THE TRUTH about publishing (well, pretty much anyway) is that it is the writer that gets screwed, not Barnes & Noble or the Publisher. As the author of the article below writes, it is the only business model that allows the buyer (bookstores) to return merchandise (unsold books) for a full refund. Royalties (the percentage of each book sold that will be paid to the writer after any money paid as an advance against sales has been earned out. In other words, if the writer is paid a $1,000 advance, the title must sell more than $1,000 before the author will receive any more money–and then accounts are rendered usually only once or twice a year. There are things that you, as a reader, can do to help support your favorite authors. Read https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/the-ugly-truth-of-publishing-how-best-to-support-writers/ to find out more.