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Old 07-14-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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Arrow John August's sales figures for The Variant

John August, screenwriter for Go/Big Fish/Corpse Bride, self-published a short story on the Kindle and through his own website via ePub/PDF for $0.99 in late May. The New York Times wrote an article about his decision (link) and he made it to the top 10 bestsellers list on the Kindle. He's still #2 on the Kindle short story bestsellers list.

Today he released the sales figures and profit grossed so far.

Quote:
The month-to-month comparison isn’t particularly apt; The Variant came out in late May. But it’s interesting to note how much better the Kindle sales have held up than the downloads — likely the self-fulfilling nature of being the best-seller list for its genre.
http://johnaugust.com/archives/2009/...or-the-variant



Pretty interesting stuff.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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He only gets 35% of the kindle sale? I had no idea it was that bad.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bmfrosty View Post
He only gets 35% of the kindle sale? I had no idea it was that bad.
If that is true, 35%, how can amazon validate that low of a percentage? Surely it does not cost them 65% of a books price for overhead!!

Let's say you have a book and you want to charge 9.99. that mean that Amazon will take $6.50 of each sale just to host the 500k file?

Outrageous!
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by griffonwing View Post
If that is true, 35%, how can amazon validate that low of a percentage? Surely it does not cost them 65% of a books price for overhead!!

Let's say you have a book and you want to charge 9.99. that mean that Amazon will take $6.50 of each sale just to host the 500k file?

Outrageous!
But it also opens you to a much bigger market? He sold more than 4 times what he sold through his website and made double the money despite the lower rate recieved per book.

Last edited by Sporadic; 07-14-2009 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
But it also opens you to a much bigger market? He sold more than 4.5 times what he sold through his website and made double the money despite the lower rate recieved per book.
Even so, the profit margins to Amazon are unbelievable. It literally turns my stomach how a company can take a work that you've worked months, possibly years on, and only give you 1/3 of the money made.

Now, for an actually p-BOOK, with editing, printing costs, paper costs, storage, shipping etc, then yeah, a heavily reduced percentage of the profits I can see.

But here, where YOU'VE done the writing, YOU'VE done the editing,
YOU'VE done the formatting, YOU'VE done everything and all Amazon is doing is taking your COMPLETED book file and just hosting it in their store, for that they take 2/3 of the profits.

It makes me sick. Literally.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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What percentage would they get going through a publisher? More or less?
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffonwing View Post
Even so, the profit margins to Amazon are unbelievable. It literally turns my stomach how a company can take a work that you've worked months, possibly years on, and only give you 1/3 of the money made.

Now, for an actually p-BOOK, with editing, printing costs, paper costs, storage, shipping etc, then yeah, a heavily reduced percentage of the profits I can see.

But here, where YOU'VE done the writing, YOU'VE done the editing,
YOU'VE done the formatting, YOU'VE done everything and all Amazon is doing is taking your COMPLETED book file and just hosting it in their store, for that they take 2/3 of the profits.

It makes me sick. Literally.
Overreact much?

It's a service. Nobody has to use it.

Also Amazon is dealing with the customer and paying the credit card processing/whispernet/hosting fees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
What percentage would they get going through a publisher? More or less?
Way less according to this article

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Writing-B...rofit-book.htm

Of course that's not counting an advance if there was one.

-edit Wikianswers says it's 16%

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_d..._make_per_book

- edit 2 A thread on Askville says it's more around 10%

http://askville.amazon.com/profit-ma...uestId=4387206

Last edited by Sporadic; 07-14-2009 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
Overreact much?

It's a service. Nobody has to use it.

Also
Oh, I totally agree that noone has to use it. But I don't really see it as a service.

A service is a kind act that one party performs for another party.

Then again, you might be thinking of another term for service. In animal husbandry, a bull gets paid hansomely for it's 'servicing'. This is very much how I see Amazon taking care of its clients.

Over-reaction? Mayhaps a bit. But I think there is too much greed in the world. The for "fair" is never used anymore, at least never acted upon by any corporation. It's a crime.

