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AdamNeymars
01-26-2014, 11:37 AM
http://harpers.org/blog/2014/01/nyc-vs-hea/



Good romance writers can earn a living without anyone in New York publishing knowing their names, because they publish and promote their work themselves. A traditional publishing house might give an author 25 percent of the net price on an e-book (meaning that if an outlet marks down your title, you get 25 percent of the discounted price). The e-book distributor Smashwords, by contrast, forbids outlets from discounting and returns 60 to 75 percent of the cover price to the author. The Amazon, Kobo, and Sony e-book stores offer similarly good rates.

Romance titles are priced low, usually around four or five dollars, which makes it easier to sell a lot of them.

Cathy C
01-26-2014, 03:33 PM
I don't disagree. And knowing Angela Knight fairly well, I can even see in my mind the expression on her face when she told the industry, "F*** you." :tongue

Torgo
01-26-2014, 04:11 PM
Adam, again: what do you think?

WriterBN
01-26-2014, 06:56 PM
Just being priced low doesn't mean you'll sell a lot of anything, even if you write romance. Then again, I've never written romance, so what do I know?

GinJones
01-26-2014, 07:40 PM
As pointed out in the comments, some of that article is a bit oversimplified and possibly misleading in subtle ways that probably weren't intentional.

It reports Smashwords sales of a thousand copies a day, which presumably includes all the distribution places (kobo, BN, etc.), rather than at SW alone. It also seems to imply that 1) all romance authors see that kind of numbers, 2) that there are never any advantages to a trade publishing contract, and 3) that authors with trade publishing contracts never have comparable sales/income.

alexaherself
01-26-2014, 09:39 PM
It reports Smashwords sales of a thousand copies a day, which presumably includes all the distribution places (kobo, BN, etc.), rather than at SW alone.

On the contrary, it specifies Smashwords alone, and even mentions Kobo and others specifically as not being included in that figure.

(It's perhaps rather unfortunate - if understandable - that it mentions Smashwords by name and never mentions Draft2Digital at all).


It also seems to imply that 1) all romance authors see that kind of numbers, 2) that there are never any advantages to a trade publishing contract, and 3) that authors with trade publishing contracts never have comparable sales/income.

Interesting. Please excuse my mentioning that I found no such inferences in the article at all, and would be astonished if Harper's printed anything which their editors really thought might imply any of those clearly ridiculous assertions.

Beachgirl
01-26-2014, 11:37 PM
I've always found it interesting that, while Romance has consistently led the genre market, it's writers are still the least respected. It's sad that the very writers who understand their market and are successful at it are treated as second-class in many circles.

Medievalist
01-27-2014, 02:41 AM
How common are contracts in Romance that base royalty on net?

Cathy C
01-27-2014, 02:48 AM
Surprisingly common, actually. Even some of the trade print pubs have used net models in years past. Most all of the epubs use net contracts. One of the things I suggest in contract classes I give is that writers at least try to limit the costs to a percentage of the list price to prevent abuses.

But not all authors feel the self-pub route is right for them. Take a look at Patricia Simpson's self-publishing journey (http://www.patriciasimpson.com/articles/publishing.aspx). Patricia is a bestselling author in romance who has worked for a number of publishers and decided to try her hand. The article is very interesting.

GinJones
01-27-2014, 08:33 PM
Mark Coker himself clarified (in the comments) the thousand-a-day number as GENERALLY including the distribution network:


there have been instances of authors moving 1,000+ copies per day at Smashwords, though those days are rare. When Jesse (the reporter) asked me how many copies a day our authors could sell, I answered 1,000+ was common for some of our bestsellers. I answered this question wearing my distributor hat, since the Smashwords distribution network is where our authors earn 90% of their sales. It's my mistake, not the reporter's, if the reporter thought I was referring to the Smashwords store. I wasn't.

gingerwoman
01-28-2014, 09:38 AM
Surprisingly common, actually. Even some of the trade print pubs have used net models in years past. Most all of the epubs use net contracts. One of the things I suggest in contract classes I give is that writers at least try to limit the costs to a percentage of the list price to prevent abuses.

