Q&A: Why don’t I get royalties for Used Book Sales?

Q:  I see my book is selling used at Amazon, why am I not getting royalties??

A:  I regret to say that no author has ever been paid even $1 from Used Book sales.  This is because the Used Book sellers have purchased a book and have every right to sell it for as much or as little as they like with no concern for the author.

An author only gets paid “once”:  when the book is sold for the first time. Can you imagine if a book was resold 6 times getting 6 times the royalties?  Well that would be like Christmas morning, but it’s not how it works for Books, Movies, Music, or any other royalty stream.

If it did work, I could imagine a scene where the author would keep selling the same book to himself for a penny and collecting $2 royalties, sell it again for a penny, get another $2.  The publishers would be broke in no time…

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

Got a nagging pubishing question?  Write to victor@LHPress.com

About Victor Volkman

Author of "Beyond Trauma: Conversations on Traumatic Incident Reduction" and six other books.
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