Whenever an author gets an alert saying they're being paid royalties they get excited. I should, after all of these long years in the publishing industry, not get my hopes up — if there is anything the publishing industry has taught me is that you're not going to ever really get rich as a writer, not unless you're one of the blessed few who receive those ultra lucrative contracts. For the rest of us, we write because it's in our blood, it's part of our DNA, we're storytellers and if we didn't we'd probably be in a padded cell eating bugs and talking begging their Master to come and save them.
This evening a few emails popped up from Amazon alerting me that I was receiving my royalties payments. The majority of me went, "Ugh! This should be interesting.", but there was still this little part of me, that kid who still dreamed of fame and fortune who
said, "Maybe this time it will
I opened the report. 2000, I repeat 2000 Kindle copies sold in the past quarter. Guess how much I made.... Just guess...
I repeat, $20!
I just sold 2000 copies of REVENGE in three months. That is something I should be freaking celebrating. Right? $20 won't fill my gas tank on my crappy old car. $20 is half a bag of groceries....using coupons. $20 is 3 cups of Starbucks coffee or a bottle of wine. And so forth, and so on...
Meanwhile Jeff Bezos made how many billions last year????????????????????
So, let's do the math, shall we?
Each Kindle book sells on Amazon for $5.99.
$5.99 x 2000 = $11,980
$11,980 - $20 = $11,960 (Amazon's Profit)
My take-home pay is $20.
And people continue to wonder what's wrong with this country? Why people could be upset with Amazon? Or why authors are all neurotic, anxiety-ridden, and for the most part alcoholic or at the very least self-deprecating. To be an author is to be a complete sadomasochistic glutton for punishment.
But it's not just authors. It's all vendors on Amazon. We're all being robbed blind. And the sad fact is that we have to play with Amazon because there's no other outlet as big as they are. If we don't play the game, we don't get any of their audience. They are the 800 pound gorilla. They are the prime, no pun intended, example of why people in America, and around the world, can't succeed, why they are still living hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck.
I would get depressed, but I guess I have Stockholm Syndrome at this point. Like Little Timmy I'm standing here with my hands outstretch, "Sir, can I have some more?" "Oh yes, sir. I love sleeping next to the fire and eating the scraps you throw me."
Fuck this shit. If I may be so blunt...
We authors are worth a hell of a lot more than what Bezos' empire is dolling out. We need to put our hands together, come up with a crowdsourced app to match Kindle and make sure authors GET PAID for their work. Let me remind you...
Jeff Bezos' net worth is 110 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!
Do I have the solution? No. Am I venting? Yes. But this post was largely to express to the people out there who are still asking for free copies and wondering why authors work so hard and yet struggle, THIS IS WHY! If you want to support an author and their work, buy it through their website. Or email them for an autographed copy and pay them personally.
Or find out what their Patreon page is and subscribe!!!!!! Authors don't put up Patreon pages for nothing. It is because they are working hard to actually put out the books that you like to read and they aren't getting paid shit by the royalties outlets. So take a moment and support them in whatever way you can.
Ok... I think I'm done ranting. I just had to get that out. I just am still in shock about my royalties statement.