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Kathryn Stockett Loses 39% On eBook Royalty: Author’s Guild

Authors and publishers do not tend to agree on what is a fair royalty rate for an eBook. Publishers have set the standard at about 25%, but according to a panel at Digital Book World agents and authors think it should be 50%.

The Author’s Guild has a blog post on its site this week called, “E-Book Royalty Math: The House Always Wins,” arguing how authors are losing money on their eBook deals. In the post, the Author’s Guild calculated the gross profit (income per copy minus expenses per copy) for three popular titles to argue their case. Here is what they came up with:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Author’s Standard Royalty: $3.75 hardcover; $2.28 e-book.
Author’s E-Loss = -39%
Publisher’s Margin: $4.75 hardcover; $6.32 e-book.
Publisher’s E-Gain = +33%

Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci
Author’s Standard Royalty: $4.20 hardcover; $2.63 e-book.
Author’s E-Loss = -37%
Publisher’s Margin: $5.80 hardcover; $7.37 e-book.
Publisher’s E-Gain = +27%

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Author’s Standard Royalty: $4.05 hardcover; $3.38 e-book.
Author’s E-Loss = -17%
Publisher’s Margin: $5.45 hardcover; $9.62 e-book.
Publisher’s E-Gain = +77%

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