Welcome to Fair Maison, a fair market resource for electronic fiction.

Publishing is in flux, and most authors don’t make a lot of money, but what most people don’t know is that authors make varying amounts on the very same book, depending on where we buy it.

See this post by Moira Rogers for an excellent explanation.

When I read that, I thought: Wouldn’t it be nice to find an online resource that featured the novels and stories I want to read — and links to them where the author will get the highest amount from the sale?

At present, when we buy an ebook at Amazon, it takes 65% (that’s not a typo) of the $$ for a Kindle-readable file. I’d rather more money go to the wonderful authors — so they can keep writing more!

EDIT (3-29-10):
As Zoe Winters points out in the comments, Amazon has changed the percentage they give authors. She explains why buying from Amazon helps her in other ways, through ranking.

I’m not sure publishers like Carina and Samhain are passing on the better deal to their authors.

HOWEVER, independent authors (and their fans) are well positioned to benefit from this change. So when the time comes, I’ll be happy to put up Amazon links for the authors who do benefit by the change. Whee!

This is an experiment, just getting going. Once I get a few books listed, I might even review some.

If you are an author who would like your best-for-you links listed, please tell me about it in the comments. This is a work in progress, everything subject to change.


16 Responses to “About”

  1. zoewinters Says:

    Starting in July Amazon will be giving 70% royalties for any ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99.

    Even if that weren’t true though, me personally as an indie author, I’d prefer people bought on Amazon because it raises my sales ranking and exposure there. (I realize this happens on other sites as well but Amazon seems to do a particularly good job of helping readers find books.)

  2. zoewinters Says:

    And thank you for mentioning me on your site!

  3. likari Says:

    Thanks Zoe — this is good to know. I started this site before Amazon changed their deal.

    The 70% changes everything. When your book comes out, I’ll put up the Amazon link and all the links you like.

  4. zoewinters Says:

    Yay, you’re made of awesome sauce!

  5. likari Says:

    If you click on your name at the top or the side bar, you’ll see you have your own page, rudimentary as it is. I’m happy to add any links there anytime.

    Obviously, on the technical, website design side, I have no idea what I’m doing here, ha. It’s my own little sandbox, but it might end up being useful to readers as the content builds.

  6. likari Says:

    There, I added your Amazon link to the Coming Soon post.

  7. zoewinters Says:

    Yes, I noticed I got my own page. That is awesome! There are more and more readers doing things like this and indie authors REALLY appreciate it. 😀 (And I’m sure non-indies do too!)

  8. likari Says:

    I’ve since learned from the fabulous Kym Hinton at Carina that Amazon is not passing that new percentage on to publishers.

    So while an indie author like Zoe Winters will be getting the 70% — a far more reasonable amount — a publisher like Samhain will not.

    What’s up with that?

  9. zoewinters Says:

    Whoa, that’s interesting. I think it’s all in how they are registered with Amazon. If Carina or Samhain are using third-party distributors to get into Amazon, they probably wouldn’t get it. You have to deal directly with Amazon. But there is no legitimate reason why Amazon wouldn’t offer that percentage to anyone who registers with them directly through DTP.

    Also I’m really not sure her info is right. I’m not trying to be difficult, but the entire point of the 70% was to get PUBLISHERS to price their books between 2.99 and 9.99. On the indie end it’s to help lessen the really cheap reads, and on the Publisher end it’s to give publishers an incentive not to price over 9.99.

    This involves everybody. There is no sane reason that Amazon would make the offer to major publishers and independent authors but not smaller publishers. I mean technically I’m a small publisher because I publish under my own imprint. So really… what is the difference between Carina and IncuBooks? Not a whole lot.

    If I had to guess about it, Carina and Samhain arent’ dealing directly with Amazon through the DTP system. And since they aren’t a major publisher, it’s somehow too big of a hassle for Amazon to cut these deals with third party distributors who ALSO want their cut.

    If these small epubs would deal directly through the DTP system just like an indie author would, they would have no problem. The issue IMO seems to be on the publisher end and their noncompliance with the channels they have to go through to make this happen, rather than Amazon.

    Amazon isn’t going to fall all over themselves to include every small press that can’t follow directions.

  10. likari Says:

    Zoe, that’s fascinating.

    And maybe I’m wrong about Samhain, but I’m sure the lower percentage is accurate for Carina. I had a book on submission with them. Long story short, I pulled it because I decided in the long run I would resent the 15% royalty, so why start a relationship doomed to failure?

    Which is very sad for me because from what I can see Kym Hinton is a wonderful editor, and it would have been a joy to work with her.

    Anyway, after I pulled the book, the Carina team wanted her to let me know that Carina is not going to be getting the 70%. Now maybe this is because Carina, being a subsidiary of a corporation with corporate policies and procedures, can’t/won’t go through the DTP system.

