By Henry DeVries, CEO, Indie Books Intl.
The dirty little secret of publishing is that publishers make most of their money from authors, not the book buying public. Beware of something called “author price” of a book.
A consultant publishing a book should be most concerned about the author’s price of a book. That is because a consultant will buy the majority of his or her book to sell in the back of the room or to use for promotion.
Typically, a traditional, royalty-arrangement publisher will charge an author 50 percent of the retail price of the book. For instance, for my book published by McGraw-Hill, How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett, retails for $22. Now it is bad enough that I have to split a royalty of $1.65 per book with a co-author, but the really bad situation is that McGraw-Hill charges me the author price of $11 per book. On top of that, no royalty is paid on books sold to the author.
As author I get a worse deal than Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. When they buy for 50 percent of retail I at least get the royalty.
Some publishers that offer traditional deals to consultants pay no upfront royalty, but offer a 40 percent of wholesale royalty “after the book makes a profit.” But you still have to pay a 50 percent author price.