Chris A. Baird | June 24, 2021
How Authors Get Paid

If you are new to publishing, you might be wondering about how authors get paid when they have their books out onto the market. Let me tell you some strategies that will help you get paid for your book.

Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it is a secret as to the difference between what the winners are doing with their pay that's coming in versus the losers.

You're going to want to hear a little bit more about that one. So today's topic is on how authors get paid? This is focused on people who have just got started with self-publishing and you've got your very first book on the market.

You're getting excited because you're seeing the sales coming in. You're following the strategies that I've been teaching students for years, exactly how to go about getting those sales on the books that you have. But how long do you have to wait for the money to actually start coming in?

You might be thinking, "well I've earned the money so the next day they would then pay me". You would be sorely mistaken. And you're going to want to stick around if you want to learn a little bit more about that.

Grab a copy of my Self-Publishing Checklist that will teach you the secrets necessary to start winning at self-publishing. Both in getting your book put together and also in terms of getting your sales on your book with marketing.

When I first got started, I was so excited when my very first book hit the market. I immediately followed all of the best tips and I put it onto free promotion. At that point, I started seeing hundreds of hundreds of my books going out.

People were just grabbing them like crazy and using link shorteners and things like that. I was able to track and see that people are even clicking on the links that I had inside of my book. There was a lot of activity going on and then the really exciting part happened when the book finally ended up going off the free promotion.

It was on sale and after 5 days on KDP Select, it's out at its full price of $2.99. I saw my first sale come in, it was so exciting. I would set it up so that I was making 70% which is $2 for my book.

Check out this related article: Book Royalties In Self-Publishing

I recommend that to all of my students as well. You're going to want to keep it, you're making at least $2 off of your digital books and $5 off of your paperback books at a minimum. You can raise the prices as you see your sales start to increase.

So you now went off and got to think "how am I going to get paid?". That was a question that was not completely clear. Then I discovered you have to wait for 60 to 90 days on KDP on your Kindle books.

You're at least going to be waiting for 60 days to get the royalties in. If it's on extended where you're sending the books off to lots of different other publishers, you have to wait as much as 90 days before you start to see the money coming in.

The thing is that you might be wondering why do they make us wait so long? They're getting paid but why aren't they paying us for the same thing that they're getting paid for? So they're just sitting on the interest off of those royalties while they're making us wait.

But that's a little bit of a misunderstanding, there are several reasons that they would want to do that. I can give you at least two of them right now. One of them is because people change their minds.

They get books all the time and your book in reality isn't for everyone. Some people who get it will be dissatisfied, some people take advantage of the system and request refunds all the time. But they need to make sure they're not giving you the money.

Then they have to make a demand to get the money back from you if the people who have paid for the book have changed their mind on it. That gives them the time to make sure that they just won't pay you the royalties in the first place if the person wants a refund on their book.

The second reason is that you violate a written or unwritten rule that Amazon has. These rules change all the time but I saw somebody who had made as much as $40,000 in one month from a series of books that they had.

But just based upon changing the pricing daily or every couple of hours, it had triggered an event where they realized "wait for a second here, we're losing money on these books" So they took half of the money and threaten the entire account to be closed.

You Need To Wait

You don't have to worry about that if you're not changing the prices every couple of hours. Changing every day is fine but you have to keep in mind that when you change the price for paperback books, you will get paid the royalty of your new price.

It takes time for the system itself to put the new price on to Amazon. This means that in-between periods, you would get paid the royalties on books for which there was a discrepancy. That would possibly be in your favor.

So what you would do is you could set your books to maybe a thousand dollars apiece. I think their max price is $700, you can correct me I can't remember what it was. But if you have a book that's $1 and a bunch of people start buying, you put it at $700, and then suddenly Amazon is not going to let that go through.

Generally speaking, the rule is every time we make six copies or six sales on our paperback books, we raise the price by $1. If it happens multiple times in a day, we only change the price one time a day and raise it only by $1 at a time. You have to be very careful with this strategy.

An example is where the person got paid and then Amazon demanded half the money $20,000 in that single December back. Just a thing to keep in mind, it doesn't affect that many authors. They have shut actual accounts down for playing this.

But this particular strategy would be gray hat since it's Amazon's technical issues that were triggering it. They may have resolved it since that point but don't change the prices more than once a day. This also gives a good reason why Amazon may wish to wait 60 to 90 days before they pay you.

The other thing is that the paperbacks were equally tough with 90 days on most platforms. So that the money would be coming through Ingram Spark, Lulu, and such after you've had to wait 90 days. But what happened was I discovered that I needed to adjust and slow down production when I was first getting started.

