Author & Publisher Strategies Book and Reading News

Random House UK caught in e-royalties stupidity

The Bookseller reports that literary agents in Britain are steering clients away new deals with Random House UK over different royalty schemes offered to authors based on their sales potential. Lower-selling authors are being offered between 17.5 percent and 20 percent royalties on e-books compared the emerging standard royalty of 25 percent for electronic editions.

A publisher wishing to build a stable of successful authors should not begin the relationship by offering them less than a “proven” author for electronic rights, because the inventory risks are lower with e-books and, more importantly, the authors’ online efforts on behalf of new books can produce far greater results than traditional marketing. If publishers are concerned about sinking costs into the paper publication of new books, they should start the titles out on an e-book and on-demand release and make decisions about paper editions based on the success of these less costly editions.

By “stupidity” in the headline, I mean a lack of judgment.

Book and Reading News

Harlequin romance e-books selling 10K monthly in UK

Harlequin Mills & Boon, the British publisher of Harlequin romance novels reports that its monthly sales of e-books in May site exceeded 10,000, according to New Media Age. The company sells more than 200 million books a year, both online and at retail.

For context’s sake, let’s assume that romance sales are a bit less cyclical than books generally, but that May is a slightly lower-sales month, say about 9.5 million books sold: E-books account for less than 1/10th of one percent of sales at the company that month.