…when pricing your eBook. Because Amazon charges a 15 cent per megabyte delivery charge for eBooks sold at the 70% royalty. As the largest eBook retailer this is a potentially significant issue for anyone publishing an eBook with lots of images, such as a photography or illustrated book.
Here is a pricing example using one of our newest projects, Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes.
Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes is the 5th edition of Dan Gotshall’s classic pictorial guide to the fish found off the West Coast. It is filled with beautiful images of 214 species of fish as well as a pictorial index to identify families of fish. The file is 21 megabytes which means the delivery cost is $3.15.
At a 70% royalty rate Dan stands to make $3.84 per copy if the selling price is $9.99 ($9.99 x 70% – $3.15). Interestingly, if Dan were to sell the book for $1 more his royalty would be the same. And with every $1 increase in selling price he makes 35 more cents. That’s because the author is required to price their book between $2.99 and $9.99 to receive the 70% royalty.
What does an author do if their book is multi-megabyte in size?
You have two options. One, you don’t have to choose the 70% royalty. Amazon allows an eBook to be as large as 50MB. At or near sizes like this you almost have to select the 35% royalty option regardless of your selling price. Two, sell your book directly to your customers. One enterprising author does just this.
The good news is not all online eBook retailers charge delivery fees. Perhaps in time competition may force Amazon to reconsider this policy. In the meantime if you want to consider selling direct take a look at the Gumroad service I talked about a few weeks ago.
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