I got an email today from a friend of mine, Jon Fisher, exclaiming, “I’ve finally written a best-seller!” So I immediately jumped onto the iBookstore to grab a copy of his book and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I did a search on his name, then a search on the book title, nothing.
I fired up my laptop and went to Amazon to see if I could find it in the Kindle store and there it was. So I bought a copy and didn’t think much more about it. Until now.
Why wasn’t his book in the iBookstore? I know exactly why: Publishing on the iPad is hard!
Most traditional book publishers are having a tough time getting their books into the iBookstore and onto the iPad because they don’t have the technology in place nor the technical expertise to integrate their catalog with the iBookstore. Many of their titles are old and I’m sure there is a cost-benefit analysis they are doing right now to decide whether it’s even worth their while to spend the money necessary to convert the titles into EPUBS.
If you are a published author, you’re probably fuming right now, too! I had a conversation with a well-known author last week who was outright pissed at his publisher because they were dragging their feet again over eBook publishing his backlist. He was ready to spend the next few years hammering on their door. So I gave him some tips, and I’ll share the same three tips with you here:
1. If your contract is at least 10 years old you probably still own the eBook rights to your work, because eBooks didn’t really exist back then. So pull your contract and see if you can assign the eBook rights to another company, like FastPencil.com who can actually get you the kind of distribution you need, without any of the hassles, and way more profit.
2. If you are still under contract, see what it will take to license the eBook rights back from them. Most traditional publishers have a rights management system and are willing to sell you back the rights to publish your own eBook. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way of business. Your agent can usually help with this, too.
3. Move all your current and future work to a next generation publisher who will get you maximum exposure, wide distribution and much better economics. On average you can make 3-4 times as much profit on every book sold compared to a traditional publishing contract. Of course I’m going to pitch FastPencil.com because I’m the CTO there and I believe it’s really the only next generation publisher that can help top-tier authors.
So don’t settle for the sub-par treatment you get from your publisher. If there’s any way to get out of your contract give it a shot. You will get much better treatment, profit and exposure if you take the plunge and go with a next generation publisher.