Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Payment Question from the e-mail -

What was happening on the Ponderosa during the Civil War? You'll be surprised when you find out!

Payment Question

Question from the e-mail:  Just got my Paypal payment and my sales report, thank you! But I'm wondering why there are different amounts of payments listed on the report, sometimes I got two different prices for the same book??? A friend says her publisher always pays the same amount no matter where it sells from and thinks maybe I should ask...?

Answer: Well the sales venues usually pay a percentage of the book's price. But that's a percentage of what they collect, not a percentage of the retail price we set. That is true for every venue. And by the way we are looking for more sales venues.

AND the PERCENTAGE always stays the same, though the amount of money will change if the book's price is discounted. This very month one of my own books sold on one site to a book club member at a discount. Another copy sold from the same vendor, at full price.  I was paid $1.14 for the book club sale  (a ploy to keep regular customers coming back by giving them a discount on books in a certain genre) and more than twice that much for the regular priced book -- both sold from the same place, both customers received the very same file! And though you didn't say what title provoked your original question, I am almost sure the same thing happened to you.

I am also sure that your friend believes what she is saying.  And in a way she IS right! But I also think she does not fully understand the system's math.  Here's how it works. Let's take sales as an example.'s  TOP rate of pay for ANYone, publisher-published and self-published alike, is a 70 % royalty. That rate doesn't change, and is indeed "the same rate for everybody, no matter what!"  But the amount of money delivered per book depends on the PRICE they collect, not on the percentage rate.

Using's rate, a Book priced at $1.00  earns 70 cents for the author on each sale.

But a Book priced at $10.00 earns $7.00 for the author.

Both are PAID at the SAMDE 70% rate. But NO ONE can convince most of us that seventy cents and $7 are both the same amount of pay for a copy of your book, even though the percentage rate IS the same!

The difference is in the retail price. When a seller discounts your price, everybody takes a cut in pay. But the RATE of payment, 70%,  does NOT change. That does remain the same.

For self-published authors Amazon's POD printing company Create Space works as a vanity press. They also act as a printer and will print files for publishers, who prepare the files for publication themselves and pay CS to make the print copies. If you are one of our authors, we will prepare the files, YOU will give your final approval, and when you have, we will pay Create Space to print your books for us.

Most self-published authors are encouraged to choose lower prices. Publishers try to choose a retail price that will be low enough to still attract customers, but high enough to sustain their business's operating costs. 

As a customer, I know that a book sold for  $2.99 is not likely to be the very best I've ever read. I've bought some books at that price. Some of them were even pretty good. But almost all of them were badly edited.  One author's "series" book had even given different names to his same characters in Book 2.  Imagine that the book above, Monette Bebow-Reinhart's (fully licensed by the copyright holder BTW) Bonanza book, MYSTIC FIRE was about Pa Arkwright and his sons Boss, Saddam, and Little Crow. How many happy readers would she have?

Now Monette would never make such a mistake. But if someone else did, we like to think we would at least notice. No book is perfect, of course. But having a publisher does sometimes have its advantages.

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