Anybody surprised? Anybody? No? Only Borders themselves?
It’s been a long time coming. I knew it was gonna happen as soon as they announced their Bookbrewer program, which I commented on here. Really bad business decision on their part. Let’s assume that all self publishers are STUPID and see how much we can fleece them for!
I’ve got news for you Borders. We aren’t stupid. And while there are the ignorant among us, the rest of us are working on educating the rest so that they aren’t taken advantage of by programs like yours that expect us to PAY for services we get elsewhere for FREE.
Here’s the thing. The book world is changing. You’ve been a follower to date, not even joining the online sales arena until 2008. And you’re completely ignoring the potentially enormous revenue stream that could be generated by eliminating the Bookbrewer program and following the examples of Amazon and Barnes & Noble by providing an actual FREE SERVICE to self-publishers to sell on your site. Heck, even if you didn’t want to go the route of giving us a publishing platform, you could at least join forces with Smashwords to have an influx of massive amounts of new inventory that’s priced at points readers are actually willing to pay. You will more than make up for the loss of revenue from axing Bookbrewer because, gasp, we would actually USE YOU. Seriously…the money you’d make just by having Amanda Hocking alone on your site would probably be nearly enough to bring you out of the red. The woman sold 450,000 ebooks last month.
So in case your head’s still stuck in the sand, here’s what we self-publishers get from your biggest competition:
- Listing FOR FREE: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords
- Reasonable royalty rates: At Amazon we get 35% of all titles below $2.99 and 70% of those above $2.99. At Barnes and Noble we get 40% of titles below $2.99 or above $9.99 and 60% of the titles between those two prices. We earn 60% royalties from all premium distribution points on Smashwords.
- Payment on a monthly basis: Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s quarterly on Smashwords.
- The ability to track daily sales: Amazon and Barnes & Noble (though B&N’s reporting system is still a bit clunky)
- The option to choose to use or NOT to use DRM. Amazon and Barnes & Noble. No Smashwords books use DRM because DRM is evil and doesn’t actually work.
We are a powerful and growing group, and we have lots of friends. You give us a shot, remember not to beta test a new system on us (ahem, you hear that Barnes & Noble?), make us happy, and we’ll pull you out of Chapter 11 by your bootstraps.