Let’s say your book sells for $13.00. At 7.25%, you will earn 94¢ per print book sold. Why so little? Well, the wholesale price of the book is about 50% of the selling price. So, they are giving $6.50 to the store. Of the remaining half, the distributor must receive a cut (for shipping the books and such). The publisher must recoup what it cost to prepare and print 11,000 copies of the book, plus the people who work at the publishing house (the editors, artists, sales people) have to get paid. Publishers aren’t thieves, they just have a lot of people to pay.

With this model, you will need to spend a lot of time, energy, and money promoting to sell those eleven thousand books before you will ever see a penny over the $10,000 you received as an advance. These days, authors and agents are scrambling to get as much as possible up front because so few authors ever earn above their advance.

But you ask, “Won’t a publisher help sell the books?” Yes and no…

From The 21-Day Publishing Plan: From First Draft to First Sale in Three Weeks or Less