Monday, July 11, 2011

No. You Buy It Like This...

There's been a lot of talk from authors online about how to buy their books. Basically the push is something like this: buy in print, buy at an indie bookseller, buy it the first week. Basically, the argument is that those things will help drive sales and increase the likelihood of hitting the NYT bestseller list.


Maybe I'm silly, but to be honest, I'm just happy people are buying my books. Buy it wherever you want. Buy it in print or digital. Buy it on release week or buy it a year after it releases. No matter how you buy it, I make royalties on it. Now, to be fair if everyone waits until a year later to buy a given book, you can bet that publisher isn't going to want anything else from me. So if you want more books from an author, that is something to consider, but as long as everyone isn't waiting that long, it doesn't really hurt me as an author.

Again...I'm just happy that you're buying my books.

However, in an effort to be totally upfront with people about what an author makes, I'm going to break some things down for you with regard to how it works for digital publishing. Keep in mind that you can care about this information or not. Some people have asked me in the past where they should buy to make me the most money, so I figure rather than doing this individually, I'll put it all here.

- A digitally published author makes the most money if you buy directly from the publisher's site. It can be as much as twice as much money for the author.

- Depending on how a contract is written, third party sites vary in how much an author makes back from a sale. Some of my contracts, I make a percent of the cover price (a lower percent than at the publisher's site). Other contracts give me a percentage of what the publisher gets back from the third party site. Since the sites dictate what percent they keep, my sales at Amazon under those contracts make me a different amount than my sales at, say, All Romance eBooks.

- The author profit on print-on-demand books is very low compared to cover price, and is in fact lower than their profit on digital copies of full-length novels. (This one shocked the hell out of me, but after it was all explained, it made a degree of sense.)

Yeah, there are things readers can do to ensure the author makes as much money as possible when they buy an ebook. But you know what? Buy it however you want. As an author, I'd rather you buy my work from wherever the heck you want, as long as you're buying it. (Pirating is another issue and goes back to a similar issue as everyone waiting to buy an ebook until a year after its release--no one makes money off pirating and if no one makes money a publisher isn't going to want more from that author.)

So, thank you to everyone who has bought my books, wherever and whenever you chose to buy them. I hope you enjoyed them, and I appreciate the support. I'm pretty sure most authors I know feel the same.


  1. Good to know Sel. Thanks.

    I definitely have preferences as to where I buy but I also want to ensure that my fave authors get the mgreatest possible royalty. After all, I want you all to keep writing. :)

  2. Exactly! I totally respect that people have places they prefer to buy from. Honestly, I wouldn't have written this post if it weren't for the fact that I get asked so often where it's "best" to buy.


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