Self-publishing a book can be a rewarding endeavor, you finally get to see your work in print and put a great deal of time and effort into getting it out to an audience, so when it does begin to sell and readers start to purchase your book, what royalties will you get?
Well, this will of course depend upon the channel you’ve used to sell your book, and for the majority of self-publishing authors, these channels are the likes of Amazon’s KDP, IngramSpark, Smashwords, Lulu, Barnes & Nobel and Draft2Digital.
So, let’s look at how much you can expect to get back in royalties from your book sales from each of these popular POD services.
KDP offer two royalty options for eBooks, they are either 35% or 70%, however, they do set restrictions upon the 70% option (you can see more on this in our article on KDP Royalties for self-publishing authors). You can set a higher list price for your eBook with the 35% option, the 70% gets restricted to a max price for your eBook of $9.99.
For printed books, KDP offer a 60% royalty of the list price minus the printing cost for the book, this is for books sold via Amazon’s marketplace, for books sold through their expanded distribution the royalty is 40% of the book’s price via that channel minus the printing costs.
Of course, with IngramSpark you need to consider their publishing fees, you can publish both the eBook and print copy at the same time and the fee is $49, or, if you publish just the eBook, the fee is $25 and if you publish just the printed book, the fee is $49, so it’s best to publish both at the same time and save the additional $25.
Compensation from IngramSpark is worked out using their compensation calculator, so a 250 page paperback at 6x9 on cream paper with a gloss finish, having a list price of $15.99 has a print cost of $4.78, however, you still need to accommodate their retailer discount, this could be 45% which would give you a royalty payment of $4.01, if you had a discount of 55% then your royalty would be $2.42 and if you chose a discount of 30% your royalty would be $ 6.41. A rate from 15% to 40% (based on these figures and after printing costs). They currently pay 40% on eBooks as royalty
Why would you add a discount? This is to help sell your books to book buyers and retailers, they need to make a profit if they choose your book to sell in their store, offering a discount can help make your book more attractive.
A highly popular eBook publishing service used by many authors, they currently offer 85% of the list price from the eBooks sold at the Smashwords store and 60% of the list price from other retailers, although these rates may vary depending on the retailer, in some countries where your book is sold, additional taxes may be taken, so you’ll receive 60% of the book price minus the appropriate tax. Also, sales in other currencies at Kobo will earn 38% of list price and eBooks within the Baker & Taylor Axis 360 Library platform will earn 45% of list price.
With Lulu the account is free, and they don’t charge to set up and sell your book with them., their royalties are 80% of the list price minus the print costs when you sell your book via their Lulu bookstore.
However, for the books sold via distribution channels, these channels will take a 50% fee from the gross revenue, then Lulu will take their 20%, so, on these channels you’ll get 30% from each sale, the same goes for your eBooks, the royalty you’ll make will vary depending upon who you select as additional distributors of the eBook. Lulu state that 10% of each eBook sale will go to them and the other 90% to the author (after the distribution channel fee, which will vary).
Barns & Nobel
B&N offer 70% on eBooks published with them offer double of what you can earn with competitors when you publish and sell your printed books with them.
Like many of the POD services, B&N have an online cost/royalty calculator, this takes into account the cost of the book (based on size, format, page count etc.), then using your list price it will give a royalty figure. So, a 250 page paperback book on cream paper, black and white interior and matt exterior would receive a royalty of $4.57
There are no fees to set up your account and book with them currently, there rate of royalties is 45% of the list price minus the printing costs, for eBooks it’s 60% (although this can vary slightly depending on where the book is sold). You can find out more about Draft2Digital and if they are right for you and your book on Publishing with Draft2Digital.
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