Category Archives: Publishing

How Do Book Royalties Really Work

How Do Book Royalties Really Work

Are you a writer? Have you ever written your very own book? If you have, the question of how do book royalties really work usually pop out? First things first though let’s define what book royalties are. Book Royalties are the payments that a publishing company pays the author for rights to his or her book.

Book royalty payments usually occurs when the book publisher contacts an author to grant the publisher the right to publish the work for agreed upon amount of money. The royalty is predominantly expressed in as a percentage of sales. The usual practice of most book publishers is to pay a royalty on the list price of a book.

How are Book Royalties calculated?

When it comes to calculating book royalties, the most basic concept is that the author receives a percentage of the revenue for each book sold. But this is merely an oversimplification of how book royalties are calculated. The exact calculations and percentage cannot really be generalized because it depends on a variety of factors.

These factors are the size of the publisher, the author’s platform and the author’s marketability and criteria. It also depends on what type of book the author is selling and in what format it is made?

How do writers make money on their books?

Authors are paid in three ways by their publishers.

  1. Flat fee: The flat fee is a set amount of money that is agreed upon by the author with the publisher. This pay scheme has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of this pay scheme is that it is given up-front and is usually a big amount of money for a first payment. The only disadvantage is that it is a set amount, thus even though your book may make a good amount of money in the future, your royalties will still stay the same.
  2. Royalties: The royalty is a small payment paid to the author for each one of his books sold. The payments are sent on a regular basis as long as the book is in print and still selling. They are sent on a regular schedule which is usually twice a year. The check is usually sent through the publishing agent.
  3. Advance: The advance is a larger amount of money compared to the It is technically a promise of more payments if the book does well. The approximate amount of the advance against royalties is based on certain factors, these are the size of the publisher, the historic performance of similar books in the marketplace and the author’s track record.

How much are authors expected to earn from their book?

How much money you get for your book really depends on the terms you have with your publisher. It also depends on which pay scheme and how many books you sell. If the pay scheme is a flat fee it is usually a bigger amount because it is technically a payout for rights to the book. One example would be getting a large payout of $20,000 for rights to your book.

One reason why publishers would pay such a large sum is because publishers see a lot of potential in the book, thus they are willing to pay a good amount for the rights.

If the pay scheme is in royalties, the amount of money that the author would receive would really depend on the number of books sold. When it comes to Advance payments the author makes money by being given an advance for the rights to the book and receives smaller payments afterwards.

Which pay scheme is the best choice for writers?

It all really depends on the author. If you want to get paid a large payout once you should take a flat payout, but do not expect to get paid any further.

If you want to get paid at intervals (mostly two times a year) you should take the Royalty payments. With royalty payments you are given a steady pay-check as long as your books are selling. The only setback to this, is that the payments really depends on how many books are sold. So should the book stop selling, you are technically out of a paycheck.

Should you choose to go with advance payments, please take note that this payment scheme is given upfront by the publisher. The payments are not as big as the flat-out payments but is still substantially larger than the royalty payments.

This pay scheme is the most popular nowadays because the author is not only given a substantial amount of money but there is also the promise that the author will be paid payments once the book starts selling. All in all the main decision is all up to the author and how he or she wants to earn.

How Do You Get into the New York Times Best Seller List?

How Do You Get into the New York Times Best Seller List?

As a self-published writer you are surely aware that the success of your book depends on the amount of advertising and influence your book has. One of the best ways to do this is to have your book placed in the New York Times Best Seller list.

The New York Times Best Seller list is considered to be one of the most influential and well respected Best Seller list of all the publishing industry standards. Through the years the New York Times Best Seller list have helped readers know the most popular books sold in the market and reviews on why they are so popular.

To be on the list is a very big deal because it is one of the best ways to guarantee that your book will be a classic. Because not only will your book be sold much more easily, it will also be regarded with more respect by readers from then on.

Of course people would wonder, why is it so important to be on the list for a writer? Why would it make my writing career if I could have my book in the said list?

One word can answer all these questions. And that word is prestige.

To be in the New York Times best sellers list means prestige to your career as a writer. To be in the list means that your book has made it. To be in the list means you are one of the best. This prestige may even guarantee you book royalties even after you are dead. This prestige is also one of the main reasons why some authors would go so far as to try to buy their way into the list. In short being on the list is one of the best ways on making your legacy as a writer.

This list has launched the careers of countless authors just by having their names in the said list. True as a self-published writer you are free to control the trajectory of your book’s advertising and sales, but if you wish to garner respect and an influence over your readers, getting into the New York Times Bestsellers list is definitely the way to go.

But the question is, how do you get your book into the list? Well to begin with you need to know how the list works and how the books are selected.

