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Where Is My Money

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Amazon Where Is My Money?

2 Min 2 sec
No Skimming

by M LeMont

I Googled the phrase Hey, Amazon Where is My Money? Now don't ask why I would Google such a phrase, but I did. It's just how the creative part of my mind operates.  Anyway, I got more than I bargained for. I was blown away by a post written by Patrick Wensink, titled My Amazon bestseller made me nothing.  

Now I'll get back to that article in a minute. I was searching the net for a clear explanation of when I would get paid and how royalties were calculated--nothing seemed to be consistent.  For example,  How can 70% royalties turn into 35%?  


It turns out that certain countries Amazon's royalty rate is  35% even though it states 70%. You have to dig deeper to find out.  And if your book is under $2.99 the rate is 35%. That's just another reason why I won't sell my books for 0.99 cents. Let me do a quick math, 0.35 cents x billion books--dream on Sally Mae?

So that would also mean everything over $2.99  would be 70%?  Wrong!  The 70% royalty applies to books priced between $2.99-$9.99.  If I sold my book for $19.95, I would only receive 35%.  Now that's an ingenious idea by Amazon to make sure e-book prices remain low, and  the company pockets the rest.  That's cool, every Indi author should want Amazon to make money-- it's their technology, plus nobody believed in Jeff Bezos when he said it would be the largest book store in the world.  He even named the company AMAZON which means something large and formidable. As the guy said when his team found the Titanic, "Hey, it's payday, boys!"  

Okay no problem, I'll stop sulking over it. It's still better than traditional publishing 5-10% and selling books out my car. When I published How To Gain 100,000 Twitter Followers,  I wanted to retail it for $19.95 because it contains secrets that never been published before. It gives the reader an unfair advantage over 99.9% of Twitter users who will never read the book. But, instead I priced it a $9.95 and passed the savings on to my customers instead of Amazon.  

Now let me get back to the Google search.

I found a down to earth, I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing, but the truth, so help me God, article.

The opening line:

"My novel shot to the top of the site's bestseller list last summer. You won't believe how little I got paid?

Yes, I would believe it.  But how did it get to #1 and #6 in America?  That's what I want to know.   

"This past summer, my novel, “Broken Piano for President,” shot to the top of the best-seller lists for a week. After Jack Daniel’s sent me a ridiculously polite cease and desist letter, the story went viral and was featured in places like Forbes, Time magazine and NPR’s Weekend Edition."

Now can you guess what happened next? The book should have tanked, right?  Of course not, it took off like a rocket once an editor of a major newspaper got hold of it.

"The New Yorker wrote one whole, entire, punctuated-and-everything sentence about me! My book was the No. 6 bestselling title in
America for a while, right behind all the different “50 Shades of Grey” and “Gone Girl.” It was selling more copies than “Hunger Games” and “Bossypants.” So, I can sort of see why people thought I was going to start wearing monogrammed silk pajamas and smoking a pipe."

Now I  appreciate the author's transparency. And he goes on and breaks it down to how many books he sold and how much he really made. His story is right in line with what two well known authors had to say. 

 "Write for free until somebody wants to pay you for it."  ~Mark Twain

"Be so damn good they can't ignore you. ~Steve Martin

"The book's viral popularity led him to appearances in New York Times, NPR's Weekend Edition, Forbes and others. The New Yorker once wrote one entire sentence about him. After which he had a heart attack."  

It takes a lot to sustain a sudden viral rise in sales as the author soon found out.  The author's book is currently ranked 607, 000 out of 4 million books, a long ways from the #1 spot.   The article was so truthful and funny that I bought his book Broken Piano for President.  I'm sure it is just as funny.   



  Here's the link to read Patrick Wensink's article My Amazon bestseller made me nothing


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