Royalty FAQ

How is the price of my book determined?
Book price is determined by page count, which is influenced by your choice of book dimensions (6×9, etc) as well as font size, the word count of your manuscript, and other factors. For information and guidance on the price of your individual book, please speak with your consultant.

How does BookBuilders calculate Royalty payments?
Please note that Royalties are paid to you on all sales of your Work EXCEPT: (a) sales of used copies of the Work; (b) sales of the Work to yourself; and (c) copies of the Work given to any person or entity (e.g. the media) free of charge.

BookBuilders gives authors a royalty rate of fifty percent (50%) through our distribution channels for print formats. Royalties are based on the payments we actually receive from the sale of printed copies of your book, less any shipping and handling charges or sales and use taxes. Also, we offer discounts to retail and wholesale customers, so the royalty amount you receive depends on what type of customer (i.e. retail or wholesale) bought your book and any discount they received. For each royalty-qualifying sale in print format through our website bookstore, you will receive fifty percent (50%) of the revenue.

For audio formats, you will receive one hundred percent (100%) of the difference of the Suggested Retail Price less the discounts (deductions) taken by any distribution channel for each sale of the individual Work. These deductions include promotional discounts, distribution discounts, and sales discounts.

You should be aware that the largest retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, place orders forBookBuilders titles through Ingram; those orders will appear as wholesale sales on your royalty statement.

Here’s an example of a common sales transaction of a printed book:

  • The retail price (list price) for your paperback book is $15.95.
  • YourBookBuilders royalty rate for retail transactions is 50 percent.
  • A retailer, such as Amazon, places an order for your book through Ingram Book Company, a wholesaler.
  • Ingram then resells the book to the retailer.

Your royalty on this retail sale is calculated as follows:


Paperback list price

Royalty %

Royalty Earned

If your book is sold directly through theBookBuilders online bookstore, you receive a higher royalty amount twenty-five percent (25%). Your royalty on this sale directly through the BookBuilders online bookstore is calculated as follows:

BookBuilders website

Paperback list price

Royalty %

Royalty Earned

For each royalty-qualifying sale of your work in digital format (e-book), you will receive 50% of the digital net, less any returns. The digital net equals the retail price less promotional discounts, distribution discounts, and sales taxes.

Can I change the price of my book later?
After the Retail Price is set, we reserve the exclusive right to modify the retail price of the work, should production costs change or market conditions warrant. You must approve such retail price change prior to it taking effect. If you do not approve the retail price change or we cannot contact you to obtain approval for the retail price change, all or certain formats of the work will be removed from distribution.

How am I paid for my royalties?
Royalties are calculated on a calendar quarter basis. Royalties due will be paid in United States Dollars (USD) within ninety (90) days after the end of each calendar quarter. The timing of actual receipt of the payment by the author may occur after these issuance dates, due to a variety of factors including, but not limited to, transit time in the mail. Royalties may be paid via check or electronic funds transfer (EFT). You must have a United States bank account to receive Royalties via EFT. We may charge you an additional fee per check if you elect to receive payments by check or draft when EFT is available. We may accrue and withhold payment until the total amount of Royalties earned equals or exceeds seventy-five USD ($75). All held Royalties will be paid in full within ninety (90) days after the end of each calendar year.

Will BookBuilders send me a 1099 to report additional income from royalty payments?
If you earned $10.00 or more in royalties within a fiscal year, we will automatically send you a 1099 statement. The 1099 reports your additional income in royalties during the first, second and third quarter of the current year and the fourth quarter of the previous year. It is the form you need to use to report taxes showing additional earning or contractual work.

Authors who have any royalties withheld (due to payment threshold) during the past calendar year will receive a 1099-MISC form.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will receive a 1042, very similar to the 1099.

How often do you send out royalty payments?

The Quarterly Schedule is as follows:

1st Quarter
Sales Period: January 1 through March 31

2nd Quarter
Sales Period: April 1 through June 30

3rd Quarter
Sales Period: July 1 through September 30

4th Quarter
Sales Period: October 1 through Dec. 31

There is a reason for the gap between when the quarter ends and when the payment is made. This is due to the delay in retail sales being reported to us by the distributors. They send this information to us 4 to 6 weeks after the close of each quarter. We then compile those sales with theBookBuilders sales for the quarter and audit the report 3 times before creating the report. To have an idea of how your book is selling during a quarter, you can always log on to your Author Center account to view sales throughBookBuilders. However, sales placed directly through the distributor will not be listed on the BookBuilders page, as they are only reported to us quarterly.

