Saturday, October 27, 2012

National Writers Union weighs in

This piece from the National Writers Union is chock-full of interesting facts. For instance,

"Until recently, typical author-publisher contracts entitled authors to 5-15 percent of revenues for 'sales' of print books and 50 percent of revenues for 'licensing' of other subsidiary rights, including electronic uses or e-books.

"As revenues from e-book licensing have begun to surpass print book sales, publishers have been pressuring authors to agree to contract amendments reducing e-book royalties from 50 percent to a new norm, unilaterally imposed by publishers, of 25 percent of net proceeds. Most publishers' current contracts limit e-book royalties to 25 percent of net."

Most interesting: publishers are telling libraries that they're licensing ebooks to libraries, not selling them. But they're telling writers that they're selling them, not licensing.

I'll repeat what I've written before: libraries and authors are natural allies. And we'd be willing to give them 90% of a sale. If the authors are on our side, just what will the publishers be selling?


Dr. Ron Ross said...

Things are changing and the future of printed books looks bleak to me. Publishers are trying to find some way to stay relevant.

Jamie said...

I don't think it's relevancy they're after. I think it's money. Lying to both sides of the equation (both author and the marketing machine of thel library) may not be the way to achieve either relevance or money, though. - Welcome

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