Last updated on 2nd Aug. 2019
I was pleasantly surprised to be informed by Notion Press over email, of the first sale of my paperback book, "Autobiography of an Indian Software Techie and Spiritual Aspirant – Part 1" on amazon.in (https://www.amazon.in/Autobiography-Indian-Software-Spiritual-Aspirant/dp/1645874087). The purchase happened towards the end of this month (July 2019).
I did not buy the copy on amazon.in, and so it is somebody else who made the purchase. Whoever it is, I hope he or she will find it worth the money they have spent on it. Further, I do hope that they do not mind the somewhat hurried writing approach I have used in the book, due to lack of time as there are many other things on my plate now. I simply do not have the luxury of time now to step back and write in a calm and peaceful way, pondering over what would be the most appropriate words and phrases, and pondering over the flow and other presentation aspects of the book.
Now this book is put up on amazon.in by Notion Press. Even for the minimum price of Rs.285, Notion Press provides me author earning of Rs.21.33 for sales on amazon.in and flipkart.com, and author earning of Rs.81.18 for sales on Notion Press's own web store. Notion Press does not seem to have a way of not having any author earning at all! I have to go by their model if I want to get my books published through them.
So for this book sale on amazon.in, Rs.21.33 has been credited to my Author earnings total on Notion Press (they pay it after author earning crosses some figure - Rs.500, if I recall correctly).
It is my responsibility to handle this Rs.21.33 and any other author earning for purchases made by others, in a Not-For-Profit way that is transparent to interested readers or members of the public. I will adjust it against the expenses I have incurred for self-publishing this book, and for the purchases of the book I have made myself which I have provided free-of-charge to a few people.
So far, I have purchased the following number of copies of this book, self-published using Notion Press:
1) 2 copies (one copy of earlier publication attempt and one copy of current publication) from Notion Press website paying: Rs.285 + Rs.50 (shipping) for each copy. Total payment for 2 copies: Rs.670. On this I have got author earning credit (not paid yet) of Rs. 81.18 each, with total credit of 162.36. [So effective cost of these 2 copies will be: 670 - 162.36 = 507.64.]
2) 12 copies at special discounted price known as author price (minimum order qty is 12 copies) of Rs. 170.44 (shipping seems to be free). Total price paid: Rs.2045.28.
Total money spent by me on copies of this part autobio book: Rs.670 + Rs.2045.28 = Rs.2715.28
Total author earning for this part autobio book (yet to be paid to me): Rs.162.36 + Rs.21.33 = Rs.183.69
So, very clearly, as of now, I do not make any profit on this book.
Later I will create a regular public blog page to record such expenses and author earnings for my books. As this was my first author earning credit (not yet paid to me) for purchases made by others, I thought it appropriate to put up this post.
Note that my Pothi.com paperback book sales, as of now, do not result in any author earning. They have a different model where, if one sells only on their web store and not on amazon.in & flipkart.com, the minimum price chosen results in zero author earning (for Pothi.com web store sales), and which is what I have currently chosen on Pothi.com for my books. Note that I recently withdrew my "Who am I? I am I ..." Pothi.com book (https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ravi-s-iyer-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science), from amazon.in and flipkart.com, to reduce the book price to Rs.159 (minimum price) from the earlier price of Rs.199 (minimum price when additionally sold on amazon.in & flipkart.com, with zero author earning for amazon.in & flipkart.com sales, but some author earning for Pothi.com web store sales).
2nd Aug. 2019 update: I got a message from an old software industry ex colleague that he was the person who had bought my (paperback) book. I thanked him for "being the first customer who purchased my part autobio book" and hoped that the book does not disappoint him. Note that there are no other additional purchases of my book by others, so far. So it is confirmed that he is the first customer of my part autobio book!