The New Media Paradigm
Amazon just announced today that they will start a new royalties program for Kindle in which authors will get 70% of the price of every book sale. The new “boom” in electronic book readers as seen in CES just a couple of weeks ago, may bring a huge shift in power to the old world of publishing.
Today almost all of the money we pay for physical books goes to the store and the publisher. In Israel for example, it was calculated that most authors get just about 1000 NIS (or $250) for every book they write. Yes. For months or years of work on a book, the author gets such a low number.
But electronic book readers might change all of that. Similar to what we have seen in the music business, digital distribution basically makes the middle man obsolete. Authors can now push their books directly to consumers and take all the money home with them.
So is this the end of the publishing house?
The answer is no. But they will have to adopt to a new reality.
Getting your book out there is one thing. Getting people to notice it and buy it is completely different thing. The role of the publisher will have to change from a distributer to marketer. From the owners of the content to the backstage supporters and helpers. The ones who will not know to adopt will slowly bleed to death and be replaced by new companies who I’m sure will rise.