Over the last decade or so, self-published authors have found a new model for bringing their work to the public. With a vastly better royalty structure, the opportunity to fully retain rights, and more control of the production process, it’s no wonder that many authors new and old are opting for this route. Thousands of people are earning a living doing what they love, and readers across the world have gained access to voices that would have been marginalized not too long ago. It really is a beautiful thing. Despite self-publishing’s rapid growth, traditional publishers continue to be key players, even in the face of huge changes to their business. People still love the feel of a printed book and global sales data bears that out. Mastering the complexities of distribution, merchandising, publicity, and marketing is no easy feat, so traditional book publishing will continue to have a seat at the table for the foreseeable future. There is also still power in the brand name of a big 5 publisher – they still hold significant sway in the public’s consciousness.
What was once a siloed market – indies on one side, traditionally published authors on the other – is now becoming a heterogenous mixture. The big 5 are signing ascendant self-publishers and traditionally published writers are seeing the benefits of self-publishing. Both paths have something to offer, and these “hybrid” authors are experiencing the best of both worlds. Being part of the big 5 distribution machine can help an author build their audience and increase sales on their independently published titles, despite what might be an inferior total revenue outcome for that one title specifically. You can think of these deals as brand-builders for the hybrid author’s publishing business. Publishers also offer editorial and design expertise that can dramatically raise the overall storytelling skills of an author and help them in their own marketing.
This all adds up to a promising but complex picture. One factor that shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle? Rights and royalty tracking. And that’s where Royalty Reminder comes in.
You might have dozens of titles and scores of subsidiary rights sub-licensed to publishing partners while simultaneously needing to keep track of KDP select windows of exclusivity and sales data across major eBook retailers. You may realize that a French translation license for your top title has been performing excellently and is about to expire – “time for a bigger advance,” you may think to yourself. And you would be right. You may realize that a former bestseller of yours has gone out of print. You can revert rights to this title, create your own eBook version of it and market it yourself. Publishing backlist titles is a proven strategy and if older titles come into your hands, re-publication is a major opportunity. Lastly, you may realize that a self-published title of yours has started selling like crazy in Germany – it might be time to start shopping the German translation rights to this title to foriegn agents and publishers in the region.
As the walls continue to come down, we believe that all successful authors will be hybrid authors – people who are tracking their IP on a yearly, monthly, and even weekly basis.
The takeaway we’re getting at is a familiar one here on the Royalty Reminder blog: organizing your rights licenses and royalty data in one place can pay huge dividends over the course of your career. If you’re interested in trying out our platform, we offer 6 months free and 0 cost on-boarding. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.