Everything About Book Royalties

When authors decide on the best self-publishing company for their masterpiece, one critical area is sometimes overlooked: author royalties. It can be a confusing topic because many publishers use different definitions to define what “royalties” means and different formulas to determine how author royalties are calculated.

In the simplest terms of definition, “royalties” means the amount of money that is paid to the author for books that are sold.

How are Author Royalties Calculated? The formula used to calculate the author royalties often varies from publisher to publisher and that can make comparing Publishers X, Y, and Z challenging.

For instance, some publishers will pay a percentage directly off the Sales Retail Price of the book, regardless of how much the book costs to produce, or how much the trade discount is. In these instances, it is not uncommon for the percentage to be fairly low (in the 5%-10% range).

This formula sometimes works to the author’s detriment, however, since book printing and trade discounting play such an enormous role in the book’s overall profit and the author has no say in what the Suggested Retail Price is. Without any say in the matter, authors are often left at the publisher’s mercy.

On the other end of the spectrum are publishers that pay a percentage of the book’s profit, which is the amount left over after the printing costs and trade discounts have already been accounted for. In these instances, you will more often see percentages in the 50%-100% range.

Yes, there are some self-publishing companies, such as Outskirts Press, that pay the author 100% of the net profit of the book when it is sold through wholesale channels, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

That royalty formula looks like this:

Suggested Retail Price – Trade Discount – Printing Cost = Book Profit

What is the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of a Book? It’s just what it sounds like – the cover price as suggested by either the publisher or the author. While nearly all traditional publishers and almost all self-publishers set the SRP for the author there are a select few self-publishing companies that allow the author to set their own Suggested Retail Price. Outskirts Press is one of them; the only requirement is that the price being set by the author is above the sum of the trade discount and the printing cost. In other words, the Suggested Retail Price cannot be below what it costs to produce and sell the book. Makes sense, right?

Of course, the reason this is called the suggested retail price and not the final sales price is because retailers have the discretion to decrease the price (in the form of a sale) or increase the price (to improve their bottom line) if they choose to. But doing so has no affect on the amount the author ultimately receives, which is always set on the SRP.

What is the Trade Discount? This is the percentage of the book’s SRP that the retailer, wholesaler (if any), and distributor take to “handle” a book. It’s how they make money in the book industry. Every book that is for sale with a retailer has given a cut of its retail price to all the parties involved in the form of a trade discount.

What is the Printing Cost? In simplest terms, the “printing cost” is the per-unit cost of producing one book. The reason there is such a discrepancy between offset printing and print-on-demand, one-at-a-time printing is due to “economies of scale”. While that topic is beyond the scope of this article, we have a whole blog posting about the role economies of scale play with your printing costs, and you can read all about that here.

The benefits to choosing Outskirts Press don’t end with 100% author royalties, as important as that is. You also retain 100% of your book’s rights, and receive unlimited wholesale and retail availability thru channels including Amazon & Ingram. Our flexibility and adaptability to your needs, coupled with our phenomenal services and staff, is just one of many reasons Outskirts Press is the only A+ rated and #1 rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively.

You can schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our consultants at https://outskirtspress.com/consultation.html or you can select your package to start publishing right now at https://outskirtspress.com/self-publishing.html.

Get started today. People are waiting for your bestseller!

Self-Publishing Questions Asked & Answered — Available for Free!

From the award-winning and bestselling* author of Sell Your Book on Amazon comes Brent Sampson’s latest non-fiction guide to the world of independent publishing and marketing: Self-Publishing Questions Asked & Answered.

And it’s currently available in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook formats from Amazon, or in this FREE Publishing Kit from Outskirts Press.

Do You Want to be a Published Author?

About the Book

Self-Publishing Questions Asked & Answered identifies the most common questions concerning self publication today and answers them clearly and concisely. What is the difference between “independent” self-publishing, “free” self-publishing, and “full-service” self-publishing? What should I title my book? How do I price my book? What is an ISBN and why is it important? How do I get book reviews on Amazon? These are just a small sample of the top 25 questions Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist and self-publishing expert Brent Sampson has been asked over the years and now answers thoroughly and completely in this book.

About the Author

Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson is the award-winning and bestselling author of Sell Your Book on Amazon and The Book Marketing COACH. As the founder, president and chief marketing officer of Outskirts Press, Brent has helped writers from around the world experience the joy and satisfaction of bringing their high-quality, professional, and award-winning books into the marketplace. Learn more at OutskirtsPress.com.

