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How to Publish a Dog Book on Amazon (and elsewhere)

Front cover of The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.
Front cover of The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.

Yesterday I received the first proof version of the book I’ve been working on. It will be released on Bronco’s birthday July 3rd (he would have been 15 years old). There are still some fixes that needs to be done including that the two endorsements I got both need to go in the back. However, it is getting close to being done. Therefore, I am writing a brief post on how this came about.

Page example from The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.
Page example from The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.

I just started writing about our beloved Bronco and his crazy and amazing adventures and I added lots of color photographs. Little did I know that creating a real book is very different from writing a long essay and then printing it at Kinkos. For starters, printing a book in color is very expensive and unlike Kinkos you cannot print some pages in color and some in black and white. Amazon has three choices; the entire book in black and white, the entire book in standard color, and the entire book in premium color. That’s it! The cost per page for 206 pages 6X9 inch book is 1.2 cents for black and white, 3.6 cents for standard color, and 7 cents for premium color. Then there is an 85 cent costs for every book. Printing a 206 pages book in black and white is $3.322, standard color $8.266, premium color $15.27.

Black and white: X = 0.85 + 0.012 * 206 = 3.322

Standard color: X = 0.85 + 0.036 * 206 = 8.266

Premium color: X = 0.85 + 0.036 * 206 = 15.27

In addition, Amazon wants 40% of the price of the book and they leave the rest for you as royalty to the author. In my case I am donating all of that to the Leonberger Health Foundation International. So, if the price of the book is $10.95 the royalty to the author is

Black and white: Y = 0.6*10.95 – 3.32= 3.25

Standard color: Y = 0.6*10.95 – 8.266= -1.70

Premium color: Y = 0.6*10.95 – 15.27= -8.7

So that did not work out unless you choose black and white. Let’s say the price of the book is $19.95

Black and white: Y = 0.6*19.95 – 3.32= 11.97

Standard color: Y = 0.6*19.95 – 8.266= 7.02

Premium color: Y = 0.6*19.95 – 15.27= -3.3

This time standard color leaves some for the Leonberger Health Foundation International but premium color still does not work out. There is no printing cost associated with the kindle e-book so in that case you can choose whatever price you like, and Amazon gets 40% and author royalty is 60%. It is not possible to have a negative royalty with the e-book. I should also mention that if you work with a real publisher as opposed to self-publishing or working with a publisher you pay for, they will take care of all of this for you. However, the vast majority of author’s today, especially unknown authors, self-publish.

For additional information check out this page (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834340)

This is information I did not know before I wrote the book that would have been really helpful when planning the book.

Front and back cover of book. The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.
Front and back cover

Printing cost and royalty calculations are not the only things you need to worry about. You also need to consider the size of the book, how the cover should look like, the type of paper you want to use, and you may want to get endorsements. Unless your English is perfect you probably need an editor. If you are first time author you most likely need help with book design, buying an ISBN number, creating the bar code, creating an author page and book page on Amazon, etc. Book design is when you take your word document, preferably written in Times New Roman 12, and turn into a pdf file where paragraphs and photos are laid out to fit together nicely on a rectangle corresponding to the book size you picked (6X9 in my case). Then you need to upload your files to Amazon and other bookstores. I wrote my book and then I considered all of this. If you are writing a book for the first time you may want to plan for all of this before you write your book. This blog post was focused on the price. I will post more about the concerns another time.

By thomasstigwikman

My name is Thomas Wikman. I am a software/robotics engineer with a background in physics, but I am currently retired. I took early retirement. I am a dog lover, and especially a Leonberger lover, a home brewer, craft beer enthusiast, an amateur astronomer, I’m learning French, and I am an avid reader. I live in Dallas, Texas, but I am originally from Sweden. I am married to Claudia, and we have three children Jacob, David and Rachel. My blog feature the crazy adventures of our Leonberger e Bronco von der Löwenhöhle as well as information on Leonbergers

4 replies on “How to Publish a Dog Book on Amazon (and elsewhere)”

I’ve self-published two different types of books through Amazon: a book of selected Epinions reviews about movies that I self-published through CreateSpace, the Amazon company that handled print books, and my short story Reunion.

It’s easier than trying to get published through a big publishing company, but it does involve a lot of demanding work. And the hardest part – marketing. I hate that with a passion.

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With this comment I just wanted to make sure to tell all of you that on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble you can find my book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” as an e-book as well as the printed edition. You can searching for the book by searching for the title, or my name “Thomas Wikman”, or the ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954 or the ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR.

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