Are you one of those authors who made it so far and managed to get sales on your book yet didn't see any money coming into your account? You might have this exact thought in your mind, "where is my $$$! understanding Amazon". Let me tell you the answers based on my experience.
Set Things Up
Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it's a secret as to the number one way for you as a self-publisher to handle the delays that you face on getting paid.
The topic we're hitting today is where is my $$$! understanding Amazon. Now as a self-publisher, this is one of the most common frustrations you have when you're first getting started. The problem is you've put your book onto the market, you've made it so far and now you've even managed to get sales on your book.
You can see the little spark the little curves going up on your Amazon profile. And you're thinking "wow that's fantastic" then you go over to your bank account and notice there has not been any deposit from Amazon.
So what is going on here? We see that we're getting paid, we need this money to do and work on our next book or improving our current book. To get maybe your audiobook version to pay for a narrator and things like that.
Or buying better tools to help you with the production of your next book. Or improving the quality of editing, all sorts of things we can do with the money. But why am I not getting paid and having this huge delay? Where is my $$$! understanding amazon.
This is very frustrating for so many authors and that is what we're going to hit in today's article. Grab a copy of my free Checklist because it will show you the secrets to getting your book onto the market very quickly and also getting it to sell.
So where is my $$$! understanding Amazon. When I first got started, I initially set things up to be dependent upon the funds that were coming in to fund my publishing process. That is to say, I was writing at a rate that was where the book would be put onto the market.
And then the money coming in would help pay for the new cover or the narrations on the audiobooks. The next audiobooks that would be coming in and other things. So in other words the money coming in would be paying for the current production but this creates a few problems.
Check out this related article: How Authors Get Paid
The result was a backlog of work that had to wait until the royalties started coming through. So in other words, I would reach a point where on some of my books I would just have to wait. Until the months pass by and Amazon finally decides to give me the money they told me I earned months ago.
This is frustrating for me at the time, trying to figure out how to deal with that. But I realized from a coach that I had, which by the way if you do not have a coach you should definitely get a self-publishing coach.
I offer my Coaching services but you can also go for somebody else. It doesn't matter I mean it does matter. I try to keep things easy but if you resonate better with somebody else, find a person who can hold you accountable and help take you through these steps.
So that's just an important one but my coach commented this was a terrible practice that I was doing. And started telling me that you ought to build a cash reserve so that you do not have a bunch of projects that are waiting to get funded.
So that you would have saved up enough from the money that's coming in. The money you already earned would be satisfactory and continue to bring in more money. Now, I can wait for many months without any issues even if it all froze up.
One other key issue here and this is a really important issue with this little discovery. It was that if Amazon did freeze your account as I've seen them do on other people's accounts, you would then have a resource to be able to switch over to other platforms.
Since this point, I have expanded and gone broad with expanded distribution into many other platforms beyond Amazon including Lulu, Ingram Spark, and Smashwords. To ensure that my books are as spread out as possible, that the money is coming in from as many different sources as possible.
So that even if Amazon did decide to freeze my account, I still can cover the cost that I have of getting my next books out. This is very important for me since that's one of the things while I sleep, the books sell and they're bringing in the money that I'm going to need.
60 To 90 Days Wait
So where is my $$$! understanding Amazon. The first thing you need to know is that there is a 60 to 90-day wait before the royalties are paid out. And it depends, 60 days for the ones they sell locally on their site and 90 days for the expanded distribution.
During this time, you may be wondering "why don't they just give you the money immediately?". The answer is because there's a whole series of things they need to make sure of. The first thing is they need to make sure that people aren't going to ask for refunds on those books.
Because then they have to give the money back and they don't want to have to take the money from you and then give the money to you only to have to then send you a bill to have to pay it. This creates a lot more of a hassle for them.
It's a lot easier for them instead to keep the money, wait to see that people are happy with your books and then they will pay you out 60 to 90 days later. The other thing is that if they find that there's a violation on your books. That you're using copyrighted material or you're using strategies and tactics that violate their terms.
They can then completely freeze your account and keep the royalties for themselves. Or they can do things like giving you only half the royalties if they find for example pricing strategies I've mentioned before that will violate their rules.
Even though they hadn't written them down and it was technical issues on their side or other loopholes that cause problems. They will then just keep that money and you will never see it. So this is very important to keep in mind that there are several reasons that they do stick to the 60 up to 90-day rule.
