Earning from retail sales


Authors OnLine register your title with the various ISBN agencies and this means your book is then automatically available to be ordered via any bookshop in the UK, Australia and North America and via almost any Internet bookshop Worldwide. When your book is sold via a retail outlet, i.e. a high street bookshop or Internet site such as Amazon, various expenses are taken along the way before you receive your royalty cheque.


These breakdown into, the wholesale bookseller discount of around 40% of the cover price (5% to the wholesaler/distributor and 35% to the bookseller) and the printing costs of each copy, which, dependent on the size of the book start at 1p per page of black and white text and/or illustration + 70p for the four colour cover.




A book any size from 5" X 8" (127mm X 203mm) to 6.14" X 9.21" (156mm X 234mm) with say 180 pages will cost £2.50 per copy to produce (180 pages of text X 1p + 70p for the cover = £2.50).


If we decide between us (The author and Authors OnLine), to sell that book for a cover price of say £10.00 the wholesale bookseller discount is traditionally 40%, so we sell it to the book trade for £6.00.


Then if we take away the print costs of £2.50 we are left with £3.50, of which we pay you 60% i.e. £2.10. The remaining 40% covers our costs in dealing with the distribution, transaction, paperwork, admin and of course our profit. You do not have any paperwork to do except file your tax return.


Here is the same example in table form.


Retail Cover price



Deduct wholesale bookseller discount


Amount left over


Deduct Print Costs


Amount left over


Amount to Author @ 60%


We also print our books for sale in North America. The same principal applies except the cost of printing each copy is $0.013 per page of text + $0.90 for the cover. The cover price is of course also in USD, and in our £10.00 example above would be approximately $15.00.


Payment of Royalties


Please note all royalties are paid out in UK pounds only and whenever possibly by direct bank transfer. We automatically pay out all amounts of £12 or over. Amounts under £12 are only available on request. Overseas authors are advised that the best and most hassle free way to receive royalties is via PayPal.


When do I get paid?


The bookseller trade traditionally pays 90 days in arrears. In other words we receive payment 90 days following the month in which the sales is make. So we pay you your first commission cheque 6 months after you have published and quarterly thereafter.


Earning by purchasing books directly from Authors OnLine


Most authors will want to sell their books privately, so we supply copies at print costs + 25% (20% for enhanced service authors) of the retail cover price. This is designed so that the author can make approximately double our profit. Using the above example again, the author would buy the books at a print cost of £2.50 + 25% of the retail cover price of £10.00 (£2.50) i.e. £5.00. If they are then sold for the cover price of £10.00 the profit is £5.00 per copy. But of course the author can sell them for any price they want, as I hasten to add can any bookstore. There is no minimum or maximum order but you will be liable for freight costs plus £1.25 handling charge per book order. The freight costs are proportionally cheaper per book the greater the quantity ordered. UK mainland customers enjoy free freight on all orders valued over £100.


How many copies can I buy?


There is no minimum on the number of books you can purchase, but obviously the higher the number you order the smaller will be the ratio of packing and postage costs. All orders over £100 are delivered free of charge to mainland UK addresses.


Are there any volume discounts?


Please contact us to discuss if you have an order for 50 or more books.



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