I thought the whole point of e-books was to lower production, shipping, storage and distribution costs — to save money, in other words. Would it hurt Macmillan to throw a bit of that extra money to the people who write the books instead of squeezing them even more? I have only the most cursory acquaintance with publishing, but it's my understanding that authors are now expected to assume (and pay for) promotional and even editing responsibilities that publishers once assumed.
From my outsider's perspective, one quotation in the article makes a lot of sense: “I don’t really understand the logic since e-books really do not require any additional work on the part of the publisher.”
(From my insider's perspective, the Times article refers to a cut of 5 percent when it really means 5 percentage points. Who needs copy editors, anyhow?)
(Hat tip to In Reference to Murder.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2009