If you follow the publishing trade press, this is what you will read this week ...
BEWRITE BOOKS SWITCHES TO EBOOKS-ONLY PUBLISHING MODEL
EBOOKS ON THE MIND ... PRINT ON THE SHELF
After more than a decade of simultaneously releasing its titles in print and ebook formats, Canada- and USA-registered BeWrite Books has switched to a new digital editions-only publishing model.
The move follows three years of state-of-the-art technical investment, the development of a wide and independent digital distribution base, and the successful six-months-long trial of an ebook-first publishing system introduced on January 1 this year.
Its international group of authors will have all print rights immediately restored along with freely offered, fully prepared files for personal print use and the recommendation of a major print and distribution company with which the publishing house has negotiated a special, free set-up deal for its authors with no return to BB itself. Ebook distribution and sales will continue uninterrupted.
And all authors will see an immediate increase in their former 25% ebooks royalty to 40%.
Over the past three years, BeWrite Books has seen a complete reversal of its previous sales performance of 99% paperback ... to 99% in digital editions.
Publisher and technical director Tony Szmuk said: ‘Clearly, BB print – sold almost exclusively on line (forgive the qualified superlative) – has become unsustainable. However, we do understand the feeling of some authors who perceive personal value in having their titles in print. We will enable this by providing them with fully edited, text-designed and meticulously proof read files, covers and extra assistance at no cost whatsoever. They are all our friends. Nobody leaves a friend short-changed.’
Those authors agreeing to make no substantial textual adjustment to BeWrite Books-prepared works and covers will also be permitted to carry the BeWrite Books logo and additional BB material in their print editions with no royalty or other form of payment to the publisher.
Managing editor Neil Marr said: ‘It came to the ebook tipping point – and the crunch – in early 2010. We can no longer afford to uphold editorial, design, cover, promotion and distribution of print and remain viable. As a highly selective smaller press with a massive level of professional in-house input but with no brand-name authors yet, an ebook-only policy is the one way we can benefit everyone involved in both the short- and long-term.
‘On the side, we believe we’ve cut an excellent print deal for our authors. And I must confess to a certain de-mob happy feeling when it comes to passing responsibility for print to a top-shelf international press and distribution company whose executives I’ve known and trusted for a decade or more. For the first time in some years, BB authors stand to gain significantly through self-generated print editions, and we don’t stand to lose. And, of course, everyone will benefit from our mushrooming ebook sales and the immediately increased digital royalty. Win win?
‘This new 100% focus on ebook editions will not mean any reduction in our high standard of manuscript selectivity, editorial, design, technical and other input. But print will now be a free by-product of the digital process to authors rather than be factored in as a negative financial consideration to the house. We can now more fully concentrate on not only literary and design quality, but on fully implementing our technological and digital distribution developments.’
Meanwhile, BeWrite Books has increased the size of its editorial team. In previous years, between twelve and fifteen exclusive new BB titles have been edited, prepared and released annually: forty new releases are scheduled for 2012, and the company projects a significantly higher release rate for 2013 and beyond.
And that’s it, folks ... after over a decade of print. BB authors, of course, have already been closely kept in touch with these latest developments. They’re pals as well as professional colleagues, and feedback so far has been 100% positive and supportive.
The BeWrite Books website content will be re-drafted accordingly this week. Take a look in a few days HERE. You’ll see what we mean. Sorry, I mean what we MEAN!
Now let’s see how readers vote! All studies suggest landslide in favour.
Bestests. Neil, Tony, Sam, Hugh et al at BeWrite Books