Thanks to Lee Foster for explaining the economics of selling mobile applications compared with selling (traditional, paper) books in his article, Apps – the Future of Travel Journalism? Here’s an excerpt:

“Royalty rates for authors of apps are much higher than for authors of books, and for good reason. The deal is that I get 30% of the gross income from my $1.99 app sale, or 60 cents. I am told that this is roughly typical of the app world—30% each to the author, developer, and Apple store, with 10% going to admin. For my book, I have a 15% of net rate, which is good and possibly a little high. So, for selling two apps for $3.98, I get $1.19. For a sale of my $14.95 book, my royalty is 15% net, and the book will probably be discounted 55% to sell on Amazon or through a distributor. My royalty for that sale is $1.01.”


3 Comments so far

  1. Katy Pilgrim on May 26, 2010 10:59 am

    Yes, thank you kindly for the astute explanation–especially the comparison of the real numbers between apps and books.

  2. Forget what you do. Write about how you do what you do. | Creative Storefront on May 26, 2010 11:16 am

    […] King over at Travel Writers News is also interested as she mentions Lee’s article in her own commentary on apps and the future of journalism. She’s also interested, for her travel writing readers, about how a pro in the industry is […]

  3. Austin Travel on June 2, 2010 3:43 pm

    It’s very interesting how Apps have created new and unique mediums and alternative revenue streams. I was recently in SF and the audio tours (Alcatraz and the like) are now in the form of Apps that you download and control by your phone.

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