So was I! I still am, a little, but having received my first earnings statement (for sales of Behind the Red Door from release through December 31, 2009), I feel a little less in the dark. And since I don’t have any boundaries when it comes to sharing how much (or little) I’ve earned from the sale of that book, I’m going to share it all with you. Down to the last detail, including how much my advance was, how many units of the book are in circulation, and so on.
Ready? Here we go.
|Descriptions||List Price||Rate||Net Receipts||Gross Units||Return Units||Net Units||Earnings|
|Direct to Consumer||$13.95||2.00%||38||(0)||38||$10.60|
|Special and Final Sales||$13.95||5.00%||$16.74||3||(0)||3||$0.85|
|Subtotal Royalty Earnings||6284||(2,189)||4095||$4,252.94|
|Royalty Earnings Net of Reserves||6284||(4,044)||2,240||$2,312.15|
|Earnings Other Editions||$213.87|
|Total Amount Due||$276.02|
|Earnings Other Editions (ebook)|
|Direct to Consumer||$11.86||25%||$66.00||11||0||11||$16.50|
|Direct to Consumer||$12.00||25%||$768.50||162||0||162||$192.14|
|Direct to Consumer||$13.95||25%||$20.93||3||0||3||$5.23|
|Subtotal Royalty Earnings||176||0||176||$213.87|
Okay, so, let’s deconstruct this a little bit.
First of all, it looks as through 6284 copies of the print book were either distributed to booksellers or sold directly to consumers. I don’t think it includes any copies that are still in the warehouse. That doesn’t give me an initial print run figure, which I’d hoped to be able to discern from this statement. However, my editor told me a few weeks ago there were 448 copies in the warehouse, which pushes the initial run up to at least seven thousand. In addition, this is only books distributed/sold as of December 31 of last year. The statement cycle is such that you get a statement in June that reports on July to December and another in December that reports on January to June. In addition, if your book comes out in the middle of a cycle, you have to wait until the NEXT cycle to see the first statement. For example, because my book came out in June of 2009, I didn’t get a statement in December of 2009.
Okay, so, I’m guessing my initial print run was in the neighborhood of 7,000-8,000 copies. Low, unfortunately, even for a niche line like Aphrodisia, but not a surprise to me.
Next, of the 6284 copies originally circulated, 2,132 were already returned, leaving net “sales” of 4,095 copies (e.g., books that are still in circulation and could theoretically be sold). A sale, as I understand it, doesn’t mean an actual consumer purchase (except in the case of Direct to Consumer and Special and Final Sales), but that it’s available for purchase. That’s why there’s an additional line item for return reserves, because the publisher is holding back some royalties in case more copies are returned by booksellers.
Okay, so what about those return reserves? I have to admit, I can’t figure out how they arrived at the 1,855. I thought it was calculated as 40% of the number of copies still in circulation, but that (4095 X 40%) doesn’t come out to 1,855. So, I have to throw my hands up in the air and assume there is some logic being applied that I can’t see.
Another thing that’s not quite right is my advance. The statement says I was paid $2,250 in advance. That’s incorrect. My advance was $2,500. If they had gotten that right, my net earnings would only have been $26.02. I notified my editor of the error and the royalty folks said they’d just catch it up/correct it in the next statement cycle, so I don’t have to send any money back (and I’m glad, not so much because I want to keep the money as that the agency already took its 15% off the top of the payment and the accounting hassle of refunding their portion and mine would have been quite a pain).
Last, the only reason I earned out is because of those wonderful ebook royalties. I get paid 25% of net on those, and even with the relatively low net, I still earn more per copy on ebooks than print. In recognition of that, I’ve decided to add some links to the website to point you to places where you can purchase Behind the Red Door in digital format, partly because I’d like to encourage you to buy digital if you can/want to and partly because, it turns out, my book isn’t all that easy to find in digital format. The only sites I’ve found it on so far, outside of Kensington’s direct site, are (in order of best pricing) Amazon Kindle, Sony, MobiPocket, and All Romance Ebooks.
Okay, so that’s it. Now I am naked before you all (at least in the figurative sense), and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.