But not all authors feel the self-pub route is right for them. Take a look at Patricia Simpson's self-publishing journey (http://www.patriciasimpson.com/articles/publishing.aspx). Patricia is a bestselling author in romance who has worked for a number of publishers and decided to try her hand. The article is very interesting.
From what I know from numerous other romance writers who are self publishing and talking about it, and from looking at that article, it seems to me that Patricia Simpson paid for some things she either didn't need or could have got for free?

Cathy C
01-28-2014, 03:12 PM
From what I know from numerous other romance writers who are self publishing and talking about it, and from looking at that article, it seems to me that Patricia Simpson paid for some things she either didn't need or could have got for free?

Keep in mind that her goal was to give the book as close to the same exposure as her trade published books had. That means the same quality and, as close as possible, the same distribution channels to reach the readers. What can be had for free will seldom accomplish that. I know what I would do for self-publishing. It wouldn't be cheap, but I'd want it to reach the same markets as I do now.

VanessaNorth
01-28-2014, 03:48 PM
A writer i know who is making a very comfortable living writing for small presses told me she has no interest in big 5 publishing houses because there is absolutely nothing they can give her but lower royalties.

She may be right.

Sheryl Nantus
01-28-2014, 05:14 PM
Just as an aside - the OP hasn't come back to see any responses. Or post any more threads.

Make of that what you will.

gingerwoman
01-28-2014, 08:56 PM
Keep in mind that her goal was to give the book as close to the same exposure as her trade published books had. That means the same quality and, as close as possible, the same distribution channels to reach the readers.
I didn't mean anything to do with quality I meant paying for copyright registration and ISBNs. From what I've read from other people there was no need to pay for either of those things?

Torgo
01-28-2014, 08:58 PM
Just as an aside - the OP hasn't come back to see any responses. Or post any more threads.

Make of that what you will.

We live in hope! I'll keep a candle burning in the window for Adam, and maybe someday he'll find his way back.

Papaya
01-28-2014, 11:37 PM
I didn't mean anything to do with quality I meant paying for copyright registration and ISBNs. From what I've read from other people there was no need to pay for either of those things?
Correct me if I'm wrong, as this is based on research rather than first hand experience, but from what I understand, if you go the self-published route, you are going to need to pay for both. You can't sell the book without an ISBN, and you will need a unique ISBN for every format you sell the book in. As for copyright, the need to purchase a copyright for your unique work is obvious, unless you don't mind everyone else profiting from your hard work. Luckily, both costs are minimal. Editing, cover art and marketing are the real expenses to consider, but as Cathy C said, well worth it.

Torgo
01-28-2014, 11:45 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong,

OK!


the need to purchase a copyright for your unique work is obvious, unless you don't mind everyone else profiting from your hard work.

You don't need to 'purchase' copyright, you get it for free the second you set it down in words. What you can purchase is copyright registration, which makes it easier to make a claim against someone who infringes your copyright. Unregistered works can still be infringed on - they aren't public domain.

Papaya
01-28-2014, 11:46 PM
We live in hope! I'll keep a candle burning in the window for Adam, and maybe someday he'll find his way back.
Lighting another candle to help guide Adam back. :D

Papaya
01-28-2014, 11:49 PM
OK!



You don't need to 'purchase' copyright, you get it for free the second you set it down in words. What you can purchase is copyright registration, which makes it easier to make a claim against someone who infringes your copyright. Unregistered works can still be infringed on - they aren't public domain.
Thanks, Torgo. It's always good to understand the nuances. :)

gingerwoman
01-29-2014, 02:43 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, as this is based on research rather than first hand experience, but from what I understand, if you go the self-published route, you are going to need to pay for both. You can't sell the book without an ISBN, and you will need a unique ISBN for every format you sell the book in..

OK!



You don't need to 'purchase' copyright, you get it for free the second you set it down in words. What you can purchase is copyright registration, which makes it easier to make a claim against someone who infringes your copyright. Unregistered works can still be infringed on - they aren't public domain.

