Wednesday Midday Links: Upcoming RT Convention, Avon Impulse, EC lowers prices
This will be my third year of attending RT Convention. RT has, in my opinion, really made an effort to bring interesting content to readers. The conference takes place in LA from April 6 through the 10. All of the “reader” events are marked by “READER” at the front:
READER: Western Reader Roundup
Date: Wednesday April 6, 2011 01:00 pm – 02:00 pm
READER: "He's A Pirate" Treasure Hunt
Date: Wednesday April 6, 2011 02:15 pm – 03:15 pm
Event Type: Reader Author Meet Ups
At RomCon, these Reader Author game/meet ups were very popular. Sarah Wendell, Angela James, and I will be doing our eReader roundup so if you are at the conference and wondering what ereader to buy, stop in during the session. We’ll be talking about what to look for in an eReader and we should have all the latest devices for you to try out. I’m not sure when the session is, but as soon as I do, I’ll post it.
This post has been updated with official EC response:
Ellora’s Cave’s pricing at retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble has been outrageously high. This is because EC’s existing contracts pays royalties based on the cover and if EC lowers the retail list price then (according to how the contracts are structured) EC would lose money on the sales at third party retailers. The stated goal is to lower prices but “adjust royalties so that EC makes no less than it does now and the author makes more that currently due to increased sales.” The internal email goes on to state that ten authors have been recruited to test a lower price point with a reduced royalty rate of 30% cover price. At the lower price, EC will need to have “at least two-and-a-half times more sales from the vendor sites to compensate for the lower per-sale income.”
We're starting with around 150 titles from 10 test authors who have agreed to participate for a limited time period (3-4 months, starting in April). We'll keep the cover price on our website the same as it is now, but dramatically lower the MSRP to third-party vendors (Amazon, B&N, etc.). If the new pricing/royalty structure increases sales enough to make it viable for authors and the company, we will offer it to all our authors.
For “backlist” books (books that are two years or more older and whose sales are “less than several hundred”), the cover price will be reduced both at the EC site and the retail sites.
We will lower the MSRP and cover price of older books (more than two years old) that are selling less than a few hundred a year. That's a huge undertaking because our backlist is so large, so we'll do that by genre, starting with our smaller genres. That will take most of our books down to far below $10 and many to $5 and below.
Current Cover/MSRP — New Cover/MSRP
7.99 / 15.98 — 5.99 / 11.98
6.99 / 13.98 — 5.24 / 10.48
5.95 / 11.90 — 4.95 / 9.90
5.20 / 10.40 — 4.20 / 8.40
4.45 / 8.90 — 3.45 / 6.90
2.49 / 4.98 — 1.99 / 3.98
For UK Kindle pricing,
Kindle is now offering publishers the option to set a specific GBP price per ebook, and is very strongly encouraging that this price be low enough to offset all or most of the VAT. We have just signed the contract for this, and will be working on pricing, setting a lower UK price than US price for the ebooks
Generally, EC will be discontinuing its free online reads as they don’t see a monetary uptick in sales as a result of the free reads. (EC had free reads?).
No official comment from EC was given when contacted.
I am not sure what to make of this and I couldn’t find any information on Diesel’s website, but Diesel and Macmillan have announced a partnership. At first I thought this meant that Macmillan would be using a Diesel powered digital purchasing site to sell directly to the consumers. But now I believe that Diesel is cutting out Ingram or Overdrive. For these smaller retailers (and for Harlequin), the content is actually housed on an Overdrive or Ingram server where the magical DRM takes place. This way, Diesel can cut out the fees paid to Overdrive/Ingram by serving those files directly to the consumer. This is what Amazon and BN does.
Avon Impulse. We have an ad for Avon Impulse, but I had no idea what it was for until Monday. I thought it just was meant to direct readers to the Avon blog. Instead, Avon Impulse is a digital publishing arm of Avon. From the Smart Bitches site:
Where will Avon Impulse titles be sold?
Our Avon Impulse e-books will be available at every e-tailer, and readers will be able to download them onto every portable reading device sold today-and tomorrow, too. Readers who seek a hard copy of individual Avon Impulse titles will be able to lay their hands on physical books, thanks to a print-to-order option available through major online book retailers.
Do Avon Impulse authors get an advance? What is the royalty rate?
Avon Impulse will not pay an advance, but authors receive 25% royalties from the first book sold. After an e-book sells 10,000 copies, the author's royalty rate rises to 50%. (Contracts will provide royalties for both e-book and print-to-order copies.)
ETA: Pam Jaffee confirms royalty is based on net.
I had to do a little math, but 25% of the net with agency is about 17.5% of the cover price and 35% at the 50% net assuming, of course, that bookseller fees are the only thing that reduces the net. There is no mention of word count, price of books, length of contract. Maybe that is all negotiable. I did see on Twitter that they are looking for westerns, steampunk, historicals, and erotic romance.
Also from Sarah’s site came the word that the books would be DRM’ed. Unsure about georestrictions. I’ve emailed for clarification. UPDATE: From Avon: “The plan is for Avon Impulse e-books to be delivered everywhere around the world where English-language novels are sold.”
More from the press release:
The line launches with A LADY'S WISH, an original e-novella by Katharine Ashe; on-sale 3/15/11; and then features ROYAL WEDDING, a historical romance short fiction anthology by Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley and Loretta Chase, timed to coincide with the nuptials of Britain's most beloved young couple. Later in the season bring four releases from Lavinia Kent and a prelude to Karina Cooper's Avon debut, Blood of the Wicked. Jaime Rush launches a brand new series with a digital short; and a full-length paranormal romance novel by author Kristin Miller will be released in the summer.
Avon Impulse is currently in the acquisition and production process for e-books to be published in 2011 and 2012. "We are actively looking to acquire for Avon Impulse," says Feron. Authors looking to submit to Avon Impulse can find guidelines and an online submission portal at www.avonimpulse.com. "We are looking for quality submissions across every romance subgenre," says Feron.
Avon Impulse e-books will be made available at all online retailers, everywhere in the world where English-language e-books are sold. For those seeking a hard copy of individual Avon Impulse titles, print-to-order books will be available from online book retailers.
I read that the line will publishing one ebook a week.
If you are a Kobo user and worried because of the Borders reorganization, you’ll be happy to know that Kobo secured another round of financing. The amount is undisclosed but investors are interested in seeing Kobo grow.
I’ve been struggling with the decision over whether to purchase the iPad 2 or try out an Android tablet or maybe even wait for a Windows tablet. Unfortunately, the Xoom (Android and Motorola’s answer to the iPad) is getting so so reviews and its far more expensive that the iPad. My hopes of acquiring another tablet with a different OS were further crushed by the news that Microsoft doesn’t even intend to enter the tablet market until the fall of 2012. Guess I will be shelling out for the iPad 2.
The rumors regarding free Kindles to Amazon Prime customers are heating up. Amazon customers who pay $79 per year receive free 2 day shipping on any product that is “Prime Eligible” which is a lot of stuff. I love my Prime membership and it pretty much pays for itself during Christmas (the free shipping can be directed to any US address not just your own). I don’t see any benefit of it now, but I could see something like this near September and October as Amazon gears up for the Kindle 4 and the 2011 holiday shopping season.
The RNA Pure Passion Awards were handed out yesterday. Romance Novelist Association is the UK form of RWA.
- Winner of the 2011 Romantic Novel of the Year – The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes
- Winner of the Historical Novel Prize – To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick(Dudettes, it is $2.39 on Kindle!)
- Winner of the Romantic Comedy Prize – Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell