Book royalties...

United States
January 4, 2017 5:34pm CST
When it comes to publishing books I hear that authors who self-publish make more per book than those that publish their books with traditional publishers. This makes me wonder... how much do authors make per book when they publish through a traditional publisher? I know that Lulu pays their authors 80% for each book sale. Not sure about CreateSpace but probably a high percentage as well... So what do traditionally published authors get?
3 people like this
4 responses
@inertia4 (26582)
• United States
5 Jan
I don't know. I never checked into it. I also never published anything in my life. But I have been thinking about doing it. I have many short stories and poems that I would like to make compilations and try to publish them. I just don't know if I have enough reach online to sell anything.
@Bluedoll (16125)
• Canada
5 Jan
I feel the same way. By the time we obtained reach we could write a book called, "How to be a marketing expert." Not sure i want to write that one.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (26582)
• United States
5 Jan
@Bluedoll Me neither. I would just like to get something out there. Promotion is not easy, but even if it is minimal. That would be fine with me.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan
Even if sales are not very high it is still great to have published a book. I published nine of them (with lulu) - 2 poetry books, 3 lyric books, 2 books featuring poetry, lyrics and prose, 1 novel and 1 poetic tale. I also put together and published a poetry anthology that has poets from different countries in it. I am also in the book. It feels awesome having published books and that many (so far). Just wish that sales were much higher than they are. Publishing books should be done because you want to do it, you are passionate about it, not for the sole purpose of making money. Though I will say it would be amazing to make a living from publishing books.
2 people like this
@Bluedoll (16125)
• Canada
5 Jan
I looked at Lula many years ago and at that time a person could set the price of their book. There was a set price for printing and handling based on a table. Size of book, style, number of pages etc = cost of book. Can you tell me how they honor 80% now if say I sold 4 books? Thanks in advance. I've never published but have a friend that does and she told me it was for recognition that she did so.
• United States
5 Jan
You do set the price of the book but there is a minimum you cannot go below. I believe when you get your book an ISBN and distribute the book the minimum price you can set increases as opposed to just publishing the book on lulu without getting an ISBN and distributing it. When your books are bought directly from lulu you get 80% from that sale. If my math is correct you take the price you set for the book, subtract how much it costs to make it and then take 80% from that amount and that is how much you get. I am not sure how much % you get when your books are sold outside lulu but it has to be less than 80% because for example you can make $4 on amazon for your book but for the same book bought from lulu you'd make probably three times as much...
@Bluedoll (16125)
• Canada
6 Jan
@lovebuglena Thanks for going into such detail. My first impression was that each book might have a better home depending on what the needs are. I don't know that much about the publishing industry really as I've not had much experience but from what I read there are some factors to consider. I've seen many different kinds of writers and it makes us wonder where we might fit in. I'm not much help here but thank you again so much for the info because it sounds like lula might be worth considering for my book. I wondered to about my friend using a traditional publisher but then her source of income never came from the sale of her books but from what the books brought to her portfolio.
• United States
10 Jan
@Bluedoll It's Lulu not Lula. I am no expert on traditional publishing but from what I've been told you get an advance and then whatever you make in sales you will have to give back to the publisher equivalent to the amount of the advance you got. But how much you make per book I have no idea. In my opinion it shouldn't matter how you publish a book (self-publish, traditional publisher, etc.) and through what company or what channel. It's how effective the marketing / book promotion is for your book that's more important and how great your book is as well.
1 person likes this
@franxav (3492)
5 Jan
It's something to think about for me too. I'm planning to self-publish a book.
4 Jan
Interesting question.