How much do I make from the sale of each copy?
You can review your royalty amounts using the Reports section of the Author Center. Just click on the title of your book and a .pdf document displaying the prices and royalty amounts for all ISBNs of that title will be generated.

Will I be able to see who ordered my book?
Unfortunately, due to privacy reasons, we cannot share this information. On your royalty statement, you will see how many of your books were sold through the retail channel and how many were sold throughBookBuilders.

What should I do if I do not receive my royalty statement?
If you do not receive your royalty statement, you will first want to log on to your Author Center and view the statement online. If you did earn a royalty but did not receive your statement in the mail, please contact our Author Assistance Team at We will have to wait 180 days from the issue date of the check, after which we can reissue the check.

*We don’t MAIL statements for royalty earning authors and we don’t EMAIL authors who didn’t earn royalties. In addition, check validity is now 180 days and there is no TAT for check recut requests.

What do I do if there is an error on my check?
When reviewing your quarterly statement, please keep in mind the royalty schedule. If an order was placed in July, you will not see that sale on your 2nd quarter report. If you know of a sale placed in a given quarter that you were not paid for, please contact our Author Assistance Team at We will investigate the claim and have a result within 7-10 business days.

Why does it take so long forBookBuilders to post sales from Ingram or other retail bookstores?
All companies have a month-end close process to collect and validate financial information, andBookBuilders is no exception. At the close of each month, BookBuilders must collect sales and printing information from each of our business partners. We reconcile book orders and book sales with printing information to ensure that every single copy that is printed is accounted for. Then, we consolidate sales from many different sources into a single monthly statement for each author.
The process of collecting, consolidating, closing and posting sales information from our partners can take more than four weeks. It is important to remember that the sales statements are not final, however, because information posts to them as it is received. This process may take time, but we think it is essential to provide you with information that is 100 percent accurate and to account for each and every sale.
Although we strive to post sales statements as quickly as possible, four times per year it takes us up to 90 days to post statements due to our royalty payout schedule. During these quarterly payment periods, our staff is busy preparing quarterly statements and arranging individual royalty payments.

A bookstore ordered copies of my book at the end of last month, but those sales aren’t appearing on my monthly statement. Why?
There are two reasons this might occur. First, like many publishers,BookBuilders records a sale and pays royalties only after books are physically shipped. We may have an order in process at the end of a month, but if the books haven’t shipped that month, then the sale will not be recorded until the following month.
What’s more likely, however, is that the bookstore ordered either through the largest wholesaler, Ingram Book Company, or directly through its printing arm, Lightning Source, Inc. (LSI). Ingram and LSI are on a 4/4/5 accounting cycle. This means that they operate on a four-week, four-week, five-week financial calendar rather than a monthly calendar. The financial month-end close always occurs on a Friday and therefore is not always at the calendar end of the month. LSI reports monthly sales toBookBuilders according to the Ingram financial calendar, and BookBuilders in turn reports those sales to authors in the sales statement. Any sales in a calendar month that occur after the financial month end will not appear on your statement until the following calendar month.

How long does it take for a sale to be listed in my online “Sales Activity Report”?
For orders made through theBookBuilders site, we update your report when the book or books are shipped to the customer. Sales made through our distribution channels will be added once they are submitted to us, which can be either monthly or quarterly (depending on the retailer). Items that have been ordered, but which have not yet shipped, will not appear on your report. As we receive shipping information, your report will be updated accordingly.

The time it takes a sale to be listed in your sales report is determined by the type of sale:

Sale type Time until listed
BookBuilders Bookstore 72 hours after shipment of book order
Consumer sales (i.e., call-in purchases throughBookBuilders) 72 hours after shipment of book order
Retail sales (e.g., Four weeks or more after shipment of book order

Please note: External retailers — Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. — operate under their own schedules, and BookBuilders cannot control the frequency with which they report sales information.