What kind of youth are we bringing up? What are we teaching them? Corporate greed has escalated year after year. Todays CEOs and Presidents have learned form their fathers, and they from theirs. It's a shame, really.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by griffonwing View Post
Oh, I totally agree that noone has to use it. But I don't really see it as a service.

A service is a kind act that one party performs for another party.

Then again, you might be thinking of another term for service. In animal husbandry, a bull gets paid hansomely for it's 'servicing'. This is very much how I see Amazon taking care of its clients.

Over-reaction? Mayhaps a bit. But I think there is too much greed in the world. The for "fair" is never used anymore, at least never acted upon by any corporation. It's a crime.

What kind of youth are we bringing up? What are we teaching them? Corporate greed has escalated year after year. Todays CEOs and Presidents have learned form their fathers, and they from theirs. It's a shame, really.
You are either trying to troll me or are completely batshit insane...which one is it?

Either way, I'm not going to continue this conversation with you.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
Also Amazon is dealing with the customer and paying the credit card processing/whispernet/hosting fees.
Whispernet fees? What of those who download it via USB? Are they going to charge you for their broadband service too? All of these fees, combined, 1 dollars per download should cover everything. Maybe they should change it to 25% Amazon, 75% Writer. More expensive books (10-20 bucks or more) would help offset the f'ees' from the 99cent-to-5-dollar books

Originally Posted by daffy4u
What percentage would they get going through a publisher? More or less?
[/QUOTE]
Quote:
-edit Wikianswers says it's 16%

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_d..._make_per_book

- edit 2 A thread on Askville says it's more around 10%

http://askville.amazon.com/profit-ma...uestId=4387206
These were my approximate guesses, but again, you have legitimate reasons for such low figures. In the Kindle case, (almost) ALL of the factors are gone, or have been absorbed by the writer/uploader PRIOR to Amazon.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:23 PM   #11
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You get 35% from Amazon.

You get 7-15% through traditional publishers.

Both are ridiculous.

EDIT: and that 7-15% is after you recouped your advance and paid out the agents fee and knelt before....no, I'm not following that train of thought

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Old 07-14-2009, 10:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
You are either trying to troll me or are completely batshit insane...which one is it?

Either way, I'm not going to continue this conversation with you.
Nope, not insane. I'm just tired of all of the greed, exploitation, monopolistic ideology of "Corporate America", and global corporations as well.

You probably thing "hey, Amazons allowing you to host your book and they'll give you 35% of the money". But it's much more than that.

If Amazone was going to take my unformatted text. They'd format it, edit it, tweak it here and there, purchase supplies (ink, paper, etc...), print it, ship it to where it needed to go, then yes, I'd gladly take 10-15%.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:50 PM   #13
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The link you Sporadic sent me to says:

Quote:
$1.70 out of the list price of $20.00 for your book's sale.
$1.70 out of a $20 pbook vs. 35 cents out of 99 cent ebook. Doesn't seem too bad.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:59 PM   #14
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The link you Sporadic sent me to says:



$1.70 out of a $20 pbook vs. 35 cents out of 99 cent ebook. Doesn't seem too bad.
If this post is the same, percentage-wise as the OP, then its terrible!

According to what we;ve been discussing .35 was the author's percentage. If, on the other hand, .35 was DEDUCTED from the total cost and given to Amazon.. THAT would be wholly acceptable.

Even better if, the more you sell your book for, the lesser percentage is removed.

1 dollar = 35% fee
20 dollar = 5% fee

This I fully support.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffonwing View Post
If this post is the same, percentage-wise as the OP, then its terrible!

According to what we;ve been discussing .35 was the author's percentage. If, on the other hand, .35 was DEDUCTED from the total cost and given to Amazon.. THAT would be wholly acceptable.

Even better if, the more you sell your book for, the lesser percentage is removed.

1 dollar = 35% fee
20 dollar = 5% fee

This I fully support.
You're just going to be ticked at Amazon no matter what, right?
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