authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

Wall Street Journal reports: After 360,000 Copies, Publishers Take Notice

In Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Alexander Alter, told the tale  of self published author, Ms. Garvis Graves, a 45-year-old mother of two who lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. She is just one more example of how self publishing is creating opportunities for authors to be discovered. I have copied the text of the article below, but there are some key points we can all learn from her experience.

1. Rejection can be motivation if you believe in your work. Like many authors, traditional publishers said no to her many times, but that did not deter her from getting her book in the market place. She believed in her work.

2. Pricing has to be part of your marketing strategy. She employed a common strategy today with respect to pricing her book. She came out as a very inexpensive e-book even selling for as low as 99 cents, but that helped her develop a following and get word of mouth started.

3. No matter how good the book, we all need a little help. In her case, Amazon featured the book in a promotion and sold it for 99 cents. That was a key to accelerating her sales, but it wasn’t anything she had control over.

Here’s the full text of the article.

After getting 14 form-letter rejections from literary agents, Tracey Garvis Graves figured there wasn’t a market for her

Author Tracey Garvis Graves self-published her novel which led to a traditional publishing contract

debut novel, a romance about two castaways stranded on a remote tropical island. But she decided to find out for herself.

So last September, Ms. Garvis Graves, a 45-year-old mother of two who lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, self-published the novel, titled “On the Island,” as an e-book, also making it available for print on demand. She has since sold more than 360,000 copies through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and other self-publishing platforms.

 Publishers took notice this spring when the book broke into the top 10 on major best-seller lists. Earlier this month, Plume, a Penguin imprint, acquired “On the Island” in a seven-figure, two-book deal. Plume rushed the book into print and is planning a first print run of 400,000 copies for the paperback edition, out July 10.

Ms. Garvis Graves is the latest self-published author to land a high-profile publishing deal. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers paid six figures for “Life’s a Witch,” a self-published series by Brittany Geragotelis that had millions of readers on the website Wattpad. Young-adult fantasy writer Amanda Hocking, who sold 1.5 million copies of her self-published books, got a multimillion-dollar deal with St. Martin’s Press.

Ms. Garvis Graves says she has always been a fan of island survival tales, including the TV show “Lost” and the movies “The Blue Lagoon” and “Cast Away.” In 2010, she had the idea for a novel about a young tutor and her pupil—a teen boy who missed school while being treated for cancer—who get stranded on an island in the Maldives after surviving a seaplane crash. The characters, Anna and T.J., fall in love as they struggle to survive by fishing and scrounging off the limited supplies that wash up from the crash debris (conveniently, Anna’s suitcase is brought in by the tides, carrying island essentials like hair conditioner and a yellow bikini).

It took Ms. Garvis Graves 18 months to write the novel. She got up at 5 a.m. to write for a couple of hours before heading to her job as a human-resources recruiter at Wells Fargo. She sent queries to literary agents, and gathered a string of rejection letters. “I was heartbroken,” she says. “That’s a pretty strong indicator that the premise isn’t working.”

She didn’t expect to sell many copies when she released it herself last fall, priced at $2.99. She sold 100 copies the first month. Soon it was selling a couple of thousand copies a month. Sales spiked this spring after Amazon included the novel in a promotion and discounted it to 99 cents. In April, the novel sold around 140,000 copies and shot up the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal e-book best-seller lists.

Publishers in Indonesia and Hungary bought foreign rights before Ms. Garvis Graves even landed a literary agent. She signed with Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, who has since sold the book in nine more countries. This past May, Temple Hill Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer optioned the movie rights.

Plume bought the book in early June and rushed it into print to capitalize on the online buzz. A print edition was ready 10 days after the deal was signed.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, self publishing, writing

iUniverse Author Lisa Drucker talks about her new book, Arise, O Phoenix and how you can get a free copy

A few weeks ago Author Solutions announced the release of it’s 100,000 e-book, which just happen to be an iUniverse title, Arise, O Phoenix, written by Lisa Drucker. In this book inspired by the events of 9/11, Lisa weaves a love story into the fabric of  the aftermath of our nation’s most tragic event in recent history. To celebrate the publication of the book as the milestone e-book for Author Solutions, iUniverse is giving  readers a free download of the book through the iUniverse bookstore. Simply use  the promo code ARISEPHNX when going through the checkout process in the bookstore to obtain one of 1,000 copies  being given away.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Lisa a few questions about her book, what inspired her to write and the joy she finds from being an author.  I trust her words words will be motivating to you and you will take a moment to download a free copy of the book.

