Daily Archives: March 24, 2011

Boycott Dorchester Books!

BOYCOTT DORCHESTER (with updates at bottom)

Since January of this year, unauthorized digital editions of my work have been sold via Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Sony. These digital editions were not made available for sale until well after the rights had reverted back to me. Dorchester’s response, in each case, has been to blame someone else and assure me that “they are looking into it” and that I would be “financially compensated” and that “it wouldn’t happen again”. Except that I haven’t been financially compensated and it keeps happening again. In the most recent case (iBooks), Dorchester blamed their vendor, Libre Digital, but provided no documentation verifying this. An employee at Apple cast doubt on this explanation. In the case of Kindle, they blamed Amazon.com. Again, an employee at Amazon cast doubt on this. The ebooks were sold under the Dorchester brand. They were sold even though Dorchester does not have the rights to them. And it is Dorchester, rather than their vendors or booksellers, who are ultimately responsible. I have been patient. I have been understanding. The first time, I allowed that it could indeed be a mistake. Four times later? It is no longer a “mistake”.

This is inexcusable and is unconscionable.

Spread the word.

Boycott Dorchester Books!

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Writer Barry Eisler On eBook Pricing

Why I’m Self-Publishing

Have you decided how much you plan to charge for The Detachment?

I’m thinking $4.99 will be about right. On the high end of the low-priced digital spectrum, but still only half of what Ballantine was charging for my previous books (and they’ve now raised the price of Inside Out to $12.99, which is insane unless you’re deliberately trying to crush digital revenues—or sacrifice them in an attempt to retard the erosion of paper). I want to position my books as premium-priced versions on the reasonably-priced scale, if that makes sense, to find a sweet spot between the high-end of what my brand can support and the low end that results in impulse purchases and maximum sales volume.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, Pricing, Writer

The Money Now Makes Sense: Ditch Your Publisher

The Business Rusch: Pushing The Envelope

Suddenly the fact that Eisler is turning down a $500,000 doesn’t seem so dramatic, does it? Particularly when you figure he’s earning $30,000 on a self-published $2.99 short story. Imagine what he’ll get from a higher-priced novel that his fans have been waiting for.

Think of it this way: he’s going to start earning money that he will be able to keep even if something goes wrong rather than receiving an interest-free loan that he would have to pay back if something went wrong in the business relationship with his publisher.

Earned money versus a loan. Which would you take? Especially when he’s already earning $30,000 on a $2.99 short story. Okay, for the sake of speculation, let’s say he prices the new John Rain novel at $6.99 and the novel sells the exact same number of copies that the short story sold (it won’t; novels sell better than short stories, even short stories by bestsellers). That means he would earn $90,000 in the first year of publication, only $51,000 short of what he would have gotten as a loan from St Martins Press.

The difference here, however, isn’t the short term money, the loan versus the actual earned income. It’s about the long haul. Eisler wants the book to earn over its entire life. Traditional publishing wants to earn back its investment plus a 4% minimum profit within the first six months of the book’s life. (I call that the produce model—traditional publishing acts as if books can spoil on a bookstore shelf, and those books must be moved aside for the next big thing.)

Eisler is going to invest less than $1000 to earn a minimum of $90,000 within a year. All by walking away from a loan that he isn’t sure of keeping.

Two things:

1) Amazon changed their cut, which made a big difference

2) Eisler already has a large audience

You can’t, however, argue with math.

But be aware of fashion.

The Flavor of the Month becomes something to avoid.

Careers do not all go up, up, up.

See: Icarus.

Update: Eisler explains here.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, Writer