Friday, February 1, 2013

What month Indie Authors get paid for ebooks

Pay schedules for Indie Author publishing.

Every once in a while, someone gets confused about when each vendor pays royalties for books sold.  This is a list for self-publishing through online stores like Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo and Createspace.  This is when U.S. residents get paid.

Note:  I do not directly publish to Apple, therefore I do not know their pay schedule.

Amazon KDP, B&N Pubit

With Amazon's KDP and B&N's Pubit you get paid every month if you've made $10.  It's usually on the last day of the second month after the end of the month.  Therefore:

January gets paid March 31st. 
February gets paid April 30th
March gets paid May 31st
April gets paid June 30th
May gets paid July 31st
June gets paid August 31st
July gets paid September 30th
August gets paid October 31st
September gets paid November 30th
October gets paid December 31st
November gets paid January 31st
December gets paid February 28th


With Createspace, you get paid even faster, the last day of the first month.  You get paid after earning $10

January gets paid  February 28th.
February gets paid March 31st
March gets paid April 30th
April gets paid May 31th
May gets paid June 30th
June gets paid July 31th
July gets paid August 31th
August gets paid September 30th
September gets paid October 31st
October gets paid November 30th
November gets paid December 31st
December gets paid January 31st


With Kobo, you only get paid after you've made $100.  Their pricing language states:

Payment will be issued on a monthly basis if your content has generated over $100.00 USD. If after 6 months, your content has not generated over $100.00 USD, we will deliver all of the earnings your content has generated at that point.

Now, I haven't earned enough to receive a check, but the wording indicates that you would get paid sometime in the month after you've successfully accumulated $100 worth of earnings, so the same schedule as Createspace.


With Smashwords you get paid quarterly.  You need to make $10 if you're getting paid by paypal or $75 if you're getting paid by check. 

January, February, and March get paid April 30th
April, May and June get paid July 31st
July, August and September get paid October 31st
October, November and December get paid January 31st.

If you distribute to Apple, B&N, Kobo and other stores, Smashwords updates the royalties as they receive them. I've been published with Smashwords for 2 years now and the frequency of updating has inconsistant (understatement). However, I have learned to take a long-term viewpoint with them as I plan to be a writer for the rest of my life. They do update, and they do pay, which are the important things.

International residents.

Note: This is if you live in the U.S. International payments are well . . . lets just say I'm glad I don't have to deal with the crap international writers do. From what I understand, you have to make $100 on Amazon and then you get paid a check (or if you're European, cheque), which is problamatic because most banks are no longer taking cheques across the pond.

Smashwords takes out 30% to pay to the U.S. IRS unless you go through a complicated, time-consuming and expensive process of filling out paperwork.

I hope this helps other writers.   If anyone should find any inconsistancies with this list, or have something to add, please feel free to mention it in the comments below. :)

All my best,

John H. Carroll

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