Lisa, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Author Lisa Drucker shares about her new book.

I’m a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor working in publishing since 1997. I was an editor for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series from 1997–2005.

Writing is my calling and my passion. My previous books are The Princess-in-Training Manual (under the pseudonym Jacqueline de Soignée) and ASVAB Flash Cards.

I’m a native New Yorker currently residing in South Florida. I have a BA in classics from Vassar College and an MA in communications and media studies from The New School.

What inspired you to write this book?

Hearing all the phone calls people made from the Twin Towers and Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. I wanted to pay tribute to the heroes and victims, but I also wanted to explore the relationship between love and tragedy. I wanted to approach love from a different angle than what we heard in those phone messages. The victims we heard called the people closest to them, the people who were present in and integral to their everyday lives. But I wondered, “What would have happened if two people deeply in love had ended their relationship years before, and then the events of 9/11 made them realize what a mistake it had been? What if some kind of twist of fate engendered by the tragedy brought them together again?”

What is the book about?

A twist of fate following 9/11 brings a pair of long-lost lovers together again, showing us the indomitable power of love and the triumph of the human spirit, both of which, like the phoenix, rise from the ashes of 9/11 to remind us of what truly matters in life.

What do you hope readers get from the book?

That tragedy, as heartbreaking as it is, offers us hope and the opportunity to live with deeper meaning and purpose. Beyond that, it reminds us that nothing matters more than love. The most important thing we each can do every day is not take the gift of that day—or the gift of those we love—for granted.

What is most enjoyable for you as a published author?

The greatest joy for me as an author is when readers tell me, “I loved the book! I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end.”

I’m a writer because expressing myself in words is my calling and my passion. I’m a published author because I choose to share my words with my readers. I hope reading my books brings them as much joy as writing brings me.

Author Solutions, self publishing

What every author needs to know about royalties. (Part 2)

In an earlier post, I referenced a conversation I had recently with the leadership team of a leading trade publisher. In that discussion, I was surprised to learn that one of the biggest issues book publishers deal with every day is royalty inquiries from authors. I have to admit, at first I was a bit surprised, but after I thought about it, I realized that royalties—and how they are calculated—can often times be complex and confusing. In my first post, I tried to define the key terms used when discussing royalties.In this post, I want to address some additional issues that I believe create confusion for authors.

Royalties can be confusing, but important.

  • New books can be sold by a used book retailer–On some online retailers, you will see books described as both used and new.  Despite those descriptions, it doesn’t mean the books are any different. There are many used book dealers who sell new merchandise as well.  They just mark it as used because that is the majority of what they sell. However, this description gives the impression to the author that a bunch of books have been sold and now are being resold.  The fact is most books are actually printed using print-on-demand technology so there are not really any used books at all.
  • Only 4 left” is almost always a marketing ploy to create urgency to buy–Even though books are printed print-on-demand, some online retailers will put a statement like “Only 4 left” near a book to try to get people to make a decision to buy. Again, authors assume that there have been other books printed and sold, but the reality is there were no books printed and stored in a warehouse. This is referred to as “virtual inventory,” and is simply a way to get people to buy more quickly.
  • If the retailer has a sale, it does not reduce the author royalty–In almost every case, this is not true. Royalties are calculated on Suggested Retail Price (SRP) and not the actual sale price so the retailer takes less margin on the sale to drive volume, but the author is paid the same regardless of the sale price. As with anything, there are always exceptions, but this is almost always the case.

I hope this information helpful. Please use the comment section to let me know if there are any other royalty questions I can answer.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, Editing, Indie book publishing, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing, writing

New study declares: The Self-Published Book: A Major Force in the Publishing World

Self publishing is not a new phenomenon, but while I have read much from journalists and bloggers on the topic, I have not seen academics weigh in on the topic. That is until now. Researchers at the University of Arizona are in the midst of a study on the shifts taking place in publishing.
This week, La Monica Everett-Haynes, from the University of Arizona Communications office wrote an article detailing some of the early results and conclusions of the research team. Her article bore the following headline:

A UA-led research team has spent years investigating the emergence of non-traditional book publishing and is predicting major shifts in the industry.

What follows is the text of her article. I think you will find it reaffirming and helpful as you wrestle with the dramatic shifts taking place in publishing today.


Which books have gripped you, challenged your mind and evoked your emotions? Maybe it was The Little Prince? Beloved? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Perhaps The Iliad or Lord of the Rings? Seemingly, it was once easier to find a good book. But a UA team has found that with shifts in social media and the publishing industry, readers are relying on new methods to find good reads.

Self-publishing not only is changing the traditional publishing industry and the relationship between authors and editors, but also the ways readers are connecting with books.

This affirmation is based on a major, multi-year investigation into the alternative publishing industry led by a research team at the University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science, SIRLS.

The emergent self-publishing model poses itself as a hybrid in the world of publishing. And, in effect, self-publishing is disrupting the traditional industry while also creating shifts in how readers connect with books.

Convened and led by Jana Bradley, a SIRLS professor, the team since 2007 has studied how the recent emergence of digital self-publishing has resulted in major shifts in the industry.

Mainstream trade publishing still dominates print sales. But self-published, print-on-demand for private, local or niche audiences is faster, said Bradley, founder of the Research Group on Non-Traditional Publishing Practices, RG-NTPP.

That growth was propelled by a number of things.

Since about 2010, “the stigma of self-publishing was quickly diminishing,” Bradley said, adding that the cheaper, growth market is the self-published e-book.

Amazon, in launching Kindle Direct Publishing, was at the forefront in disrupting traditional models of publishing, Bradley said. The company allows authors to post their digital files to an automated publishing system, which then made them available as Kindle products on Amazon. Other companies followed.

“The major disruption, however, was that they allowed the authors to set the price,” Bradley said, noting that the most popular prices were between 99 cents and $2.99. Companies also offered authors royalties ranging between 35 and 70 percent, depending on a range of factors.

Since about 2010, “the stigma of self-publishing was quickly diminishing,”

RG-NTPP research also shows that the reading public is, indeed, embracing self-published titles at the low price points. About one-third of the top 100 paid titles on Kindle are by self-publishing authors.

RG-NTPP members have published a series of articles, including “Non-traditional Book Publishing,” published by First Monday, about the shifting industry and digital self-publishing. That article was co-authored by Bradley, Bruce Fulton, the digital projects librarian at SIRLS, Marlene Helm, an associate librarian at the Arizona State Museum, and Katherine A. Pittner, a SIRLS doctoral student who teaches history at Pima Community College. Other studies are ongoing.

All told, RG-NTPP’s investigations and subsequent findings indicate an industry on the cusp: The traditional publishing mode by which publishers fronting authors a cut of money then handle publishing and marketing, all the while hoping for the best on the buyer’s market, is in transition.

The team noted that the contemporary world of self-publishing can be understood as consisting of two major and different segments.

The first, print-on-demand self-publishing, produces books in print and came of age around 2007. The second segment, digital self-publishing, is the faster growing of the two, and often indistinguishable from digital mainstream publishing.

The team’s results of a multi-year study of print-on-demand self-published books were published in April by The Library Quarterly. The article, “Self-published Books: An Empirical ‘Snapshot’,” was co-authored by Bradley, Fulton and Helm.

RG-NTPP members studied a random sample of 348 books from the nearly 390,000 self-published titles available in 2008 through fee-based services, like Lulu, AuthorHouse and iUniverse.

The team found that self-published authors enjoy more freedom in making decisions about editing, design and marketing.

“This freedom, in the hands of inexperienced authors, can lead to inconsistent writing and grammatical errors, enforcing the view of self-publishing as inferior publishing,” Bradley said.

Yet the team also found a greater variety in self-published books.

“Self-help books on subjects from exercise to grieving were written by people with considerable experience. Authors wrote convincingly about local events, stories and history that would probably never interest mainstream publishers,” Bradley said.

Also, the “private” tribute book surged as ordinary people began writing and publishing about family histories, life events, vacations and wildlife, among other things. Also, established mainstream authors also republished their out-of-print books.

This has resulted in a “blurring of the boundaries” between the traditional and digital publishing, Bradley said, adding that one major difference emerging is who makes the publishing decisions, pays the bills and gets most of the profits.

“Self-help books on subjects from exercise to grieving were written by people with considerable experience. Authors wrote convincingly about local events, stories and history that would probably never interest mainstream publishers”

“Such trends not only are changing what is happening at the publishing level, but also how readers connect with books.

