What type of revenue should I expect from the sale of a physical edition of my book?

Most authors might not realize it, but when it comes to hard-copy editions of a book, publishers do not sell books directly to book stores. Instead, publishers work through an intermediary distributor/wholesaler. There are really only two such wholesalers in the entire United States- Ingram (the largest) and Baker & Taylor. When a bookstore wishes to stock a book on its shelves, it orders that book through the wholesaler who then in turn obtains the book from the publisher. For example, if Page Publishing is your publisher and a particular book stores wishes to stock 50 copies of your book on its shelves, it would place the order through Ingram who would purchase the book from Page Publishing at a wholesale discount- typically 55% off the retail price. Thus if your book is retailing for $19.95, Ingram would buy the book from your publisher for $8.98 and then sell it to the bookstore at a markup of 10% to 20% above that. As the author, you and your publisher are really only concerned with the price received form Ingram- it does not matter to you how much Ingram sells the book to a bookstore for, nor does it matter how much that bookstore sells the book to the public for. Your revenue is $8.98 before printing costs and commission or royalty to the publisher. Assuming a cost of $2.00 for printing and 20 cents to the publisher, your profit on this hard-copy book would be $6.78.

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