Friday, July 22, 2011

Publishing Companies Cash In

Dear Lori,

I got all excited when I heard many authors were e-pubing their backlists. But then, I am an Old Fart, and it doesn't take much to excite me these days. Still, I had visions of collecting old, beloved stories on my computer and immersing myself in my past. Because I think the books we read do indicate, to a certain degree, just where we were in our lives at that point in time.

Enough of being philisophical!

What I really wanted to tell you is that I got one hell of a shock when I went shopping and I'm not over it yet! Shock is not a good thing for an Old Fart, as you well know.

So, first I looked up Barbara Michaels, because I used to love her books. They're sort of gothic, but they do have romance. No graphic sex and sometimes the hero isn't even there much (thinking of Witch here), but they just make you feel good and that yes, there might be hope for the human race if there's people like this in the world.

Barbara Michael's backlist is selling for $6.99 to 7.99. Well, hell! I still have my old PB copies, falling apart though they are and I guess they're what I'll be reading unless I get lucky around Christmas, lol.

After that little eye opener, I sort of squinched my eyes when I checked out Barbara's alter ego, Elizabeth Peters. OMG!! They're making a mint off the Amelia Peabody series! Peter's backlist runs from $6.89 to $9.99! Ouch!

Okay, won't be collecting her for my Kindle.

I decided to try SF/F. Gotta be better, right? Wrong. Barbara Hambly's backlist starts at $6.99. Starts! I saw one there for $12.99! 0.o

By now, I was sorta getting the idea and a depressing idea it was. La Nora? $5.38 to 11.99. Roberta Gellis, the Roselynde series? $8.69 to 9.58. Oh and as an aside, they're published by Ellora's Cave. Somehow that just struck me as funny, lol. Georgette Heyer? $7.99 - 9.99. Laura Kinsale? Anywhere up to $9.49, with her most recent, Lessons in French being the cheapest at $5.59.


The one thing all these books had in common, is that they were put out by publishing companies, not the author herself. Does that tell us something? Hmmm??

I have no idea what these author's contractual rights are, but I have a hunch the ebook royalties have not grown with the ebook market. How depressing is that? I hope I'm wrong. Maybe the laydeez just didn't want to self publish and cut a new contract with a publishing house. I hope that's the case.

So, what you have to do, Lori, is get famous for something and then put out your backlist through a publishing company. Make sure you get two digit royalty percentages though, because why should the company have all the profit. Right?

All kidding aside, I know there's a whole new generation out there that haven't discovered these books. For them the stories will be new and exciting and maybe worth the outrageous prices being put on them.

But as an old and faithful follower of these authors, I feel ripped off. Sorry, but I do. And I don't like it at all.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree and in fact I'll go one further. I feel ripped off paying that much for a new released book that I can't hold in my hands. Half the fun in reading a great book is passing it on to someone else after gushing about it and without a printed copy, I feel like I'm getting only half the product.