In what seems to be an effort to reduce the power Amazon has over book sales, Harper Collins has announced a new service for authors that allows them to add a “Buy Now” button to their personal websites and social feeds which transfers buyers directly to the online store. In addition, authors will receive better royalty rates on affiliate sales.

From the release:

HarperCollins Publishers today announced the launch of an e-commerce program which will allow its authors to earn an additional 10% net royalty on print, e-book, and physical audio products sold through the HarperCollins platform. As an example, authors earning a 25% net royalty will now receive a 35% net royalty on e-books sold through the HarperCollins platform.

The service will be implemented in the next few months and authors will be paid in their royalty statement.

While this is good news for plugged-in and highly social writers, I suspect this will have little effect on less techie scriveners. While adding a “Buy Now” button to most websites isn’t rocket surgery, it is if your primary skill is the exegesis of mid-18th-century poetry in the Scandinavian canon.

It’s another step in an interesting direction for mainstream publishers as they flail in the age of Amazon. I just hope authors understand how powerful a button like this is for their sales and how important it will be in the future as indie authors outpace the big houses at least in terms of technology and reach.

via GoodReader

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