“I don’t know if readers realize it, but they are part of this market shift that is happening,” said Fulton, also a doctoral candidate at SIRLS whose minor is in communication.

Another trend is that readers increasingly turn to social media and social networks for information about books.

Increasingly, mainstream authors are expected to handle their own marketing, which they tend to do through their on Webs and through social media, like Facebook, Fulton said.

For self-published authors, this is essential.

Fulton, whose dissertation work involves the study of publishing and reading given the influential nature of social media, said the same appears to be true for readers.

Another trend is that readers increasingly turn to social media and social networks for information about books.

“Changes in traditional media, like magazines and newspapers, indicate a downward slide where there are fewer reviews in those publications,” he said. Simultaneously, there is an emergence of sites dedicated to amateur editorials and reviews of books, including those that are self-published.

“People are beginning to pay more attention to those,” Fulton said, adding that with the emergence of self-publishing, readers also have a much more diverse range of titles to select.

“There is this notion of traditional and mainstream publishers having been viewed as gatekeepers,” Fulton said. “But people can now choose who they want to be the gatekeepers, so the reader has gotten a lot more power to drive the industry.”

Also, self-publishing titles tend to include books that are locally focused, narrate family histories, are niche and at times more risque – around religion, politics, sex and sexuality – than what a traditional publisher might wish to handle, Fulton and Bradley said.

“There is a real value in self-publishing. There are stories self-publishing offers that simply wouldn’t be told any other way,” Fulton said. “So what we’re seeing is something we didn’t have a mechanism for before.”

But self-publishing authors still struggle to make a big break. So one question remains evasive: What does it take to produce a blockbuster bookshelf whit?

“The industry still isn’t very good about predicting what will sell,” Fulton said about both the traditional and self-publishing sectors. “It is still very much an art, not a science.”

Et Cetera

    • Extra Info Books that have been or are self-published:
      • “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White
      • “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham
      • “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma Rombauer
      • “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
      • “Tiger’s Curse” by Colleen Houck
      • “Caribbean Moon” by Rick Murcer
      • “Lethal Experiment” by John Locke
      • “Last Breath” by Michael Prescott
      • “The Abbey” by Chris Culver
      • “My Blood Approves” by Amanda Hocking

      Sources:, Kindle Store,


Author Solutions, authors, book selling, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Kindle, self publishing

Booktango and the Future of DIY E-book Publishing

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Dena Croog for Publishing Perspectives. This respected online journal covers international publishing news and opinion and has been called “the BBC of the book world.”  They focus on the cutting edge of digital, global, and self-publishing all around the world. Here’s the article she wrote based on the interview. Hopefully, you will find it helpful.

There are a lot of options out there for self-publishers, but representatives of Booktango, a major player in DIY e-book publishing, truly believe their online formatting and

Authors can earn the most money on the sale of their books on Booktango

editing tools are best-in-class and easiest to use. The service, which is owned by Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI), currently offers a “Freetango” promotion wherein authors who publish by July 4, 2012 will receive the maximum possible royalties from their e-book sales. Authors receive all royalties for e-books sold through the Booktango bookstore, and, as Chris Bass, Director of Marketing for Booktango, explains in a press release: “If it’s sold through another outlet, the e-books retailer takes their standard fee, and the author gets the rest. Booktango takes nothing — no other publishing company is offering anything this beneficial to authors.”

Booktango prides itself in its superiority over other multiple-channel distribution competitors in three different ways: an easy-to-use interface, the widest distribution to every e-reader and e-retailer, and the highest royalties.

In addition to its free DIY features, Booktango offers fee-based add-ons, among them book formatting, correction and editing, and promotional services such as virtual book signings and multiple-author webinars.

“Because while everyone won’t be successful, everyone will have the opportunity to be successful.

“At the end of the book signing, every person who attends the event is e-mailed a PDF of a book stub, which allows them to download one free copy of each of the authors’ books,” says Keith Ogorek, Senior VP of Marketing at ASI, in an interview with Publishing Perspectives.

“I think it’s really going to be something authors will use to promote their books,” he adds. “Because you have the opportunity to get your books into the hands of readers in such a way that they’ll start to talk about it—which is one of the keys to helping books spread.”

