Excerpt from http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/04/guest-post-by-bob-mayer.html
Last year I predicted that legacy publishing wouldn’t be done in by technology, or by readers retreating from print and embracing digital. It would be authors who kill the Big 6 by deciding to self publish.
Looking back at my old blog posts amuses me, because they’re a combination of eerily predictive and massive underestimation (for example, a year ago at this time I believed I could earn $100,000 in seven months, and I’ve just done that in seven weeks.) But even though my thoughts about the future were conservative, the majority are coming true. Publishers still don’t understand that they aren’t going to have anything to publish if they don’t immediately change their ways.
Once again, for all those industry folks who read my blog but are too chicken to leave comments, here’s what you need to do:
1. Give authors fair e-royalty rates. 50% should be the ground floor, and it should go up from there using various escalators.
2. Share the e-wealth with authors by offering them higher rates on contracts that are still active.
Did you hear that, Hyperion and Grand Central? Pay me more money for my Jack Daniels books and for AFRAID. Let’s redo the ebook clauses on my old deals so they’re fair in this brave, new ebook world. Because if you don’t, I’m going to exploit my interactive multimedia rights, release my backlist as enhanced ebooks, and UNDERCUT YOU ON THE PRICE.
You think people will buy your bare-bones version of WHISKEY SOUR for $4.79 when they can get my enhanced version for $2.99? Would some iPad of Nook Color owner rather have a black and white text version of AFRAID for $6.99, or one with games, artwork, author audio commentary, and annotated clickable links for $2.99?
That’s right. They’ll buy mine, not yours.
Now IMAGINE THAT HAPPENING WITH EVERY SINGLE AUTHOR YOU HAVE UNDER CONTRACT.
Yeah, I’m yelling. Because you need to wake up fast, or you’re over.
3. Drop the prices of ebooks. If anyone in New York has been PAYING THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF ATTENTION TO ME FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS I’ve made it painfully clear how cheaper ebooks make more money than expensive ones, with reams of data and dozens of examples to support this.
4. If you are an agent, begin to morph your business into an estributor model, or you’ll sink along with the Big 6.
There. I’ve laid it all out for you. Now go have your meetings and act on it, or you’re not going to survive the next two years.