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When Amazon cuts book prices, how do authors fare?

As an avid reader, an inveterate "consumer" of books, I welcome lower prices. But when Amazon and start slashing list prices of books by 50 per cent and more, I feel driven to give a shout-out to my fellow authors.
That's because most contracts between writers and publishers include a royalties clause that slashes a writer's earnings at a certain discount level.
I know, I know. Writers usually receive only 10 per cent of the list price to begin with: a $30 book earns a writer $3 (applied against any advance, which has to be "earned out"). But when the discount clause kicks in -- for example, on Amazon-style discounts of more than 50 per cent -- then as a rule, whoosh, suddenly the author is entitled to 10 per cent of what the publisher receives.
Consider that $30 book. At best, given the hefty Amazon-style discount, the publisher receives $15 . . . and the writer $1.50. The author's earnings have been cut in half . . . and that, as I say, is best-case.
This explains why, when Amazon tussles with book publishers, authors tend to side with the latter.
[Next day: I love Obama. But on this issue, judging from this development, he has yet to discover the bigger picture.]
Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.