Ars Technica is reporting that Tunecore has been a boon for musicians like Trent Reznor, who pay the Brooklyn-based company a flat fee of $40 or so and then see their music available for sale on Amazon, iTunes, and eMusic.
The copyrights all remain in the artists’ hands, as do the revenues; after paying the flat fee, 100 percent of the payout returns to the artists. (The digital stores take their cut first, of course.)
Today, Tunecore announced that it would extend this model to e-books through a service called Bibliocore. After an upfront payment, the e-book is delivered to Apple’s iBookstore, rights remain with the author, and Bibliocore takes no cut of the royalties.
Publishers have been watching the music biz carefully, and have hopefully learned some lessons. They’re about to face the same pressures: infringement gets easier, disintermediation means that publishers aren’t the gatekeepers to quality work they once were, and digital storefronts can soon start dictating terms to you if they grow too powerful.
Print-on-demand has done its own disintermediation work for the last five years, but the sheer ease of the new devices and the digital storefronts, along with their recent popularity, look set to bring a whole new level of entrepreneurial activity to the book world–and that probably means more pain for traditional publishers.
Photo by harrisonburg.k12.va.us.