Random House and Wylie Negotiate New Royalty Rate on Digital Books

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

There is a new royalty rate in town. Random House and The Wylie Agency have resolved their conflict over e-book rights, and out of this resolution has come a new royalty rate — but it isn’t just a rate, it’s a rate scale. Publishers Weekly uncovered a source at Random House who revealed that RH will implement this new royalty rate scale on digital editions of backlist titles, which goes up to 40 percent. PW reports: “The source explained that the royalty is based on a certain number of books selling over a specified period of time and, depending on what’s negotiated, the rate will rise per the rate of sale.”

As Chad Post wrote when the conflict broke out, it seems likely that Wylie launched Odyssey Editions in order to force publishers to give higher royalty rates to authors.

So will more publishers adopt this new royalty rate scale? Will this motivate authors to more actively promote their backlist titles, and publishers to begin offering more e-book versions of their backlist titles?

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the Publisher of Publishing Perspectives. Before joining PP in 2009, she worked as Project Manager at the German Book Office New York.