Sunday, 24 May 2015

Indie Publishers Royalty Review 2015 and Pronoun

Image by Geralt, at Pixabay
In light of the May 19, 2015 announcement by Vook that they are rebranding to Pronoun, I thought I’d review the existing royalty payment structures at Amazon, and Smashwords in comparison to the new Pronoun offer.

Pronoun is an amalgamation of Vook, Byliner, and Booklr, designed to bring a complete digital book creation, distribution, and analytics platform to the indie publisher, apparently all free, and with 100% royalties. Sounds like direct competition to Amazon, and Smashwords to me.

Here’s a brief overview of royalties all around for the sake of comparison.

Amazon Royalties
This is a very simplified look as the royalty structure is too complex overall to explain here.

The 35% royalty option is for titles priced 0.99 cents to $2.99 (between 3 and 10 megabytes in size).
The 70% royalty option is for titles priced $2.99 to $9.99 (10 megabytes or greater in size).

While Amazon has significantly lower royalties, they offer an enormous network for getting your work out there, including the Select and KLL programs.

Smashwords
The author/publisher earns 85% or more of net proceeds from the sale of their works (minus PayPal payment processing fees), and 60% from sales originated from retailers.

Pronoun
I noticed some articles from a few months ago where Vook had bumped up their royalties to 85%, but then with this final announcement, it has now gone up to 100%. They note that they will earn money from their other enterprises.

Despite the May 19th announcement, Pronoun’s website is yet to become functional but you can sign up with your email to be the first to get in the action here:

There is no indication of whether they will allow authors to publish their works simultaneously elsewhere or if, like in Amazon Kindle’s Select program, you can only publish your works on their platform alone.

So, distribution breadth and allowance for publishing your work elsewhere will likely be important factors in Pronoun's success.

Digital book publishing is a rapidly evolving species on the Internet that appears to benefit from technological innovations. I, for one, am very interested to see how this pans out!

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