How to Calculate Createspace Royalties

Amazon's print-on-demand service is pretty baller. (Is it cool that I say it that way? Okay, perfect.) Createspace is a royalty-based program that factors its cost through both fixed and percentage-based calculations. That's fancy language that I'll break down later. 

Previously on the blog, we've talked about overall Createspace tips. Today, we're talking about how to calculate Createspace royalties. When it comes to pricing your book, it's pretty simple. The more a book costs, the more money you receive. I chose to price my book, These Are the Moments at $12.99. As a new author, I was prepared to make less money in exchange for the chance of a broader readership.

Are you ready to calculate your royalty? Let's get started!

Calculating Your Royalty

calculate createspace royalties
calculate createspace royalties

Let's take this step by step to avoid any confusion. To your left, we have a basic break down of how to calculate your royalty. As stated above, my list price is $12.99, so that's where we'll begin.

calculate createspace royalties
calculate createspace royalties

I know. This requires some math. You may be thinking, why is it important to calculate my own royalty? They do it for me! Educate yourself, my friend. It's great to have a grip on what you're earning and why. Plus, you'll sound smarter. To your left, you'll see there are three pegs to calculating Createspace's percentage. Let's dive in.

Calculating Createspace's Share

You still with me, so far? Okay, good. First, let's tackle Peg #1 of Createspace's share, Sales Channel Percentage. Note: we're only calculating the standard Amazon.com royalty for this tutorial. Based off the table below, Amazon will take 40% of the book's selling price. For TATM, this would be 40% of $12.99 which is $5.196. Makes sense? Moving on, then.

calculate createspace royalties
calculate createspace royalties

Okay, for the second peg, Fixed Charges, there are two variables to consider. 1) Is your book black and white or color? 2) What page range does it fall under? In keeping with the TATM tutorial, my book is 348 pages and black and white. This puts my fixed charge on the lower end at $0.85 per book.

Note: Keep this chart in mind when you're writing your book. If you're planning on printing copies with Createspace and it falls close to the 108-110 page range for black and white, weigh your options. Bumping up your page count could produce more profit for you in the long run.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 6.31.32 PM
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 6.31.32 PM

Here's where things get interesting. Depending on the length of your book, there may be a per-page charge. As stated above, These Are the Moments falls at 348 pages, so this charge applies to me. 348 pages x $0.012 turns out to be $4.176. Are you with me? Great.

So what's the smart strategy here in terms of page count? On the one hand, black and white books with under 108 pages have a $2.15 fixed charge, but no per-page charge. My book only has a $0.85 fixed charge, but a $4.176 charge for per-page count.

Here's my assessment: Write what you want to write. Write large books, short stories, novellas, what have you. Test the waters and see what sells. Remember, it's the writing that matters.

calculate createspace royalties
calculate createspace royalties

The Final Royalty

Math time! We've got this. Back to our first chart: List price - Createspace share = Your royalty. So to calculate the royalty for These Are the Moments, the equation looks like this: $12.99 - (5.196 + $.85 + $4.176) = $2.77. 

Thanks for reading this tutorial! To find more about your own royalty, visit the Createspace site.

Discussion Time: Have you tried to calculate Createspace royalties for your book? Are you considering POD services?