. . . FIRST PARTY. How to tell the difference and why it matters to authors and illustrators.
Books that are sold through Amazon and other online retailers through third-parties are done so with NO BENEFIT to the creators of those titles. On a typical book, the author and illustrator split 10% of the retail price–5% to the author and 5% to the illustrator. When a book is purchased through a third-party–sometimes advertised as “used” or “almost new”–the share going to the book’s creator(s) is 0%. To put it another way, on a $15.00 book, the author and illustrator each will receive 75-cents, BUT ONLY IF IT’S A FIRST-PARTY PURCHASE. How can the consumer tell the difference? Here’s an example from Amazon.com. Just above the “Add to Cart” button, you will see the following: “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.” This indicates it is a first-party sale and will benefit the creators of the title. On the other hand, you may see the following: Sold by (any name other than the Amazon). This indicates the sale will not benefit the book’s creators. The exception to this is if the author or illustrator has set up his/her own online outlet, in which case, they usually make it obvious that the merchandise is theirs and original to them.
Admittedly, when doing research for my historical nonfiction titles, I sometimes have to resort to purchasing from third-party sources because the materials I’m seeking are so old that there aren’t first-party sources available. But if your intent is to buy a wonderful gift and also benefit its creators, then please make certain you are purchasing from a first-party retailer.