Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Ellora's Cave: Royalty Statement Missing Column

12 March 2015

When I looked at Cat Grant’s statements from Ellora’s Cave (link to one), I noticed that the statement contained the following columns:

  1. ISBN
  2. Book Name
  3. Book type (e.g., ebook or paper)
  4. Store (e.g., Amazon UK)
  5. Per Unit (which I interpret to mean the amount received from EC from that vendor for that line item per copy sold)
  6. Quantity Sold
  7. Total Received (5 times 6)
  8. Royalty % (which is not shown as a percentage)
  9. Royalty paid (7 times 8)

That’s missing a very important column to be able to audit the royalties received. I happened to mention this to someone last night and, well, mind blown.
Sale Price at the vendor in question.
Sorry I didn’t think to post about it earlier. I’m one of those people who notices holes in things, and I kinda forget that other people don’t always.
Here’s one of my royalty statements.
Note the second column: Price, meaning the suggested retail price for a book, or the price at a given vendor.
That’s absent from Ellora’s Cave’s statements.
So, what you can’t see on EC’s statements are what the spread between price (for a given vendor) and “per unit” are. Meaning: how much, as a percentage of the price, is Ellora’s Cave actually receiving? (Or claiming to receive?)

  1. Is that spread in line with industry norms?
  2. Is that spread consistent from month to month?
  3. Has the price changed over time?
  4. If so, has the spread followed those price changes?

Without the price information, you just can’t determine that.
Ellora’s Cave apparently figures that that’s none of its authors’ business, and they should not worry their collective pretty little heads over it. Personally, I disagree.

Then There Are Worldwide Pricing Issues…

I’ve previously mentioned EC’s distribution issues, but that also feeds into the point about price, as each market may or may not have a different price for an Ellora’s Cave title. On top of that, I only looked at US markets in that post; there are many, many more.

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