This is the url for a Publishers Weekly article that talks about a writer, Terrill Lankford, who was in the midst of his agent trying to sell books to one of the Big 6 publishers.
Do I need to tell you that he was having a problem with e-rights?
Mr. Lankford sent an email to his agent asking for what the split was between publisher and writer re e-rights. (Of course, the agent also gets his/her cut.)
Do you know what Mr. Lankford could expect to get for his writing efforts?
See the title of this post.
Mr. Lankford broke it down this way:
When Amazon sells the Kindle edition of a book for $10, it takes 30% off the top, leaving the publisher $7. The publisher's take is 75% of this: $5.25, leaving the writer $1.75 (then the writer pays his agents; in my case that's 20%). This is all without the traditional publishing risks of printing and shipping books to bookstores and sharing the revenues with them, to say nothing of the dreaded returns.WTF? So, after he put in hours or days or whatever of writing, his entire take on this was a piddily $1.75?
Note: In the comments, Angie was right about the next line; makes no sense to include it in this discussion (but I'll leave it this way).
Do these big publishers think people are going to stand for this? I’m sure some won’t care and others won’t even realize it. But at least Mr. Lankford had the smarts to ask (greeted by silence, at first, from his agent, according to the article), and then was given the paltry number.
And thank goodness he turned them down.
This brings to my mind the Victorian era workhouses. Get in here, little kids, and do this work. Or else.
Fortunately, there’s another avenue for writers to go, if they’re so inclined. (And let that be known: I’m not against traditional, or legacy, publishing. People should do the research and look within themselves and at their situations to see which works best for them.)
Mr. Lankford’s blog is here.