The Future of Pricing

In response to a question posed recently by Digital Book World, “In three words, what is the future of e-book pricing?,” Ogorek stresses “word of mouth” in conjunction with promotional efforts such as those offered by Booktango. He suggests that when DIY authors must decide on an appropriate e-book price, they should “take price out of the equation” for a short time. He maintains that, as many authors strategize, the first concern is to get the book into the marketplace, even if that means selling it at a lower price. Then, if the book is good, readers will act as a “promotional team” of sorts. Once word of mouth leads to greater demand for the book, the price can be raised.

Ogorek also offers advice for authors who are deciding between using the e-book platform or going the traditional publishing route:

“Traditional publishers right now have cut down their title selections significantly. So if you’ve got a long time to wait and tough skin, then I think traditional publishing’s a good option for you. If you want to have your book available in all formats — hardcover, paperback and digital — you want someone to help you go through the process, which is assisted self-publishing. If you really know what you’re doing and you’re not concerned about limited distribution in terms of just being a digital book, Booktango is the best option out there.”

Evolving Formats

According to Jane Friedman in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest, the coming and going of multiple e-book formats across digital readers, devices and services is comparable to the “Wild West.” Ogorek says a better analogy is the evolution of film from 8mm reel, to Betamax versus VCRs, to DVDs, and now to streaming videos. He predicts that, in time, there will be one standard format that would allow a person to stream a book on any device—Kindle, iPad, Nook—but it would be housed somewhere “up in the clouds” and wouldn’t actually be downloaded into any particular device.

This is Ogorek’s prediction for future e-book formatting. As for content, he predicts that it will become “richer and more enthralling” as the ability to add video, audio and interactive features becomes more and more commonplace, much in the way Apps became increasingly sophisticated.

“People started doing e-books, if you will, in the caves, when they wrote pictures on the wall. You follow that through history and you see now there are 180 million people blogging. The desire to continue to write and communicate is something that isn’t driven by technology, but it’s just made available by technology.”

Ogorek also predicts that traditional publishing will run parallel to the film industry. Traditional movie studios continued to produce what he dubs “celebrity films” (eg, Spider Man, The Avengers), as they have the size in capital, resources and distribution to do as much. But they also developed partnerships with smaller independent production companies to develop other films that didn’t require a 9-figure investment but still had the opportunity to tell a great story and make money (e.g. The King’s Speech, The Help).

“We’re seeing the same thing happen in publishing right now. Traditional publishers are publishing what I would call ‘celebrity books.’ Simon & Schuster did the Steve Jobs book. I’m not sure a small independent would have the capital resources to meet the demand for that book. While it did sell a significant amount in e-books, it still sold a significant amount in print. And you need the resources of a traditional publisher to acquire the rights, package it up and distribute it.

“But, what you’re also going to see is a significant portion of the revenues are going to come from e-books. They already have started and will continue to do that in the future. The other thing you’re going to see is that in the same way publishers created a relationship with independent film companies and Sundance was born as a way to find new and upcoming talent and ideas, so too will you see traditional publishers doing that.”

Ogorek refers to ASI’s strategic alliance with Thomas Nelson and Hay House to create self-publishing imprints. The idea is to find new talent: self-published authors make the initial investment to produce a title, but eventually they might be picked up and put into the traditional publisher’s traditional publishing imprint.

Are Self-Published E-books a Bubble?

In response to a recent Guardian article arguing that the DIY e-book boom industry is over-hyped, over-leveraged and an e-book “bubble” likely to soon pop (Ewan Morrison, January 2012), Ogorek states that, instead of an e-book bubble, the current phenomenon is akin to what we saw in the cell phone industry. There’s no threat of a bubble bursting; rather, technology will continue to improve and we will see a consolidation.

“Right now there are a number of people entering the market. But just like you saw with the cell phone market, there were a number of providers—whether they were local, regional, national or even global—and when the business settled out there were only a few large players around the world. I think you’re going to see the same thing in the DIY e-book market.”

Ogorek further connects the e-book and cell phone industries as both stemming from the desire to communicate.

“People started doing e-books, if you will, in the caves, when they wrote pictures on the wall. You follow that through history and you see now there are 180 million people blogging. The desire to continue to write and communicate is something that isn’t driven by technology, but it’s just made available by technology.”

