the strange world of royalties

  The detail of the latest sales (July & beginning of August 2019) supplied by Lulu made me discover odd discrepancies in the royalties paid by Amazon. For instance:

Grande Grammaire du Tagal / Philippin
, 6x9", 736p, French, €30.00
Royalties (in €) : 10.40 with Lulu, 0.65 with US Amazon
This means 100 pages of this book yield €0.088... of royalties with US Amazon.

Baybayin, the Syllabic Alphabet of the Tagalogs, 6x9", 240p, English, €20.00
Royalties (in €) : 10.36 with Lulu, 3.32 with US Amazon
This means 100 pages of this book yield €1.38...  of royalties with US Amazon.

Also, the Lulu royalties - the most generous - for the bigger book are nearly the same as those of the smaller book.
 
Based on this simple comparison, should I conclude it is better to publish books of less than 300 pages because they are the ones that yield the more royalties or is it an over-generalization?

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Comments

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    What you end up getting depends on three things: the price you charge, the cost of manufacturing your book and whether or not you choose to have it distributed.

    You will always earn more on Lulu than you would on any other sales channel. If your book is distributed the distributor takes 50 % of the cover price. The cost of manufacturing the book, and Lulu’s cut, is deducted from the remaining 50 % and what remains is what you get.

    It will always be better to sell your books through Lulu, if you can. And it will always be better to charge as much as you can for as few pages as you can. However, having said that, this is not always practical.


  • potetjppotetjp Professor
    Yes, I know I get 100% of my royalties from Lulu. Unfortunately many readers prefer to buy books from distributors. All the same, don't you find it rather odd that US Amazon only paid me €0.65 for a book whose price is €30.00, while if the customer had bought it from Lulu, I'd have been paid €10.40?
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Creator
    potetjp said:
    Yes, I know I get 100% of my royalties from Lulu. Unfortunately many readers prefer to buy books from distributors. All the same, don't you find it rather odd that US Amazon only paid me €0.65 for a book whose price is €30.00, while if the customer had bought it from Lulu, I'd have been paid €10.40?
    That's the downside of the bigger outlets - they just rip the guts out of your margin, and leave you with virtually nothing. You need to figure out how to steer buyers to Lulu - but I have no suggestions how you do that.

    That's why Amazon is the monster it is - their business model is to gouge everybody, starting with the content generators first.
  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    Potetjp – I don’t find it odd. When you sell on Lulu you are both the publisher and the author, so you would expect a bigger share of the revenue generated. The downside, as most people soon come to realize, is that the Lulu market is miniscule. The distribution channels have to make money and this is how they do it. A traditionally published author usually makes 6 to 10 % royalties (based on publisher’s revenue) whereas self-published authors can make a lot more.

    Distribution is a snare and a delusion. It is all very well books being distributed to hundred and hundreds of stores but does this actually lead to sales in hundreds and hundred of stores? No. I would rather keep 29 % of my cover price in sales in one giant marketplace than be listed in a thousand small stores where I might never make a sale, and if I did, would end up keeping a much, much smaller percentage.


  • potetjppotetjp Professor
    Indeed.
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