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Royalty, 'net sales', page count, trim size, cover price, discount, printing cost - there are a dozen ways to calculate it, but the bottom line when considering a self-publishing company is this:

How much money will I make when someone buys my book on Amazon?

Most of your sales will come through online retailers like Amazon.com, BN.com and others, so if a publisher can't give you a straight answer on this question, look elsewhere.

Many companies try to give the impression that you're getting a 50% royalty when they say '50% of net sales.' Then they offer you a formula with several variables and leave you figure it out yourself. Others let you 'set your own royalty' then simply keep raising the price of your book to make up the difference - effectively killing sales.
At WingSpan Press we've tried to make the process simple and understandable so you'll know what your costs will be and how much you stand to earn before you sign anything. With WingSpan, you earn 20% of the recommended retail cover price of your book on every sale. Bottom line, it's one of the best self-publishing royalties available anywhere, not a hypothetical percentage based on some arcane formula.

NOTE that if you think your book will sell for more, then you'll earn more. Many 'niche' books sell for up to $29.95. Distributor costs go up as the price of your book goes up (see below), but if you sell your book for more, then for every dollar you choose to raise your price above the recommended minimum retail, you'll earn an additional $.50.

As always, talk to your customer service representative for details.

What about ebooks?

All WingSpan Press books can also be published as ebooks and Amazon Kindle

Your book can be formatted and published via Amazon Kindle in Amazon's proprietary Kindle format, and also be prepared in a universal 'epub' format and distributed through Ingram Book Group, just as your print book is. It will be available worldwide, and can be read on virtually any ebook device made, including Nook and iPad.

To simplify pricing and royalty reporting, we offer a three-tier choice of ebook/Kindle prices and royalties. You can set your price low to encourage sales, higher to maximize royalties, or choose a moderate price as a balance of the two.

When you sign up, you'll be asked to choose one of the following as a pricing/royalty structure for your ebook/Kindle.

$9.95 retail price with a royalty of $4.20 per sale.
$7.95 retail price with a royalty of $2.75 per sale.
$5.95 retail price with a royalty of $1.50 per sale.

How do online sales work exactly?

Do I have to pay for books up front? Ship them myself?

Note that publishers don't actually sell books at retail. We sell them wholesale to distributors, namely Ingram Book Group, the world's largest book distributor; they in turn provide them to thousands of retailers. When someone buys your book, whether it's a buyer on Amazon or BN.com, or they walk in and order it from a brick and mortar bookstore, that order passes electronically from the retailer to Ingram to the printer, where your print-on-demand book is printed and shipped immediately, usually in 24 hours - often faster than books stored in a warehouse can be shipped. The distributor notifies us of the sale, and your royalty is credited to your account. No action is required on your part at all and there's no cost to you. That's the beauty of print-on-demand publishing.

Can retailers change the price of my book?

Retailers - Amazon's a good example - can, and often do - sell books at a discount. Like any store, they sometimes have 'sales.' But your earnings are not affected. Your royalty remains the same no matter what they sell it for.

How am I paid?

Through your WingSpan login, you will be able to track sales by month. At the end of any quarter in which there is more than $50 in your account, you'll also receive a check.

What about books I order for myself?

Books which you buy yourself are yours to do with as you like. Sell them, give them away, send them to reviewers, and price them any way you wish. You may buy any quantity - 1, 100, however many you need.
NOTE that books you buy for yourself earn no royalty, and are not reported as retail sales.

Questions about cover pricing? Click here for details.

By David O'Neill Design