Check out this related article: How Long Should A Self-Published Book Be
It's not just because they're greedy or something they may be that also. But the fact is that they have their reasons. The second thing is that the ACH transfer of your funds takes three to five business days.
I found this one very frustrating in the early days which is all of these websites love to send you all sorts of stuff. And saying "look we got the transfer going", "here's all the money that will be transferred into your bank account". Except for one little problem which is you're going to have to wait five business days.
If we're dealing with national holidays and other things like that, well maybe it's even longer. So I don't even see those come in. The only thing I care about is checking the account towards the beginning of the month when all of the transfers are fully complete.
Then for accounting purposes, I'm able to get all of these receipts in place. So that my accountants can properly handle the money that's coming in. It can be a bit of a hassle but it's definitely worth the effort because there's enough money coming in that it pays for itself.
So I have the accountants do the heavy lifting and I just keep track of the receipts and do basic level entry of those receipts into a spreadsheet. Then our third and secret answer of the day is that you should start saving immediately. So that you are not dependent upon the money coming right away.
There are two aspects to this, you should start building a reserve. So ideally, you would have between three months to one year's royalties already in a backlog. Because you save half the money that's coming in and you spend the other half on reinvesting it.
Once you get to have whatever you decide, your reserve should be three months of royalties or it could be six or a year's worth of royalties. Then after two years, you'll have it saved up. Then we have more money to fuel directly back into the business.
Start Saving Immediately
As your royalties continue to rise year after year, you simply will be able to spend the rate you save that additional money on the savings area. It gives us the ability to reinvest because that is the goal. The goal is not to see how little money we can spend and then make no money.
Because if you spend no money, you will make no money. One of the things is you're investing in yourself you're investing both in the tools that you're using.
You can find my affiliate links to the different tools that I use in the description of all of my Youtube videos. You're investing in courses and Coaching. I have different offers regarding these things. There are lots of other places you can go as well, you find something that matches you.
That's the most important thing when it comes to this entire game. You're investing in just the quality of the books, the covers, the editing, the formatting all of these sorts of things. We're able to get them better and better each time.
Eventually, you hire virtual assistants and other people to help you in this entire process to make sure that your books are coming out regularly. That they're as high of quality as possible, we're getting the reviews that we need on these books. We're building our email list, we're building a platform that we're able to get new readers into that platform to reach those people as well. This is a little bit of the strategy.
Check out this related article: Where I Self-Publish My Books and Why I Chose These Companies
At the same time, if we do get frozen for whatever reason, people had their accounts shut down by Amazon for doing things like that even though they would be gray hat or loopholes in the system. The fact is they didn't even get warnings. It was just an immediately complete account shutdown.
Even something like for example, I had somebody who had ripped off one of my books and put it on a website. Amazon sends me a thing and says this book is using commonly available information. In reality, somebody had just taken the contents of my book and posted it as a blog on their website.
They put my entire book which is a little bit disconcerting. But it doesn't really have that big of an impact in the grand scheme, it's not worth trying to sue these people and stuff. But if Amazon sees that they give you about three days to respond and if not they assume you're guilty.
Something as simple as that could result in you being using other people's material or copyrighted material. Or just using commonly available like take Wikipedia articles and turn them into books. This sort of stuff will get you in trouble with Amazon.
But what you'll find though is that you need to stay on top of it. I'm just saying that if your account were to be under threat by Amazon, you need to make sure that you have enough of a money reserve to protect you from what would happen under those circumstances.
So this doesn't happen to the vast majority of people but there are a small number of people. And for me, I'm not willing to take that risk. I would rather just have a nice cash reserve to protect me from many of the bad things that can happen.
As well as expanding where I'm posting my books to make sure I have this maximum distribution. If you're going to take the time to write these books or have other people write books, you should as well make as much money as possible off of them. Protect yourself from all sorts of things that can happen.
That would include lawsuits and other things that can come into play, that you didn't expect to happen. So this is just a very important one so that you will never find yourself in a situation where you're so desperate for the money to come in that you cannot wait for the 60 to 90 days.
That it's a painful process for you, that is a huge challenge for a lot of self-published authors. So where is my $$$! understanding Amazon. Are you dependent upon your royalties to cover your current work? If you are dependent like you cannot wait 60 to 90 days write "Yes" below in the comments.
And if you aren't, write "No" below in the comments. That way will help me better understand where you're coming from so I can make better articles and videos for you. And check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.