I'm pleased to announce that all three of my thrillers will soon be debuting in paperback and widely available. Yeah! So I wanted to take this opportunity pass along a little insight into author revenues from book sales, as you'll likely find it as surprising as I did.
Authors do pretty well with eBooks. If they're priced $2.99 and above the author pockets 70%. So I make about $4 on a $5.99 book. (Under $2.99 the author only makes 35%, so low pricing is a double whammy.)
Print books, however, are a very different story. The paperbacks we're most familiar with, those which measure 4.25" x 6.75" and are printed on cheap paper are called Mass Market Paperbacks. Alas, that format and the accompanying under $10 pricing is only available when you print tens of thousands of books.
Other books are printed in what's called Trade Paperback form. These are better quality and bigger, but also about double the price. They are printed on-demand. The cost to manufacture Trade Paperbacks is per page regardless of page size. So surprisingly the bigger the book the cheaper it is to produce, because of the lower the page count.
But who likes to read those big books? Not me. I ended up going with the smallest common Trade Paperback size, 5.25" x 8" to make it reading friendly, but then had to cut down on space everywhere I could to reduce the page count. So now there are no free chapters from other books, and new chapters don't all start on the top of a fresh page, etc. Even so I had to price them much higher than I wanted: Betrayal and Flash at $12.99 and the longer Coercion at $14.99. At those prices I will still make less per sale than on a $5.99 eBook.
Despite those surprises (I'd hoped to sell a typically sized paperback for $7.99) I'm still very pleased to be launching the paperbacks. Many people still only read paper, most of the established book reviewing organizations don't review eBooks.