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BookRix Expands into Ebook Distribution

The online writing community announced Monday that they are following in the footsteps of Wattpad BookCountry.

Update: BookRix shared this news with me last week, but for some reason they delayed the general announcement by a week.

Later this month BookRix will be launching an ebookstore where member authors can sell the fruits of their labors, and BookRix is also going to offer to distribute those ebooks to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Sony, and iBooks.

But also like BookCountry, this doesn’t look like a very good deal for authors.

BookRix is charging  both an upfront fee (like BookBaby) and an ongoing commission (like Smashwords). The initial charge is $40, which is not so unreasonable – until you combine it with the commission. BookRix pays authors 55% of sales from their ebookstore, and 43% from 3rd party bookstores. By any standards, that is ridiculously low.

Perhaps I shouldn’t use the word ridiculous, but let me give you  yardstick. Smashwords pays a higher commission (both on ebooks they sell and vi 3rd party sellers), and they don’t charge a fee. BookBaby charges a higher fee, but they pay 100% to the author. (They don’t charge a commission, but there is a small yearly fee per title.)

Now, some might argue that BookRix offers a useful service, and that the ebookstore builds upon it. This is true. BookRix does let authors develop their work with community feedback, surrounded by over 400 thousand enthusiasts. And being able to sell your work to the community of readers around you is a good thing, yes.

But BookRix isn’t the only book and writing community that does this. Have you looked at Wattpad?

They are even bigger than BookRix, and they have offered ebook distribution options since July 2010. That’s when Wattpad formed a partnership with Smashwords. Rather than try to handle distribution themselves, Wattpad signed with what was the best self-pub platform at the time (still one of the better options). Wattpad also has Lulu as a partner, thus giving authors print options as well.

For the life of me, I don’t see why anyone would sign up to distribute their ebooks via Bookrix.  The terms of the deal  are simply terrible; this is one case where virtually any other option is better.

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Jerry Halberstadt February 7, 2012 um 10:05 am

BookRix: "However, you may not upload your book using the BookRix format to other websites since BookRix owns the proprietary rights to the book format technology. "

Good grief, is this the same ploy as Apple? What does "book format technology" mean?

Tim Maicher – BookRix February 14, 2012 um 8:50 am

@Jerry Halberstadt – This is not the same as Apple and refers simply to our reading format in HTML, which we offer in addition to customers who do not own an e-Reading device. Besides this, BookRix never owns any rights of the books and the author has the freedom to delete his books or cancel the contract at any time or publish the works on other platforms while they are on BookRix.
Following up the criticism about our royalties, we definitely do understand it but it’s not a matter of low royalties but a matter of how royalties are communicated. At BookRix you get 43%/55 % of the net-price. Most other companies in the self-publishing industry give you royalties based on your net proceeds – that means after retailer margins and more costs. You may want to double check and compare the different royalties in detail. For example at Smashwords you get the same amount of revenue. You may want to check it out at and use the price calculator. I`d love to do a comparison right away, but Smashwords is offline since yesterday. I`ll try to add an additional comment the next days.
And through this, I come up with the most important point: BookRix is transparent and we do not advertise with 100% or 70% of royalties like others (smashwords, booktango) do, because almost all other companies do not mention the secret and additional costs. I appreciate your criticism because our way to promote the service is a different one and it needs time to understand that there are transparent companies 🙂 .

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