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70 Percent Isn’t Always What It Seems: Understanding distribution deals and sales models
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70 Percent Isn’t Always What It Seems: Understanding distribution deals and sales models


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Some ebook deals are more complicated than they seem. A distributor’s payment to a publisher is a percentage of what is received from the channel partner, but then it is important to understand the …

Some ebook deals are more complicated than they seem. A distributor’s payment to a publisher is a percentage of what is received from the channel partner, but then it is important to understand the underlying deal; there is no guarantee that all distributors get the same deal. In some cases it is possible for a new ebook publisher to do some channels directly and pay the distributor percentage only on the others. The nuances of these deals will be informed by the vast experience of Constellation, one of the most experienced digital distributors in this very new field.

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  • 1. November 2011
  • 2. The only complete digital service for independent publishersNot just eBooks, but all things digital Digital discovery (SITB, etc.) Enables and supports digital printing (POD & SPR) Distributes and tracks digital eBooks Provides digital marketing tools
  • 3. The only complete digital service for independent publishersNot just technology, but an end-to-end service We screen and negotiate deals with all Constellation partners We setup and manage all interactions with Constellation partners You provide title files and distribution preferences We ingest your files, convert and distribute as requested We monitor, consolidate and report all activity back to you We remit sales revenues back to you We provide tools to improve efficiency, effectiveness and discovery
  • 4. The only complete digital service for independent publishersDigital Service Tools Example: Constellation Dashboard Goal = complete transparency and tracking • Accessible from any browser • Secure password protection (DAM) • Dashboard view with drilldowns for enrolled titles • Overviews by digital partner • Overviews by individual title • Sales track by title • Status updates of where the title is as it is being rolled out and made “live” partner by partner • Clarity on publisher and Constellation “To Do’s” • Ability to upload files directly for conversion and distribution
  • 5. Our Publishers: Over 275 prominent independent publishers and growing2.13.61 Busted Flush Press LLC Entrepreneur Press Haymarket Books Menasha Ridge Press Parallax Press Scarletta Press TravelAbbeville Publishing Group Bywater Books Exterminating Angel Press Healthy Travel Media MFA Publications Parthian Books Seal Press Travelers TalesAgate Publishing Can of Worms Fang Duff Kahn Hg2 Milkweed Editions PassPorter Travel Press Seren Books Trinity University PressAK Press Carcanet Press Featherproof Books History Press Monkfish Book Publishing Paul Dry Books Serpents Tail Turtle Point PressAkashic Books Carousel Press Feral House HJ Kramer Morpheus International PDR Network Seven Footer Press Tuttle PublishingAllison & Busby Channel Photographics Firebrand Books Holy Cow! Press Muswell Press Pear Press Seven Publishing Two Dollar RadioAlyson Publications Cherry Red Records Flare Publications HopeRoad Publishing Myriad Editions Pearson Venture Group Shelter Publications Ulysses PressAnthem Press Childrens Book Press Fledgling Press House of Anansi Press Nation Books Peirene Press Shoemaker and Hoard Underland PressArcadia Books Chin Music Press Inc. Floris Books How To Books National Lampoon Press Perseus Distribution Digital Short Books Underwood BooksArchipelago Books Christopher Hurst and Company Food First Books Hundreds of Heads Books Naval Institute Press Peter Glickman, Inc Sierra Club Books University of MichiganArsenal Pulp Press Cicada Books Foxrock Books Hunter House Neil Wilson Publishing Plain White Press Sierra Club/Counterpoint Urantia FoundationArtNetwork Cicerone Press Frances Lincoln Icon New Horizon Press Polhemus Press Simply Read Books Vagabond VoicesAtlantic Press Cinco Puntos Press Franklin Publishers Ig Publishing New Internationalist Pomegranate Press SLG Books Vanguard PressAugustus Publishing City Lights Publishers Freight Design Image Continuum Press New Society Publishers Process Small Beer Press Verse Chorus PressAurum Press Cleis Press Fulcrum Publishing Impress Books New