|From: Breathing Books|
"'No Kindle? What was I going to do?'
The answer, of course, was pathetically obvious. I went to the airport shop, bought a Kate Atkinson thriller which would see me through to New York, where I could surely replenish my reading stocks. But my unease didn't abate entirely, and though I spent six hours in the excellent company of Ms Atkinson, I never got comfortable with her. It has been a few years since I read an actual book on a plane, and I was astonished at how cumbersome, how intractably wrong, it felt in my hands. I found myself – which I have never done before and heartily disapprove of – folding the book in half so that only the page I was reading was visible. That gave me a cramp in my right hand, and the pages wouldn't stay still, quite, as I read. I found myself swaying slightly, as if at the Wailing Wall. Then I went back to the two-handed double-page-opened position – even describing it makes it seem like an obscure sort of manoeuvre, rather than a natural function – but I still couldn't settle down. The book was too fat. It was too heavy. It spread out too widely. It was as if I had taken an unruly small pet onto the plane and couldn't keep it under control."
— Rick Gekoski, The Guardian
"How much better for the publisher and how much worse for the author? Here are examples of author’s royalties compared to publisher’s gross profit (income per copy minus expenses per copy), calculated using industry-standard contract terms:
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Author’s Standard Royalty: $3.75 hardcover; $2.28 e-book. Author’s E-Loss = -39% Publisher’s Margin: $4.75 hardcover; $6.32 e-book. Publisher’s E-Gain = +33%
Hell’s Corner, by David Baldacci
Author’s Standard Royalty: $4.20 hardcover; $2.63 e-book. Author’s E-Loss = -37% Publisher’s Margin: $5.80 hardcover; $7.37 e-book. Publisher’s E-Gain = +27%
Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
Author’s Standard Royalty: $4.05 hardcover; $3.38 e-book. Author’s E-Loss = -17% Publisher’s Margin: $5.45 hardcover; $9.62 e-book. Publisher’s E-Gain = +77%
So, everything else being equal, publishers will naturally have a strong bias toward e-book sales. It certainly does wonders for cash flow: not only does the publisher net more, but the reduced royalty means that every time an e-book purchase displaces a hardcover purchase, the odds that the author’s advance will earn out — and the publisher will have to cut a check for royalties — diminishes. In more ways than one, the author’s e-loss is the publisher’s e-gain."
— Andy Ross, Andy Ross Agency
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