Tuesday, May 12, 2009

With E-Readers Comes Wider Piracy of Books - NYTimes.com

With E-Readers Comes Wider Piracy of Books - NYTimes.com: "“If iTunes started three years earlier, I’m not sure how big Napster and the subsequent piratical environments would have been, because people would have been in the habit of legitimately purchasing at pricing that wasn’t considered pernicious,” said Richard Sarnoff, a chairman of Bertelsmann, which owns Random House, the world’s largest publisher of consumer titles."

This is an interesting problem. Amazon is not really helping here. Most Kindle books are $9.99 not a bad price in general but it is higher then that of the paperback version, which is often a couple of dollars less. An ebook has a storage and delivery and duplication cost measured in fractions of a penny.
So that feels wrong to pay more for an ebook then a paper book with all the printing, transportation and storage costs.

Then there is the payment structure. Amazon gets 70% of the unit price and the publisher AND the author get to split the remaining 30%. Actually the author usually gets their typical 3% and the publisher gets 27%.

What does the publisher do with that 27%, they say they do marketing but every time I read about an up and coming author it translates into diddly-squat. As an author you have to do your own marketing or you'll sell nothing.

Now look at what Apple is doing with iPhone.apps they also do a 70/30 split but the developer gets 70% and Apple gets 30%.

Now how should I spend my time? Selling on Kindle nets me $0.30 per $9.99 book or on the iPhone where I net $0.69 for each $0.99 app I sell and it can be an ebook. An interesting problem, eh.

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