip>

What is should say, is all publishers will not publish an authors books any longer unless they sell them the e-book rights too.

Also you see how most places give less then 20%.

So if you are an authot who owns the e-books rights to you older works and your publisher wants to put them out and says you can only have 10-20%. Would you do it?

Liek in the one example is it worth it for the extra 84 bucks the author made?
Well, in this event, as an author, I'd self-publish the e-books, especially if I were already an established name... (I appreciate the ramifications of that would need to be considered - but ultimately bullying - commercial, political or any other sort should not be tolerated...)

Publishers need to be reminded that they are, in essence, little more than a distributor of other people's creations - and their slice of the pie, so to speak - should reflect that.. After all, people read books by a particular author, or a particular genre, or a particular subject. While I agree that marketing is pretty important these days, I suspect an advertising agency doesn't generally get to lay claim to 90% of the income for the products they market....

I do appreciate that many publishers offer other services as part of the package - help with editing the work etc - but perhaps it's time to start unbundling these services to show where value is really being added, and where it's not...
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:56 PM   #205
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Here is a response directly from Terry.

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I understand the trepidation of starting a new “series.” I have always been wary because I, too, hate cliff-hangers and I hate being put in the position of having to get the next book, and then the next, in order to find out how events turn out. This has always been a primary concern and helped form my own approach to writing my own series. I wanted to do something different. In fact the first book, especially, was meant to stand alone and not be the typical hook to pull people into a protracted series. I have always wanted my readers to trust that I don’t play those kinds of games or tricks just to sell the next book. I don’t like feeling that way myself and I don’t want to do to my readers what I don’t like done to me. This is at the core of why my books are self-contained novels. Writing a series in this manner is more difficult, but I also found it to be a fun challenge to do it this way.

WIZARD’S FIRST RULE may start the Sword of Truth series and it does have a place in the eventual over-arching story of that series, but it is first and foremost a novel that stands alone. It has a complete plot with a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you reach the end of this first book there is no cliff-hanger, no trickery to try to get you to read the next book. It has a satisfying and complete ending. (The only exception to my series style of independent novels is that I felt it was necessary to create an epic, sweeping conclusion to the whole series and that conclusion was too large to fit into a single book so the end story is a trilogy, but the rest of the books in the series, especially the first, are stand alone novels.)

I want readers to chose to read following books because they had a good time and they like my style of story, not because they feel trapped. It’s as simple as that. If you read WIZARD’S FIRST RULE you will be reading a novel, period. The rest of the books are more or less the same way. They are a continuation of the lives of the characters, but much like the first book each is a conflict unto itself and has a conclusion to that conflict.

As for the other books in the series becoming available as e-books, it is my desire to have them all available in this format. However, I am not in control of all of those rights, so when and if that will happen I can’t say, but I can say that I want it to happen and if the first book is successful in this format It will help toward that end.

In the meantime, WIZARD’S FIRST RULE is a wonderful story that stands on its own. You need not fear being sucked into something and left hanging. I hope you will give the book a try. I believe you will discover some of the most remarkable and interesting characters you have ever encountered and you will be happy to have taken the journey.

All best wishes,

Terry
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:34 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Zedd View Post
BTW 20% sucks and is ot handsome at all...

So if you are an authot who owns the e-books rights to you older works and your publisher wants to put them out and says you can only have 10-20%. Would you do it?
Like a shot. 20% is a higher royalty percentage than most authors have ever seen on paper books.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:09 AM   #207
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Like a shot. 20% is a higher royalty percentage than most authors have ever seen on paper books.
1) no one but baen authors get 20%

2) there is no overhead on e-books like there is paperbacks. No physical book, not shipping costs, ext.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:04 AM   #208
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See one of you thinks they should get 50%, but only get like 10.

One says baen gives authors 50%, yet another has an article that says the get a handsome 20%. BTW 20% sucks and is ot handsome at all.
<<SNIP>>
Zedd... perhaps I was unclear. I was attempting to describe the method Baen uses to split up the royalties for eBook bundles. They divide the royalty pot from a multi-author multi-title bundle in half. One half of the pot is split among the books by number of titles in the bundle. The other half is split among the books pro-rated by paper sales in that royalty period. The idea is to give all authors a fair cut while still letting the guy with the best-seller out-earn the guy whose book died on arrival. Those halves are where the 50% came from. I guess it'd have been more clear if I had written "50% of the royalty pot" the first time around.

I'm not up on the royalties Baen pays as a percentage of selling price, though. That's why I gave the qualitative comparisons with what the author would get if I bought paper in the bookstore.

And, looking at it from a different angle, David Drake wrote a few years ago that Baen was the only house whose payment to him for electronic sales (in any single 6-month royalty period) had exceeded the cost of buying himself lunch. That was a few years ago, so things may have changed.

For another qualitative (and admittedly anecdotal) data point: Lois McMaster Bujold characterized her royalties from Baen as (paraphrasing now): Royalties on paper sales are mortgage money; royalties on e-Sales are car-payment money. Nobody else's esales had (then) exceeded "pizza money."

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Old 09-28-2008, 11:21 AM   #209
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For another qualitative (and admittedly anecdotal) data point: Lois McMaster Bujold characterized her royalties from Baen as (paraphrasing now): Royalties on paper sales are mortgage money; royalties on e-Sales are car-payment money. Nobody else's esales had (then) exceeded "pizza money."

Xenophon
LOL, Pizza money! and you guys wonder why there are not more e-books!
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:23 AM   #210
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LOL, Pizza money! and you guys wonder why there are not more e-books!
Yeah! But notice that we have an existence proof that it is possible to turn that "pizza money" level of sales into "car-payment money" through a simple change of policy! That is, lots of formats, no DRM, reasonable (e.g. pretty low) pricing, and respect for the customer.

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