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How much money?

WritersServices Self-publishing

How much money will you make?
  • Given normal margins and prices, your margin is horribly small if you sell a novel through the retail chain. The distribuors and bookshops take most of the money.
  • The best way to increase your income from your book is to sell it directly at signings and talks. This way you earn the distributor's and the retailer's margins so could be looking at half the cover price.

Pricing your book

Have a look at the examples below:

Assume the unit cost for printing is £3.75 ($6.75) and you have to allow 20% for the wholesaler and 35% for the retail outlet.

Retail bookshop model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover price

 £    7.00

 £  8.00

 £  9.00

 £ 10.00

 £  11.00

 £ 12.00

 £  13.00

 £  14.00

 £  15.00

 £   16.00

Wholesale income

 £    1.40

 £ 1.60

 £1.80

 £  2.00

 £   2.20

 £  2.40

 £  2.60

 £  2.80

 £  3.00

 £   3.20

Book Store income

 £    2.45

 £ 2.80

 £3.15

 £  3.50

 £   3.85

 £  4.20

 £  4.55

 £  4.90

 £  5.25

 £   5.60

Net income

-£    0.60

-£ 0.15

 £0.30

 £  0.75

 £   1.20

 £  1.65

 £  2.10

 £  2.55

 £  3.00

 £   3.45

Assume the unit cost for printing is £2.75 ($4.95) and you have to allow 20% for the wholesaler and 35% for the retail outlet.

Retail bookshop model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover price

 £    7.00

 £  8.00

 £  9.00

 £ 10.00

 £  11.00

 £ 12.00

 £  13.00

 £  14.00

 £  15.00

 £   16.00

Wholesale income

 £    1.40

 £ 1.60

 £1.80

 £  2.00

 £   2.20

 £  2.40

 £  2.60

 £  2.80

 £  3.00

 £   3.20

Book Store income

 £    2.45

 £ 2.80

 £3.15

 £  3.50

 £   3.85

 £  4.20

 £  4.55

 £  4.90

 £  5.25

 £   5.60

Net income

 £    0.40

 £ 0.85

 £1.30

 £  1.75

 £   2.20

 £  2.65

 £  3.10

 £  3.55

 £  4.00

 £   4.45

If you try to compete with the current best-seller you will make very little money so set a realistic price. Our experience shows that it has no effect on your sales. Readers are buying your book because they want to buy your book.

Just remember that selling books directly means you don't have to pay anything to the retail chain. Being your own distributor makes so much sense.

And setting a realistic price provides scope for discounting. Amazon in particular tends to discount books if the margins permit it.

We normally recommend total margins of 55%. The real market is more complex. Check Inside Publishing for details.

How many will you sell? 

  • Think in tens or hundreds rather than thousands and then you are unlikely to be disappointed.
  • The number you sell will depend very much on how successful you are at promoting your book and marketing.
  • It takes time to build a reputation. It is easy to be discouraged if the sales do not take off in the first year. 

Develop a marketing strategy that lasts for at least two years. It takes a long time to get reviews, arrange speaking engagements and get bookshops to stock your book.

Think about your business plan

Payment of royalties

You need to make an allowance of 45-55% to the complete retail chain and we agree this with you in your contract. Shops like a 35% discount. On top of this there is the percentage taken by the wholesaler, which is typically 20%. Royalty payments traditionally are a bit slow arriving. We have to wait up to 90 days for payment through the retail chain. We process the figures each quarter so it can be up to six months before you get the proceeds from some sales. This is better than most publishers who pay annually, based on figures that are months old. We charge a small fee on these trade sales.

Back to print and supply How long will it take? What might I earn?

Order copies of your own book

Ordering


Does your book deserve the attentions of a professional  copy editor?

Writers Services offers a full range of editorial services.

Glossary & Acronyms

Home   Newsletter   What's involved? Glossary & Acronyms Some WPS titles Worldwide distribution

Main topic index

  1. Work out the design and set up cost
  2. Unit cost business & marketing plans
  3. Book order form and payment page

You are off to a very good marketing start with WPS as we link all our titles into Amazon and several of the biggest book distributors so your book can be ordered, delivered and the money collected worldwide.

Choose WPS as your publishing partner.

We operate from the UK and under the financial rules and regulations of the UK



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