This blog is the second part of this short series. It’s brought to you by the home of the dark fantasy series that brings you action, mystery, horror, heartache, and more all wound together through a strange myriad of characters from different periods of time.

All jokes and self-promotion aside, the first in this series was focused on eBooks. If you want to take a look and read that before you continue, click here: Ebook Royalties. Now, moving on. There are a lot of ways someone could go about this paperback sections. For the purpose of this blog post, it will focus on services that have an online shop. That’s because if you buy the book in stores, you’re paying what that author & their chosen distribution service has already agreed on.

These charts cover the average book; by that, I mean black & white print on 6×9 (US trade standard). I will be using my book Afterworld (Next Life, #1) as the example (257 print pages) so that print costs, etc., should be the same. So here we go. Check out the chart below.

Paperback Royalties Rates, Fees, and Total ProfitPrinting CostRoyalty RateInitial Setup FeeTotal Profit
Amazon$0.85 (fixed cost) +(257 [page count] * $0.012 [per page cost]) = 3.93 printing cost60%0$(12.99 retail price -3.93 printing cost) * .6 royalty rate = 3.86$ Profit
Blurb$2.99 (fixed cost for first 24 pages) +(2.33 [page count *.01] = 5.32 printing cost100%0$12.99 -5.32 = 7.67$ Profit
Lulu(could not find formula used their calculator) 257 pages = 6.68 printing cost 80%0$(12.99 retail price – 6.68) *.8 royalty rate = 5.05$ Profit

I know what you’re thinking. There are only three options here, but really for POD or rather print-on-demand services, this is all that I could find. Well, there’s a 4th bookbaby, but honestly, when I put in the setup information, it was asking for an asinine amount. That, and you couldn’t distribute with their book store without selecting that you needed 25 books. I’m not sure what their print on demand service is supposed to be, perhaps for published authors? I don’t know, but there’s no way an indie author is handing over 350$+ to be on their online book store. It says 99$, but again, their book fees are that insane. Anyway, moving on to the results.

Pays The Best: Blurb

After researching today, I found out that someone I had never heard of actually pays the best to their authors on their store. I can’t talk about quality because, again, I’ve never tried their books. They may be of excellent quality even on the economy print options, or they may be terrible. There are caveats to using their service as an author, though. They want you to format your book specifically to their format and use their licensed font. So from an author’s view, they may not want to use this service. For me, I’ll be sticking to Amazon & Lulu.

So would I suggest you get your paperback from Again, I’m unsure of the quality, but to support the author 100% and it’s an option, go for it.

Best Paperback Quality: Lulu

Again, this is just between Amazon and Lulu here since I haven’t seen the blurb. The binding on Lulu seems a bit better and the printed text is just a bit richer. At least in my experience/opinion.

Most Promotional Impact: Amazon

Helping the author’s marketing is where amazon sales will help shine, but don’t pay them the best. If you want to help them out (and you’ve spent at least 50$ at amazon this year), they allow you to review products you haven’t bought there. So you could buy the book at Lulu or Blurb and then post a review. Posting pictures of the book, if allowed, may be best to let people know its a real review (since it won’t be a verified purchase review).

Alright, that’s it. Wherever you buy will positively impact the author by supporting them, but in this case, buying from Lulu or Blurb may be better since physical copies are not connected to a platform. Again, these are the most updated numbers at the time of this posting. Tomorrow I’ll go over the audiobooks. You’ll see the most significant differences there! Keep posted.

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