Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Topic: The Economics of Publishing E-books and Hardbacks

10-second review: E-books cost less and therefore authors are paid less.

Title: “Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books.” JA Trachtenberg. Wall Street Journal (September 29, 2010), Internet.

Quote: “Priced much lower than hardcovers, many e-books generate less income for publishers. And big retailers are buying fewer titles. As a result, the publisher who nurtured generations of America’s top literary-fiction writers are approving fewer book deals and signing fewer new writers. Most of those getting published are receiving smaller advances.”

Statistics: Hardcover price: $28. Publisher gets $14. Author gets $4.20.
                E-books: Price $12.99. Publisher gets $9.09. Author gets $2.27.

Quote: “…fewer .literary authors will be able to support themselves as e-books win acceptance, publishers and agents say.”

Quote: “In some cases, independent publishers are picking up the slack by signing promising literary-fictions writers. But they offer, on average, $1,000 to $5,000 for advances, a fraction of the $50,000 to $100,000 that established publishers paid in the past for debut literary fiction.”

Comment: I’ll say this, and then I’ll deny saying it: Maybe fiction is sinking to the level of what it is worth. RayS.

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