So the latest Apple-related brouhaha for those who like to get their knickers in a twist to be all knicker-twisted about is the EULA attached to iBooks Author, as no doubt you’ve heard. Normally we’d just snicker at the lachrymose lamentations of those who profess that strings attached to something given away for free is somehow unprecedentedly evil, but there is a particularly interesting bit in Jeff Lamarche’s display of common sense in punditry here:
… Let’s say, for giggles, that “book stealing” was Apple’s intent, and such an intent was found to be both legal and the actual intent of the contract, and Apple decided to exercise those rights to steal my books. You know what? Even with all that, it’s still a hell of a lot better deal than I’ve ever gotten from a traditional publisher. Apple is offering 70% of the sale price to me. The most favorable contract I’ve ever gotten from a publisher starts at 12% of the net price the publisher gets from the distributor, wholesaler, or retailer (which is half or less of the retail price). That percentage does slowly escalate up to 20% if I sell a ton of books, but if I publish a new edition of an existing book, the escalators go back down to 12% and I have to start all over. To put this in more concrete terms, if I were to sell a book in the iBooks Store for $9.99, I would get $6.99 per book sold, which is about four times what I get when one of my current $39.99 books sells, and I’d get that money months sooner. Oh, and guess what? I don’t own those books published through a traditional publisher, either. My publisher can even have someone else update the book and can continue to use my name to promote it, even if I don’t like the revisions or think the update sucks…
Wow! We were vaguely aware that writing books was for most people a pretty low return endeavour, but we had no idea that terms were on the order of a twentieth of the cover price. That rather puts all the huffing and puffing from excitable quarters into its proper context, doesn’t it now?
A rather more amusing take on the huffing and puffing types: In Favour Of iBook Author
Lots of thought-provoking iBooks Ideas from @mattgemmell!