Thursday, 2 July 2009

Leading electronic publisher releases sales figures

New Concepts Publishing, one of the leading publishers of electronic books, has released its sales figures. This is a rare move in a business that generally keeps its sales closely guarded, and gives an interesting insight into this developing medium.

New Concepts pays in royalties only, ranging from 30-40%, the typical business model for electronic publishers, and reports that the average author payout over three years (the normal contract period) is $450. They've also published the range of payouts:

Science Fiction/Futuristic range: $127.89--$8455.46
Paranormal range: $78.00--$5673.50
Contemporary range: $55.18--$7913.78
Historical range: $75.16--$3863.12
Romantic Suspense range: $124.24--$1977.20
Fantasy range: $44.00--$4774.80

As you can see there's quite a range, with some authors earning next to nothing and others getting royalties that compare favorably with advances paid by major publishers. I suspect the endpoints of these ranges are outliers, but considering that the total average is $450, the average payout is skewed more towards the lower figure than the higher. Also note that New Concepts only publishes romance in all its various genres. Romance is the big seller in ebooks, so aspiring authors who publish in other genres might see an average payout lower than this.

New Concepts Publishing is one of the pioneer epublishers, having started in those ancient dialup days of 1996. Congratulations on your 13th years of publishing, an achievement for any small press and almost unheard for an epublisher, and thanks for being so candid about your sales. We can only hope more publishers follow suit.

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