The Ebook Market Will Quickly Mature - down to song prices $0.99 a book

Electronic publishing will not improve income for authors. There isn't much hope that the Australian Society of Authors will get its way. The ASA wants 35 per cent return for ebooks. With an expectation of $10 for a new novel that is $3.33. That is a much more than traditional paper publishers pay. Trying to manipulate the electronic medium for more profit is not on. Book publishers have been paying only 10 per cent of the sale price for years. Demand is only high now because many old favorites are available for free. Most consumers are prepared to pay only cents for new work. The same thing will happen as happened with music. Some will buy books then distribute them online for free. When Internet book publishing matures consumers will pay only what they pay now to get a song from iTunes - $0.99.

Publishing firms are selling more new books in ebook format than paper, but this is the honeymoon period. As sells mushroom, profit margins and price will crash. Don't forget the danger of pirated copies being sold from China through eBay. What authors see as "fair" is not what distributors see. They would rather pay authors nothing than to sell at a loss.

Mick Jagger has recently admitted to the UK press that he hasn't made much from CD sales of Rolling Stone material over the last ten years. Furthermore, profit from Internet sales of songs is extremely small.

Book distributors no longer hold a monopoly. They cannot charge exorbitant prices as in the past. With Amazon and even Google pressing for more book sources - cheap ones at that - authors may ignore traditional publishers and do deals with them. The price will surely fall then.
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