POD Costs And Profits Using Amazon And Lightning Source

Here is a financial analysis for self-publishers of what is involved in selling a book using Amazon and Lightning Source. Here Amazon is the retailer for our books, and Lightning is the printer and distributor for our books.

This analysis will show you how much money you will get for each book that you sell on Amazon’s website when you use Lightning Source as your printer and distributor. This will also help you understand how Amazon and Lightning take their cut of your book’s cover price, and what money you end up getting.

The books in this analysis are actual books that my company publishes. I picked two books that are different in size, page count, and cover price.  This analysis does not take into account any other expenses for these books, such as for marketing, writing, advertising, etc.

Also, this analysis doesn’t take into account any other sources of income that can be derived from these books, such as selling through my own websites with Amazon’s Advantage Account, or selling on Amazon’s Kindle.

The Path Of The Law, By Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Book 1

-ISBN: 978-1-933230-08-5 paperback
-Title:
The Path of the Law
-Pages:
112
-Size:
8.5” x 5.5”
-Cover price (set by me):
$11.95
-Discount (set by Amazon):
55%
(Even if you set a lower discount on Lightning,
Amazon still gets 55%)
-Wholesale price (amount Amazon pays us):
$5.38
[$11.95 x 0.45 = $5.38]
-Print charge (amount Lightning keeps): $2.46
-Net publisher compensation
(the final amount that I get from Lightning):
$2.92  [$5.38 – $2.46 = $2.92]
–I end up with 24% of the cover price [$2.92 / $11.95] = 0.24 = 24%

Up-front out-of-pocket fees for this book:

1. Lightning fees for this book
-Cover fee:
$37.50 (one time)
-Book interior fee:
$37.50 (one time)
-Annual catalog fee:
$12 (each year)
-Fee to get a proof copy:
$30 (one time)
–Total fees the first year: $117
–Total fees the second year:
$12

2. Amazon fees for this book
–Total fees the first year: $0

3. Total first-year up-front out-of-pocket fees for this book: $117
–Therefore, I need to sell 41 copies of this book on Amazon before I recoup the Amazon and Lightning fees. [$117 / $2.92 = 40.07 = 41]

photo_medical_wordsearch_988x1166Book 2

-ISBN: 978-1-933230-09-2 paperback
-Title:
101 Medical Word-Search Puzzles
-Pages:
132
-Size:
11.0” x 8.5”
-Cover price (set by me):
$17.95
-Discount (set by Amazon):
55%
(Even if you set a lower discount on Lightning,
Amazon still gets 55%)
-Wholesale price (amount Amazon pays us):
$8.08
[$17.95 x 0.45 = $8.08]
-Print charge (amount Lightning keeps):
$3.75
-Net publisher compensation
(the final amount that I get from Lightning):
$4.33  [$8.08 – $3.75 = $4.33]
–I end up with 24% of the cover price [$4.33 / $17.95] = 0.24 = 24%

Up-front out-of-pocket fees for this book:

1. Lightning fees for this book
-Cover fee:
$37.50 (one time)
-Book interior fee:
$37.50 (one time)
-Annual catalog fee:
$12 (each year)
-Fee to get a proof copy:$30 (one time)
–Total fees the first year: $117
–Total fees the second year:
$12

2. Amazon fees for this book
–Total fees the first year: $0

3. Total first year up-front out-of-pocket fees for this book: $117
–Therefore, I need to sell 28 copies of this book on Amazon before I recoup the Amazon and Lightning fees. [$117 / $4.33 = 27.02 = 28]

About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

I am an author, husband, father of twins, grandfather, and small business owner near New York City. I created this website to share my self-publishing and small-business adventures and insights with others.
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