Updated: Pronoun Raises Royalty Rates on its Free Distribution Platform

Updated: Pronoun Raises Royalty Rates on its Free Distribution Platform Self-Pub When Vook pivoted/rebranded/relaunched as Pronoun in 2015, they promised that the core services would " always remain free" for authors.

Edit: I misunderstood the announcement. The service is still essentially free, only now the payment rates are better than they were before. eBooks distributed through Pronoun will now earn 70% of the list price.

For example, a $1.99 ebook used to earn $.70 when distributed through Pronoun and sold in the Kindle Store; now Pronoun will pay $1.40.

If you thought that sounded too good to be true, you were right. Pronoun announced on Tuesday that they were ending free distribution.

Pronoun is now charging a 30% commission on ebook revenues for titles distributed through their platform.

Here's more from the email:

  • We are increasing author royalties to 70% for all books priced $9.99 or less and sold in the US and Canada. Yes, even books priced $2.99 and below will earn 70%. For many authors this will translate to double what they were previously earning. Read more about our new royalties here.
  • We’re giving authors more choice over distribution. You can choose where you want your book distributed when you publish your book.
  • We’ve added the option to price your book for free on all retailers. Based on our data and your feedback, we know that is an important marketing tool for authors.
  • We’re offering Author Pages. You can now send your readers to one place to find information about all of your books--whether or not they’re published by Pronoun. Plus it’s free.
  • You can now set up pre-orders for your books across all retailers including Amazon. That means you can effectively plan your book’s marketing campaign with complete confidence.

I would be more upset about this, except we all knew it was coming.

The promise of free distribution was based on Pronoun's belief that they could cover their costs by developing platforms for news orgs and corporations while charging authors nothing.

That was a viable model in the short run, but it simply wasn't going to work in the long run - especially not after Macmillan bought Pronoun in May 2016.

That was about four months after Pronoun opened its platform to all authors.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

3 Comments

  1. Justin Renard17 January, 2017

    Hi Nate. Just wanted to clarify our news. We are not charging 30% to authors for distribution. Instead, we announced new royalty rates, increasing author earnings. The change means that authors are now able to earn 70% royalties on books priced $9.99 or less (for books sold in the US and Canada) across all retailers. Previously, books priced $2.99 and less earned a 35% royalty at certain retailers. There still remains no charge for our tools, no fees to distribute or make changes, and authors can register for free.

    Reply
  2. Mark Williams Int.18 January, 2017

    The new rates are in immediate effect for new listings to Pronoun. Existing listings on pronoun will transition to the new rates on Jan 24.

    Pronoun joins StreetLib in offering indies the chance to set a $0.00 list price on Amazon without exclusivity or price-matching.

    Sadly Pronoun still only offer Paypal as a royalty-payout option.

    Reply
  3. […] Updated: Pronoun Raises Royalty Rates on its Free Distribution Platform […]

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