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Random House Germany Launches Self-Pub Service Twentysix

4007115435_e482cb65f3_bRandom House Germany is looking for a few authors who want to double their costs and reduce their earnings just so they can have the privilege of doing business with a major publisher.

Random House has partnered with Books on Demand (BoD) to launch Twentysix. Run by BOD and bearing the Random House brand, Twentysix is a self-pub service along the lines of Fastpencil or BookBaby.

Twentysix offers three service tiers ranging from free (ebook-only) to basic or premium.The paid tiers cost 39 euros or 199 euros, respectively, and include print book distribution. Twentysix also offers a la carte services, including cover design, editing, etc.

BOD pays 45% of the retail price of an ebook, and according to Mattias Matting of Twentysix matches the ebook royalty. They do not, however, pay the same for print books.

Matting pointed out in his post that while BOD pays a royalty on POD books that ranges from 3.14 euros to .94 euros (depending on the length), Twentysix pays less (3 euros to .65 euros). Twentysix also charges more for its basic tier (39 euros vs 19 euros) but less for the premium tier (199 euros vs 249 euros).

Clearly an author can deal direct with BOD and get the better deal, but then they won’t "have the chance to be discovered by publishers of Verlagsgruppe Random House", as the press release teases.

While I could see why an author might want to sign with a major publisher, it escapes me why that same author would want to pay for the privilege of a chance that they might be discovered.

It’s not worth the gamble, not when the author could be making more money elsewhere.

image by limbte

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Maria (BearMountainBooks) October 12, 2015 um 4:43 pm

And if an author wants to be published by a major, get an agent (no cost) and have the agent submit. Sure, it sounds like your chances are low that way, but they’re even lower via these "We’re going to read these self-published submissions looking for a gem" route. The reason agents became the way to do business is because editors don’t have the time or inclination to sort the slush pile.

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