A Swift Kickstart Update
March 11, 2019
I've updated my "Swift Kickstart" book for Swift 5. If you own the second edition already, this is a free update.
There was a bug in the pdf generation that kept the links from working in the pdf. The developer of Clearview has fixed this and as soon as his update is on the App Store I will post the updates to the Prag Prog edition.
There is a point at the end of this post - but I've written a long rant between now and then. Feel free to skip to the end.
I've wrestled with offering it as a Kindle book and a print book but I have a complicated relationship with Amazon.
I hate the way they treat authors and publishers. They are a monopoly that can push around us little guys while arguing that it's for the benefit of their customers.
I went to sign up for their publishing tools and it says that I can choose the 35% royalty rate or the 70% royalty rate.
Paying an author 35% and keeping 65% is obscene. Amazon has a fit that Apple keeps 30% of things purchased through the App store and yet they are keeping more than twice that. Amazon charged publishers around 50% for print books but there were actual services they provided. For electronic books the services are minimal and the real cost is tiny.
So, I can choose the 35% royalty rate or the 70% royalty rate.
According to the comparison chart, the main difference is that if you choose the 70% royalty rate, they also charge you by the MB for distributing your book.
That seemed fair.
But when I went through the process and tried to choose the 70% royalty rate, I was restricted to charging $10 for my book.
I currently charge $30 for the book which I consider a fair price. It's more than 350 pages and comes with sample code and playgrounds and free updates every time Swift updates.
If I charge $30, Amazon keeps $19.50.
So I considered splitting the book in three parts on Amazon and charging $10 for each part. I own several series that did that and I gladly bought all of the parts.
It felt wrong. It felt like a hack.
What I'd like is a marginal tax approach (like the proposed 70% US Marginal tax rate).
It would work like this:
Amazon wants me to charge $10 or less for my books so they give me royalties of 70% on any book under that price (that's how it works now).
So if I charge $30 for my book I should get 70% on the first $10 and then get royalties at a lower rate of 50% for any amount over $10. In my case, my royalties would be 70% * $10 + 50% * $20 or $17.
Apple, which was charged with collusion for their rate system, gives me 70% no matter what price I charge. So I get 70% * $30 or $21.
Amazon gives me 35% because I charge over $10. So I get $10.50.