Dog Ear Publishing Reviews Book Sales and Profits

There are plenty of venues where books are sold. This information and the next series of blog postings will specifically discuss where self-published authors should focus selling their printed books to garner the greatest profit.

At Dog Ear Publishing, we emphasize the need to focus book selling efforts where an author will be most profitable.  When it comes to book selling profits for a self-published author the quality of a sale usually trumps quantity.  I’ll explain.

Here’s some general background on sales averages for the self-publishing industry.  The average self-published author sells 150 books during that title’s lifetime.  Is this news to you?  (By the way, authors who publish through Dog Ear Publishing sell considerably more.  Our authors sell, on average, 250 units per year.  But, there are reasons for this that I’ll focus on in another posting.)  The takeaway point is that most self-published authors don’t sell a lot of books. 

Here’s another takeaway point…

Most book sales are categorized as “distribution sales”.  Distribution sales are those sales that occur at a bookstore – brick and mortar or online.  Any book sale that occurs at a bookstore is referred to as a distribution sale.  The average profit that a self-published author makes from a distribution sale is $1.00 to $3.00.  This is an important conversation to have with a self-publishing company while you do your research.  The publishing company should be able to tell you how much you’ll make (an actual dollar figure) when your book sells through distribution.  I’ve included a basic formula to help you understand how distribution profits are determined here at Dog Ear Publishing.

Distribution Profit Formula.

Retail Price (RP) – Wholesale Discount (WD) – Cost of Printing (CoP) = Author Profit.

See a detailed explanation here.

To increase your success and profitability through Distribution Sales you need to have a low printing price and a competitive retail price.  Here’s the final take away point for this week’s blog post.  Distribution Sales aren’t very profitable. (Read the entire article on why Bookstore Sales aren’t profitable.)

Dog Ear Publishing is a publishing services provider specializing in editing, custom-built books, book printing, book distribution, book marketing, and so on. Dog Ear Publishing is located in Indianapolis, Indiana and takes pride in producing a product from start to finish in America’s heartland.


2 thoughts on “Dog Ear Publishing Reviews Book Sales and Profits

  1. Miles
    I have published 2 books with you now—-Zoo-a-logical Math and Zoo-a-logical Math Junior. I realize that these are “specialty” kinds of books. I could use any help/ideas on marketing to a specific group like math teachers. I have talked to some math professors and they think the ideas in the book are great but need help marketing. Not sure you can help me. Thank you for your time. Have a good day. Tom Kearney

    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the question. I’m going to offer a few ideas for you to consider. I’d also like to discuss further by phone.

      First, I’d recommend considering a PPC Campaign or Adwords Campaign. This is an online form of advertising through Google. I only suggest this type of marketing effort for books that are usually non-fiction and that have a specific ‘searchable’ niche. Here’s how we describe it —

      Essentially, you/we/someone will check to see what the Google Search traffic is for a variety of terms/concepts that you highlight in your books. Based on the search traffic on Google you can then decide whether there is sufficient traffic or people looking for your concepts. If the answer is “yes” then we can create active campaigns on Google to attract eyeballs to wherever you want customers to purchase your book.

      PPC Campaigns are governed by how much money you’re willing to spend per day/week/month to get eyeballs. The more times these ‘eyeballs’ click on your ads the more money you’ll spend with Google.

      I can recommend a more traditional marketing route too. There are educational associations in every State. The associations look for materials that will help teachers and teaching professionals improve their teaching strategies. Your book may fit this criteria.

      These associations are easy to locate. Additionally, I know of people who actively search for these types of materials and content creators. I’d be happy to introduce you to these people.

      Very sincerely,


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