Richard Lane Church, Author

Use Your Writing Talent to Make Money

Copywriting * Content Writing * Fiction

Do you want o sell more books on Amazon? Consider royalties, one of the prime motivators for many people. Verify this information on Amazon’s site as well as KDP’s website (Kindle Direct Publishing), as the information may have changed.

The last time I looked, Amazon offered four different ways to publish a manuscript. The royalties apply to both fiction and non-fiction books.

  • As an eBook on Kindle
  • As a print-on-demand paperback
  • As a print-on-demand hardcover
  • As an audible recording

Royalty Structure for Selling More eBooks on Amazon

EBooks priced between 2.99 and 9.99 pay 70% royalties. If you are pricing your book outside that range, the commission decreases to 35%. Amazon knows about marketing, and I comply with their research for these numbers. Consider this: if you sell your eBook for 9.99, you earn about $7. If you sell it for $20, you make a $7 commission. I know I will sell more for $9.99 than $20. Since the commission is the same, let’s sell more books on Amazon using their implied suggestion!

Royalties for Physical, Print-on-Demand Books

You also have the option of selling physical books on Amazon, both as paperbacks and hardcover editions. They pay a 60% royalty on this type of product. In addition, you pay the printing costs. So, if printing your book costs $3.00 (it will vary by the number of pages, etc.), and you sell it for $10, you earn $4.20. That’s (10-3) x 60%.

Not so many years ago, an independent author/publisher would have a vanity press print his book, which often required hundreds or even thousands of books to be printed. Due to their wish to help authors and make money for the company, you can sell your book on Amazon one at a time using the concept of print on demand. When someone orders your book, they will have a copy made. (sometimes a few extras). The purchaser gets their book in a matter of days. And Amazon puts money in your bank account!

Whereas you made a “book cover” image for your eBook, publishing a physical book requires to design of the full cover, including the back of the book and the spine. I used a designer from Fiverr.com to do my cover image. Although I did use Amazon’s free templates to create the paperback cover and the hardcover (They are different because the spine sizes are slightly different, and the hardcover version requires an image that wraps around the cardboard stock. It is also slightly larger.) You will also need to write a back blurb, which I will cover in a later blog.

Sell Audio Book on Amazon to earn 25-40% Royalties

Personally, I have yet to publish my novel in an audible form to sell on Amazon’s audible.com as an mp4 file. However, a few friends have asked if that version was available, and I know many people enjoy listening to books while driving, doing chores, and relaxing. If you give Amazon exclusive rights to sell your audible book (which includes vendors Audible, Amazon, and iTunes), you earn a 40% royalty. If you want to sell through additional vendors, you get 25% royalties from all.

From the written word to spoken voice software has improved so much because of AI recently; I am considering to purchasing a voice program and using it to turn my book into an audible version.

(Much of the information for the first blogs in this series I found in Matt Voss’s best-selling book How to Publish a Book on Amazon. I highly recommend it.)

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