World Library Profile Books Small Planet Media Waterside PublishingAvalon Clerisy Press Gallic Books In Easy Steps Limited Newmarket Press Prospecta Press SmartPop Web of Life Childrens BooksBasic Books Columbia University Press Gallup Press Inside Pocket NewSage Press PublicAffairs Soft Skull Press Weinstein BooksBasic Civitas Books Constable & Robinson Geddes Group Insight Editions LLC Nicholas Brealey Publishing Publishing Works Sort Of Books Westview PressBeast Books Counterpoint Press Gibson Square Interweave Press Nick Hern Pushkin Press Souvenir Press Wharton Digital PressBeautiful Books Craving Wellness Glasshouse Books John Blake Nicolo Whimsey Press PVG SPCK Whereabouts PressBeginning Press Crown House Global Travel Publishers Kabbalah Publishing Nilgiri Press Quick Trading Company Sports Books White Cloud PressBella Books Crowood Press Gooseberry Patch Kalmbach Books No Exit/Oldcastle Quiller Publishing Sterling & Ross Publishers White Pine PressBellevue Literary Press Cursor Green Candy Press Kelcy Press Nolo Press Rat Press Stone Bridge Press Wide World Publishing TetraBenBella Books Da Capo Press Greystone Books Kennel Club Books Northumbria Press Ravens Quill Surrey Books Wilderness PressBene Factum Publishing de.Mo Design Limited Grosvenor House Publishing Key Porter Books Nosy Crow Re/Search Publications TalentSmart Willow Creek PressBirlinn Dedalus Groundwood Books Leapfrog Press Notting Hill Edns Regnery Publishing Tanglewood Press Wine House PressBiteback Publishing Diamedica Grove/Atlantic LifeTime Media nthposition press Robert Hale Templar Wisdom PublicationsBitter Lemon Distributed Art Publishers Grub Street Lilliput Press Occidental Robert Kennedy Publishing The Disinformation Company Wise Parenting PressBlack & White Publishing Domino Recording & Publishing Gryphon House Little Tiger Press Old Street Rodmell Press The Experiment Zephyr PressBlack Rose Books Douglas & McIntyre Gryphon Press Long River Press Open Court Ronin Careers & Personal The Feminist Press at CUNYBloodaxe Books Dzanc Books Gurze Books Loose Chippings ORO editions Development The New PressBOA Editions Ltd. Easton Studio Press Halban Publishers Lumen Books Osho Media International Running Press The Story PlantBook Peddlers Eland Publishing Harbour Books Mandy and Pandy, Co Outline Press Ltd. Saqi Books Theatre Communications GroupBookline & Thinker Elliott & Thompson Harvard Business Review Press Manic D Press Inc. Oval Guides Saraband Time OutBowTie Press Encounter Books Haus Publishing Marion Boyars Owners Manual Press Sarabande Books Tin House BooksBritish Library Enigma Books Hawthorne Books McWitty Press Papaloa Press Sasquatch Books Totem Books 5
  • 6. Constellation Partners:Powerful… Look Inside
  • 7. Selling eBooks direct or through a Distributor 70% Isn’t Always What it Seems:Understanding Distribution Deals and Sales Models70% of Net Revenue vs. x% off of the Digital Retail Price
  • 8. Selling Direct or through a DistributorSelling direct could be a good way to start, but there are manyadvantages to working with a distributor:•Availability – when you want your eBooks sold through more than one vendor•Merchandizing – for eBooks that require a promotional push•International distribution – managing title rights and multiple currencies•Contract negotiation – knowing what to look for in the fine print•Working with new vendors – moving to the ‘front of the line’•Reporting – dashboard, sales reports, statements, checks•Consultation and Expertise – valuable advice and technical support•Education – keeping you informed in a rapidly evolving digital world
  • 9. Digital Partner Checklist: Do They… Offer multiple conversion options for creating ePubs and enhanced ePubs? Warehouse all of your digital files and metadata? Distribute your digital files and metadata and follow-up on your behalf? Reach both North American and International retailers and markets? Merchandise and promote your e-books via an experienced sales force? Collect sales data and provide sales reports and feeds? Supply a Dashboard interface that gives you complete transparency? Negotiate and problem-solve with vendors on your behalf? Employ experienced client service and vendor managers? Really understand independent publishing, .i.e., are they an independent publisher themselves? Educate you with regularly scheduled seminars, webinars, newsletters? Organize publisher working groups by category? Provide digital marketing tools that help drive sales? Think about future digital services for you and with you, e.g. digital workflow, pricing analytics?