Get 30% off our store with coupon code 30PERCENTOFF!
Book Promotion

The Truth Behind Your Royalty Agreement

Good Evening Everyone!  I know I usually post on Mondays, but I wanted to post this week while this was fresh in my mind and I had the time – just in case Monday was as crazy this week as it was last week!

So, I have been excited about how my book sales have been going and I’ve been tracking both my inventory and my sales and donations.  I was anxiously waiting to receive my first royalty check from my publisher for several reasons: first, I wanted to see how many copies of my book I had sold last year in the two months after it was released; and second, I wanted to see how much I made.  My royalty agreement was a 50% split with the publisher so I was estimating what I should make.  I want to preface this post by saying that I’m a very thorough, detail-oriented person (translation:  I am OCD a lot of times) and when I agreed to my contract with my publisher, I not only read the whole thing, I had questions that I wanted answers to before I moved forward with them.  With that being said, I was not expecting what I received as my first royalty check:  $25.66 for selling 37 copies of my book!  This works out to about $0.62 per book that I am receiving – with a retail price of $8.99 each.

The first thing I want to impress upon any other first-time authors out there either going the self-publishing route or working with a publishing house:  ask for specifics when it comes to your money even if you think you understand!  The misleading wording in my contract stated I would receive 50% “of the amount received by the publisher”.  This was evidently supposed to tell me that the amount received could be a lot less than the actual retail price.  It turns out that my publisher gives a 55% discount for books sold through and – something I WAS NOT AWARE OF!  I thought I understood the wording, but it was not 100% clear!

The second thing I want to suggest:  ask open-ended questions.  I now would always ask “What do I not know about the royalties that is important to know?”  It sounds kind of dumb, and I feel like you shouldn’t have to ask a question like this, but it’s true when they say that you don’t know what you don’t know!  How would I have known to ask about a discounted rate being offered if it wasn’t referred to directly in the contract?  I was later told that “there’s a detailed breakdown of the discounts on the website” – but why would I look on the website for that when I have my contract and no one informed me that there might be more detailed information surrounding the royalties agreement?!?

I have to say that this all continues to be a learning experience and I am using this experience for good and trying not to dwell on the negative.  It is motivating me to either find an agent or try to get picked up by a publishing house now instead of waiting until the end of the year.  But I have to admit that it makes me sad – I chose Inspiring Voices as my publisher because they are affiliated with Guidepost, a well-known Christian company.  I figured that they would have integrity and honesty and I wouldn’t have to worry about someone trying to rip me off.  Lesson learned – even in the Christian Community, I guess some will still try to mislead and take advantage to make an extra buck or two.

I hope that this doesn’t dissuade anyone from trying to go the self-publishing route – that isn’t my intent at all!!  I really wanted to write this to try to make other first-time authors aware so that they don’t suffer the same problem that I had.  I hope you all have a great week, and I’ll see you next week!!

Want your children to read more?


Download your free copy of "10 Ways To Get Your Child To Read More"

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
Erin Mackey on Google

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »