Important article exploring the economic realities that literary writers face with the rise of digital text. E.L. Doctorow has an interesting comment near the end of the piece.
My experience has been that reading on my iPad has actually led me to buy books when they are released rather than wait for the paperback or a used copy. I’ve also bought books I may have passed over were it not for the convenience and lower price of ebooks. It seems to me that the problems described below have more to do with the publisher-author relationship than the digital format.
via Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal:
Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books
The new economics of the e-book make the author’s quandary painfully clear: A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15%, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for $12.99, returning 70%, or $9.09, to the publisher and typically 25% of that, or $2.27, to the author.
The upshot: From an e-book sale, an author makes a little more than half what he or she makes from a hardcover sale.