I’ve published four other books under a pen name with another publisher, (name removed), and they never charge an annual fee to keep my books current with the printer or their system. Why do some publishers charge an annual fee while others don’t, especially since they’re all using Ingram for distribution?
The annual fee you are referring to is Ingram’s “Channel Distribution” fee, which must be paid if a publisher wants to keep a book in Ingram’s system. Different publishers call this fee a variety of different names.
BookLocker.com charges $18 per year, per title to keep a book active on our site, and in the printer’s and Ingram’s systems. Some firms charge upwards of $75 or more per year for the exact same fee, meaning they’re jacking up the price quite a bit! Some publishers get a price break on the fees from Ingram, based on the number of active titles they have in Ingram’s system.
But, what about those firms charging no fees at all? Well, to figure out how they get away with it, you need only look at their extremely high setup fees. You’ll likely discover that dozens of years of annual fees are built in, and that authors are required to pay those fees up front when they pay those ridiculous setup fees.
For a paperback/ebook combo, your other publisher charges $999.
With BookLocker’s discount code, the fee for the same service is only $695.
The difference: $304.
If you divide that by BookLocker’s $18/year annual fee, that’s 17 years of annual fees that they collect up front. It looks like their building several years of those fees into their up-front costs to authors, which is not unusual now in the industry. They also know that it’s unlikely your book will remain on the market, or that you will remain their author, for 17 years.
And, since so many publishers are going out of business these days, authors who are forced to pre-pay these fees through higher setup fees might end up losing everything they paid anyway.
At BookLocker.com, we never force authors to pre-pay something for years when the author would prefer to pay it annually, as long as they’re interested in keeping their book on the market. And, of course, any incoming royalties offset those fees so authors who have sold books don’t receive annual invoices. They can login and check their author account 24 hours/day and they can also request we terminate their book at any time, thus saving them the cost of future hosting fees if their book is no longer selling or if they’ve retired from writing and book promotion.
Always read the fine print (and ALWAYS compare prices!) before you choose a publisher.
Also, please read How BookLocker Has Remained Profitable for 17 Years…when so many others have failed.
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