Thursday, February 03, 2011

Surprise Peace Offering to Authors from Amazon and Macmillan

Many of you will remember the Amazon Buy-Button Removal War of one year ago, in which Amazon decided—in a dispute over new ebook contract terms—to blast Macmillan US by taking down all of their books, paper and e, from their catalogue. I was one of thousands of writers affected, and the memory still stings.

Well, according to this post at, Macmillan and Amazon have jointly decided to make reparations to authors for their estimated losses on ebook sales during that week. I don't know how they're calculating the estimate; I haven't gotten my royalty statements yet. But I do appreciate the gesture. (Realistically, I don't expect it to make much difference to me, as the reparations were only for the loss of Kindle-book sales, and where I think I got whacked the most was in my newly released paperback of Sunborn. Still, it's a gesture they didn't have to make.) Further, in the letter to authors reportedly enclosed with forthcoming royalty statements, Macmillan's Sargent offers to amend ebook royalty rates to its authors to the somewhat higher, now-semistandard rate of 25% of net receipts. (That's still not quite where they should be, in the opinion of many, but it's a clear step in the right direction, and I'm pleased to see it come as a willing offer from publisher to author.)

Change of topic, but still on publishing and books: a reader helpfully pointed me toward this fascinating blog series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, called The Business Rusch. (This link will kind of put you in the middle, but she has some links in the article to good places to start, depending on your interests.) A must-read for authors!

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