This is what well-known and respected agent Kristin Nelson wrote yesterday on her popular blog, Pub Rants:
Publishers are under-reporting electronic book sales in any given period on the royalty statements we are seeing.
That's a fact.
Wow! This is big.
(By the way, Kristin's post wasn't primarily about publishers under-reporting ebook sales, it was about one of her authors, Courtney Milan, deciding to turn down a deal from Harlequin to self-publish. For more on Courtney's decision see her blog post on the subject as well as her interview over on the site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.)
A few weeks ago I read Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog post, The Business Rusch: Royalty Statements Update, where she wrote that publishers are under-reporting their ebook sales. (I also blogged about it.) I talked to a few of my friends after I wrote that post, they weren't writers, and they flat out did not believe that any reputable publishing company would under-report sales.
Well, it looks like publishers are indeed under-reporting ebooks sales. I respect Kristine Rusch but she was just one person saying it. Now it's two. Two very respected people in the book industry. I have no doubt that neither of these women would make this claim publicly if they weren't sure and if they didn't have proof.
It will be interesting to see this subject develop.