From author Mark Lawrence:
I was asked today to ‘have a word’ with my publishers as The Liar’s Key ebook is £9.97 on Amazon.
I don’t have any say in setting the price for my books, and while my publishers would listen politely if I were to talk to them about it … they would do exactly what they think is right for the company, to maximise their chances of earning back the sizeable investment they have already made.
£10 is not an insignificant amount to me – I would have to want something quite a lot to put down a tenner for it. Even if it was a book that could entertain me for a week. So I’m not dismissive of people’s concerns about cost.
However, here is the breakdown of that cost as I understand it:
£9.97 —- Amazon take 20% of the price as Value Added Tax. You might imagine this is then paid to the government, and I understand from the news that bad press has finally convinced Amazon to do that in the near future – but certainly until recently they were registered in a tax haven and kept the bulk of the VAT for themselves. This leaves:
£8.31 —- For all self published books over £1.99 Amazon takes 30% of the sale price (after VAT) for themselves. I’m assuming it’s similar for everyone. This leaves:
£5.82 —- As with all big publishers Voyager take 75% of the money that Amazon hands over from the sale of ebooks. This is standard and much better than the deal on paper books. I’m not complaining. This leaves:
£1.46 —- My agent takes the standard 15% from all my royalties. He’s a good hard working chap and I wouldn’t be an author if he hadn’t risked his reputation on me. This leaves:
£1.24 —- The tax man takes 20% of my income. Given that I benefit from free healthcare for my very expensive disabled child, I can’t complain. This leaves:
99 pence to buy (on publication day) the longest book I’ve ever written and one that I laboured on night and day for 12 months.
Link to the rest at Mark Lawrence and thanks to Matt for the tip.
Here’s a link to Mark Lawrence’s books