Q&A: Brian Murray, CEO, HarperCollins

In Frankfurt 2011 by Edward Nawotka

Nigel Roby, The Bookseller in conversation with Brian Murray, CEO of HarperCollins at the Frankfurt Book Fair

On E-book Royalty Rates:
“Ten years ago we settled on an e-book royalty rate of 25% of net receipts and haven’t diverged from that. When we looked at our print royalties, we saw they averaged about 16-18%, so we knew we could afford to pay a higher royalty rate. So that was almost a 40% increase in the royalty rate. There is a lot we can do to give readers additional value, such as enhanced e-books.  Because they sell for a higher price, that is, in turn, going to raise the pay for authors.”

On Print vs. Digital:
“We want to see half of our revenue from print going through high street stores. We believe bricks and mortar stores, internet stores, e-books and physical books can all complement each other. For example, we just made our titles available on the Espresso Book Machine. That goes toward an initiative that we’d like to see in the high street stores. Having a complete catalog of HarperCollins titles available is one way we are working to help [booksellers] find a sustainable model.”

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.