The original post I made about this has gotten a lot of wonderful attention on Tumblr, so I wanted to put it here, as well. It’s a good insight into the world of publishing, how you get paid as an author, and how you can build a career. I received the following question a while back:
“I want to buy your books, but wanted to ask how you preferred them purchased because I think I’ve read that Amazon shorts its authors on e-book sales and I want you to be fully paid for your work. I can buy e-books or physical copies.”
First off, let me inform you that you have jumped past my kids in my Last Will & Testament, because not a one of them have tried to buy my book. 😉
Second, I’m traditionally published, which means I have a publishing contract, and my publisher is contractually obligated to pay me x% of each book sale based off net proceeds for the price THEY set the book to be, be that a physical book or an eBook. (When Amazon temporarily slashes book prices, they still have to pay publishers the agreed upon price.)
NOW. Whether this is true for self-publishers, I have no idea. But I do know this:
Every time I reach a sales threshold (a certain number of books), I make a higher percentage of that sale, and that’s because the cost of creating the book, etc. has been met or is closer to being met. Currently I’ve sold more eBooks than print books, so I actually make a tick more on those, just if you’re curious.
But I’m a book lover, so I get wanting to have a physical book (but the eBook will be cheaper for YOU. It’s half the price, actually.) YOU CAN BUY MY FIRST NOVEL FROM MY PUBLISHER (which, if you’re an eBook person, you DEF. want to because it’s DRM free, and you can put it on all of your devices), Alibris, B&N, AllRomance, Book Depository if you’re overseas, and of course through Amazon.
What Amazon does that is a HUGE disservice to publishing authors is with pre-sales. They’re letting books ship before release dates, and then not adding up all the pre-sale numbers and attributing them to that ONE date. This is important because it helps your ranking as an author. You know those best-sellers lists? It’s from all those sales leading up to The Big Day/cumulative, and super important, and Amazon is cheating authors out of that, unfortunately, which is why I won’t pre-order books from them any more. (Barnes & Noble doesn’t do this, nor does Alibris, AllRomance, Book Depository, or your local Indie bookstore.)
WHAT YOU CAN DO THAT REALLY SUPPORTS AUTHORS, ASIDE FROM BUYING THEIR BOOKS, which let’s face it, is freaking amazing and awesome:
WRITE A REVIEW. Where it’s the most helpful is two places: Goodreads and Amazon. Amazon in particular has a metric where once an author hits 50 reviews (good or bad, it’s just the number), they’ll begin to promote the book. You know when you see those “you might be interested in” ads? That’s what you want if you’re an author. Goodreads is obviously helpful because that’s a place for readers to figure out their next adventure. (And if you liked the author’s work, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LIKE OTHER POSITIVE REVIEWS ON THAT PAGE . When you do that, it keeps the most popular reviews at the top for newcomers. If you and a bunch of others didn’t like it, well, that’ll float to the top, too.)
REQUEST A COPY AT YOUR LIBRARY.Â Many libraries let you do this online. Librarians LOVE new requests for books. LET THEM BUY BOOKS THE PUBLIC WANTS TO READ. I mean, won’t someone think of the librarians? Also, fun little fact: there are more libraries in the U.S. than there are McDonalds. If even HALF of the country’s libraries bought my book… Here’s a place where you can see if your library has it, and seriously, this is HUGELY helpful for not just me, but all authors, especially new ones. (This particular topic will get its own post, so you know.)
And lastly, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. I wanted so badly for this book to take off, and I love it so (I mean, I created a Shakespearean musical for the dang thing!), so any sale just makes me so incredibly grateful. <3