Thursday, September 29, 2022

Amazon Publishing Notes - E-book vs. Print-on-demand - (Nett) revenue

Of course my take might be wrong, outdated, or I might have used the wrong sources.

Decide for yourself...



Example (click on an image to enlarge):

Eyes of Wynter Storm is available in three different versions, an ebook for Kindle, an audiobook, and in paperback.

The price for the e-book is a mere € 0.99. When looking at the other books in the series, this is probably to entice new readers. The other books in this series cost (as e-books) € 2.69, € 3.63 and € 3.41.

The paperback is a print-on-demand copy. Interestingly, a used version is more expensive than a paper version? Oh well...

Further down the page, there are some details on the book:

Amazon no longer lists word count, but according to the author, the book is 104k words. That's 374 pages according to Amazon.

The physical book size is 15x22 cm, or 6x9".


Pricing and revenue are based on size, format, etc. For e-books:

  • $ 2.99 to $ 9.99 - you as the author receive 70% minus costs, for e-books
  • below and above - you receive 35%, for e-books

The 70% slice will be the most common for e-books. Unfortunately, we'll also have to pay taxes, so...

  • 70% royalty rate x (list price – applicable VAT – delivery costs) = royalty

Delivery costs depend on the country. Let's assume they'll be € 0.15, so what will be left of the sale of a single e-book for € 3.49 ?

Sale      €  3.49

VAT 21%   -  0.73   

Delivery  -  0.15


Nett      €  2.61


Then there's also income tax. Let's not go there 😒

If you delve a little deeper you will likely find out your printed version actually gives you less profit than your digital version, in spite of being four to five times as expensive for the reader...

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