The AW Amazon Store
Buy Books by AWers!

 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Publishing: Royalty Comparison?

  1. #1
    Jack
    Guest

    Question Publishing: Royalty Comparison?

    Can someone here please give me an estimate on what traditional publishing companies payout in royalties on average?

    Is it 10% of sales, 20% of sales, etc. I know it can vary, but I was curious what the rough average might be.

    I'm currently working on a non-fiction book and was considering just self publishing it at iUniverse since they have a 20% royalty payout on sales. I plan to finish up a fiction book later as well but would prefer to publish that one traditionally if I can.

    I know the traditional route is a lot better because they can keep printing costs down and the overall book price reasonable, but what are the royalties like in comparison to POD publishing?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    in a bulletproof vest... travNastee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    with the windows all closed
    Posts
    466
    It probably varies depending on the contract involved, but most hardcover (and the majority of trade paperback) royalties that I have seen listed on the web are:

    10% of retail for the first 10,000
    12.5% for the next 5,000
    15% thereafter

    That is what I've found listed most often on the web. If anyone has any firsthand accounts that would dispute those figures, those would obviously take precedent.

  3. #3
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    A Small Town in Germany
    Posts
    12,681
    Quote Originally Posted by travNastee
    It probably varies depending on the contract involved, but most hardcover (and the majority of trade paperback) royalties that I have seen listed on the web are:

    10% of retail for the first 10,000
    12.5% for the next 5,000
    15% thereafter

    That is what I've found listed most often on the web. If anyone has any firsthand accounts that would dispute those figures, those would obviously take precedent.
    My contract says:
    Trade Paperback:

    10% up to 3000 copies sold
    12-and-half to 6000 copies
    15 % thereafter


    Mass Market Paperback:
    6 and a half up 20000 copies sold
    10% thereafter

    Edited to add:
    That is on Cover Price.
    Last edited by aruna; 01-06-2006 at 12:20 PM.
    OUT NOW!
    The Lost Daughter of India
    Amazon UK:

    Amazon US:

    Sons of Gods -- the Mahabharata

    Website
    Facebook


    Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that ...
    ~ Rumi

  4. #4
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Or New Babbage, Second Life!
    Posts
    7,145
    don't forget, however - you may get a higher royalty payment but YOU have to do more of the work, especially with a self-pub book. That extra cash may be going right back out in the way of advertising and so forth since it's all on your shoulders.

    good luck!


  5. #5
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    25,366
    And 15% of cover price can be more than 20% of net. When you multiply that by the number of copies sold....

  6. #6
    Gone
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,587
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    I'm currently working on a non-fiction book and was considering just self publishing it at iUniverse since they have a 20% royalty payout on sales. [...] I know the traditional route is a lot better because they can keep printing costs down and the overall book price reasonable, but what are the royalties like in comparison to POD publishing?
    Jack, I think that you may be using confused terminology. If what you're doing is actually self-publishing, you are paying out the setup costs (printing, cover design, and so on) and you take all profits from sale of the book, because the copies belong to you (making your royalty rate 100%). What you're describing with iUniverse is vanity publishing--you're paying setup costs, but iUniverse owns the copies and sends you a percentage of the profits. In either case, you have to weigh your royalties against the setup costs, figure out how many more copies you'd have to sell at the higher royalty rate to offset the initial costs, and figure out if your book will sell enough copies to make a profit.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    6,667
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    I'm currently working on a non-fiction book and was considering just self publishing it at iUniverse since they have a 20% royalty payout on sales.
    A couple of things to consider here.

    - iUniverse (and other POD self-publishing services) pay royalties on net sales--i.e., the money the service actually receives for the book. Online vendors like Amazon expect a substantial discount. So your royalties are likely to be based on less than half the cover price. That can work out to less than a 10% royalty from a commercial publisher, since commercial publishers pay royalties based on gross sales (the book's cover price).

    - Even if royalties from self-pub services were paid on gross, it wouldn't be more lucrative for you, since self-publishing companies don't provide authors with any marketing or distribution support. Self-pubbed books rarely get reviewed in major review venues, and rarely make it onto bookstore shelves. The average book from a service like iUniverse sells just over 100 copies. Compare that with thousands of copies for the average commercially-published book.

    There are sometimes good reasons for authors to choose a self-publishing service, but better royalties isn't one of them.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    Gone
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,587
    Victoria, can you explain to me what makes iUniverse self-publishing instead of vanity? I thought it was a vanity setup.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    25,366
    iUniverse is vanity. A straight-on pay-to-play POD vanity.

  10. #10
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Loitering just offshore on the Silicon Prairie
    Posts
    582
    I covered the difference between royalties on net versus royalties on cover price last year on my blawg, and I even did all the math.
    CEP
    blawg: Scrivener's Error (includes links to main site)
    Any legal comments in this message are general commentary only, and not legal advice
    for your specific situation. You should not rely on such comments or any other published
    comments, by me or anyone else as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" it's small and red.

  11. #11
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    6,667
    Quote Originally Posted by Aconite
    Victoria, can you explain to me what makes iUniverse self-publishing instead of vanity? I thought it was a vanity setup.
    It is vanity. As is any pay-to-publish setup that the author doesn't put together him/herself. But I get so many questions from so many kinds of people that I try to use non-inflammatory terminology whenever I can. It's just habit. I always try to say "POD self-pub services" so it'll be clear what I'm talking about.

    - Victoria

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search