This is big, guys. I got to attend a lecture on the “Economics of Publishing” led by agent Evan Gregory while at DFWCon. His talk was great, but this one slide was earth-shaking for me. I think I’m still quivering.
I’ve had to replicate it, as the photo I took with my phone illustrates said shaking.
Royalties By Edition
|Publisher||Book Price||Royalty Author Receives|
|Hardcover, traditional pub||$25.00||$2.50-$3.75|
|e-book, traditional pub||$7.99||$1.40|
|Trade paperback, traditional pub||$14.99||$1.12|
That’s a estimated breakdown of what an author will get, per book sold, using different publishing options.
Pretty sobering, isn’t it?
Now, I realize some people are going to look at this and instantly cry foul and say self-publishing is definitely and always the right way to go, because there’s a big difference between $2.05 and $0.64. And I don’t disagree. But Mr. Gregory had an excellent point: sure, you get more per book, but you are likely to sell fewer–because you have only whatever marketing efforts you personally can generate, without help–and you have a lot more up-front costs, like editing and cover art, and a huge amount of your time, so while this compares the profits you stand to get, it doesn’t accurately reflect the time-and-money investments for each arrangement.
Still, knowledge is power, and learning this figures really changed my perspective.