Today HarperCollins announced their latest digital-only mystery imprint Witness. But buried in the third paragraph was the most interesting tidbit in the story! The real news item!
Harpercollins is changing their royalty period so as to pay digital-only authors on a monthly basis. Once again Amazon took the lead (as they announced this on March 18) and the Big 6 had to follow. What I wouldn’t give for Random House or S&S to lead the way rather than do things after the fact but that might be wishful thinking.
But here’s my question to publishers and I hope they are paying attention. You are now starting to reward authors who are doing digital-only. Great. But what about your stalwart current authors who have stood by you and continued publishing with you as the industry revolutionized around them?
Why should they get shafted just because they are doing both print and digital?
I get why print payments need to be on the slow-as-molasses-every-6-months payment schedule because publishers have to factor in returns from physical bookstores. But why should those authors have to wait for their digital royalties? Why can’t this be separate? Of if that can’t be fathomed, why can’t digital royalties be paid immediately after earn out?
There is no longer any reason for the 6-month cycle. How about payment parity for those authors?