Yup from everything I've read and from the most reputable sources copyright is automatic. You type something up -you own it. Paying that fee, from what I've heard, only entitles you to sue for extras in a US court, if you take someone to court. You really aren't protected against anything much with copyright, from everything I've seen.

It seems no one will go to court for stealing your work unless you have the money to take them there :-( It isn't considered a crime against the state like theft of property.

And I think that publishers generally just put that symbol on your book because you had it automatically. I don't think a lot of them actually go out and pay that extra fee for you. Again correct me if anyone knows for sure that I'm wrong about that.

As for ISBNs places like Smashwords offer them for free.
I haven't self published anything so I"m just repeating stuff I've read. But I've looked at the Smashwords site and see they offer free ISBNs.

Torgo
01-29-2014, 02:54 AM
highly suspect most publishers do not pay that fee? I think people think if they go through a publisher that fee will be paid? No. I think most of them just put that symbol on your books because you already had copyright, not because the publisher went out and paid a registration fee for you. But I'm not sure so again correct me if you know for sure otherwise.

OK!

Oh dear I'm an ogre.

No, publishers do register copyright in the work, and this is often written into contracts. I'd say far more often than not. Registering it in some jurisdictions - the USA, notably - means you can mulct infringers for more cash if they infringe it; you can get statutory damages, rather than having to prove exactly how much cash you missed out on as a result.

Plus it's a huge stick to wield in the context of proving who wrote something first - in the US it's decisive if you registered within five years [EDIT: no, you fool, three months!], I think [well, you thought wrong, you ass!]. So because it's relatively cheap and very powerful in the somewhat unlikely event of a problem, you pay the fee even if the very process of publishing tends to create an incontrovertible paper trail establishing authorship of the work.

Kylabelle
01-29-2014, 02:57 AM
Oh dear I'm an ogre.



And it is an excellent thing to have such a knowledgeable ogre around the place.

:D

LJD
01-29-2014, 03:01 AM
I don't think a lot of them actually go out and pay that extra fee for you. Again correct me if anyone knows for sure that I'm wrong about that.

My contract with an epub specifically says that they will not register copyright, but my understanding was that trade publishers usually do.

Cathy C
01-29-2014, 03:01 AM
Yup from everything I've read and from the most reputable sources copyright is automatic. You type something up -you own it. Paying that fee, from what I've heard, only entitles you to sue for extras in a US court, if you take someone to court. You really aren't protected against anything much with copyright, from everything I've seen.

Copyright is indeed automatic, but registration of the final work is what is called "prima facie" evidence (sufficient to prove to the court without additional evidence) of your ownership. You're protected quite a bit if it comes down to it. It's not to be taken lightly.


And I think that publishers generally just put that symbol on your book because you had it automatically. I don't think a lot of them actually go out and pay that extra fee for you. Again correct me if anyone knows for sure that I'm wrong about that.

Correcting you. All print publishers in the Big 5 and their imprints and subsidiaries register the copyright, in the name of the author, with the Library of Congress. It's part of the package.


As for ISBNs places like Smashwords offer them for free.
I haven't self published anything so I"m just repeating stuff I've read. But I've looked at the Smashwords site and see they offer free ISBNs.

They do offer free ISBNs, but do you realize that Smashwords will be forever shown as "the publisher" in catalogues? Part of the number issued identifies the name of the publisher. If the author doesn't buy the number themselves, so that THEIR name is the publisher, there's no "self" in the self-publishing label. Patricia bought her ISBNs so that she (under whatever name she selected to appear on the spine) was the one true publisher and bookstores could find that publisher to order it. Go read this for more information. (http://www.mipa.org/april-news/41-notes-from-a-publisher-ebook-isbns)

Keep in mind that there are any number of brick and mortar stores and websites who cannot, because of internal policies and distribution agreements, purchase books from certain publisher identifiers. The trick is that they won't tell you which ones. If the printer/publisher you use is on the "naughty list" a reader can't even order the book. They will just be turned away as "sorry, we can't get it." :Shrug:

