Nov 1 2011
Freebies from Samhain:
- Freebie for month of November: Touching Lace by Anne Rainey | Amazon | nook
- Freebie from November 1 to Nov 14: Carinian’s Seeker by T.J. Michaels | Amazon | nook
Galley Cat reports that a self published author offered a free sample at BN, Amazon discovered this and lowered the price to his book to free. Part of Amazon’s contract is that if it finds a lower price somewhere else, it will lower its own price, even down to free. The author in this case argues that the book was not free, only a greater sample than what was offered at Amazon. Amazon is refusing to pay royalties on the books that were downloaded during the “free” period.
There was a dustup among authors caused by pervasive use of offensive hyperbolic statement by author Barry Eisler and JA Konrath which led to a post by Courtney Milan on why using this type of hyperbolic language is not useful. I’m not going to get into that. I think it’s clear by the comments to Milan’s thread what kind of people we are dealing with. What I thought was interesting was that Eisler’s adoption of house slaves terminology referenced those authors who are worried about the lower of Amazon’s self published and would prefer to be with traditional publishers because of that. (or at least that is the gist I got out of the many thousand word blog post).
Nowhere in the post did Eisler indicate that he thought the Amazon self published royalty would remain the same and this confirms what I have been thinking about for a few weeks. Amazon is low on revenue. If Publishers Marketplace numbers are to be believed, 90% or greater of Amazon’s revenue comes from agency priced books. If self publishing begins to move more product for Amazon, one easy way to increase its revenue is to lower the self publishing royalty from 70% to 35%. The way that Amazon could do this is to institute tiered royalties for Kindle Direct Publishing based on exclusivity. The greater the exclusivity you award Amazon and the higher your royalty is. This would be positive to other retailers like BN and Kobo and whomever else gets in the self publishing market because it would lower the expectation of its consumers (aka authors using the self pub service). I would not be surprised that next year Amazon announces a new royalty tier based on exclusivity and that other self pubbed retailers would follow.
In some ways, BN’s refusal to carry Amazon’s product gives Amazon a de facto exclusive. On another related note, Nate confirms that Kobo will be offering both self publishing and acquisition based publishing next year.
HarperCollins made a huge acquisition yesterday. It announced that it will be buying Thomas Nelson for an undisclosed sum. Last week, Evernote announced that Michael Hyatt would be one of its ambassadors and I thought, how odd, isn’t he the CEO of Thomas Nelson. Not anymore. According to a 2009 blogpost, Hyatt placed Thomas Nelson as the 9th largest publisher in the U.S. At least one publishing expert (Sarah Weinman) pointed out that means that HarperCollins, who owns Zondervan, probably controls 90% of the Christian fiction market. And yes, if TN is the 9th largest publisher in the U.S., that is a huge market.
Amazon has a cloud music player and so do other companies (like Google) but Apple isn’t going to let them into the App Store due to unspecified legal reasons.
Harlequin is launching its second annual online writing conference.
We are hosting Harlequin’s second annual online conference on how to write for series romance Nov 7-11, 2011.
There will be a competition and the Winner this year will receive a contract and have their series book published by Harlequin!
Website(will be live later this week): www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com
Twitter Handle: @HarlequinSYTYCW