Ebook distributor PublishDrive attracted a record 700 authors as new customers in October after introducing a flat-fee subscription option of $100 a month which means authors can get to keep all their net royalties.
The company also still offers the usual option of ebook distribution for 10% of the author’s royalties.
The flat-fee subscription is likely to have attracted more experienced authors with a backlist of ebooks earning over $1,000 a month, which is the point at which it pays to pick the fee choice rather than pay 10% on each sale.
It also means that PublishDrive has probably seen a healthy increase in cashflow. If, for example, all 700 of those new customers chose the $100 fee then the company would be getting an extra $70,000 a month. Even if only half of the new signings went with the fee that would still be a hefty $35,000 each month.
PublishDrive does offer ebook distribution to Amazon but it’s likely that most of its authors go direct with Amazon for their books as they’d already be picking up the maximum net royalty while using a distributor for the rest of the ‘wide’ market, including Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books and Google Play.
That brings up the interesting possibility that at least hundreds of indie authors are making well into four figures each month just with the non-Amazon ebook retailers.
Amazon is obviously the biggest player by far in the ebook market and many authors who do go wide say Kindle still makes up the vast majority of their sales. If we say, for example, that an author’s business split is 70% Kindle and 30% others, then based on earning $1,000 a month through ‘others’ that would mean $2,331 through Kindle for a total of $3,331.
If an author makes $2,000 a month through PublishDrive distribution representing 20% of the total, with 80% through Kindle direct bringing in $8,000, that would add up to a grand total for the month of $10,000.
PublishDrive also added a new robotic service in October which aims to use Artificial Intelligence to pick categories for books. The robot is called Savant and automatically reads through uploaded books to suggest suitable categories.
PublishDrive was set up in 2015 and is based in Hungary with offices in the US, UK and Germany.