Publishers Earn More than Authors on E-Book Sales

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Authors are earning less on e-books than on physical ones, and the villain isn’t necessarily Amazon. According to the Author’s Guild, a professional organization for writers, publishers are now taking closer to 75% of an e-book’s profit, up from only 50% of traditionally published books. While Amazon’s downward pricing pressure has squeezed profit from everyone else, the publisher-favorable contracts originated when e-books represented a very minor portion of book sales.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →