Being smart about receiving book royalties from Amazon

Let’s suppose that you have some book that is published through the Amazon publishing-on-demand platform (which very annoyingly is named “Kindle Desktop Publishing”).   And let’s suppose (keep with me on this) that you actually would like to receive your author royalties for this book.  It turns out that if you have an account with Wise Business, you can set things up to have a much better chance of actually receiving your royalties. 

In the screen shot above you can see that in some particular calendar quarter, our firm sold a book in the Amazon Europe web site and earned €2.59.

The Amazon policy for paying book royalties is that if they have to mail out a physical check to pay the author for any book royalty, and if the size of the check would be less than some threshold, then they get to defer paying it until it reaches the threshold.  It is a threshold of something like 100 USD or 100 Euros.  Not only that, they get to deduct something like $15 for the work of printing the check and dropping it into the mail.  But, if the author provides bank details in the specific country so that Amazon can do a local money transfer that costs Amazon almost nothing to do, then Amazon pays the royalty amount at the end of the month, and Amazon pays it in full.

There is another challenge about getting paid.  Amazon’s policy for paying book royalties is that if Amazon has to do a currency conversion, say from Euros into USD, then Amazon gets to charge whatever they like for the currency conversion, both in terms of a fee to do the conversion, and in terms of a not-very-favorable currency exchange rate.  But, if the author provides bank details in the specific country so that Amazon can do a local money transfer that does not require a currency conversion, then Amazon pays the royalty in full with no gouges for currency conversion.

click to purchase

Consider the situation with our book Oppedahl on PCT Forms and PCT Docketing.  It is available for purchase on at least twelve Amazon storefronts (see ) in places such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.  We might earn royalties in Polish zlotys or Japanese Yen.  Who can guess whether we might ever actually receive such royalties, given the vagaries of exchange rates and thresholds for mailing of paper checks or the like.  But we have set up bank details so that such Amazon payments can come directly to our firm.  An example is the royalty of €2.59 which we received just today, shown above.

3 Replies to “Being smart about receiving book royalties from Amazon”

  1. I’m not sure there is a lower limit for paper checks. My bank recently sent me a check for $0.05 to account for an error in calculating interest on the account. Since my brother is owed half that amount, I promised to give him a couple of pennies the next time we meet.

  2. Hello, what if you plan on selling a book in multiple currencies?

    How does one set that up in Wise to avoid this issue?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *