On Selling Books

Just received a monthly royalty break-down from one of my publishers for the month of September. Though books and e-books were sold at different sources, my royalty came to $17 plus a few cents. My percentage, of course, was the least. The bookstores keep the most, then the publisher, then my cut. And in case you aren't knowledgeable about the publishing business--that's how it goes.

This particular publisher is good about letting the author know which books were sold as e-books and which as trade paperback, whether they were sold through Ingram (which means a bookstore ordered them and they were sold), or Fictionwise (an e-book distributor) or purchased directly from the publisher. I like knowing, because it gives me some idea of how my promotion is working. The royalties were all for previous books, none for Dispel the Mist, as yet. I'm anxious to see how that will play out and if my blog tour helped.

To be perfectly frank, I sell far more books myself at book and craft fairs, library and bookstore talks. I buy the books at a discount directly from the publisher which means a bigger cut--for both of us.

Anyway, that's the bitter truth about the publishing business and being published by a small press. However, the plus side is, they continue to publish my books. If I were with a big New York publisher, I'd probably be terminated. Midlist authors who are friends of mine and write great books have not had their contracts renewed because the sales numbers were not what the publisher wanted.

Hooray for small, independent publishers!



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