Self-Publishing Royalties: Self-Publishers Need to Know

Book royalty is just a fancy word for book sales’ profits. It’s the money that authors get after their books are sold and normally varies on a specific calculation charts of different publishing companies. Huge publishers normally pay authors advance amount, plus compensation through a pre-determined royalty on book sales.

Tucker Max, author of self-published book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, has made it on top of best-selling authors at New York Times. He claims that when he was able to triple his book royalties; that made him succeed.

The calculation of royalty differs from the formula of every publishing house and generally is not as simple or as straightforward as it seems. If an author doesn’t understand how royalties work, this lack of knowledge can cost him a lot more of his money. So, it is essential that authors will have this basic and general information before going further into self-publishing.

What is a book royalty?

A royalty is the percentage of a book’s price that gets credited to an author’s account. It is the money that authors get after their books are sold.

What is an advance?

An advance is a sum of money upfront to you with the promise of more royalties should the book sell well.

How much are royalties per book?

It completely depends on the cost of the book and your contract with the self-publishing company bound by the company’s formula in calculating book royalties.

How much royalties are given to self-published authors?

Royalties differ from each self-publishing company. Some offer 70%, 75% up to 100% royalties. Of course, a smart author will always look for a self-publishing company that offers 100% royalties to authors.

What is 100% royalties?

Instead of receiving a certain percentage of royalties, some self-publishing companies give it full. It means that an author receives every penny of his e-book sales and receives 100% of the net payments if sold through another channel.

Do I earn royalties when I buy my own books?

In most cases, you do. It depends on the policy of the self-publishing company you are partnering with. Some are exempting all author purchases for royalties and rather give them discounts. It is then so important that you research them thoroughly before taking your next steps.

On what types of book sales do I earn royalties?

You will earn royalties on all books sold regardless of what genres.
Why is the price of my book higher in other countries than in my own?
There are several reasons that this happens from region to region and that includes taxes in a specific area or country, delivery costs, and other operating costs.

How long does it take to receive payment?

It certainly depends on the self-publishing company you are partnering with. Generally, these companies prefer quarterly mode of sending authors their royalties. There are some companies that wait for two months after a quarter closes.

When writers self-publish their books, the expenses towards the entire process must be covered by them including the printing, distribution, and marketing costs. In the end, they are likely to profit more on their works as self-publishing companies are either giving a huge percentage of royalties for the authors while some offer 100% royalties instead of the authors receiving a 25-cent or 50-cent royalty for each copy of the book sold as how traditional publishing royalty policy works.

Self-published authors tend to be paid with their royalties a lot faster especially on copies of the book they sell directly to customers. You earn more money for every copy of your book purchased. Though it is vividly seen as a challenge for self-publishers to get distribution in major bookstores, it remains reachable. Hence, it is indisputably necessary that before going further, you need to research about how royalties work in different self-publishing companies. Since you are self-publishing, make sure that at the end of the day, you are getting every penny that is supposed to be going to your account as a payoff for your hard work.


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