Smart. While authors haven’t begun a mad rush over, they’re doing a lot of smart things. If I was planning, say, a post on 6 things larger publishers are going to have to do eventually, this is probably #2.

I know *why* publishers wait six months. The returns system (where in bookstores can return a book if it doesn’t sell and get credit) mean that the true nature of how well a book did can take a while to establish. But, with many books getting up to 50% of their royalties from eBooks, and since publishers hold back a portion of the money in what is called ‘reserves against returns’ a faster payment schedule will become something that attracts author attention.

There is no reason eBook sales should have anything to do with a system that uses reserves against returns and waits six months.

“Amazon Publishing said in a letter to literary agents Monday that it will start paying its authors royalties on a monthly basis, up from every three months.

‘In this digital age, we don’t see why authors should have to wait six months to be paid,’ Amazon’s VP of publishing Jeff Belle wrote in the letter. ‘Beginning with our March payment cycle, we will move to paying our authors on a monthly basis. More specifically: each month’s royalties will be released within 60 days of the end of that month, every month.  For example, royalties for sales in January will be released by March 31, royalties for sales in February will be released by April 30, etc.’”

(Via Amazon Publishing promises authors faster royalty payments — paidContent.)