Writers are continually telling me how unfair the system of payment for authors is. I have been in business all my adult life, so I would like to put this in perspective for you. To sell in any kind of volume you need a distributor and bookshops. So let’s look at what they receive.

Distributor: Out of the money they receive, (usually 20 – 30% of retail price) the distributor has to pay warehouse rent, on the road salespeople, office staff, warehouse storemen, insurance and other business expenses.

Bookstores: Out of the 30 – 35% the stores receive, they have to pay huge rents and outgoings in the shopping centres, staff wages, insurances, and other business expenses.

According to my accountant, most businesses operate on as small as 7-10% profit on their gross figure. So if they are getting 30% of the retail price on a $19.99 book (or 5.99), they are at best making .59. If you look at the sum below, you will see that as small as it is, the author is making the most.

Retail price:                                                      $19.99

Gross to distributor and retailer: 50%              9.99  (Net profit at 10% = .99 divided between                                                                                                them.)

Publisher’s Gross Balance                                 10.00

Print Cost on 280 page book                              6.77

Net Balance to publisher                                    3.23

Publisher share 25%                                             .80

Author share 75% of net                                    2.43

 Sure, you can print the books yourself, flog them around your area, and sell a few that way. But without the distributor and the book shops, you have no hope of selling Australiawide. Cutting out the distributor and selling directly to bookshops is hard. They would rather buy from a reputable distributor. They have an account with them to pay in 30 days, they know that the returns policy will be accepted and they will receive their refund for returned books promptly. Libraries would rather use a distributor as well. A librarian told me that any promotional material that doesn’t come from a major publisher or distributor is thrown out. She says, in her opinion, the publishers and distributors sort out what is worth stocking. She doesn’t have time to do that, so she only buys from them. 

 What you have to rely on for income is selling in large volumes. This doesn’t happen very often if you are selling them yourself – unless you are lucky, or you go global. What you have to decide is, do you want to be a published author, share your books with as many as you can and make a modest income, or do you want sell them yourself, only sell a few and barely make a profit.

 Is it all worth it? That is for you to work out. From my discussions with published authors, if you want to make lots of money, being a published author is not the way to do – unless you ‘do a Rawlings’ and become a world wide sensation. And you know how often that happens. 

 I guess what I am saying is, as authors we have to accept the little we make from each book and try to maximise our sales as much as we can. Happy writing.

This book fills a library need

 It is a great pleasure to host another review for Clancy. My local librarian complained to me that there are not enough books for boys. She said the libraries are always looking for a great adventure story that will appeal to the young male members. Well, she can’t go past this one. This is a wonderful coming of age story for boys.

SYNOPSIS: Fourteen-year-old Gunnedah ‘Gunnie’ Danson is despondent because he has an assignment on the drought. As a ‘Townie’ he knows nothing about the effects of this blight on the rural industry; but that is about to change. When he returns home from school he receives a surprise gift. His late grandfather has left him a box containing a manuscript. It was written by Gunnie’s great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson after his journey up the long paddock as a fourteen-year-old drover; during a harsh drought in 1910. At the back of the manuscript is an envelope. It’s NOT to be opened until Gunnie has read the entire story.

Gunnie spends the weekend at Wiralee Station – a cattle station that’s been in the family since 1848. There, he reads the awesome manuscript and learns of Smokey’s adventurous journey. But while he is at Wiralee, he learns more than he expected – Wiralee is again under threat but for a different reason. Will the contents of the mysterious envelope save it?


The story is set in the Australian bush and parallels the lives of two boys – Gunnie, a present day lad of 14, and his great-great-grandfather, Smokey, at the same age. The story is based around a manuscript left to the present day lad that tells the story of his great-great-grandfather’s heroic journey to save the family’s cattle property during the 1910 drought. To do this he must take the property’s cattle on a trek up the long paddock. (For townies, that is the road verge – in times of drought cattlemen took their cattle on a long trek up the main road looking for places to feed them).

 The property that Smokey saved is still in the family, and Gunnie goes there to read the manuscript. During the stay, he learns that the property is again under threat, but this time from a different source. Gunnie finds an envelope in the back of the manuscript that is not to be opened until after he has read the story. This envelope holds the key to save the property from this new threat.

 Some of the adversity Smokey faces would be daunting for adults, but with guts and determination, he picks himself up, dusts himself off, and continues with his allotted task. The life lessons that his example sets for the young readers will stick with them and, hopefully, help them to deal with their own setbacks. It is cleverly written and is a heart warming and enjoyable read that will appeal to more than the child and young adult audience it is targeting. I became totally lost in the bush setting and the lives of the two main protagonists and felt like I was there with them. It has been favourably acclaimed by many notable people.

Here is just one of the comments made:

‘I loved the story. I found the plot believable and the characters authentic. The structure of parallel narrators works well, particularly because both boys are a similar age and have the same standards or principles. You have the very successful formula of the kids showing just how capable they are in the absence of adults, plus a few “baddies” to test or push them a little further.’ – Geri Coughlan – head librarian Trinity College.

 You and your children will love this book. Enter the competition to win a free eBook or take advantage of the blog tour special buy on the paperback.

Where can we buy the book?

It’s available as an author signed paperback from http://morrispublishingaustralia.com and http://clancytucker.com.au.

Paperback Price Slashed: From 14th to 31st January, the price of the Gunnedah Hero paperback will be slashed to $25. Go to the website http://morrispublishingaustralia.com and choose the Buy Now button under Discount copy text. The usual postage charge will apply.  Or order it from http://clancytucker.com.au

 eBook available for immediate download from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114638

Google eBooks: http://books.google.com.au/ebooks?id=30aI67LULpQC&dq=Gunnedah%20Hero&as_brr=5&source=webstore_bookcard.

And Apple iBooks, Barnes and Nobel, Sony, Kobo.

 GIVE-AWAY: As a part of this blog tour, Morris Publishing Australia and Clancy Tucker are giving three eBooks to readers of the blogs. Go to http://morrispublishingaustralia.com and use the form on the Contact Page. Fill in your first name, email address, and put Blog Competition and your preferred eBook format in the message. You and your children will love this heart-warming story. (Choose from ePub, PDF, Kindle) The winners will be drawn on January 31st, 2012. All winners will be notified by email and their eBook will be attached.

What makes a great historical novel for kids?

This man has the key to that genre. Follow his blog tour and learn fascinating information about him and his book.

 Clancy Tucker – Gunnedah Hero – Blog Tour Schedule

 January 14th http://www.kids-bookreview.com  – Author Interview

 January 15th http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com – Book Review

 January 16th: www.buzzwordsmagazine.blogspot.com  – Article – Writing Historical Fiction

January 17th: http://carolwarner.wordpress.com/ – Author Interview

January 18th: http://elaineoustonauthor.com  – Review

 January 19th: www.buzzwordsmagazine.blogspot.com  – Review

 January 20th: http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com – Author interview

 January 22nd: https://www.facebook.com/aussiebookreviews  – Review

 January 23rd: http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com/news-update-blog.html

 January 24th: www.sherfordbear.co.uk  – Review

 January 25th: http://misshelenwrites.wordpress.com  – Author Interview

 January 25th: http://content.boomerangbooks.com.au/kids-book-capers-blog/

 January 26th: Grand finale – http://www.blogbud.com/clancytucker  – What’s next for Clancy

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