Royalty rates for ebooks vary widely. We have seen rates ranging from 10% to 50%.
Current Royalty Rates
The big New York publishers have standardized on a 25% of net receipts royalty rate. These publishers provide authors access to their extensive publicity, marketing and distribution resources. These publishers also all cover design and editing services at no cost to the author.
Open Road Media is offering a 50% of net receipts royalty to authors and estates for the right to e-publish their backlist titles.
O’Reilly Media pays the author 10% of all net income that they receive from all sales of whatever format or licensing agreement.
eBook romance publishers tend to pay royalties of 25% to 44% of net receipts.
Publishers are willing to pay higher royalty rates for backlist titles that require no prepublication expenditures (editing, cover design, proofreading).
Some publishers offer escalating royalties on ebook sales to established authors.
New startup publishers are attempting to lure authors with promises of high royalty rates (as high as 100% of net receipts); however, the author is responsible for all costs associated with the book and they provide minimal or no marketing for the published work.
Ebook only publishers tend to pay ebook royalties monthly or quarterly. Publishers offering books in print and ebook format tend to pay royalties semi-annually or annually.
The big NY publishers forecast rising ebook royalty rates due to competitive pressures from other publishers.