RosettaBooks CEO: Authors Should Look For Publishers Who Play Ball With Amazon
Authors should be more eager to do business with publishers who are friendly with Amazon, according to the CEO of RosettaBooks, an independent ebook publisher.
“If you’re an author looking to make money, you should find a publisher who is playing ball,” said Arthur Klebanoff, founder and CEO of RosettaBooks, an ebook publisher founded with 100 back-list titles in 2001. He was speaking in a panel discussion hosted by the New York State Bar Association Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law section in midtown New York as part of its fall meeting.
His comments were in reference to pricing promotions that Amazon and other ebook retailers run. He displayed a slide which depicted a great lift in ebook sales and overall revenue during and after pricing promotions.
Klebanoff, an agent and one of the first standalone ebook publishers, has been a vocal member of the ebook industry. In reference to Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, he told the Wall Street Journal in Nov. 2011, “I’m attracted to the incremental promotion/visibility for participating titles. All site promotion, especially of backlist titles, drives sales in the Kindle Store.”
RosettaBooks is now a successful digital publishing concern, but in 2001 when it was founded, it was sued by Random House for publishing ebooks that the established publisher claimed rights to. RosettaBooks eventually won the legal tussle. Klebanoff isn’t shy about discussing his company’s rocky start.
“The purpose of litigation in this arena is intimidation,” he said. “That’s why Random House sued Rosetta and that’s why HarperCollins is suing Open Road Media.”
Litigation also occurs perhaps because the stakes are very high for publishers, agents and authors.
“Digital publishing is like a lottery: the odds of winning are terrible but the winners will walk away with huge rewards,” he said.