(CNN) -- When Dan Brown's blockbuster novel "The Lost Symbol" hit stores in September, it may have offered a peek at the future of bookselling.

On Amazon.com, the book sold more digital copies for the Kindle e-reader in its first few days than hardback editions. This was seen as something of a paradigm shift in the publishing industry, but it also may have come at a cost.

Less than 24 hours after its release, pirated digital copies of the novel were found on file-sharing sites such as Rapidshare and BitTorrent. Within days, it had been downloaded for free more than 100,000 times.

Digital piracy, long confined to music and movies, is spreading to books. And as electronic reading devices such as Amazon's Kindle, the Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble's Nook, smartphones and Apple's much-anticipated "tablet" boost demand for e-books, experts say the problem may only get worse.

More at the link: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/01/01/ebook.piracy/index.html

Nobody could have predicted this would happen...

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FYI, Amazon just changed its royalty scheme. Now instead of 35% authors get 70% if they price their books between $2.99 and $9.99. This kicks in at the end of June. I suspect it's a move in anticipation of Apple's new iPad, or whatever it'll be called, to be announced on the 27th.
Authors/publishers get 70%. If your book is sold via a publisher your contract dictates your royalty percentage. Random House is pushing to make that 10% of net and is currently offering 17 to 20% of net. Other publishers are offering 25% of net but the pressure is on to reduce that percentage. 20% of 70% = 14% of gross sales paid as royalties to the author. With the stipulations in the amazon offer, the sell price must be 20% lower (if I remember correctly) than any paper copy, so the $9.99 max price is already pushed down to 20% lower than the $8.99 paperback price, making it a max of $6.20 = 85 cents per copy downloaded. That's a 40% reduction per copy revenue to the writer. Even at the max $9.99 and 25%, the return to the author is no greater than mass market sales revenue. The real hurt is the author receives NO hardcover royalty revenues which are 250% greater than any of the previously mentioned.
I'll know I've made it when people start stealing my stuff.


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