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Publishing E-Books For Dummies by Ali Luke

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Working Out How Much Money You’ll Make

Though you may already have a price in mind to charge for your e-book — for example, $4.99 — this amount doesn’t guarantee a $4.99 profit from every sale, even if you’re selling your e-book only from your own website. Before you decide how much to charge, you have to know exactly how much of that $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 will be paid to you.

Knowing how much per sale your retailer will keep

E-book retailers pay you royalties, or a percentage of the purchase price, for every copy of your e-book they sell. The percentage you get varies from store to store and, with Amazon in particular, also varies depending on the price of your e-book.

Amazon pays 35 percent royalties on e-books priced between $0.99 and $2.98 (inclusive) and $10 or higher. If you price your e-book between $2.99 and $9.99 (inclusive), you can receive 70 percent royalties instead — though, in this case, Amazon also charges for “delivery cost.”

On a $4.99 e-book with the 70 percent royalty option, Amazon pays the author $3.47 per copy sold. (It deducts 3 cents for delivery costs.) You can see the royalty breakdown when you create a record for your e-book on Amazon, as shown in Figure 11-1, so don’t worry about doing the math yourself. Chapter 13 describes the process of listing an e-book on Amazon.

Figure 11-1: The price breakdown of a $4.99 e-book at the Amazon site.

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