Leaving authors out in the cold

Washington, D.C.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an author, it’s that every sale counts. Because when you dedicate 2 years to researching, writing, editing, rewriting, marketing and selling your life’s novel (or, in my case, a college admissions guidebook), you want to make sure that your publisher properly compensates your hard work. (Trust me, it’s not much, or enough.)

That’s why authors tend to decry services like Amazon’s used book offerings. Currently, you can buy Untangling the Ivy League there for $14.77 – which actually isn’t much less than the $16.47 price for a new copy – but no portion of that price goes towards an author royalty. We’re entirely removed from the process and don’t see a penny of the transaction. The same can be said of copies being sold on craigslist (for $10 no less).

So, while I’m flattered that there continues to be a market for the Ivy book — and it’s validating to think all my hard work is still helping college bound students make the right choices — I’d much rather that they (and their parents) purchase the Ivy book through a reseller, or, better yet, through me directly.

Plus, isn’t a signed copy priceless?

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