e-Book or Paper Book – Where Do You Earn More?

14 Jan

As a novice self-publisher you might have started out with e-books, but at some point just too many inquires call for a paper version. Then the question comes up:  shall I use a book printer or go the POD (print on demand) publishing route?

Get as many quotes from book printers and digital printers as possible in order to compare them with prices and royalties from PODs.  Check out the quality of books printed and bound when you do your comparison of the printers.  Digital printers are often located in university areas or can be found on the internet. 

CreateSpace, POD, a branch of Amazon, offers a handy calculator:

As a book example I typed in:
$9.99 as retail price, interior black&white with bleed, 128 pages and a trim size of 6×9 inches.

Result:  Your royalties could vary from $1.61 to $5.61 – depending on where and in which format your book is sold.  CreateSpace is the manufacturer and aggregator (and uploads your book to retailers) at the same time.  The sales channel percentage is deducted from your book’s list price, depending on the sales channel the book is sold: CreateSpace e-Store (e-book) 20%, Amazon 40% and through expanded distribution channel 60%.

CreateSpace has a “Pro Plan” which is an annual title subscription that provides authors with the opportunity to earn a larger royalty share on their title, reduce your book’s manufacturing fees, and gain access to the Expanded Distribution Channel (optional). You can upgrade your book to Pro Plan at any time for $39.00. After your first year, you pay just $5.00 annually for each of your Pro Plan titles.


Paper Book Amazon:

With the Pro Plan – Royalty = $3.61 (CS share $6.38*)

Without the Pro Plan – Royalty =$1.93 (CS share $8.06*)

Paper Book Expanded Distribution (Wholesale & Book Retailers):

Only with the Pro Plan – Royalty = $1.61 (CS share 8.38*)

(*CreateSpace Share (CS) is for formatting ebooks or printing paper books). However they are not the only ones who can format and upload your books to Sony, Diesel or Chapters (Canada) and handle the payments: and are other options. Yet for paper books CreateSpace seems to be a convenient option.

Kindle Book

What are the E-Book Royalty Rates for, Barnes & Noble and Apple?

Comparison of the maximum eBook royalty rates offered by, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, etc. This is the percent of the book’s list price that the publisher (or you, if self-publishing) will receive if an eBook is sold through the following vendors:

List Price Barnes & Noble Apple
FREE 0% 0% 0%
$0.99-$2.98 35% 40% 70%
$2.99-$9.99 70% 65% 70%
$10-$199.99 35% 40% 70%

Amazon: For e-books between $2.99-$9.99, Amazon has a delivery charge. For each book sold, it subtracts $0.15 per MB of the book’s size from the list price, after which it calculates royalties. Books <$2.99 or >$9.99 don’t have a delivery charge, but they do have certain size requirements. Books $0-$0.99 are supposed to be ❤ MB, books $1-$1.99 are supposed to be 3<MB<10, and books $2-$2.98 are supposed be >10 MB in size in order to qualify for 35% royalties.

CreateSpace e-Store (e-book):

With the Pro Plan – Royalty = $5.61 (CS share $4.38)
Without the Pro Plan – Royalty = $3.93 (CS share $6.06)

Provided you have a professionally edited and formatted e-book with an appealing cover, you can upload direct to Amazon, which gives you one additional dollar more on royalty per e-book sold -always worthwhile for a successful book!


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One response to “e-Book or Paper Book – Where Do You Earn More?

  1. diamondpublicationz

    January 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Nice I didn’t know how CreateSpace broke everything down. I was looking into using them for my 2nd self published book and this post helped with comparing numbers. Thankx!


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