Ryu Murakami has decided to skip traditional publishing and is going another route.  An interesting route.  His newest novel is going straight to the Ipad.  Hmmmm. . . if a writer can make some bucks on the Ipad (more so than the traditional route) why publish the traditional way?


What do you think?


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Yes, I saw this, too. All of this stuff is going on, and I can't get to first base with this electronic publishing. Not sure what my agent is waiting for. I'll give it another week, and then do some exploring myself.
Your agent's trying to figure out how to make money off a book you self-publish. Pending that, back burner. That's my guess, anyway.
Possible. 15 % goes to the agent. That they are welcome to. My feeling is that they don't quite know yet how this is going to impact book sales and how to handle contracts. Clearly, nobody knew about current e-book percentages when my contracts were drawn up for 15 % on e-book sales. I get upset every time I think about that. At least I now own my electronic rights on the new and future books.
I'm not sure I understand this. Why would your agent have any rights at all in regard to a book you self-published? When you go the SP route, you're essentially saying to your agent, "Well, you had your crack at selling this ... now it's my turn. Thanks for the effort, but I'll take it from here." What am I missing here?
That's what I'm doing. I don't know how well I'm doing on Apple yet, because I went through Smashwords, and I won't get my first figures until the end of the month. But even though the first two books were decidedly off-genre and hard to market, I've had a steady trickle of purchase at Amazon and Smashwords, even without much marketing efforts.

I just put my first mystery up, though, and I expect that to be more marketable... but July has been very slow, so I think it will be a while before I know.
I think it's only a matter of time (i.e., less than year) before a NY Times best seller bypasses his/her publisher to go after that 70% royalty rate offered by Amazon and Apple and presumably the rest. Already there's Ian McEwan and Steven Covey who are essentially self-pubbing their backlists.
Keep a close eye on Janet Evanovich, who apparently is parting ways with her publisher, and see if she doesn't do this. She can afford to sell direct to her readers and set up the infrastructure to do so; all that could possibly be missing is the entrepreneurial spirit and the willingness to forgo monster-sized advances for possibly even more monster-sized rewards on the back end.
Let me ask a stupid question: Going with Smashwords means a good deal on packaging and distribution, including to Kindle. Right?
But if I want to get the 70 % deal, I'd have to go directly to Kindle and give them an exclusive. If I understand this correctly, then who pays what on the Smashwords deal? Do the various sellers pay to Smashwords, and then Smashwords pays me a percentage? Which is what?
You're misunderstanding part of the situation there.

Amazon does not ask for an exclusive. All they ask is that you don't undercut them on list price. (There are a lot of little ins and outs about the retailers discount price which I won't go into here, but suffice it to say that they know that's not in your control and don't expect you to control it.)

Smashwords offers distribution to a number of premium channels, but you can opt out of any one of them. Most authors opt out of Amazon distribution and go for that directly.

As for how Smashwords works: they take a fifteen percent cut of whatever the retailer gives them. (They also deduct a variable delivery fee, which has to do with territory, etc. And sometimes there's also a cut to the affiliate.) Since there hasn't been a report from iBookstore yet, I don't know how that breaks down. But in theory, it would be the 70 percent Apple pays, minus the 15 percent SW keeps.)

They'll report their first numbers to me by the end of the month, and I'll be able to tell you the breakdowns.
Oh, very interesting. Thanks so much. Then that would mean the Kindle 70% exclusive (I think that term was used and it still seems to mean to me that Amazon is the only one to get the title) means you can sell through other venues as long as you sell at Kindle's price. In other words, no freebies or low-price deals.
Why is it that authors opt out of Smashwords for Amazon and go directly to Kindle?
You go directly to Amazon mainly because it's so easy and you don't have to give up the 15 percent. And now that the 70 percent deal is in place, I'm not sure that you get that through Smashwords. (Some people don't go through Smashwords at all - for any vendor - but for me, for now, it seems like they are worth the 15 percent to deal with the hassles of the other vendors.)

I guess I will go into the ins and outs of the discount pricing - because discounting still exists.

To get the 70 percent you have a little trade off. (And you don't have to take that option if you don't want to.) The 70 percent is not on list price, but on actual price, so if there is a discount, you only get 70 percent of discount. If another retailer discounts the price, Amazon will match it - and that's out of your control. (However, 70 percent of discount is still usually much better than 35 percent of list.)

So low-price deals still exist, but you don't get to offer them - except for coupons. As long as the list price stays where it is, you can offer coupons for the Smashwords. Smashwords has this spiffy coupon feature that a lot of us use for distributing free review copies, and offering other deals.
Thanks again, Camille. In a way it sounds easy, but it also has its complications. Very much obliged for the info.


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