I often hear from authors who want to alert me that their publisher is ripping them off. The emails usually go something like this:
“My book has been up for sale for a few weeks. I haven’t made any money. My publisher hasn’t credited my author account for anything. All my friends told me they bought copies. Can you let me know what you you’ve heard about my publisher?”
Impatient Irene probably did not read the information her publisher provided when her book went up for sale. Ingram, the largest distributor, pays publishers months after a sale. And, since they are the largest distributor, and have thousands of retail customers across the globe, they must receive reports and payments from all of those, compile those reports, and then process multi-thousands of payments to their publishing clients. Only then can publishers pay their authors.
DROPPED THE BALL DANNY
“My book has been on Amazon for almost a year. I’ve been busy writing a new book so I hadn’t checked my sales in awhile. I sold a couple of hundred copies when it first came out but there’s no way that nobody has bought any copies over the past few months.”
Dropped the Ball Danny made the classic mistake if publishing his book, getting bored after promoting it for a few days or weeks, and getting right back to work on a new book. If you don’t promote it, people won’t buy it. Period.
“I know copies have sold because my grandma, aunt, sister, cousins, neighbors, and others have told me so.”
Gullible Gary actually believes that all of those people bought his book just because they said they did. I previously covered this very common phenomenon before RIGHT HERE.
“I really hate promotion. But, I don’t have to do it because it’s on Amazon so people have seen it and I find it impossible to believe that nobody has bought it…”
Non-Sensible Susan is one of those people who thinks something will sell just because it’s on Amazon. No, it won’t. Your book competes with millions of others. Again, if you don’t promote it, people won’t buy it. If you do, you can sell an impressive number of copies. Many self-published authors have found a way to make a living selling their books. But, assuming that will happen just because your book is on Amazon is an common yet incorrect belief among some new authors.
Before you fire warning shots at your publisher, send repeated false accusations, or (worse!) hire an attorney, read all of the information your publisher has provided. Never assume. Doing so can lead to disappointment, frustration, unnecessary long-term stress, and, if you continue to send false accusations, even a terminated publishing contract.
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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