Usually the publisher sells directly to a wholesaler, who then sells to a bookstore or retailer, who ultimately sells to a reader.
Here’s how this breaks down, as a sample:
- $17.95 – List price of 250-page 6″x9″ B&W interior book
- $8.43 – Wholesale price @ 53% wholesale rate
- $4.60 – Print price
- $3.84 – Net royalty (wholesale less the print price)
- $2.30 – Author’s royalty at 60% (note: royalties can range from 30-70%, depending on the model type)
See for yourself on IngramSpark’s Publisher Compensation Calculator.
E-book distribution can vary, depending on the distributor. Ingram Digital distributes their digital products (e-books) to around two dozen digital online booksellers. Some of the top e-book-selling vehicles include Kindle, iBooks (Apple), Nook (Barnes & Noble), Kobo, and Sanyo.
E-book’s prices tend to be much lower than printed books’. This has become a source of considerable discussion over the years. Some think that e-book prices should be low because the overhead is so cheap and easy for the publisher and retailer. Others think that e-books are just as important and valuable as the printed product and should be close in price. The reality is that most e-books are priced below $10, unless they are top-selling authors and/or through bigger publishers.
While printed book prices are locked in place due to the physical aspect of the book and the fact that the price is usually printed on the back of the book, e-book prices may easily vary according to the whims and plans of the author and publisher. This allows for sales to be run and tied directly to promotions. Some of our authors have been accepted by BookBub (a paid program) for an email blast to run on a particular day. We drop the price before the day, and when the blast goes out, thousands of books can be sold. This type of versatility and flexibility is only available through e-books.
Currently, our e-books are priced at $4.99 for fiction and $7.99 for nonfiction. The $4.99 is the current threshold price at which buyers perceive a good value and are more inclined to purchase the e-book.
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