The Effects of E-Books on Authors

By Theodore

The cost of an e-book is roughly equal to that of a paperback version of the same book.  However, for the first year after they are released, print books are typically sold in a hardcover format, which costs considerably more than a paperback. When e-books are available, people may avoid the cost of a hardcover book and lower an author’s profits.

According to second-hand sources, royalties are lower for e-books than print books.  Barnes & Noble’s financial statements from the years 2008-2011 show that the amount of money made by Barnes and Noble via online sales has increased; however, their statement does not make a distinction between sales made by people ordering books from the Internet or purchasing Nook books. The quantity of e-books sold, according to Barnes & Noble’s CEO, is around three times that of print books, which could compensate for the lower royalties.  However, this figure is viewed skeptically, as much of what the CEO said makes no sense when compared to the financial records.

Publishers do not explicitly state how much they are paying the authors they use; the people who write about these numbers on the internet claiming to be authors, although convincing, cannot be verified and do not include the sources of the numbers they quote.



Categories: Economics


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