Five obstacles to royalty automation and how to overcome them

Header images showing wooden cubes spelling out the word "royalties", with piles of coins in the background

Automating the calculation and payment of royalties is a sure-fire way to improve accuracy and efficiency. As we explained in this BookMachine blog, good royalty management should be part of the strong foundations of all publishing businesses. It saves time, reduces risk, and establishes a strong reputation.

MetaComet’s royalty management systems can deliver these benefits and more, but we know that publishers can be hesitant about introducing new technology. This is perfectly understandable as change can be unpredictable. Most of us have experienced hitches in installing new software of some kind, whether personally or professionally. However, in our experience it is easier to remedy problems and roll out new systems than you might think. Here are five of the barriers to the adoption of royalty automation that we encounter most often – and how MetaComet can help overcome them.

1. Cost

Investing in new systems usually has a cost implication. In new or small businesses in particular, budgets may be tight, and every penny spent counts. However, our experience tells us that the returns on royalty automation almost always justify the investment. By reducing the hours of work involved in manual calculations, publishers can quickly recoup their costs. They also reduce the risk of royalty errors and overpayment, which can drain cash from a business.

Additionally, there are the more intangible benefits of new systems, like the positive image of a company that they build. The alternative to automation – handling royalties manually at every cycle – has significant costs of its own that must be taken into account when deciding whether to build an in-house system or buy one.

2. Disruption

It’s very common to be anxious about the disruption to a business that new systems might cause. People worry that implementation will not run smoothly, and that practices and workflows which have developed over time will have to be changed. We’re very conscious of those fears, and have worked hard over the years to develop our MetaGoLive process, which ensures an efficient integration of royalty management software into other business systems.

3. Technical worries

Not all businesses have the in-house expertise to manage the complexities of IT. Even when they do, there will always be concerns that new software may be difficult to manage, especially in the early days of installation. These can lead businesses to delay royalty automation or put if off altogether. MetaComet understands these hesitations, which is why our support team is always ready to provide assistance and answer queries – not just with initial implementation but with all follow-up queries.

4. Security

Businesses are rightly concerned with the security of their systems, and data protection has become an even bigger issue during the transition to remote working over the last two years. When introducing any new systems, it is very important to check their security credentials, and get peace of mind that they are robustly protected. MetaComet’s cloud-based systems use a state-of-the-art data centre that is trusted by some of the world’s top financial institutions and delivers the highest standards of security.

5. Author relations

As we explained in this BookMachine blog, royalties really matter to content creators. Investing time and money in ensuring accurate calculations really pays off in relationship terms, by leaving authors satisfied with their publisher and motivated to produce good content. Automating royalties makes publishers much more efficient too and enables them to hit their schedules for distributing payments. The benefits of MetaComet’s automated systems also include AuthorPortal, which gives authors quick and easy access to their statements.

It’s common for publishers to think twice before investing in solutions like automated royalty management. In fact, it can be good practice. But rather than focusing on potential short-term problems, it’s important to consider the long-term business benefits – and find a partner who can help you realise them.


David Marlin is President and Co-Founder of MetaComet® Systems, a leading provider of royalty management and revenue sharing solutions for publishers worldwide.

David and the MetaComet® Systems team would love to hear your views on barriers to good royalty practice and ways to make it more efficient. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

MetaComet will be attending the London Book Fair. To schedule a meeting please contact, or call us on (+44) 020 3148 684.

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