A New Yorker article. Talks about Amazon and changes that have taken place in the publishing industry in the last 20 years. Some food for thought. Creating good content is difficult, and electronic distribution costs these days are negligible. Authors should pocket a large percentage of the actual retail price of their stories IMHO. OTOH, without a good distribution system, an author can’t get to market, so I see why they’d want a percentage of the action. But a total race to the bottom is ultimately not the best thing, either.
I’m not sure what the best answer is. Maybe a new book-only company that gives a fair deal to independent authors (like the 70/30 split Amazon gives for their KDP Select folks) but with no other caveats, and does a reasonable business in books for the publishing house authors (like carrying their books, but letting the publishers ship so there is no overhead) and no “promotional fees” just algorithm recommendations, in exchange for the authors getting 20% of whatever the publisher actually sells the (paper) book for, and 60% of electronic book sale price. Eventually I’ll learn more about Kobo and Smashwords and the rest, once I’m done with the 70% + exclusive KDP deal with Amazon. In the meantime, I’m doing OK with it.