Royalties: An Open Letter to Authors

Through all my interactions with Publishers, I kept coming back to the royalties question.  

You know -- in the older, traditional model, the Publisher earned almost all of the royalties because they took the risk.  They invested in a book and put out the capital to get it to market.  The author provided the sweat equity and the labor to create the manuscript, but typically not any capital -- so authors traditionally received a small royalty payment (maybe 3 to 11% or thereabouts).  

Okay, fair enough.  We at Innovo offer Traditional Publishing too. With our traditional model, we take all the financial risk and fund all costs to publish the title.  We  pay the author an advance and traditional royalties. The Author makes no financial commitments in our traditional publishing model. We also offer a Cooperative Publishing in which we split the financial risk & royalties with the author.

But with our Independent self-publishing, print-on-demand model, where the author is taking the financial risk and providing the upfront capital to create the book, I had to ask myself why some self-publishing companies are still earning most of the royalties when they aren't taking the financial risk with Independent Self-Publishing.    

The answer, I concluded, is that most Independent self-publishers are continuing this practice because that's how it has always been done... and they like the revenue!  But I don't believe that's right with Independent self-publishing... and at Innovo, we've turned the Independent self-publishing model upside down.  


At Innovo, authors choosing our Independent self-publishing option earn 100% royalties on all 3rd-party retail sales such as those to bookstores, Amazon, and other retailers AND 100% royalties on  any direct-to-consumer sales. That's right! 100% Royalties!  


Why are we at Innovo Publishing giving independent self-publishers of Christian and wholesome books 100% royalties?  Because with this independent self-publishing model, we are providing a service and the author is paying for that service.  So then, doesn't it follow that the author should earn the royalties? I believe it does, and this represents one of Innovo's foundational principles for our Independent Self-Publishing options.   Sure, we do Traditional Publishing and Cooperative Publishing, too, and these are different models. But with Independent Publishing, our authors earn 100% royalties.  

A few other companies, even Christian companies, say they provide 100% royalties for Independent self-publishers when in reality they only provide 100% royalties on some of their book sales.  At Innovo, when we say 100%, we really mean it.  Self-Publishers get 100% royalties on every sale we make to their customers--whether it is through our network, our website, or anywhere else.

If you like our approach, I hope you will give Innovo the opportunity to work with you on your next Christian or wholesome publishing venture.

Bart Dahmer
Founder & CEO
Innovo Publishing, LLC

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