Over on Romancing the Blog, Tara Gelsomino wrote an interesting post about the new upperbacks. (Which, while they say designed for comfortable reading, actually make my thumb cramp.) I nodded my head along with her, until I came to this bit (bolding for emphasis is mine):
Strike that. It will enable them to BUY less. And go to their libraries more, borrow from friends more andâ€“whatâ€™s most worrisome for the industryâ€“turn to the Walmarts and the Overstock.coms more. Which means less royalties for authors and less authors able to live comfortably on a writerâ€™s salary. Which means the gradual extinction of genre writersâ€¦which meansâ€¦ you get the idea.
That gave me pause. A while back, the question of authors being financially penalized for the deep discounting Walmart offers (although my Target beats them) was asked on the eHQ boards. Several authors responded, and they said they’re paid royalties based on the cover price, regardless of how much of a beating Walmart’s willing to take for the sake of volume.
Considering that being able to get your book into a Walmart can lift your sales to new heights, I don’t think that readers buying their books at Walmart’s discounted prices signals the doom of the self-supporting romance author.
But I could be wrong.