Isabella Media pays up to 50% net royalties: Authors get paid up to 60% of any money we receive from their book sales or licensing.

In order to provide as much transparency as possible into our royalty structure and calculations, here’s a breakdown of our royalty rates and author earnings per book sold with Isabella Media.

Our goal with our royalty structure is to:

  • Pay our authors significantly above average royalties from book sales so they can earn more from their books
  • Ensure that authors earn significantly above average portions of the licensing revenue from their books
  • Create a royalty structure that properly incentivizes us and the author to increase book sales as much as possible in all reasonable situations
  • Create a publishing business model that is more than fair for our authors
  • Create a model that is incredibly simple and easy-to-understand: 50% of the money we receive from the book gets paid directly to the author

How does Isabella Media calculate royalties?

We pay our authors up to 50% gross royalties on all book sales, licensing revenue, and any other revenue generated from their work that we publish.

In other words, we pay up to 50% of the proceeds we receive from book sales or licensing to our authors.

Isabella Media Book Royalty Rates

Book Format Retail Price Amount We Receive From Retailer Net Royalty Rate Royalty Earned by Author Per Book Sold Royalty as % of Retail Price
Paperback $19.99 $8.24 50% $4.12 21%
Hardcover $27.99 $8.40 50% $4.20 15%
Ebook $9.99 $6.99 50% $3.50 35%
Audiobook $17.99 $7.19 50% $3.60 20%

What does “net royalty” mean?

The word “net” in net royalty refers to net income, which, in this case, means the amount of money we receive as income from a book less any cash expenses we have incurred.

For example, if Barnes & Noble sends us $1,000 in royalties for a book, we pay $500 of that income directly to the author with our 50% royalty rate.

If a publisher in Germany decides to translate and publish the book in German and pays us a $5,000 advance on royalties along with 10% royalties once the advance is earned out, we pay the author up to 50% of the money we actually receive in our bank account from that publisher.
The only exception is for the initial crowdfunding campaign which is explained here.

Why doesn’t Isabella Media pay retail or list price royalties?

Other traditional publishers often choose to pay royalties based on the retail price of the book (called “list royalties” or “retail royalties”) from 5% for mass-market paperbacks to 7.5% for trade paperback to 15% for hardcover and as much as 25% for eBook and audiobooks.

We’ve chosen instead to pay 50% gross royalties because:

  • Authors will, in almost every case, earn more royalties per book sold this way (the possible exception being for audiobook sales assuming the author might get 25% list price royalties from another publisher)
  • This royalty structure is far simpler and easy-to-understand for authors
  • This royalty structure is far easier and less expensive to implement for our accounting team, thus saving us money and time, allowing us to pay authors more

Got More Questions About Royalties?

Fill out the Contact form below or send us an email to info [at] isabellamedia [dot] com if you have any questions about royalties or publishing a book with Isabella Media.