Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ebooks and authors’ rewards

New guidance on ebooks published in the latest issue of The Author

Ebooks and authors’ rewards

Members will be aware that sales of ebooks in the UK are said to be increasing rapidly, although they still account for only a small proportion of publishers’ turnover. The launch of Amazon’s Kindle, already the dominant ebook reader in the USA, is expected to expand the market considerably. Experts predict that sales of digital products are going to rise fast, but forecasts of where the market will be in a year’s time, let alone 10, vary hugely.

The major publishers have invested heavily in establishing their digital infrastructure and ebook lists. Conscious of their large write-offs, they have been negotiating very firmly with authors and their agents over ebook royalties. At present trade publishers tend to insist on royalties between 15 and 25% of their receipts (not the retail price). Authors writing for academic, educational and specialist non-fiction publishers will find that they are frequently stuck with even less.