The New York Times Bestseller list is divided into categories that range from fiction, non-fiction, e-book, paperback and hardcover. Each category has its own list that are comprised of 15 to 20 books. There are also expanded lists that show additional titles are available online through the Book Review website. The lists have also been subdivided several times.

The method in which the list chooses the books are by what can be called a “survey” which is based on propriety and closely guarded list of accounts that are polled weekly for sales. The results are tabulated by a weekly basis, from Sunday to Sunday to be exact. The lists is formed using a methodology for filtering reported sales that excludes books which are reported too narrowly. One thing to remember though if you wish to have your book included in the list is fact that the New York Times need to have a copy of your book and are keeping track of it.

In truth the specific formula in which the list makes it’s ranking methods is technically a closely guarded secret, but it is a known fact that the sales venues for print books include independent book retailers; national, regional and local chains; online and multimedia entertainment retailers; supermarkets, university, gift and discount department stores; and newsstands. The E-book rankings reflect sales from leading online vendors of e-books in a variety of popular e-reader formats.

Another question usually asked is how much can you earn if you are a bestselling author?

Well the more important question would be how much you would be able to sell while it is print? You could sell a lot of books during the first week of your book release but the sales would dwindle out afterwards or you could sell a few books on the first week but sell a huge amount throughout the rest of the year because your book managed to gain popularity in the next few months. Although it is gratifying to be able to sell a large amount of books on the first week it is better from a sales standpoint to be able to sell your book through the whole year because it would stand to gain more money in the end.

Now for the main question how can you get into the list?

Well from a simplistic view the answer would be to sell a lot of books, but how much does a lot of books entail? Well as it is, there is no specific number of books that you need to sell, as long as your book covers all the requirements set by the New York Times your book is still eligible for the list. But as for how to really get into the list, the most important aspect would be the marketing campaign itself. Good marketing and of course the quality of your book. Good marketing would mean that your book is always in the public eye and be advertised well and your books would also sell well in the end.

You could also have your book reviewed by book review sites to give credence to the quality of your writing. Good reviews will give your book the credibility it needs to be bought. It would be even better if your book was reviewed by a well-known and respected author in your genre because it would mean that your book does credit to your genre.

Another effective way is to have your book endorsed by a well-known celebrity. This will not only give your book credibility but also much needed publicity. In truth there really is no guarantee on how to get your book into the list. It all really depends on how hard you are willing to work to get it there. Just remember though it is all worth it in the end.

How Much Does It Really Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

How Much Does It Really Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

All over the world there are a multitude of writers who have created a number of manuscripts and have dreamed of having them published.

But sadly, due to the uncertainty of getting accepted through traditional publishing their dreams have gone unfulfilled.

This is where self-publishing comes in.

Through self-publishing you can have your book published without going through the hassle of going to a traditional publishing house and waiting to be selected.

The main question though is how much does it really cost to self-publish a book?

Is it cheap?

Is it expensive?

This answers the main question, how much does it cost to get self-published?

Before we delve into the more technical aspects of self-publishing though and its costs, it is best to give a summary on self-publishing and what potential authors should expect.

The difference between self-publishing and traditional self-publishing is the fact that self-publishing is all in all funded by the author, from cover design to overall publishing all the costs is shouldered by the author, while in traditional publishing the costs is shouldered by the publishing house.

Thus if you choose to self-publish you should expect that you will have to spend money to sell your book.

Let’s break down the costs of the self-publishing process, and we’ll share some secrets to bring those costs down if you’re budget-conscious.

Just remember though that the main intent when you self-publish a book is that it should be of good quality and marketable.

The process usually involves the following:

  • Development editing
  • Copy-editing
  • Cover design
  • Formatting For Print And Digital Conversion
  • Getting An ISBN
  • Distribution
  • Getting Your Book Printed
  • Getting Reviews Pre-Publication
  • Marketing & PR

Development editing

This process usually begins after you have already finished making your manuscript.

Having a developmental editor is necessary because an editor’s main job is to evaluate and critique your manuscript, suggest and provide revisions, and make sure it is good enough for publishing.

The costs of having a developmental editor look at your work depends on the amount of experience the editor has and the amount of hours worked on the manuscript.

The costs could range from $2,520 to $18,200 depending on the quality of work and yet again experience of the editor.


After having your work looked at by the developmental editor you should have a copy-editor have a look at your work and see if it needs any further corrections, such as spelling mistakes and adjustment for grammar, punctuation and consistency.

The costs could range from $840 to $7000 depending on the amount of work done and the experience of the editor.

Cover Design

This is a very important part of the process because readers predominantly choose books by their covers.

True if a book has good reviews readers may also buy it.

But as a neophyte writer you should pay special attention to the quality of your book design and make sure that it catches the attentions of the reader.

It is imperative that you make the book cover pop.

There are various ways you can have your book cover made.

One way is doing it yourself if you have the skills and using your own images or buying the license of a specific image. You can also buy premade cover designs for as low as $50.

