Apr 1 2010
First, if you haven’t noticed, Dear Author and Smart Bitches have a new joint venture called ToBeRead LLC. Our first feature is a review opportunity. It’s a way for authors to increase their visibility. I urge you to check out our Etsy store. Please don’t be afraid to contact us for a custom package.
A somewhat new blog, The Raving Readers, gave me a heads up that they are hosting contests and giveaways over at their webspace. Currently they are giving away three copies of Jessica Anderson’s Demonkeepers. Check it out.
Second, here is what we know about the state of ebooks today. The Agency 5 pricing structure has gone into effect starting today. The Agency 5 are as follows:
- Hachette (Orbit, Grand Central, Forever. Authors like Gail Carriger, Larissa Ione)
- Penguin (Berkley, Signet, NAL. Authors like Nalini Singh, JR Ward, Nora Roberts)
- HarperCollins (Avon. Authors like Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander)
- Simon&Schuster (Pocket. Authors like Kresley Cole, Jill Myles)
- Macmillan (St Martin’s Press, Tor. Authors like Jennifer Crusie, Christine Warren)
Books from these authors are not available for sale at almost every retailer. Amazon struck deals with HC, and S&S and those books will be available at Amazon in the Kindle format. Books from Macmialln, Penguin and Hachette are currently unavailable for sale in digital format at Amazon, Fictionwise, Books on Board, and others. Penguin and Amazon have not come to an agreement. In an email to authors and agents, Penguin has this to say:
Your newly released eBook is currently not available on Amazon, but all of your eBooks released prior to April 1st are still for sale on their site. We want to also assure you that all of your books are available through other e-tailers and at bricks and mortar stores everywhere–from the large chains to the clubs to the independents and on their respective websites. Also, all of your eBooks are available through Barnes and Noble.com, Sony, Kobo, eBooks.com, reader applications on the iPhone and soon on the iBookstore for the iPad. Additionally, we’re working with our digital delivery partners (Ingram, Overdrive, and Baker & Taylor) to make your eBooks even more widely available.
Books from Apple can only be purchased through the iBooks App and that App is available ONLY for the iPad. iBooks cannot be purchased through the iTunes store and cannot be read on any other device, not even a Mac or an iPhone or iTouch. Limitations on where an ebook is for sale will remain in place until new deals can be struck. Will these things change? Yes, I believe so, but in the short run, April authors are missing out on sales and readers are missing out on April author releases.
Books from Random House, Harlequin, Kensington, Dorchester, and the epublishers like Samhain, Drollerie Press, Liquid Silver, Loose Id, are all generally available at etailers. Whether those books will be subject to loyalty programs or discounts is on an etailer by etailer basis.
The state of ebooks is in real flux. (In fact, by the time this post goes live, things may have changed). The good news is that there will be plenty of good content at decent prices for readers to go to. The bad news is that some books might not be available to you or they may be available to you in higher prices.
Speaking of the iBook App that will only be available to a limited number of users, it doesn’t even have the ability for a reader to take notes. This is incredibly lame.
Less than 24 hours before it was due to repay a $42.5 million loan to its largest shareholder, Borders Group has arranged new financing that will allow it to pay back the loan and also give it an extra three years on its credit agreement that was set to mature in July 2011.
Nathan Bransford talks about coop and whether publishers have the ability to “make” an author.
The key here is that publishers make co-op nominations. It’s up to booksellers to decide which promos to accept, and they do that based on their best guesses as well.
Michael, one of the agents over at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, blogged about the Apple pricing scheme. He’s not convinced its the best deal for authors given that authors will be losing out on every sale.
Assuming the same $25 price list price for the ebook (which is pretty standard) and same 25% royalty for electronic books, the author receives a royalty of $3.13. (The question of why they would receive less than they do on the hardcover in this situation could be a blog post in itself.) If ebooks eventually make up 50% of the market (a number I believe is possible), that royalty arrangement will radically alter author compensation. That, obviously, concerns me. I'd really like to hear more directly and transparently from publishers on this issue.