Perseus Books Group Offers Self-Published Ebook Distribution

Interesting, via the Bookseller.

US independent publisher Perseus Books Group has launched a distribution and marketing service for authors wanting to self-publish their own e-books, offering a 70% royalty rate to the author.

Called Argo Navis Author Services, it will be offered to authors represented by agencies that have signed an agreement with Perseus, with Janklow & Nesbit Associates the first to have done so.

So this is a new hybrid model – where agents have a finger in the game of ebook self-publishing.  One would have to imagine that the agent is taking some of the cut, so it’s not a true 70% royalty rate.  However, there are many, many writers who want someone else to do the work.  So this is similar to using a service like Ebookit, which costs money upfront to have someone else deal with formatting and distribution – except it’s done through an agent. If these books are marketed under the Perseus umbrella, this also has an advantage over Smashwords or Ebookit, which makes up for the agency percentage.

About Perseus Books Group.

The Perseus Books Group is an independent company committed to enabling independent publishers to reach their potential whether those publishers are Perseus-owned, joint ventures or owned by third parties. Member publishing programs include Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Basic Civitas, Da Capo, Lifelong Books, Running Press, Seal Press, Vanguard Press and Westview Press, as well as partnerships with PublicAffairs and Nation Books, and joint ventures with Weinstein Books and The Daily Beast. Through Consortium, Perseus Distribution and Publishers Group West, the Perseus Books Group is also the leading provider of sales, marketing and distribution services to independent publishers. For more information, visit our website at www.perseusbooksgroup.com.

  • This fills a gap but too bad they are limiting it to agents who deal with Perseus. Maybe that’s just at first and they’ll let other agents in. Plenty of writers out there who don’t want to do it themselves or wind up in eSlush piles.

  • It’s a rice bowl boondoggle, providing cover for two arms of the failing publishing industry model. It trades on the inability of many established authors to wrap their heads around the shifts going on around them, coupled with greed engendered by having missed out on ebook revenues this long.

    • I just had a conversation with a writer (over 60) who is mystified by Facebook, Twitter, ebook formatting, etc. If a writer like this had an agent who would organize everything for him, it’s a good arrangement. However, in the future, writers aren’t going to be so mystified, so I’m not sure if this is a long-term business model.

      • In some ways it could be a new business model. I mean authors will not always be on the cutting edge and it will be easier than ever for authors to be able to upload their books, but they still have limited resources to pull from. An online publishing company has the funds to create a quality website, PPC (pay per click) advertising, newspaper review, and giveaway campaigns. Being an expert in a certain area definitely offers some benefits to authors no matter how much they know about computers, and if that gives an increase of 50% of sales could be worth it.

  • Also, what is the Persues website? I can’t find it anywhere?