FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

In the same article (The Dominion Post) discussing higher consumer charges for the Amazon Kindle in Australia, there is mention of concerns by Australian publishers about the royalty agreements for the Kindle.

The article mentions that the Australian Society of Authors (by Executive Director Jeremy Fisher) is advising it’s 3000 members to resist publishing through the Kindle. They cite that Amazon seeks big discounts from publishers, resulting in lower returns to them and consequently the authors (with Amazon taking by far the biggest profit). Consequently it’s claimed the Kindle service will feature little in the way of native Australian content.

This royalty claim is actually very accurate. I found the agreement through Mobipocket took a far greater share of royalties than the like of the non-exclusive agreement we have with OneBookShelf (an exclusive would have netted more royalties). To combat the problem, I’ve simply marked up the asking price so our take is similar.

Also by signing up through Mobipocket (owned by Amazon) you get your product in the hands of 100 other ebook marketplaces. Signing up with Amazon directly does give them complete control and you miss the other merchants.

I think Australian publishers and authors need to play the field a bit wider, investigate ebook options and tailor their presence accordingly.

In the same article, the CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association (Malcolm Neil) has acknowledged the Kindle represents a threat to it’s members, and that the book industry is about to go through the same painful transition as the music industry faced.

One statistic refered to by Malcolm is that the Kindle’s market share in the US is less than 5%, but where books are made available in both Kindle and physical editions an impressive 50-50 spilt occurs in sales.

This is an interesting statistic, and for FSpace we need to look at this. Our presence at Amazon is Kindle only at the moment. Several methods are available to get print directly listed on Amazon, but it is a charged per publication requirement.

Our own print on demand book offerings at present aren’t there, and listing is up to the interests of Lulu or Amazon unless we pay, hinting at the underlying business model of those services.

Either way, this article helped reveal some interesting trends, and provide us with some strategic planning information for the future.

Categories: Development

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