The most popular way to get eBooks these days is through Amazon. Other systems are available, but their market share is minimal compared to Amazon. With Amazon, you can either purchase an eBook or go through their subscription service (prime) for free unlimited eBooks. But is this going to continue and be viable for authors?
Based on rumors and other sources, many in the publishing world feel that Amazon is not paying the full value of the eBook based on what the author has set. In simple terms, the author is getting paid below the market value of their eBook. No one knows exactly how much Amazon pays out per page read through its subscription service. They refuse to issue specific data to the authors or the general public. Not even stockholders know the answer to this.
Thus, the question becomes will Authors continue to give away their valuable work for free or below market value? With the economy hitting a more somber tone these past few months, and the lookout not getting better in the near future, it is understandable that consumers will use subscription services, when possible, to cut down on spending costs. However, in the majority of readers' minds, books are considered to be a luxury item and not a necessity. Thus, subscription services catering to books, either in eBook or Audio format will be shrinking.
Along with the continued financial tightening of the belt for authors, their continued decrease in profit will force many authors out of the market. Some will be forced to increase the retail value of their books, in all formats. Again, not a favorable option for authors, as companies like Amazon will try to squeeze every penny out of the author through marketing their advertising program as a way to get more sales when in reality most authors don’t see an increase in book sales in any format from advertising on Amazon. The Amazon wheel continues to turn to shake out the coin from the author's pockets.
Alternative Channels for Authors
Authors continue to look for alternative channels of income for their books and stories. NFTs are presenting a new way for authors to earn that extra income in the long term. As of the writing of this, NFTs are not yet a viable immediate source of additional income, especially in the tight financial market that exists. Only those with a large disposable income will be able to participate in the short-term NFT market.
One alternative that only Authors will be able to use and push in the general market is the aspect of eBook and Audiobook resales. This can only have value if an NFT is attached to the electronic file. While those in the middle and lower-income aspect of our economy will remain in the subscription programs, and yes, that is a large market. The real money is made with those who are investors that are also readers. The upper-middle-class and higher can afford to participate in this investment opportunity.
With cryptocurrency and NFTs gaining traction, Amazon launched last year a new department to determine how they can use this to their advantage. Again, due to secrecy no one outside of that department knows what is happening.
Adding Value to eBooks & Audiobooks
When an NFT cover is part of the eBook or Audiobook, the value of that item is now increased by double and even as high as tenfold, with the possibility of even higher returns for all involved.
Here is an example: Author A is about to release a new book. Of course, it is available as a print book, eBook, and Audiobook. It is the latter two that Author A has selected to include a limited edition of the eBook and/or audiobook with a built-in NFT. The normal price of 2.99 or $3.99 for the eBook, however, with the additional NFT aspect, this eBook is now valued at $24.95 or higher. By having it as a limited edition, it becomes a collector's item. With the new resale program available to the buyer, they can purchase the eBook/NFT combo, enjoy reading the book and save it in their collection or they can choose to resale it for a price they deemed as either more valuable or less valuable than what they purchased it at. The market value will at times affect the price of the resale as well.
This can also be applied to the paper version of the book but in a separate and yet combination sales item. Buy the NFT and get the paperback copy sent to you.
The author has now created their new cash income of a higher-priced item, but also the royalty income that comes from the resale of that item. Usually set at no more than 10% of the resale. If that eBook/NFT is resold enough times, and at higher and higher rates, the author could see a long-term income chain.
This is a long-term objective that may produce a great deal of income for authors, but it may also force some authors to the sidelines due to a lack of funding to create and operate NFT programs on their own. This is an objective of B4R.store, to create a marketplace that allows authors, especially indie authors to participate in NFTs with little to no upfront cost. B4R/Indie Lector, LLC, is banking on the long-term prospects by paying upfront costs and employee time in creating an NFT program. There are, of course, restrictions and rules established by B4R/Indie Lector the author will be required to agree to and follow, to participate in this program.
Any author to stay on the sideline with a wait-and-see attitude will most likely cost them to lose income both in the short and long term. There is no doubt that companies like Amazon are already figuring out how they can create this type of program to make money for themselves, while also determining how to milk more money out of authors with the upfront cost, or additional advertising fees. Thus, forcing more and more authors out of the market until a well-established publishing monopoly exists under Amazon’s control. Even the traditional publishers are already working on this aspect to see how they can earn more money and pay the authors as little as possible, citing that the publisher has paid for the creation of the book cover and they own all rights to it, thus allowing them to create NFTs and pay bare minimum royalties to the author if anything is paid at all.
Authors have an opportunity to participate in a new program using NFTs before the rest of the world has jumped on board and overwhelmed the marketplace. Don’t miss out on this opportunity with B4R/Indie Lector due to a lack of funds, or inspiration. Contact Alan at