Are you confused about so-called Royalties?

26 Nov

10%-30% from list, 10% of the wholesale price, 20% of the payments received by the publisher, 30% of the price as it’s listed on our website, 50% of net receipts, 45% minus printing costs, 60% from gross… One of the most confusing aspects you must face when choosing a POD printer is trying to figure out what they mean when they speak of “Royalties”.

POD printers that are paying a percentage of the retail price as “Royalty” are straight forward and you have the advantage of knowing where you stand and what to expect. You get what they say, usually 10% from wholesale sales, 25-30% from retail sales – hopefully more…

There are other printers who are a little less straight forward. For example, uPublish pays you 20-40% from your retail price, but they won’t pay you any royalties at all for the first three copies sold each quarter. Is this a fair “hidden” charge? It depends on the number of copies you are selling each quarter. If you sell less than 10 books, then it’s very high, if you sell 100 it becomes almost negligible.

You might get an offer for a fixed percentage of the retail price that seems to be extremely attractive (30-35%)… before you jump on board, make sure that they work through Ingram and other distributors. If they can afford such royalties because they only sell their books through their site you could end up losing money..

Some POD printers offer you a percentage of your retail price, but only for direct sales. When it comes to wholesale sales they give you a percentage of the wholesale price. Infinity Publishing is such a company, they will pay you 20% of your retail price on direct sales, and 10% of the wholesale price on books sold through other channels.  For a $15.00 book with a 40% wholesale discount it would be $3.00 on direct sales and $0.90 on wholesale – not acceptable! 

Even if you can buy your paper book at a discount in order to resell it, you’ll still have to pay other charges, and how can you offer it for a competitive price to bookstores?  But why do you have to buy your own book? You already paid for the printing, didn’t you?  It means you pay TWICE for your book… and on top of that bookstores can return books if they are not sold within a certain time.

Consider this:
CreateSpace / Amazon offers do-it-yourself publishing packages for free upload of your paper book but you need to create your own cover and interior and submit it correctly edited to CreateSpace. CreateSpace recommends its free do-it-yourself packages for people with design experience (or you just hire a graphic designer).  CreateSpace offers packages that are similar to publishing packages offered by other self-publishing/POD companies, but starting for only $299. 

CreateSpace eStore 20% of list price per sale, this means if someone orders it from CreatSpace’s ebook store on your authors page, you will receive 80% (minus the production/printing cost, mines tax and shipping) 40% of list price per sale means you get 60% of the list price per sale (minus the production/printing cost, mines tax and shipping).

Expanded Distribution Channel 60% of list price if ordered by bookstores, libraries etc.

But as with all POD companies, you pay for printing and then you have to give them a percentage of your sales for the distribution and the rest that is left is called a “royalty”.


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