E-Book Royalty Debate

Authors’ royalties from e-books have always stirred controversy.

Once again authors have demanded a greater share of e-book receipts, this time because of HarperCollins’ parent company, NewsCorp, published an investor presentation that suggested that the publisher could potentially make more money from e-book sales than from print. 

Author Nick Harkaway and agent Brian DeFiore both then joined the fray, saying that the presentation demonstrates very clearly that authors are being badly treated by publishers, who still claim that e-books are no more profitable than print. 

However, after closer analysis, Brian deFiore conceded that the example cited by NewsCorp had been used to attract investor support, and probably did not give the whole picture. 

More reasonably, therefore, he said that what authors deserve is greater transparency from the publishing industry: “We need to see the entire picture of a book’s publication effort – in all formats – to judge value.”

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