Twenty Seven Dollars

Last night I had yet another confirmation as to why I am an indie book author.

For those of you who don’t know, I started out as a book and magazine editor and published with two traditional publishing houses, starting in the 1980s and continuing until about 2000. Two of my six books in those houses are still earning royalties, but just barely. I got my ANNUAL check for one of the books last night. I sold 290 books and made a grand total of $27.

Now, I realize that the book is older and is probably being sold on the discount rack. But when I compare that royalty of less than ten cents per book to what I regularly make on e-books, it seems almost criminal. My books range from free (for two anthologies I have out there) to $3.99 with my cut of the total price ranging from 35% to 75%. Even if I sell a book for 99 cents with only 35% royalty, I still make more money than I am making with the traditional publisher. Even when the book was selling full price, for $15.99, I would only make a buck off of that.

There is a stigma attached to indie publishing that is slowly going away. I read recently that the comparison is less indie vs. traditional and more amateur vs. professional. There’s money to be made out there as an indie author. But you have to commit to do it the right way, the professional way.


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