30 Nov, 2011 | Posted by: st

The Ebook Publishing Link

Between Musicians

and Photographers

By Lee Foster

Ironically, there is a special link between musicians and photographers/writers in the new publishing world of ebooks and apps.

Musicians have led the way in the publishing of digital files, meaning downloadable files or files on a CD product.

Now photographers/writers are beginning to benefit from the publishing of digital files, meaning ebooks and apps, either downloadable or on a CD product. Most of the activity and benefit is in the downloadable sector.

Photographers/writers owe a great debt of gratitude to musicians, who have created the ground-breaking relationships for selling in this manner in the new digital age.

An interesting expression of this relationship can be seen in a Portland-based company that started with the company title “CDBaby”, and has now expanded to include an ebook-publishing branch called “BookBaby.”

CDBaby claims to have published music from more than 250,000 independent musical artists, paying them about $200 million in royalties.

BookBaby hopes to do the same for photographers/writers who want to publish ebooks/apps.

BookBaby, like CDBaby, has an unusual business model. They charge a small up-front fee of about $100 for formatting and placement of the ebook in the main structures (iBook store, Nook, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, etc).

There may be further charges for graphics-intensive layouts. They also charge a longtail fee of $20 to keep the ebook in their system for every year after the first year. Beyond that, they return to the creator 100% of all sales.

It sounds almost too good to be true. However, they have vast experience with handling digital files and setting up automatic bullet-proof accounting systems in CDBaby, which has a similar revenue payout.

So they can now make this same offer to photographers/writers. CDBaby/BookBaby describes itself as a “non-predatory” publisher. They also offer cover design and are beginning to get into print-on-demand physical books.

I am considering BookBaby for two future ebooks I plan to do. Ebook publishing guru Joel Friedlander conducted a fascinating interview with the CDBaby/BookBaby founder, Brian Felsen, at

Felsen comments that they have had so much success with musicians that it is easy for the company now to branch out to photographers/writers who want to market their products as ebooks. After all, digital files are digital files.

Lee Foster
Foster Travel Publishing
PO Box 5715
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-2202

Travel writing/photos on 200 destinations for consumers and content buyers at http://www.fostertravel.com
5,000 hi-res photos searchable and downloadable at http://stockphotos.fostertravel.com
Two new photo travel guidebooks at http://www.fostertravel.com/book.html
Latest thoughts on travel at http://blog.fostertravel.com
Travel photo guide app on San Francisco at http://www.sutromedia.com/apps/sfphotoguide
Travel photo guide app on Washington DC at http://sutromedia.com/apps/DC_Travel_Photo_Guide
Travel guide app on Berkeley, CA at http://sutromedia.com/apps/Berkeley_Essential_Guide


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