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With Inkshares, Authors Can Float Ideas for Feedback & Publication

Inkshares Royalty Structure_peoplewhowrite

Inkshares Royalty Structure

Inkshares, a platform that bills itself as a crowdfunded publisher, is seeking authors to create and promote new works for community feedback. Unlike similar social platforms for writers like Wattpad, Inkshares also offers publishing services. The platform is also inviting independent bookstores to get behind titles they believe in in a new way.

Writers must submit an idea, then follow through on it by uploading a draft of the work onto the site for feedback from the community. If 750 people pre-order it, Inkshares will publish it as an e-book; if 1000 pre-orders come through, the work will be published in print and distributed in stores. “We’ll edit, design, print, distribute, and market your book. You’ll make 50% of gross revenue for each printed book we sell, and 70% for each ebook,” copy on the website explains.

According to author Alan Jacobson, “Typically, an author can expect to receive the following royalties: Hardback edition: 10% of the retail price on the first 5,000 copies; 12.5% for the next 5,000 copies sold, then 15% for all further copies sold. Paperback: 8% of retail price on the first 150,000 copies sold, then 10% thereafter. Exceptions…include sales to warehouse clubs (like Costco or Sam’s Club), book clubs, and special orders; the royalty percentages for these can be half the figures listed above. …eBook royalties through traditional New York publishers are 25%.” Self-publisher Mill City Press claims authors receive 10-30% of royalties from most self-publishing services.

Through Inkshares’ “Collections” program, independent bookstores can function as imprints. First, they have to seek an author’s permission to publish and promote his/her title, and can “choose to take a share of author royalties”, presumably, on top of revenue from books sold, according to terms explained on

Publishers Weekly reports, “Inkshares has published nine books to date, and has another 46 that have reached their funding goals. …It recently joined the American Booksellers Association and will be including its first book in an ABA white box this summer, Gary Whitta’s debut novel Abomination (July), which received a starred review in PW.”

If you have personal experience with Inkshares, please share.

2 responses to “With Inkshares, Authors Can Float Ideas for Feedback & Publication

  1. Wendy

    I was wondering what your opinion was of these kind of sites? I have never entered into a publishing contract, and wondered about if a book does meet the funding requirements, is this contract and royalty agreement not changeable going forward? Thanks for posting this!


    • Apologies for my very late reply, Wendy! I don’t know if Inkshares’ contract and royalty agreement are changeable, but I’m assuming that it is not once a writer signs the contract agreeing to the terms. That said, contract items were made to be crossed out. I would advise any writer thinking about entering a deal with a platform like Inkshares to have a lawyer review it carefully for any clauses that trap the writer for the life of the work.

      My opinion on sites like this is they are more of a marketing tool than anything else, ideal for a writer seeking to build an audience and gain an education in the nuts and bolts of publishing. I also appreciate that sites like Inkshares offer writers a tangible alternative to the current publishing model as writers need to explore and investigate unconventional avenues to reach the market, just like any other retailer trying to sell a product would.

      Traditional publishers are mostly operating as they did 100 years ago, with little understanding of how to meet the needs of the 2.0/3.0 reader or run a competitive business in the 2.0/3.0 world, or even an international world, and so they have ceded much of their control/marketshare to Amazon, self-publishing service providers, and business school graduates and entrepreneurs with ideas on how to optimize the market for a profit. Publishers are working to close the gap by introducing apps for book recommendation, venturing into new genres like “New Adult”, launching digital-only imprints, powering online bookstores, and more, but time will tell which of these new ventures catches on and how they truly benefit writers.

      In the meantime, Inkshares is seemingly offering writers more control and transparency in the revenue-generating process. The writer has to basically raise the funds for the production of their book via Inkshares which acts as a Kickstarter of sorts, and then, once the money is raised, partner with Inkshares in releasing the book. I am wary of Inkshares’ “Collections” program, which enables independent bookstores to function as imprints and empowers them “to take a share of author royalties”. I definitely think that bears a closer read by an attorney. That said, if a bookstore is promoting your work to their community via this channel, perhaps the extra push is worth what amounts to a marketing expense. At the end of the day, we as writers have to run the numbers (or find someone who can run the numbers for us) and make an informed decision about what the best way forward is.

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