I found a copy of my book is for sale online for $400! Why didn’t I get a higher royalty for that? It’s not fair that someone would get that much money for my book but I don’t get part of it! My publisher hasn’t responded to my emails. Do you know how it works?
I assume you are looking at ebay, or at a listing by an Amazon reseller. Amazon reseller listings are full of errors. They’re database driven and humans don’t even look at them. If it’s ebay, some people selling used books priced them sky-high if they can’t find other copies of that book online anywhere. It’s a gamble but many people do it.
As far as your royalties go, whoever originally purchased that copy (if it even exists at all) paid for it and, if your publisher is honest, you’ve already been paid for it, too. However, authors and publishers don’t get paid every time a print book is resold.
If you walk into a used bookstore and pick up an old collector’s edition of The Old Man and the Sea, the only person who will make money on that sale is the bookstore’s owner.
- “Why do Amazon’s resellers have my book priced too high/too low?”
- AUTHOR ALERT! HIGHER BOOK PRICES ON AMAZON and NO PRIME SHIPPING! Has Amazon Given Your Book’s “Buy Button” to a Third-party Seller?
- “Amazon has my book priced waaaay too low (or high)! What gives?!”
- “How can Amazon resellers offer ‘new’ copies of my out-of-print book for sale?”
- Much more about Amazon
Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles
Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience
The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing
Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.
The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.
Read more here:
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!
Angela is right. Authors only earn from the first sale of their book. After that it belongs to whoever bought it to sell at whatever price they choose.
Some painters are negotiating contracts that give them a slice of any subsequent sale for their art. A painting that they sold for $100 as a new artist might sell for $100,000 if they become famous. They get part of that. But that doesn’t adapt well to books.
As you can see from this link, the first editions of Tolkien’s books now sell for high prices. The only way you as an author can get onto that is to stock up on your first editions and hope your books achieve the same success.
–Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien