Just a word to the wise poets out there who consider self-publishing:
Your investment will pay for itself much faster and your profit per copy can easily triple if you purchase copies directly through your publishing service-provider or printer and sell them on a personal website (a free blog with contact links works just fine).
On average, publishing through CreateSpace and selling through Amazon (with a black and white interior) gives authors approximately a quarter to a third of the list price. That’s not much, but they’re in business to make money like all businesses, and their services are very handy. Selling through CreateSpace will leave authors with just a bit over half of a title’s list price. If you must have a color interior, your profit will be much lower and the only way to make any money at all, really, is to sell your own copies.
A small book with a black and white interior generally runs between $2-3 per copy plus shipping, whereas a color interior of the same size at the author rate will be around $6 and the list price is mandated to be much higher – so high that a lot of potential buyers will turn away, which is why I encourage people to stick with black and white interiors about 95% of the time.
Also, do NOT allow “bookstores and other online sellers” to list your title or you will soon see at Amazon a junk list of your title with prices ranging from insanely low to insanely high. It’s mildly criminal, considering that sales through these channels usually yield less than $2 profit per sale, so I suspect that people are paid to list books and given a percentage of the “savings” that then belongs to the company in closest contact with the printer rather than being the profit that the author deserves.
So save yourself a bit of headache and be the one in control, and replenish your investment by selling your own or encouraging buyers to buy through the channel that pays you the most, even if it’s not the most popular eStore on the Internet.