About the Free Publishing Kit

Your complimentary Publishing Kit from Outskirts Press contains:

  • Self-Publishing Questions Asked & Answered
  • Publish Your Passion
  • 7 Tips to Self-Publish Like a Pro
  • Book shepherd one-sheet: Meet Your Publishing Consultant
  • Author success white paper: 7 Highly Effective Rules for the Perfect Book Title
  • Author guide: Author Photo & Biography Guide
  • Author tip sheet: The Top 7 Marketing Elements to Include in Your Book
  • Author guide: Which Book Format Should I Choose?
  • Author white paper: How to Price Your Book
  • Publishing white paper: Diving into Self-Publishing

About Outskirts Press

Since 2002, Outskirts Press has helped thousands of authors just like you develop, publish, and market thousands of high-quality, award-winning books featuring…

  • exceptional cover design
  • professional interior formatting
  • high-quality printing
  • award-winning publishing
  • worldwide distribution
  • and extensive book marketing services

Outskirts Press is the only A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, because we deliver outstanding customer service, affordable pricing, and industry-leading royalties.

* #29 overall Amazon bestseller, 2007. Royal Palms Literary Awards, Best Book of the Year 2007

 

5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Self-Publishing

Times have changed, haven’t they? And self-publishing has changed the world … and the publishing industry right along with it. There are so many reasons why authors, including those who may have previously been traditionally published, are eschewing the old ways and trying something new, and February is the perfect month to try it out yourself. Once you learn more about self-publishing, you may even find that you love this option, too! Here are five reasons why publishing in the lead up to and in the immediate aftermath of Valentine’s Day might just be exactly what your year needs to kick into gear.

1. Timing

It’s a new year, yes, but it’s also not quite brand new anymore. Which is to say, the hectic holidays are past, and the doldrums of spring are opening up before you. What better time of year to knock out that project you’ve always wanted to? Finishing your book and preparing it for publication takes a lot less time than it used to with the advent of self-publishing. The period between mid-February and Memorial Day is an excellent time to finally complete your manuscript and submit your book for publication … just in time for a late spring or early summer debut!

2. Velocity

Traditional publishing is a slow process. There are the dreaded query letters, the time spent waiting to hear back from agents or editors, and the time spent agonizing revising your manuscript to meet someone else’s editorial suggestions. If your book does get picked up by a firm, it can take over a year to see your book in print … and that’s a best-case scenario! The self-publishing process is often completed within a few months, as we’ve indicated above. Not only does this mean you don’t have to wait to see your book in print, but it also opens up even more doors for writing adaptive, timely, and responsive works that touch upon issues still being actively discussed in the public sphere. You can now publish books that are current and in response to readers’ desires!

3. Rights

When a book is traditionally published, its author may have very little control over the fate of the manuscript. Editors and agents decide if a book is print worthy, while a publishing firm decides upon the book’s cover art, layout, and price point … all without consulting you, the author. Once you hand over your manuscript for a traditional publishing company to publish, you are essentially giving up all rights and control over the final product. Meanwhile, should you choose to self-publish your book, you remain in charge, and you decide when your manuscript is ready to be published. The final outcome and the final product are the product of your singular vision, not publication by committee!

4. Quality

The quality of print-on-demand (POD) books has come a long way since the inception of self-publishing more than two decades ago. In addition to higher quality printing methods and a wider variety of formatting options, many self-publishing companies now offer a variety of professional services such as copyediting and cover design to ensure that your book receives truly top-notch, red-carpet treatment. There are no barriers to a high-quality product anymore, and your book will positively shine in both digital and print formats.

5. Individuality

Traditional publishing is all about making money, and traditional publishing professionals end up choosing to publish “sure thing” bestsellers over unique, specialized works in order to cover their corporate bottom line and satisfy shareholders. To do so, they need books that appeal to the mass market, but not all authors are targeting the mass market. Self-publishing allows you to write for a niche market … and better yet, it allows you to print, distribute, and market for a niche market, as well! In the world of self-publishing, blockbuster success doesn’t have to come at the price of your book’s individuality, its unique voice and architecture. Everything special and unique which wrapped you up in writing can still be there in its final form, and what’s not to love about that?

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Plan in 2021

Almost every blog, workshop, and website on the subject of self-publishing advocates for creating a book marketing plan even before your book has been printed. You will already have read about a number of marketing methods, from virtual book tours to book signings to book fair partnerships to glossy mailings featuring your book. Have you followed that advice?

Sometimes, even when we answer “yes” to this question, our sales numbers may not reflect the hard work and the (usually) good advice. You might even be following every piece of advice you’ve received to the letter. So, how could this be? And more importantly, how do we fix the problem?

