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back to article Amazon offers publishers pre-iSlate Kindle bribes

Amazon has announced it will give a 70 per cent cut of retail price to publishers who make their books Kindle friendly. The figure is around double what a publisher currently gets, but the deal requires books to be priced at least 20 per cent below the dead-tree edition. Between three and ten dollars, the book must also be …

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Anonymous Coward

Kindle only for Amazon ebooks? Wrong.

Excuse me. I can read and buy Kindle ebooks on other hardware.... iPhones, iTouch, laptops, net books, tablets and soon to come Droid and Macs. You never have to buy a Kindle; just use the available Kindle Apps or Kindle4PC...they are free.

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Thumb Down

They should drop the price of books instead

Too many times I can find the paperback of a book on Amazon (being sold by Amazon) for less then the Kindle price.

And I can't give the Kindle version to a friend to read after I'm done with it.

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Err...

What's really needed is some shop that takes the publishers out of the equation and instead connects authors and readers. If you (as an author) dare to publish an ebook wrapped in an app in the Apple AppStore, *you* get 70%. Go through a publisher and you (as an author) get about 5%.

I hereby foresay that there is a *huge* market for articles, short stories and books written and published by indy authors, using the net and ebook-readers and tablets as a platform. What this needs of course is something replacing the filter function of publishers (most people who think they can write can't) but there may be solutions for that.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe Apple will do this with their forthcoming iPad

You're absolutely right.

I recently had a paper book published: the publisher will give me 10% of the price they sell the book for, which is typically 2/3 of the list price, so I'm getting about 7% of the list price. As I understand it, authors typically get between 5% and 15%.

We specifically left eBooks out of our agreement because the publisher hasn't decided what to do about eBooks yet, and I think the author should get a bigger cut from an eBook. We'll see what happens.

Maybe Apple will tap into the huge market you have identified.

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Ros

Publishers aren't useless

Most publishers do a lot more than merely act as a filter for the slushpile. You might not notice the proofreading and editing that goes into a book, but when it's absent it really shows.

I was present at a talk by one of Harper Collins' publishers, and she gave a detailed run-down of exactly what the do for their money. It's a lot. Granted, things like foreign rights sales and marketing aren't all about making a better finished product. But for an author it's not always the bad deal that the percentages make it appear.

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WTF?

Still too much

Ebooks should be massively cheaper than dead-tree editions. The same as music, there is such as huge reduction in costs, that they should be available for less than a fiver.

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Amazing...

... the iSlate/iPad/iLash/iWhatever isn't even announced yet and the marketplace is changing.

Like 'em or loathe 'em (you can't ignore 'em)*, Apple certainly have some influence...

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Pint

Publishers

Soon to be one of those endangered species I think, certainly if I was an author deriving any wodges from ebooks I would be considering my options and my publishers cut rather closely.

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@Ros:

I agree that publishers aren't useless and they do quite a bit to make a book out of some text. But still this is just a service and not something that should earn them a larger part of the profits than the author gets. The major thing that a publisher does is to get the thing onto the shelves of the bookstores and while this is also just a kind of service this is one you can hardly get elsewhere. Self-publishing a book is lots of work, but possible. Selling it is almost impossible.

The thing is that in fact books are just products for a certain market and the publishers treat the authors as suppliers of a minor service to these products they (the publishers) produce. And it is this market that starts shaking right now. Authors won't go away and readers won't go away but nobody can say who will be between them in the future.

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