News pours in from all quarters . . . Apple sells 3 million iPads in 80 days. Amazon cuts prices of Kindle. The e-books market is heating up, and as far as I am concerned, the two key players that matter are Amazon and Apple. Why?
Because, the publishing game is changing.
Because, authors are gradually getting freed from the clutches of the intermediaries.
Because, a direct relationship is getting established between the authors –the primary creators of value in a book – and their readers.
As an author, I love working with Amazon. I have published five books in two years with them, and all are available on Kindle. This year, 40% of my sales are coming from e-books, which was not the case a couple of years back. Amazon offers 35% royalty so far, and this is moving up to 70%. Royalty $$$ land in my bank account – direct deposit– monthly, and I can monitor sales every minute on an online dashboard.
I have to believe that Apple will, in time, offer a similarly convenient and financially lucrative offering for authors.
I don’t mind at all that Amazon sells Kindle books at $9.99, because at 70% royalty, I am getting $7 per book.
In the long run, the intermediaries will all be dead. Apple and Amazon will, most likely, dominate the market, and democratize it for the authors. B&N, SONY, and others, to compete, will need to follow suit. [As an aside, if you want to track the Amazon vs. Apple e-book battle, read Om Malik’s excellent analysis on why Kindle emerges as the ultimate winner. I happen to agree with him.]
Anyway, publishers, in particular, have abused authors with their horrendously unprofessional attitudes. My publisher in India is Hachette. They have rights to two of my books. They don’t pay royalties, don’t respond to e-mails, and it seems that to extract royalties from them, I have to file a lawsuit. I would never have believed that a publisher of international repute such as Hachette could be so unprofessional. One learns every day.
The other intermediaries that I have dealt with are also equally unprofessional, but they matter less to me.
I look forward to the day when these parasites will all be dead!
P.S. We’ll soon be doing some cool promotions for my Kindle books. Stay tuned!