Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Royalties for iPhone Developers

I have just learned that Michel Kripalani of Oceanhouse Media will be giving a talk this Friday at MacWorld 2010 on the subject of "Building an iPhone Publishing House."  What makes this session particularly interesting to me is that he will be discussing the securing of intellectual property such as content to quickly bring value to one's App, and after his exhaustive research of software to handle tracking such license payment requirements, Oceanhouse Media chose DashBook!

When Michel first approached us about using DashBook, we had only recently introduced our version 3 that supported importing sales reports to use as the data for royalty calculations.  However, we did not yet have an import for Apple's iTunes sales reports.  With Michel's input and the use of DashBook's extensible import mapping architecture, we were able to quickly send him an import map that allowed his trial version to import his sales from each of the seven regional reports that Apple generated.  Needless to say, he was impressed with our rapid response.  Of course, already having an import that could convert currencies, along with the existing royalty calculation abilities that supported multiple payees per product helped, too!

After Oceanhouse Media purchased a license to DashBook and began using it, they continued to offer great suggestions to refine DashBook for the market of iPhone and iPod (and now iPad) developers.  One of his requests was the ability to easily specify the deposit fees that were charged, and automatically spread those costs across the apps sold in that period and region.  Fortunately, DashBook already had an option to reduce the amount received by various costs, so he was able to bend it to his will.  However, DashBook v4 will soon be released which will provide a simple entry during import to a cost item whose name will makes sense - "Payment Fees."

We are very happy to work with companies such as Oceanhouse Media who seek perfection in their operations.  DashBook is a powerful system built on a flexible architecture, and our team is committed to providing the best system there is.

Thanks to everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Your new royalty accounting system

We are excited about our upcoming version 4 release of DashBook!  As publishers stop paying high monthly fees for their old royalty accounting systems and switch to the powerful and more affordable DashBook, we have been getting an increasing interest in moving all of their pre-existing information to DashBook.

Way back in DashBook version 1, we included the ability to import contacts from your Outlook database, and we also imported complete information from older systems that small publishers used, like AnyBook.  We continued enhancements to include the ability to import contact information from csv files and the old PUB123/JAYA123 systems with our version 2 update, I believe.

In version 3, we broke into whole new territory with our creation of Sales Report Import.  By including a user-extensible system that came preloaded with the ability to easily import sales reports from Lightning Source, Fictionwise, Apple iTunes, MidPoint Trade, and many other book sellers and distributors, DashBook opened up to a new level of customer who loved this automation.  Gone were the days of typing in orders!

Well, version 4 will be extending that slightly by adding import for Ingram reports (and yes, we handle just about all book distributors and a growing list of music sellers and distributors), but the big extension is the ability to import nearly anything.  This was a requirement to migrate historic data from large older systems like Bookworks, Acumen, and Cat's Pajamas.

If you can get your data into text reports, DashBook will be able to move this information into a new DashBook database so that you can efficiently transition from your prior system, even if it is just spreadsheets, to DashBook.  And of course, DashBook still uses an open database system that does not lock up your data from your own reporting tools or desire to move away from DashBook at your whim.  (of course, we'd rather keep growing and improving DashBook to better serve you!)

If you have existing inventory, sales, royalty, or other information for your books, music, etc., let us help you get started in using DashBook today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Music royalties for publishers and artists (percentage of sale price)

Two blog entries ago, I wrote an article about using DashBook for U.S. mechanical rights interest calculations. With a little setup, DashBook makes this calculation automatic as you continue to sell, even if the rates change.

This time, I'll briefly discuss a very similar feature now -- the ability to specify a royalty on a track as a percentage of the sale amount. By setting up the royalty agreement as a percentage of the sale price, typically of net sales, DashBook will calculate the royalties using this percentage each time that this track is directly sold.

But what if the album is sold?

Well, DashBook now has the ability to use the price of the album (gross or net) divided by the number of tracks on that album -- automatically!

To see how to enter album products that contain tracks, I recommend that previous post.

There is one more thing about handling music or other royalties that I don't recall writing about:  advances and recoupments.  That'll be the subject of a future article, but feel free to email us if you'd like to know more about it now.

And don't forget that you can download a free trial of DashBook here.