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 is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Little Fiction, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, Chicago Review of Books, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →