Coming out of the Closet about Ebook/Paperback Pricing – One Author’s POV

This is how my Saturday started. I noticed a paperback version of my Part 1 book available on Amazon for over $800 dollars. (See the image below.) That’s a 60 page novella book. Not autographed by me or anything. Just the book for a massive price. And my comment? You’ve got to be kidding me.

If you buy The Vampire from Hell (Part 1) The Beginning on sale at Amazon for $888 dollars, you’ll be giving a 3rd party distributor the majority of the money for the paperback. I get about $1.50 on the sale. Not that anyone really is going to buy my book for that much (I hope not). But please remember to order directly from my Amazon Author page or the book’s direct link. Heck, email me and I’ll help ya figure out where to buy it from.

Here’s the deal when it comes to book pricing for Independent Authors from what I can tell. Please remember this is just my observations I’ve noticed recently. I am not speaking for any other authors or any corporation.

By the way, when I say I’m an Independent Author, I mean I don’t have a book contract with a traditional publishing house. I publish books on my own (with no agent or PR group) through sites like Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, etc. It’s all me from writing to creating cover to formatting to sending it off to Amazon to figuring out pricing and marketing. I’m a one-woman book writing shop (a term I like to call ‘Booking.’) And I’ve learned enough that I’ve helped a few of my writer friends get their books on Amazon as well. A lot of average people like me (or us I guess) are doing it. Google “ebook revolution,” “ebook publishing,” or “independent publishing” and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway as I was saying…

If one of my books is a paperback at $5.99 for example, I get about $1.50 of it. That’s what I make. If it’s an ebook at $1.99, I make 70 cents on it. If I ask 99 cents, I make 35 cents from an ebook. Please be aware that the royalties I make per sale do vary depending on what site the ebook/paperback is bought from if we are talking about Amazon, or Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble, or Apple, for example. I just want to qualify that.

But hey, I’m not complaining. It’s the nature of the business. With sending my books to be published on these sites, I have very little upfront fees to pay.  I think that is great! And no, while I’m not going to be rich anytime soon, I do like writing vampire fiction and having it published to Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, so you guys can read it. Really that is the most important thing. I have an inexpensive way to get my books published through the wonderful world wide web 🙂

I haven’t really brought up prices or such online, but after seeing this today, I thought I should speak out. I want my readers to know that I’m not trying to rob anyone. I just want to make a little money for the books I write and sell. I don’t think that is asking too much. Yes, I do promote my books by offering freebies and giveaways. And I’m delighted that readers are happy to participate and try to win a book of mine. That’s awesome, and yeah, on some days it does mess with my little ego. I think I’m actually kicking butt. But that’s not the case. I’m just a fan of vampires, writing vampire fiction. Maybe I can make a living off it someday, maybe not.

It’s a shame I don’t get the full price for what I write.  Maybe some of you think that I do. But I don’t. That’s the deal, that’s’ what I signed up for when I joined Smashwords or the Amazon Author Central community. The sites I go through get the majority of the funds, for my ebooks, and for my paperbacks it’s an even bigger amount that goes to them because they are the ones putting all of this together for independent authors. If I had a book contract with a publishing house, I’d have the same issue. I’d get a percentage of the books I sold. It’s the business.

My apologies if this comes off as a rant of mine. I think I am venting because I’ve been really excited about the response from people seeing my series as it moves into paperbacks. I have to be honest however, the ebooks are selling better. Not the paperbacks. I’ve sold 3 so far on Amazon at $5.99 and that’s it. And that’s okay. I don’t want to focus on books sales. Instead I want to focus on writing. The next installment of the Vampire from Hell series is well overdue and I want to get it out soon.

All I’m saying is that if you want to buy a paperback, go through Amazon’s direct site  or order it directly from my Amazon Author page. If you go through a third party distributor looking for a ‘used book’ of mine hoping for a cheaper price, you likely won’t find it. You’ll end up paying more than the list price and you’ll simply be giving that person/company the money. Okay, I’m finished venting. Back to writing.

Thanks again for your interest in my books 🙂 ~ally



  1. That is crazy!! $800 for a book? Are they smoking crack lol… Just from talking to you & a few of my other friends who publish like you, I realize you guys do what you do because you love writing & bringing your imagination to others! I for one am greatful & love it that I get to read your books as ebooks & in paperback, as I like buying both.
    I think you who publish this way are awesome & very selfless as you don’t make tons of money at it. Thank you & the others for doing this!! I feel priveledged to read your books & enjoy your interaction with me, the reader. You all ROCK!!! : )

    1. That is so sweet of you to say so. You made my day! I had been bummed out about it and then after posting the article, I feared it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. But now, I realize it’s okay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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