According to one indie author, Amazon doesn’t offer such a great deal when it comes to self-publishing. While his complaints have merit, he may have forgotten to read the fine print.
Travel writer Andrew Hyde only took home $5.10 from every $9.99 e-book he self-published and sold on Amazon due to a $2.58 delivery cost per book, he wrote yesterday in his personal blog, andrewhy.de. That’s a far cry from the 70% royalties Amazon is thought to give its self-published authors.
While Hyde may have a fair point, he might not have read the fine print.
In the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing agreement, the company clearly states that there is a delivery charge for files. It depends on the country, but in the U.S., it’s $0.15 per megabyte — and other countries are comparable. At 18.1 megabytes, the delivery charges on Hyde’s book add up.
For frame of reference, Haruki Murakami’s 900-page behemoth 1Q84 (Random House) has several images (though certainly not as many as Hyde’s book) and clocks in at only 3 megabytes.
Amazon generated by far most of his sales, some 73%, but performed the worst in terms of dollars per sale versus the other four retailers Hyde used: iBooks, gumroad.com and Nook.
Gumroad.com generated 12% of sales but gave Hyde $9.25 out of the $9.99 sale price. Ibooks was next, giving Hyde $7.00 of the sale price and generating 11% of total sales. Nook finished last at 1% of total sales and $6.50 of sale price — still a good 14 points ahead of Kindle.
Hyde checked his book file’s format several times and determined that he was well within Amazon’s parameters for manageable e-book files. He came up with no conclusions. Digital Book World has put out a query to Amazon for comment.
Since writing the piece, Hyde put the .mobi files up on the Gumroad.com website for those readers who want him to get 95% of the sale but also want to read it on their Kindle device.
Read much more, including several charts and graphs, at andrewhy.de.