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ON THE COVER January, 2008

The Writer at Work

The Fine Print (Excerpt)
Chapter 3: Net vs. Gross Royalty Percentages
By  Mark Levine

Order this book from Amazon!
You want to find a publisher that pays a royalty based on a fixed percent of the gross sales price less the printing cost. Period. If your book sells for $15 through POD Publisher Xís web site and the cost of printing the book is $6, you should make $4.50 on each book sale if youíve negotiated a 50% royalty.

Some publishers deduct the credit card processing charge incurred for each transaction (1.5%-2.9% average). I'm okay with this because you still know what you're being paid and why.

The publishers who pay based on a net price (other than taking the gross sales price and backing out the cost of production and credit card processing fees) can be problematic. These guys often define "net price" however it best suits them. A "net sales price" royalty that subtracts the production cost of the book and then bases the royalty percent on that amount is acceptable only if the publishers tell you the cost to produce each book. Still, the problem with this approach is that youíll have to trust their numbers. But now that you know what the publisher pays to produce a book, donít trust anyone.

The only time including additional fees to the raw publishing cost is acceptable is when the publisher takes no royalty or handling fee for the sale of your book. DogEar Publishing and BookPros follow this rule: both slightly mark up the cost of the book in lieu of taking any royalties.

The subsection below discusses trade discounts given to third party retailers like as an incentive for them to sell your book. Some of the publishers covered in this book have the gall to give their own online store a trade discount! Donít worry, I tell you about the ones that doóin my book they're scum. A trade discount is usually 40% to 55% off the retail price. Let's say Publisher XYZ offers its authors 50% royalties based on the gross sales after production cost and the trade discount to all booksellers including its own online store. If the retail price of the book is $15, and the production costs are $5 per book, then the next $5 goes into Publisher XYZ's pocket as the "trade discount" for carrying the book that you've paid them to publish. That leaves $5 to be split equally between you and Publisher XYZ. Publisher XYZ walks away with another $2.50 (for a total profit of $7.50 plus whatever it made off the printing fees) while you make $2.50. See how shady this is?

Finally, stay away from any publisher that arrives at the "net sales price" by deducting vague items such as "administrative costs" and "marketing costs."

Read IN's interview with Mark Levine in ON THE COVER.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
Gory Glory
Undertaker's Moon (Excerpt)
Romantic Intrigue
No Safe Place (Excerpt)
From The Docks To The Commons
The Care Vortex (excerpt)
Irish Mists And Histories
Shadows Will Fall (Excerpt)
A Mind On The Move
The Rush To Here (Excerpt)

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Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
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Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."