For folks who write books: is it better financially to buy these books directly from the author (who has some trouble in packaging and mailing, etc) or from amazon.com?
It's an interesting question. In case anyone else was wondering the answer to this question, here it is:
It’s definitely better for the author if you buy directly from him or her. Authors typically get a 10% royalty on net sales.
Publishers wholesale books to bookstores and amazon.com 40% to 60% off.
Let’s say a book retails for $10. You purchase it from amazon.com. They likely got a 60% discount. So the author gets 10% of $4. A whopping 40 cents royalty!
If you buy the book from your local family-owned Catholic bookstore, they likely got a 40% discount. So, the author gets a 60 cent royalty. Not a lot, but you are also helping support the Catholic bookstore owners.
If you buy the book directly from the publisher there is no discount. So, the author gets the royalty on the full price — $1 per book.
Now, if the author stockpiles books and sells them herself (as I do) she gets them probably for 40% or %50 wholesale — depending on how many she purchases. So, if you buy the book directly from the author he or she will make at least $4.
Catholic authors don’t make a lot of money. It’s a niche market and sales numbers are not exactly in the stratosphere. If you're writing for the Catholic homeschooling market, that's a niche within a niche.
Most of us write as an apostolate. But, it helps a lot to actually get a paycheck to pay for all the time taken away from our families and the expenses involved in writing a book.
So, that’s the long answer to your question. Yes, it is way better to financially to order directly from the author.
More importantly, it encourages them to continue writing and producing good books.