The simple truth is that your book’s marketing plan may have a fatal flaw, and this flaw may be costing you sales. And truthfully, this is a common problem among self-publishing authors, which means both that you’re not alone and that we’ve figured out a couple of surefire ways to troubleshoot the issues.

Instead of looking at your book marketing plan as an enemy which is actively working against you, ponder these three questions. Your answers might just help reshape your marketing plan to be more insightful, more effective, and more successful at moving your book off of the bookstore shelves.

  1. Have you clearly defined your target market? When you wrote your first book, you just knew that everyone would love it. It would make you the talk of the town (or maybe even the talk of the nation or globe). It would be the “it” book that everyone would want to read. But … that’s a rather lofty goal. Many might even say that it’s an impossible goal, in that even the most successful authors (like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Jan Karon) aren’t able to reach everyone with their books. And that’s fine; they have developed loyal followings among readers who are committed to them and their books. That’s where their success lies, and even if you’re not a blockbuster breakout success on the scale of a Stephen King, one can learn from that core truth: loyal followings sell books. How, then, do you seek them out? First, ignore all of the white noise, and dispense with the idea that your book is for everyone. There isn’t a book on Earth that’s for everyone. So, who is your book for? What is your intended audience? Start locking in the details, from demographic details like age and occupation to the qualities they look for in books. Define your target audience with care, and with specificity. If you can’t name some specific characteristics, you won’t be able to market to them.
  2. Have you figured out what differentiates your book from the other books available to your target market? Can you tell us why your book is both different from and better than any other book on the market in its genre? Is there a lesson taught in your book? Are your characters easier to relate to? There has to be a reason why readers want to buy your spy thriller instead of the latest from John le Carré. As daunting as it is to consider as a competitor THE AUTHOR who leads the pack in terms of sales in your genre, doing so will help you figure out your book’s strengths. You aren’t just churning out another Vince Flynn action book; you’re publishing a book with its own strengths of plot and character. Find out what makes your book special and use that as your unique value proposition … in marketing as well as every other context.
  3. Have you updated your book marketing plan lately? The book marketing industry, like any other, evolves with blinding speed. If you don’t keep your plans up to date, your plan can easily become irrelevant and your book sales will flag. We recommend that authors review and update their book marketing plan at least once per year, and that they make sure to get other eyes on their plan than their own as well. Having that external insight is vital and important to making sure that every detail of your marketing plan serves a purpose!

Have your book sales been flagging and you can’t figure out why? Perhaps it’s time to consult with one of our Book Marketing Specialists? Right now, Outskirts Press is offering an instant 10% savings off the regular price of $349 when you claim 5 hours of 1-on-1 marketing assistance with a book marketing specialist. Enter promo code savetenbms at check out to receive 10% off instantly.

Did you miss our Black Friday deal to save $500 on publishing?

Cyber Monday has officially surpassed Black Friday as the biggest shopping day of the year. Not only is Cyber Monday the biggest day to shop but it is also the biggest day to save on publishing with Outskirts Press.

Today only, you can receive an instant $350 savings with your purchase of the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package (and receive a free Amazon Kindle eBook edition worth $299 in the process). Or receive a major $500 instant savings with your purchase of any of our One-Click publishing & marketing suites.

Just enter Promo Code cyberultfc into your shopping cart when ordering the Ultimate or Full-Color package. Or enter Promo Code cyberonecl when ordering a One-Click package.

But hurry! Don’t let this opportunity to save hundreds pass you by.

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“I had no idea how to go about publishing a book, and Outskirts took me through the process step by step with clear instructions and explanations so that I never made a false step. I am tremendously pleased by all that Outskirts did for me, and the final product is exactly what I wished. I will certainly print my other books through them.” – John J. Wells, author of Die Like A Dog

 

[Black Friday Special] 50 included Author’s Copies when you publish today!

If ever there was a year worthy of a spectacular Black Friday promotion, 2020 is it! For the first time ever Outskirts Press is offering 5-times as many complimentary author’s copies with the Ultimate Black & White and Full-Color publishing packages!

  • That’s 50 included copies with the Ultimate package
  • That’s 25 included copies with the Full-Color package

This is a one-day-only Black Friday special, so order your publishing package right now, and lock in this deal with your Publishing Consultant or during check-out with promotion code: fivetimes.

When you’re ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ Rated and #1-Rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, you may start via any of the methods below:

“Communication was swift and timely, recommendations were informed and helpful, and the publishing process overall was smooth. Mostly, it’s great just knowing I am working with a publisher who is handling the details to the point where the author doesn’t need to worry. Thank you once again, Outskirts Press!” – Eric B, author of Cult of Steiphen: Night Crusaders Series Episode 1

 

#1 Rated Self-Publishing Company — 4 Years Running!

