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Old 03-08-2009, 04:05 PM   #1
giddion
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Question new eRetailor / pub looking for advice

OK, background to start with in case you haven't caught me in other threads.

I'm a professional web developer, I work for a college and I own my own business as well. I am familiar with ebooks and have done some work with the publishing tools for each format. I'm a supporter of the technology and want to encourage it's adoption.

I have a business client that has been in online retail for over a decade, and in the catalog of products he sells there are a small number of books. For the books he sells he has a very close working relationship with the authors. Business has been slow for him the last year or so, as it has been for many retailers, and he's been looking for new products and new ways to make a profit.

I pointed out to him that ebooks are a growing business and I suggested that his established online presence coupled with his relationship those authors might be an untapped opportunity.

So my client has spoken to two of the authors, and they are interested in getting some of their books out on the market in ebook format. Additional they have books that are either no longer under contract with a publisher and/or books that have never been picked up by a publisher.

I've also convinced my client that's customers are happier buying DRM free products and that selling DRM free products reduces the potential customer service over head as people look to moved purchased content from one device to another as they purchase new devices.

So things I'm looking for advice on, with the assumption that I'm generating the ebook files:

What percentages of the retail sale should each party expect?

If I/we format and generate the ebook and the author wants to sell the book through another retailer should their be a service fee for the generated book or should that retailer get a smaller cut and a share go to me/us as essentially the publisher?

In this model who handles litigation for IP issues? I mean if someone takes a copy of a book and starts selling it on their website who takes care of that?

And in general if anyone has gone down this road already and can provide helpful advice I'd like to hear it.

Oh - not sure if this is the correct thread - I'm not the author of the content so if it should be somewhere else I apologize.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
David J. Guyton
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This is hard to answer as there doesn't seem to be a set business model for the industry. Currently I only deal with Amazon, and their model is to allow me to set my own price, and I collect 35% no matter what the price is (although I am limited to 99 cents to $200)

35% is WAY more than an author gets for paperback books through a real publisher. I think that's from 5-15%.

Self published authors in paperback can collect more, but the price of their book is already higher than once from the big publishers, so it's silly to charge too much.....no one buys a book for $25 from an unknown author.

As far as generating the ebook, most authors can do this themselves in a matter of minutes. The main problem I hear about is authors who have signed on with a POD publisher, and agreed not to publish the book anywhere else, meaning they have to pay their publisher to create, for instance, a Kindle version. This is nothing more than saving the document as an HTML file in most cases, but authors pay $50-$100 to have this done.

I don't know if any of this helps but I hope it does.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:55 AM   #3
Douglas Rhodes
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Most publishers pay somewhere between 30 and 40% royalties to authors on their ebooks (I get 40%). Seeing as the initial investment on the part of the publisher is significantly less than with a print book, and seeing as there is no cost after the initial outlay, it's a pretty sweet deal all the way around.

The publisher would handle the litigation for IP infringement while the work was under contract with them. If their is no exclusivity contract then the author would handle it.

The author shouldn't be offering the book for sale on their own, that would violate the relationship between them and their publisher. The publisher should establish accounts with all the major online retailers of ebooks and distribute the books themselves. (As a side note, most online retailers pay slowly).

I hope that helped, I would be glad to provide any other information that you may need.
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