Here’s a super quickie continuing my Self-Publishing a Stage Play series. This is a question I got from a reader and I’m sharing what I replied. Remember, you can read all the other posts in this series by clicking on the series title box just above this line. It will expand into a Table of Contents of the whole series.
I am a playwright. I was considering Kindle for online publishing
(despite their 30% forever royalty – I figured I would make it back in production royalties)
but then found out it is possible to print off a Kindle file.
I cannot submit to most traditional stage publishers because I don’t get reviews.
When you do send out a paper copy after a theater has contacted you,
is it a paper copy Xeroxed from say Staples or a bound book?
There’s a couple of things wrong here. Firstly, the 30% Kindle royalty only applies to books priced out of range. Inside the $2.99-$9.99 range (which represents the most common and popular eBook prices) the royalty is 70%. Secondly, it’s easy and inexpensive to list the book with a POD printer such as CreateSpace for printed scripts and that’s often much cheaper and easier than going to a Staples or similar print shop, in my experience, unless you’re literally talking a stapled bundle of pages. A bound printed book through a POD outfit is cheaper than using local binding services these days.
While Kindle likes to pretend you can’t print their files… anyone can with basic tech skills. If it’s piracy you’re worried about there… there’s not really anything you do can about it. Just be vigilant and report sites posting the script as you find them.
Thirdly, all you need to submit to publishers is a production history… they don’t really care about reviews. If your show has been tested on stage at least once, particularly if it’s school or community theatre friendly, your chances are good for a publisher to look at it. Now, there are reasons not to go with a publisher, such as keeping 100% of the profit yourself, retaining your rights, etc. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore every option out there because there’s a lot of good reasons to go with a publisher as well.