Bowing to the inevitable, indie ebook distributor BookBaby announced a new pricing schedule last week.
They’re now offering a no-fee distribution option and a $99 option, both of which now include paying BookBaby a 15% commission on earnings.
Along with the 2 new price points BookBaby has also announced a much higher priced $249 option. Authors who still want to take home 100% of their earnings will have to pay considerably more than under the old plans.
Originally launched in early 2011, BookBaby had made a name in charging only a flat $99 fee with 0% commission to distribute an ebook. They have seen some success with this model, but their bigger and more successful competitor Smashwords has always offered a commission based distribution option – and now BookBaby has followed suit.
BookBaby might claim a larger distribution network than Smashwords, but they still have fewer authors signed up. If it’s valid to judge popularity based on which service is bigger* then clearly more authors prefer a distribution option with no upfront costs. If nothing else it makes sense for BookBaby to come closer to matching the prices of the leading ebook distributor.
But as close as Bookbaby may have come they still haven’t quite matched Smashwords, which throws in an automated ebook conversion in their one size fits all plan. Smashwords will convert a manuscript from from DOC to multiple formats and distribute the resulting ebooks to the leading ebookstores, all while charging a 15% commission.
* Maybe one service has more customers due to better marketing.