Torgo
01-29-2014, 03:06 AM
Keep in mind that there are any number of brick and mortar stores and websites who cannot, because of internal policies and distribution agreements, purchase books from certain publisher identifiers. The trick is that they won't tell you which ones. If the printer/publisher you use is on the "naughty list" a reader can't even order the book. They will just be turned away as "sorry, we can't get it." :Shrug:

That's interesting. What are the underlying differences? I mean, you could imagine a publisher with really expensive non-returnable books being turned away for being non-returnable, but you'd think the store would just say 'the books are non-returnable, so that's why,' - or couldn't they? What sorts of things could lead to not being able to tell the reader? (I don't doubt you for a second, but I love inside-baseball.)

Torgo
01-29-2014, 03:18 AM
And it is an excellent thing to have such a knowledgeable ogre around the place.

:D

And - it is clearly Muphry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muphry's_law), the ancient enemy of my tribe, at work - but I extended one benefit of registering copyright twentyfold! So, hey: don't just believe what random folk on the Internet say. Check all this stuff out for yourself any way you can.

[This has been a Public Service Announcement on behalf of the National Skeptics Council.]

aruna
01-29-2014, 08:45 AM
And - it is clearly Muphry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muphry's_law), the ancient enemy of my tribe, at work - but I extended one benefit of registering copyright twentyfold! So, hey: don't just believe what random folk on the Internet say. Check all this stuff out for yourself any way you can.

[This has been a Public Service Announcement on behalf of the National Skeptics Council.]



hmmm. I was about to upbraid notify you that you had spelt Murphy wrong, but at the last minute I clicked the link. And voila:


Muphry's law is an adage that states that "If you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written." The name is a deliberate misspelling of Murphy's law.
[This has been a Public Service Announcement on behalf of the AW Spelling Nazis Association.]

AdamNeymars
01-29-2014, 11:22 AM
Just as an aside - the OP hasn't come back to see any responses. Or post any more threads.

Make of that what you will.

???

Maybe the OP is busy.

Terie
01-29-2014, 12:06 PM
???

Maybe the OP is busy.

Maybe, if you're too busy to actually, yanno, discuss things, you might not what to start conversations. After all, AW is about conversations, not about drive-by postings.

Filigree
01-29-2014, 12:55 PM
From my limited experience, I've gained the most from my many conversations here on AW. Same goes for other social media outlets. The more active I am, the more involved I become - and reap the tangible and intangible rewards.

To touch on something said earlier: romance is clearly at the forefront of the self-publishing and small e-pub revolutions, whether from new authors or experienced authors giving new life to out of print books.

In SF&F, the Big Five genre imprints and the well-known smaller presses still draw lots of hopeful authors. Despite the examples of Howey and some of the other known SF&F self-published stars, most of the well-informed writers in this genre still try to get an agent with related experience (agents can often spare us from dying in contractual minefields), and an advance-paid contract with one of the bigger commercial houses.

The royalties might be less, but even a $5K advance is better than $100 or nothing from a small e-pub. These genre imprints have immense market presence and savvy branding. Even now, a mainstream fantasy romance from Tor or Daw is going to get a *lot* more eyeballs on it than a similar book from a multi-genre e-publisher like Musa. Let alone the average self-published SF&F novel.

There's also the gatekeeper effect. I might rail at some of the things released by the big genre houses, but for the most part I know I am getting a book written to at least basic competence. With self-pub and small e-pub houses, the writing quality might be lower. If the writing is brilliant, this reaction often comes from informed readers: 'Did you try to sell this to a bigger publisher, first?'

Midlist genre authors used to have nightmares about dwindling sales and dropped contracts, a fear the larger houses definitely understood. Not anymore: I know of at least half a dozen SF&F authors who've reissued their out of print backlists to small press or self-publishing. That may be why the genre houses are trying so hard to hold on to digital rights and stricter non-compete clauses.

It'll be interesting to see where the next five years take us.

Sheryl Nantus
01-29-2014, 05:14 PM
???

Maybe the OP is busy.

I meant that since you hadn't visited since posting the original thread that people waiting for an answer might be waiting a good long while.