Wednesday, February 24, 2010

eBooks and Royalty Statements

STATUS: Remember when I said we were reading a lot? Yeah, that was before the Olympics began. Bad Kristin but I can’t tear myself away from the TV in the evenings!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HOLDING BACK THE YEARS by Simply Red

As you know from a previous post, I’m not all that enthusiastic about this move by Publishers to switch an eBook royalty rate based on retail price to a royalty percentage based on net amount received.

As I ranted about this topic previously, my issue is the lack of transparency on the statement. It’s impossible to track actual amount received by the publisher unless you can get more detailed accounting info

So what have we been doing? Asking Publishers to included language in the agreement that contractually obligates them to provide more accounting information upon request. The only way to verify the accuracy of the Publisher’s stated amount received is to get info such as a list of customers purchasing and disseminating the electronic product, the business model used (wholesale or agency commission or maybe something not even invented yet), the actual retail price, the discount, any deductions made to establish the Amount Received figure from which the royalty calculation will be based.

And I could go on.

Notice that yet again, the onus is on the author/agent to go out of their way to request this information. It won’t necessarily or automatically be stated on the statement.

If we are having such a revolution in publishing over the electronic book, is it too much to ask that publishers have a revolution regarding the info provided on a statement? You got to change the system anyway to account for these new royalty structures. Why not make the whole reporting process more transparent. Heck, why can’t all this info be readily available online and the author can access it at anytime.

Now that would be a step in the right direction.