Late last week Inkshares announced radical changes to its two-year-old crowd-funded publishing platform. Starting 30 October, the publisher will drop the ebook-only funding tier, and it will also reduce the minimum number of backers required to get a book published.
Where Inkshares had previously required advance orders for at least a thousand copies, they've now lowered the bar to 750 copies while at the same time doubling the price for certain editions.
Backers who ask for a kid's book, for example, will now have to put up $30 (up from $15). A trade paperback costs $20 (was $10), but a hardback will only cost $30. Given that the production cost for a POD trade paperback book usually runs $10 to $15, the change makes a lot of sense (InkShares was likely losing money before).
Similarly, the new international shipping fee ($15) is also intended to plug a hole that was leaking money. InkShares has also announced a new entry-level publishing tier:
We also know it’s hard for a lot of authors to reach 750 pre-orders. So we’re rolling out a new, dual funding tier. Any project that reaches 250 pre-orders will qualify for the “light-publishing” option with a new, yet-to-be-named Inkshares collection. These books will receive a light edit, an ISBN, and limited distribution (including physical and digital on Amazon.com). Backers will receive physical copies printed through our print-on-demand service. We will reserve the right to push any of these books through our full production process, and as with all of our books, the rights will remain non-exclusive if the author wishes to publish elsewhere.
Like the late PubSlush, InkShares works on all or nothing model. Once a book has achieved the minimum threshold, InkShares publishes the book and distributes it to ebookstores as well as through POD channels. The royalty terms are pretty decent compared to your average legacy publisher: 50% of its gross earnings on print books, and 70% on ebooks. This of course means that a $20 print book sold to a distributor for $10 nets the author a decent $5.
InkShares currently shows a total of 50 titles at Amazon.