With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide where to publish your manuscript. But Top Consumer Reviews just made it easier to identify who you can trust. For the fourth consecutive year (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020), the consumer product and services review site has named Outskirts Press #1 in the self-publishing industry!

There are many reasons Outskirts Press has garnered this honor multiple years in a row, according to TCR, citing a wide range of affordable products, a high level of customer service and our 100% royalties structure. To quote TopConsumerReviews.com, “Everything you could need from a self-publishing provider can be found at Outskirts Press. This company’s strong reputation, excellent range of packages and a la carte services are just a few of the reasons why they remain at the top of our rankings. Outskirts Press continues to be our top pick among self-publishing services.”

Now it’s time for you to experience for yourself the service that is #1 in the industry. Our Publishing Consultants are waiting to help you get what you need to achieve your goals for your project. Your dreams of becoming a published author are just a click away!

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Double Book, Double eBook Publishing Bonus!

Publish your book with the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color package today and we will give you 2-times as many authors copies PLUS publish & distribute your Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK eBook Editions absolutely FREE!

What does the #1 rated self-publisher offer that no one else does?

  • More live, personal support
  • More included author’s copies
  • More award-winning cover designs
  • More free marketing support
  • More, more, more!

Simply enter promotion code dblkindnook when you purchase your Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color package to claim this valuable, limited-time offer today.

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“This is the fourth novel I have published with Outskirts Press. The reason for that is simple — without question, they are the absolute best in the wilderness of independent publishers. The OP teams I have worked with are a great bunch of professionals who know their business exceedingly well and made this latest novel the absolute best it could be. None better.” —Andrew Ceroni, author of Special Means

 

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo!

50,000 words.

Just let that sink in for a moment:

50,000 words!

(That’s a lot of words.)

November is just a few days away, and for some of you, that means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is approaching with its 50,000 words looming on the horizon.

NaNoWriMo isn’t just a vanity project; this is a chance to tackle many of the thorniest issues related to writing and authorship, specifically as self-publishing authors, that emerge when we settle into a long and sustained attempt to generate material. These issues include (but are not limited to) finding inspiration, maintaining motivation, vanquishing writer’s block, and navigating an author’s complicated relationships to editing.

To help you prepare, we’ve created a to-do list for all self-publishing authors participating in NaNoWriMo!

  • Read a couple of pep talks, all of which are available on the NaNoWriMo website, to boost your motivation to get started–and to succeed
  • Add a NaNoWriMo badge (also available on nanowrimo.org) to your website, as a fun way to let everyone know that you are taking the challenge
  • Spend some time before the writing doing the things which refresh your will to write: listen to music, people watch, drink coffee, and read books!
  • Relax: NaNoWriMo is inevitably hectic, so prepare your mind and body by practicing relaxation techniques such as exercising, meditating, or doing Sudoku
  • Bring your friends and family on board! You will need their support during this process, so remind them of your goals and writing schedule
  • Have fun. NanoWriMo is a fun process, so just enjoy it

Good luck to all of the self-publishing authors who are participating in NaNoWriMo. We can’t wait to see your books in print, and we hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress throughout November if you choose to pursue the project. And, as always, we hope you’ll turn to us if you find yourself looking for encouragement or support.

When it’s time to publish your masterpiece, call an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant to help you get started. There are three convenient ways to connect:

Learn More

October Super Savings! Get $300 now to spend on self-publishing plus a FREE Amazon Kindle edition

Craving a custom cover for your masterpiece? Got your eye on a Book Video Trailer? Is your heart set on copyediting? For a limited time, we’re giving you a $300 credit when you publish your book with either the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package. That means those not-so-little extras won’t cost much extra!

Use your $300 credit toward additional production options or upgrades to your publishing package, like:

  • Professional Copyediting
  • Professional Custom Cover Design
  • eBook Publishing
  • Book Video Trailer and more!

As if that weren’t enough, we will also format, publish, and distribute a FREE Kindle eBook Edition (a $299 value) when you order either of our top-of-the-line packages today.

To claim your $300 credit, enter promo code octspdcred at checkout when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package. You will receive a confirmation email when the credit has been added to your account.

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“Smooth sailing are the words that best describe my experience with Outskirts Press. Any problems we had were easily handled by their inhouse experts. I’d definitely use Outskirts Press again and plan on doing so with my second book!” – Michael D. Hankins, author of Arizona Rattlesnake Tales