Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A small indie press offered to publish my ebook in return for 50% of the profits. Is this a good deal?

A: It can be, provided the publisher is able to provide support that is valuable to you. This can be financial, editorial, logistical, artistic, legal, social or – especially important to many authors these days, support, help and advice in marketing the ebook.

But if the publisher provides no support of any kind, then you might be better off publishing yourself directly on Amazon’s KDP, which offers self-published authors 70% of sales.

Q: What does 50% of profits mean? Shouldn't it be sales?

A: It depends on the contract you sign with the publisher.
Generally, 50% of the profits for an ebook published on Amazon means 50% of 70%, (ie 35% of sales). 

A publisher who plans to invest in producing and marketing your ebook might reasonably want to be able to deduct the cost of his investment from sales revenue.

If these costs cannot be deducted, he has little incentive to invest. Obviously it's important to work with a press that's honest.

Q: But isn't an Author supposed to receive a fixed percentage of a fixed retail price?

A: That's how it generally worked in the world of printed books. But with ebooks, everything has changed. Nobody really knows what a fair price for an ebook is, and prices are in a period of experimentation, with 99cent deals and free giveaways to promote book sales and gather reviews. 
In this context a fixed price - with fixed royalties - can act as a serious break on book promotion, and hurt your chances to maximize sales.

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