If you hire someone to make a custom cover design, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $3,500

Formatting For Print And Digital Conversion

This part of the process really depends on your tech-savviness.

If you have the tech skills you can use programs like Sigil, Calibre or Pages. If you prefer to hire an expert, you can find someone to do the print-on-demand conversions for as little as $150 or as much as $2,500 to convert from Word or InDesign.

Getting an ISBN

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a must when it comes to self-publishing. This is because should you wish to have the book published under your name the ISBN is a prerequisite. You can purchase them for $100 each $250 for ten.


This technically for free, because you can get your book distributed to various retailers.

Getting Your Book Printed

Nowadays there are various ways to self-publish a book.

With the rise of self-publishing houses all over the world the options are limitless.

But the best way for you to save is by going with print on demand companies wherein the books get printed only when someone buys them.

That way you don’t have to stock them and risk them getting ruined by rats, termites or the elements. And due to the fact that you don’t need to get them printed outright there are no fees to pay upfront.

Getting Reviews Pre-Publication

When it comes to getting reviews for your books, the best way to get them reviewed is by going to professional reviewers.

You can go to sites like Kirkus, BlueInk and Publishers Weekly. These sites sell review packages.

You can also go to a multitude of bloggers that can help critique your work.

The usual cost of a review differs from one site to the other. Kirkus usually costs around $425, BlueInk Reviews usually costs around $396 and Publishers Weekly costs $149.

Marketing and PR

Marketing and PR is crucial when it comes to selling your book, because the better you conduct your marketing and PR the more widespread your selling range is.

The best way is to hire someone to market for you and set up blog tours. This could cost you around $10 to $40 an hour. Should you get a professional marketer it may cost you around $40 to $65 an hour.

It is recommended that you have someone market for at least 10 hours and on the high end around 40 hours. You can also do some marketing in your spare time.

The thing to remember when you self-publish a book is that the success and failure of your book is up to you. It all really depends on how much effort and resources you are willing to invest on the success of your book.

6 Easy to Follow Tips on Self-Publishing a Bestseller

6 Easy to Follow Tips on Self-Publishing a Bestseller

The self-publishing industry has been going through a transition period the past few years, what started out as a novelty item for the publishing industry has grown into a force to be reckoned with.

Now the self-publishing industry has risen into a viable substitute for traditional publishing.

Through the years a number of self-published books have become bestsellers and have proven to critics that Self-publishing is an effective way to market books. But it is not all easy, in order for you to truly reach your full potential as an author you must not only be able to create great content for your work but be able to market it effectively as well.

Here are 6 easy to follow tips on how to self-publish a bestseller.

1.) Create a platform

What I mean by platform is to create a means for your book to be noticed by the public. No matter how good your book is, you will still have a hard time marketing it, if you do not have the proper publicity to make it known to the general public you will find it very difficult to sell your book. Your platform can come through many ways. It could be done through Blogs on bigger sites that aggregate bloggers or podcasts or any form of media that can spread word on your book.

2.) Write… a lot                    

Self-publishing is all about writing and sharing your own perceptions on the world. And like all art forms you get better by practicing it. So in order for you to be a truly proficient writer you should exercise your writing muscles every chance you get. You could do it early in the morning or any time you have free time. You can also make a quota for yourself, like 300 to 3000 words every day.  That way you can practice your skill and keep yourself disciplined at the same time.

3.) Have a plan and stick to it

Once you start out as a self-publishing author you should have a definite plan on how to achieve your goal of creating a bestselling book. You can do this by self-publishing with or without the help of Self-publishing companies.  If you choose to self-publish independently, you will find out that it is a cheaper alternative to hiring a company, on the downside though you will find it a very arduous process wherein you will have to handle every aspect of the book production. From book creation to marketing, everything is in your hands. If you choose to hire a company the trade up for the higher costs is the easier book production and the guarantee of all the marketing opportunities offered by the company. Whichever plan you may choose, what you should remember is to always stick to your plan.

4.) Editing

Constant editing gives the book a very professional feel and gives you the chance to have others give opinions on your work. Hiring a professional editor to check on your work will guarantee that your work will be in the best condition possible.

5.) Title

Choosing a fitting title is a very important task for any would be author. Sometimes the very title of a book could be the difference between success and failure for a marketing scheme.

6.) Marketing

Probably the most important aspect of self-publishing is marketing. As said earlier you could have the most interesting book in the world, but without proper marketing it will not see the light of day. As a self-published author it can be difficult to market your work if you do not have the proper connections and advertising can be quite expensive if you do it by yourself. This is why hiring a self-publishing company, although expensive at first is a safer bet in marketing your book. Through the company you have a team of marketing specialist that will handle the marketing aspects of your book and give you more free time to handle other aspects of your book.