Thursday, 13 June 2013

I know it's not about the money, but...

Well, the day has finally arrived!
All three parts of my magnum opus are now available on the world-wide-web for the delectation of discerning readers everywhere - links to the right, folks!
Initial feedback has been very positive, even from those for whom sci-fi is not normally a genre into which they would venture.

But, if I'm honest, the gloss of my success has been besmearched just a little by the antics of those 'nice' people at Amazon (the non-corporation-tax-paying commercial behemoth).
Put simply, Amazon are the only retailer of e-books that levy a charge for the download of an e-book. That charge is based, apparently, on the size (in kilobyte terms) of the e-book. Now, because Part 3 of 'The Book That THEY...' contains a lot of appendices which have tables and graphs and stuff like that, it is fairly hefty in size, to the point that, if I am to sit in Amazon's 70% royalty bracket, they will charge £2.38 for the download. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to work out the following:

£2.99 - 20% VAT - £2.38 download charge - 30% Amazon cut = fuck all for the author or the publisher.

As a result of this, my publisher has had to put Part 3 in a different royalty bracket where there is no download charge - unfortunately, this particularly bracket only pays 30%, which gives us the following equation:

£2.99 - 20% VAT - £0.00 download charge - 70% Amazon cut = £1.12, of which I get 85%.

Not exactly a fortune, is it?
But, then again, it's never really been about the money, has it?
I mean, let's face facts - if I wanted to find a time-effective way of making oddles of dosh, spending countless hours writing a novel that has little chance (in spite of the fact that it is fucking brilliant!) of becoming an international bestseller (which is the only time the author actually gets oodles of dosh) would not be high on your list.
It would certainly be below:
  • dealing drugs
  • becoming a gigolo
  • robbing a bank
  • working in the financial services sector
No, my writing is about something more than money.
It's about experiencing the satisfaction of being able to look at one's own creation and, yes, it is about enjoying the warm glow that comes with positive feedback from my peers.
It's about realising an ambition.
So, I guess I shouldn't let those bastards at Amazon dim the glow of triumph that I should feel as I bask in the knowledge that something which I have written is being read (and, by all accounts, enjoyed) by people all over the world.

A bit of extra dosh wouldn't go amiss though...