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Paperback Price Increases

Amazon announces increases in their printing costs.

books wrapped in twine with dried flowers

Amazon recently notified indie authors of an increase with their publishing costs. It’s their first price increase since 2016, and it’s fair to say that material costs have certainly increased since then, so a raise at their end isn’t unexpected. The change will take effect on June 20th, and therefore, the price of all my paperbacks will increase. It won’t be by much, not even €1/$1 in most instances, but it’s an increase all the same.

Authors earn very little for paperbacks sold via Amazon. Amazon set the minimum price which is based upon the book’s trim size, number of pages, the interior paper, colour or black ink, and cover finish. Because of this, authors are typically forced to sell their book for a higher price than they’re comfortable with, plus, they also have to consider their royalty. For example, with The Dawning, which is priced at €18.99 in the Eurozone (just over €1 higher than Amazon’s minimum price), I make only €2 in royalties per copy sold. The rest goes towards Amazon and their printing costs.

Amazon also offer distribution of paperbacks to libraries and stores beyond their own. With this expanded distribution program, my paperbacks can be bought from the likes of Barnes & Noble, but authors earn even less royalties for books sold via these channels. In my instance, if a reader buys a paperback copy of The Dawning from Barnes & Noble for $23.99 (Amazon’s minimum price is $22.68), my royalty is only 53 cents.

As you can see, we definitely don’t make the big bucks on our paperback sales, and some authors choose to publish in ebook format only because of this. However, I love the tactile experience of a paperback, so I will continue to publish in this format. June 20th is the price increase day, so after the 19th, expect to see increases in paperbacks across all Amazon sites.


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