Royalties After Your Book Sale

Offering your book at a sale price for a limited time can be a great way to raise its visibility and draw in new readers. Even better if it’s the first in a series. But to avoid losing money, watch out for the issue below involving royatlies.

I’ve said “issue,” but what I mean is mistake. That I’ve made.

This mistake seems obvious, and maybe you’d never make it whether or not you read this article.

But just in case….

Royalties And Sales

On all the ebook sales platforms I use the royalty percentage the author/publisher gets is much higher if the book is priced at $2.99 or more.

For example, if the price is $3.99, the royalty is 65% or 70%. At $.99, it’s 30% or 35%.

That royalty difference means not only are you starting with a lower price, you’re getting smaller piece of it.

Typically, as soon as you input a lower price, the royalty rate automatically changes. That makes sense. If I were allowing people to sell through a website I owned and maintained, I’d be sure that I didn’t get a lower percentage than I’d been promised.

But it doesn’t always work the other way around.

Back To The Original Price But…

I discovered the hard way that the automatic shift doesn’t always happen when I put my price back at $2.99 or over.  Because I didn’t make that change, for weeks after a sale on one of my non-fiction writing books I was still earning only 30% on the $3.99 price.

Because I have over ten books for sale on that platform, it might easily have taken me much longer to notice. Fortunately, I caught it because every week or so I check to see how each specific book is doing.

When I filtered my sales listings for The One-Year Novelist for the week and compared the number of units sold to the dollar amount of sales, I saw the mismatch.

Sure enough, when I looked at the publishing dashboard, I found I’d left the lower royalty percentage checked.

Mind Your Royalties

To avoid losing out after you run a sale you can adopt these habits:

  • After any sale, double-check on the sales platform to see that the regular price is back in place
  • Check the percentage inside the publishing platform to be sure the royalty percentage increased, too
  • At least once a week, look at per book unit sales for the week compared to dollars and be sure the math works

That’s all for today. Until next Friday, when I’ll talk about Dialogue, Pace, and Genre

L.M. Lilly

P.S. For another mistake I’ve made that I hope you can learn from see A Major Mistake Using Amazon Ads To Sell Paperbacks.

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