Authors, indie and traditional, take heed.
Some indie authors check their sales numbers almost every day, like military historian Charles R. King. How do I know he checks his numbers daily? I’m married to him. As far as I know tracking sales this way is not an option for traditionally published folks. Correct me if I’m wrong.
It’s not a perk I would miss. I can’t remember the last time I checked my sales, but I do monitor those royalties. We indie authors make the decisions on pricing and along with that is often what percentage of royalties we’ll earn. For example, if you price below $2.99 on Amazon your royalty is 30% as opposed to 70% above that price point.
Traditional authors are not faring quite as well according to this recent article on FutureBook.net. Here’s an excerpt:
Brian DeFiore smartly spotted a rather telling bit of information in Harper Collins’ “Investor Day” presentation (thanks to Porter Anderson for the link).There are lot of different ways of expressing the numbers in the various articles discussed here, but the burden of the whole thing is neatly expressed by DeFiore:
$27.99 hardcover generates $5.67 profit to publisher and $4.20 royalty to author
$14.99 agency priced e-book generates $7.87 profit to publisher and $2.62 royalty to author.So, in other words, at these average price points, every time a hardcover sale is replaced by an e-book sale, the publisher makes $2.20 more per copy and the author makes $1.58 less. If the author made the same $4.20 royalty on the e-book sale as he/she would have on a hardcover, the publisher would STILL be making an improved profit of $6.28.
What these numbers don’t take into account are paperback sales.
Still I am taking note both as an indie author and indie publisher now turned publisher. As an indie author, I like how my numbers stack up and how my options for the future play out. As a publisher I’m turning a critical eye to my first signed contract and finding it blessedly non-commiserate with big houses.
I’m left to wonder, though, what would your ideal publishing contract entail?