Because I had committed in the beginning the money coming from the books would fund the books. You might be thinking "Well, why not just do the books for free?", you know using cover creator or something like that. The answer is because you're not going to make as many sales.

You're going to not have the money that you're going to need for running ads and for having the cover. Or maybe for the editing and for a lot of the different aspects of the parts of the book that you're going to need. Or the tools that you're going to use to sell the book ads.

All of these sorts of things are going to require money. For me, the commitment was I'm going to use the money that I'm making from the books to fund the next books. And that is exactly what I've done all these years.

You keep the money within the company and continue to increase the amount of money that's coming in over some time. By increasing the number of books that are out there by using the money and the royalties. And so you just had to get the patience to wait for those 60 to 90 days.

So how authors get paid? Well, the first is you can have your money deposited into your bank account or PayPal. If you live internationally and you're doing it through some accounts which require a US account, you can do it through Payoneer. It is a perfect way of doing it.

Then transfer to your bank account, make sure though that you keep all of the receipts from all of these things that are coming in. You should have a list that you give to your accountant or if you're doing the accounting yourself, you're able to show that exactly where the money's coming from on an itemized basis.

This can be a bit of a headache with Amazon. In particular, with the Kindle books and such because you have all of the different sites and the money's coming in. Then you have all of these different receipts.

But there is no easier way to look if you want to get paid for doing your work and you want to get paid for your books. We simply live with whatever situation. We find ourselves on the different websites that we're making the money through.

Reinvestment Is The Key

The second thing is you should reinvest this money back into your next book or improving your cover for your first book. A couple of other things you'll need it for is buying ISBNs if you're publishing on Ingram Spark or maybe other sites that require it or buying the proof copy.

If you're publishing on Lulu and that is something that a lot of authors are completely aware of which is you have to pay money sometimes to get the paper versions out. You can do it free on Amazon but then the competition is a lot higher.

I currently make more money through Ingram Spark than almost any other platform. Other than any other platform, I'll tell you if that changes but Ingram Spark is still the big winner. Getting me the most sales per book of anything I've put my books on.

I've tested out Smashwords, Ingram Spark, Lulu, Amazon, ACX, and Createspace all of the different available options at least at one point. And I continue on the different sites because I don't know what tomorrow's next best-selling site is going to be. But each one of these can cost money.

In addition, we're going to be running ads on it. The more money we're getting in royalties, the more we can push on ads and do not be a person who's thinking "I'll just take all the money out of the company and then just spend it". Then we'll see what money we have leftover.

Check out this related article: Where Is My $$$! Understanding Amazon

That is a terrible idea because the goal is to get leverage of this passive income that's coming in from the books that you're publishing. You're pushing ads to get more sales, to increase the royalties. To give you better quality covers and better editing to make your book even fancier with higher quality.

To give you more time to go ahead and write your next books. And so there's a whole series of these steps, those are all sort of tied in together. But let's get to the secret answer today, how authors get paid?

Our third answer is that this is a long game. You need to be very patient, we understand that you have this 60 you want to get paid immediately. You may have to wait 60 to 90 days you're going to need to just be patient with it.

Stick with the process, follow the strategies that I'm teaching you here, and those who stick around the longest end up winning. Don't be that person with a very limited mindset where you're seeing things as a scarcity mindset.

I think it is what many people call it where you see "Oh my goodness I've made any money. I need to pull it out quickly to protect it" or whatever the case may be. That would be a terrible move instead it is a lot better strategy for you to reinvest in yourself, in tools, and courses just like what I offer.

You can see I offer a Course both and showing you how to format your book easily and cheaply with a tool called Jutoh. Also, one doing content marketing which is the long-term strategy but is another way of going. Even for coaching which I pay for coaching myself.

If you do not have a coach you should consider hiring somebody. I also do Coaching services for self-publishers. If you're not going to go with me then go with somebody else. Because the fact is you should never be going alone especially in this sort of a game.

So find somebody you trust, find somebody who's been in the game for a long time. I've done 200 plus books, some people have done a thousand books that they've put on the market through self-publishing. Choose somebody who matches your budget and you would resonate with and go that route.

But this is the sort of idea where you're reinvesting in yourself. Those who reinvest in themselves, they're the big winners in this game. When you get paid from your books, have you found it frustrating waiting for royalties?

If you have, write "Yes" below in the comments. And if you've never found it frustrating, it's completely okay waiting 60 to 90 days, write "No" below in the comments.

I need to know where you're coming from so I can better make articles that are geared right towards the problems that you're having. Check out my other articles and videos for more self-publishing answers to your self-publishing questions.

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