    If that’s available to a publisher, then they should figure out how the hell to knock on that door!

    I’m a nobody, and Carina lost me because of that 15%. I’d rather go indie — of course! I wonder how many established authors won’t submit to Carina because of that lower percentage? Or maybe Carina is intending to bigfoot the industry and drive the “standard percentage” for the author down?

    Anyway, my book is on submission to Samhain now. It’s weird; I was expecting Carina to reject the ms, then I was going to submit it to Samhain (saving the best for last). But Kym sent me a revise/resubmit request and that messed up my plan, ha!

    I love the way Samhain treats its authors – and editors too. From what I understand, the editors also get a percentage of the sales on the books they edit. MARVELOUS!

    Am I a socialist? ha. I love it when the people who create the art (and editors are definitely part of the creative team) participate properly in the wealth the art creates.

    Well, I guess that’s why I started this site!

  11. likari Says:

    You just inspired a thought:

    I wonder if Amazon won’t save us all from piracy? Thieves steal from writers on a micro level, but piracy has got to hit Amazon big time. They have the clout and the resources to come up with a useful response.

    I’m willing to bet they will.

  12. zoewinters Says:

    Yep, since Carina isn’t a big publisher, Amazon has no interest in making personal deals with them. You either go through big publisher channels or you go through DTP directly. If you’ve got a third party distributor that’s going to be a problem.

    Even if they were getting the 70% deal the way they’re going, part of that would be taken off by the third party distributor. Then another part would be taken by Carina as well.

    Either way you’d make less than you can make directly through Amazon.

    I think it’s like the agent vs. intellectual property lawyer argument. It just all depends. Do you want to pay a flat fee up front for editing, or do you want someone to take a chunk out of your work forever and then have control of it?

    More and more smaller presses just have nothing of much value to offer. They can’t boast better distribution or marketing, because that’s certainly not true.

    All they have to offer is cover design and editing. But you can get that freelance. With a small press the talent of the editors and cover artists are really hit and miss. While that may also be true in the freelance world, at least YOU get to pick who you work with there.

    While I do respect editing as a specialized skill, it’s not magic or mystical and it’s not THAT hard to find a good editor.

    Carina has no power to drive the standard percentage down. If they could then all authors would just go indie. Even at 35% I considered Amazon a better deal than giving my rights up.

    While I appreciate cover artists and editors to me that is “work for hire.” A reader will notice if there is bad editing or bad cover art, but that’s not WHY they buy the book. Their concern is packaging not product.

  13. zoewinters Says:

    I think Amazon will play an indirect role in fighting piracy much like itunes has. And that’s simply due to encouraging reasonable pricing.

    Buying ebooks from Amazon is fast, no hassle, and many book are reasonably priced.

    If I can get a book for 2.99, have it wirelessly delivered instantly, not have to go through a payment process every time, from a place I trust, I’m getting it there.

    And so will most people.

    People argue piracy on morality grounds. And while I agree it’s both immoral and illegal, you have to appeal to people where it benefits THEM. Especially given that guilt only works with the weak-willed and there isn’t a high enough risk of legal repercussions for individual pirates.

    The real way to fight piracy is to make it easier and more convenient to just buy the book.

    I say this as someone who used to download music. (yes, I’m evil) But companies were making it INSANELY complex for me to buy a single song I wanted.

    Why am I going to go through that trouble when I could get the music for free?

    But now with itunes and Amazon it is EASY to buy a song. And 99 cents is an impulse purchase. You think I’m going to go to a site where I might get a virus on my computer to search and steal something when it’s easier, safer, and has the benefit of being morally and legally right to choose the other option?

    Sorry I’m so long-winded.

  14. likari Says:

    I understand your points. I’m definitely going indie if Samhain decides they don’t want this ms, but I still like the idea of an editor having a percentage interest in the work.

    I have a vision of a team of people – author, editor, maybe even cover artist – all benefiting from their creative work. You’d have more opportunities for cross-promotion too, especially as the editors and cover artists build up name recognition.

    And by the way, I’m not talking about copyediting; I’m talking about insightful developmental editing.

  15. likari Says:

    I agree with you 99% re piracy.

    The 1% is just the pissed-off part of me that want to see pirates suffer for stealing other people’s work.

  16. zoewinters Says:

    Hey likari, the beautiful thing about all this is you have choices and you get to decide. As long as the blinders are off and you KNOW you have choices, that’s what matters.

    hehehe @ the piracy thing. I don’t necessarily want to see them suffer, I just would like it to become less of an issue. Right now a lot of these torrenting sites are getting by on legal loopholes and I think that they shouldn’t. There should be laws that more strongly protect copyrights, else why even register them?

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