Back in July Google started testing new royalty terms in the US, Canada, and Australia, and now they are expanding the terms to cover all markets. Google sent out an email on Tuesday, informing authors that they are now paying a 70% royalty of the retail price set by copyright holders in 60 plus countries.
I see from my post back in August (Google’s help pages concur) that you must accept a revised ToS to get the 70% royalty on ebooks. If you don’t accept it then you will still get the 52% royalty. Also, ebooks sold in Play Books in other countries will still earn a 52% royalty.
This is a major move for Google; they are in effect matching the royalty terms of the other major ebook retailers, and are giving up the frankly wacky pricing policy. I wonder what took them so long?
According to Google, the 70% royalty is available in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.
Here is the email which an author forwarded to me (thanks, Phil!):
We are making several important changes that benefit our publishing partners.
We are updating the Terms of Service applicable to Google Play Books (ToS) in several ways. The ToS are an agreement that contain important terms affecting your rights when publishing your ebooks on Google Play Books.
We’re increasing your revenue split to 70% in 60+ countries as part of our continuing effort to improve your publisher experience. You will earn 70% of the list price on ebooks sold to customers in these 60+ countries regardless of the price of your ebook. You will continue to receive your current revenue split on sales in the remaining Google Play Books supported countries.
We will unilaterally follow the list price that you provide for an ebook on sales to customers in the United States and Canada. We reserve the right to discount if we see a lower price for the ebook available from another retailer.
We’ve updated the ToS to remove Google Asia Pacific Pte Limited, Google Commerce Limited, and Google Ireland Limited as parties to the ToS and we are adding a sublicense clause allowing Google LLC to sublicense to Google affiliates such as those mentioned above.
Thank you for being part of the Google Play Books publishing community.
The Google Play Books Team