Posted by: nancyisanders | December 13, 2010

Marketing: Speaker Tables

We’ve been talking the past two weeks about connecting with speakers to carry YOUR book at THEIR speaker table.

I’ve discussed how many of my children’s books earn me about 35 cents royalty per book on sales that the publisher makes.

We also discussed how a speaker can order your books from the publisher to sell at their speaker’s table. This can be a great opportunity to sell batches of your books. Small speakers order small batches. Larger speakers can order larger batches. A friend of mine recently shared that a fairly well-known speaker ordered 200 of her books to sell alongside his own. That’s a nice bulk sale!

Another option some writers do is they order the books themselves and then resell them to speakers directly.

Let’s talk math, again.

Here’s how that can work.

Once again, say that you book sells for $10.

You purchase the book with your 40% author discount. That’s $6 per book. They add on shipping and tax and you pay $7 per book when you orders yours from the publisher.

Then, you sell it to a speaker for $8 per book. You just made $1 profit per book. Compared to your 35 cents royalty, that’s quite a jump.

The speaker still sells the book for $2 profit and is happy.

This is why it’s important to calculate your different options. Determine which type of profit you want to make compared to the time you want to invest.

It might not be worth your time and hassle to be the middleman. You might not want to handle the shipping and the extra taxes or resale license it involves if you resell your book.

Instead, you might want the speaker to just deal directly with the publisher and you get your royalty checks in the mail.

There is no right and wrong for this. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Some of my writer friends also manage a small business and already have a resale license and prefer to be the middleman. Personally, I’d rather the publisher deal with all the shipping, handling, and taxes from their end. I’m fine with a lower profit per book because I’d rather the publisher do that legwork.

The key is to explore what’s in your comfort zone and move forward from there.


  1. Interesting. Thanks, Nancy.


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