​​​​Nan Little

​​​If I Can Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?

Courage, Tenacity and Love Meet Parkinson's Disease

 6/28/2015                   TREATED LIKE ROYALTY

Even to me this seems self-serving.  But until I wrote a book and started to figure out how to publish it when professionals weren’t knocking down my doors, I had no interest in or knowledge of  “what’s in it for the author”?  I spent quite a chunk of change by my standards to have the fabulous help of my editor.  She was worth every penny, but there were a lot of pennies.

Without a publisher, the apparent (and I think it was) best option was to go with Create Space on Amazon.  They help the author through the myriad of steps to format, ensure photos have enough dots and otherwise give good advice to the stumbling newcomer.  Once the work of art is approved for publication they recommend that the author have printed a few copies because one is more likely to find errors in the print copy.  Right again.  So far, so good. 

Who gets paid what?  This author, who literally has lived this book for years since in my case it's a memoir, should seem to get the greatest cut.  After all, Create Space advises the author for perhaps a month and most of that must be automated review and response.  But without them, the author is stuck.  Fair share.  I decided to charge $17.95, knowing full well that it would be discounted on Amazon so if I wanted to be competitive when people bought directly from me, I should probably give them a discount.  I tried that for a while and realized I could never keep up with variable price bookkeeping.   So $17.95 it was.  Create Space has a pantheon of prices depending on how many books you order and how soon you want them.   The price to me is in the neighborhood of $6, so I net $12 if I charge for shipping and $9 if I ship for free.  (We're not even considering time, effort and shipping materials here.)  Amazon pays me $7 for each book they sell. If I charge for shipping, I get $5 more per book than if Amazon does it all and $2 more if I don’t charge for shipping. $11 for them, $7 for me.  But they print it and mail it and are prompt and efficient.  No complaint.  The kicker is Third Party sellers.  You really have to have your book offered at Barnes and Noble, etc., but for every book someone else sells, I receive $3.41 with payment delayed for 60 days after the sales month is over.  I think I also have to wait until a certain amount of money is in the pot before they deign to send me royalties.  I don’t know since I haven’t seen any Third Party money yet.  Of course the Third Party should be paid for the work they do too.  It just seems strange that after all the work that went into living and writing the book, the royalty could boil down to $3.41.  Not so Royal, but understandable.  After all, I didn't write it for the money.

This morning I received an email from a PwP in Australia.  She wrote, in part, “I loved your book and I felt so inspired and a lot more confident that I can and will do more with my Parkinson's journey.  I will never be able to do what you did, but I do have a bucket list of what I want to achieve during my life and my Parkinson's journey. After finishing your book I felt I will keep myself happy and well. I don't let Parkinson's define me and I will do the things in my bucket list with the support of my wonderful hubby and family. Thank you Nan so much. Your story will inspire so many others and give them hope.” 

Treated like Royalty?  That affirmation and $3.41 will suffice, thank you.