The Guardian article also charged that there’s a dangerous delusion that all self-e-publishers can achieve success, when in reality almost all self-published e-books receive very few readers due to lack of visibility. Ogorek counters that there are other reasons that an e-book may not sell, such as because the topic isn’t relevant, the author doesn’t have a clear picture of who the audience is, or the book simply isn’t well written. He cites Bronnie Ware’s The Top Five Regrets of the Dying as an example of a book that wouldn’t have bubbled up to the surface had there not been the electronic and self-publishing options that we have today. After writing an article in a local publication, Ware published a book through Balboa Press (Hay House’s self-publishing imprint). The book was an internet sensation and was eventually acquired by Hay House (March 2012).

“While not everyone’s going to be Bronnie Ware, I would suggest to you that without the publishing opportunities that exist today because of DIY, Bronnie Ware would never have happened. To me, that’s the story here. It’s not about the failures, but about those who actually succeed because of this opportunity. Who otherwise would not have had the opportunity because there weren’t the technologies like Booktango available.”

Ultimately, Ogorek maintains that this is the best time in history to be an author:

“Because while everyone won’t be successful, everyone will have the opportunity to be successful. And that in itself is something that I think is worth talking about.”

authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

What every author needs to know about royalties. (Part 1)

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with the leadership of one of the largest traditional publishers in the world. When I asked them, “What are some of your greatest challenges as a business?”, they mentioned authors and royalties.

I was floored. I could not believe that even though they were working with some of the most well-known authors in the world, these authors were still confused by royalties. Upon further investigation, what I discovered is the same issues that crop up with self-published authors flummox traditionally published authors as well. So I thought I would attempt to see if I could clear up some of the confusion

….the same issues that crop up with self-published authors flummox traditionally published authors as well.

First, I think it is important to know what information a publisher uses to calculate royalties. Understanding the terms is key to understanding the calculation.  So in the first blog post, I am going to define some important terms.

Then, in a blog post to follow I want to address some common misconceptions or misunderstandings regarding royalties.

Admittedly, this topic is a complex one, and there is no way any blog post can address every circumstance. However,  I have tried to take the most common terms and situations and address those. I trust you will find this helpful. So here are some the key terms you need to know.

  • Pub comp reports. This is the report that each retailer and wholesaler generates and provides to publishers. It shows what books were sold and at what price. Think of it almost like a “cash register receipt” for books sold.
  • Printed books report. If there is any question about the pub comp reports, a publisher can also request a printed books report from the printers. If the number of books printed is the same total as the books on the pub comp report than there are two independent sources that corroborate the numbers. Yet, I will tell you that many authors will still claim they are being underpaid for royalties even though these two different  sources align. That can be frustrating for both authors and publishers.
  • Retail (channel) discount. This is what the retailer takes from the retail price for selling the book. This discount can range from 36-55%; however, the most common retail discount is 55%.
  • Nielsen BookScan report. This is another report that provides point of sale data for books; however, it only tracks numbers of retailers who opt in to report sales to BookScan. In most cases these sales figures do not include:
  • Sales from Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, to libraries
  • Purchases by wholesalers such as Ingram
  • Sales of used book sellers
  • Books published through CreateSpace
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sales
  • Pre-orders—orders for a book before the book is released

Booktango offers the full sale price as the royalty on books sold on

Therefore, it is an approximation, but not an exact number of sales

  • Royalty calculation. This is the calculation that determines what amount will be remitted to the author from the sales of the book through retail channels. In some cases, there is a misunderstanding that the royalty calculation is based on the sale price. That is not correct. It is based on the net proceeds. Typically, net proceeds is the retail price minus the retail (channel) discount. However, in some cases there can be additional costs (such as a wholesale or distribution fee or even the printing cost of the book depending on the royalty agreement. Those must also be deducted before the calculation can be completed.
  • Royalty percentage. This is the percentage that is used to calculate the royalty amount owed to the author based on the author agreement. It can vary greatly depending on the format of the book, the author agreement and whether the book is published with a traditional publisher or assisted self publisher.

I hope you find this information helpful. In the next post, I am going to address some common misconceptions about royalties.

authors, book marketing, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

Getting the most out of social media from the book Platform by Michael Hyatt

In the third installment in the series I have been posting from Mike Hyatt’s new book Platform, Mike shares how to use social media to effectively help you build a platform. His insights are helpful regardless whether you self-publish or pursue the traditional publishing path. The video interview provides more detail, but the cornerstone of a successful social media campaign is creating a blog.