E-book sales have been going through the roof for months now.  Look at the latest figures. The day may be very close when writers may be writing only for the ebook trade and not for anyone else


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Yes, they were talking about it on CNN this morning. I'm so frustrated! I have only 4 books available in e-format and make only 15 % of each sale. Meanwhile, I've been waiting for word from my agent that we got the rest in electronic format since some time in the spring. I may have to bite the bullet and do it myself. I understand there may be legal problems contractually, but I'm getting too desperate to care even if I sign off the rights in perpetuity to Amazon or whoever.

Speaking of which: those of you who have gone on your own to Smashwords or Amazon: how do those contracts read for reversal of rights???
Well, they may be skyrocketing but my own sales are off to a slow start ha ha.
But I know it takes time to build a fan base so I'm spending alot of time posting on other sites and getting people to check out my page and sample the book. It really, really eats into yuor writing time but hopefully, in the longterm, it will be worth the effort.

hey I.J. Parker-- (and all other interested parties) You should reserve and hour or two and read the multiple postings on J.A.Konrath's webpage http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

He is living the dream some of us have. A full time writer paying the bills off of his ebooks without a dayjob to back him up

Of course, he didn't do it overnight. he truly put in his dues but it's paying off for him now.

my point is this-- it is VITAL that you strive to KEEP your e-rights especially to whatever backlists you have

Your rights and total access to them at all times is very, very important

Like the same way it's a bad idea to go shopping on an empty stomache-- it's a bad idea to quit this gig or sign away a contract that over the longterm could mean everything you value later on-- all because you were feeling like it wasn't worth it one long weekend.

And it may NOT be worth it. TODAY.
But you should never let go of what little rights you have AS a writer because there is always the chance you could see a rainbow later.

Just sayin'
Yes, I know about Konrath. What many people don't know is that he started out published by one of the big houses and was dropped after several books. Also, his e-books are handled by his agent. That's where I had hoped to head myself.
Joe's self-pubbed ebooks have nothing to do with his agent. He's making a 70% royalty and not sharing it with anyone (except the local liquor store).
His latest novel is on Amazon Encore. It is self-published via his agent, though you may call Amazone Encore the publisher. Maybe it is. No idea what his percentage is on that one.
Ok. That's exactly what I meant. If Amazon Encore is seen as a publisher, then, yes, the latest book is not self-published. The line becomes hazy.

Joe Konrath is really a prime reason why the term "vanity publishing" no longer fits the situation when it comes to electronic publishing. Good for him!
"The day may be very close when writers may be writing only for the ebook trade and not for anyone else"

Well, that's what I'm doing. But to assure I.J. - I think there is time.

As for the rights bought and all that from Smashwords and Amazon - I assume you're talking about reversing rights taken by another publisher? I've heard of Amazon asking for some sort of proof of reversion of rights, like a letter or a date on a contract.

As for the rights they ask for, they take only non-exclusive rights themselves, and when you remove a book, they're done - although if you opt for Smashwords' premium distribution, it can take a while to get the books out of all their partner sites.
Okay, thanks, Camille. That just means I still don't understand the delays and the haggling over rights that my agent reports.
Perhaps your agent is looking to get you a deal closer to what Amazon negotiates with publishers? Straight indie publishing is relatively simple, but publishing companies often have their own separate contracts and they can get quite complicated. Amazon wants rights an agent might want to keep control of, for instance.

Also, there are more hooks in the POD side (like I've heard Amazon wants to own your cover - but I don't know that because I haven't gone there yet).
It's ridiculous that you have to wait, I.J. Sounds like someone is trying to remain relevant in a medium where DIY is becoming the norm.
I need my agent for any number of reasons not connected with e-books. That puts me in a difficult position in regard to getting stuff on Kindle etc.
The numbers will continue to look impressive so long as ebooks are a small share of the market. They're around 5 percent. So it doesn't take a lot to post huge percentage gains. They're the future, sure, but don't forget about the other 95 percent of sales. Print remains the most viable way to make money. We're still a few years away from ebook domination.


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