Publisher Compensation FAQs

How do I calculate the publisher compensation for my book? 

Publisher compensation (pub comp) is calculated by subtracting the print cost from the wholesale cost. This is illustrated below for a book priced at $20 with a wholesale discount set at 55%. 

$20.00 (list price as set by you) 

-$11.00 (55% wholesale discount - this is the price our distribution partners pay us)

- $4.00 (print cost)


$5.00 (publisher compensation for each unit sold)

**NOTE ABOUT WHOLESALE DISCOUNTS: Bookstores do not receive the wholesale discount you offer. Offering a 53% to 55% wholesale discount allows bookstores to receive their normal trade discounts from distributors and wholesalers they buy books from.

You can also use our publisher compensation calculator. 


How long after a book has been purchased does it take to show on the pub comp report? 

Sales are recorded when your books are either shipped from our facility or downloaded and delivered to one of our retail partners. These sales will be reflected on the monthly Publisher Sales Compensation Report in the month when the transaction happened.

Please note that certain purchases will not be reflected in your pub comp report:

  1. Books purchased as ‘used’ or from an Amazon ‘store front,’ for example, would not be shown in your report as a ‘sale’ since the seller is already in possession of a copy of the title, and we would not be printing a book to fulfill the order for that title.
  2. If your title is listed with another printer, books printed through these sources also will not be reflected on our pub comp report.

You may view prior Publisher Sales Compensation Reports by logging into your account.


How do I update the publisher compensation information for my account?

Any changes to publisher compensation should be applied online by the publisher.  See below for instructions. 

Instructions for updating pub comp payment information 

  • Log on to your Lightning Source account 
  • Click the drop-down arrow in the top right-hand corner
  • Select “Publisher Compensation” 
  • Select one currency type. Note, the selected currency will impact all markets (US, UK, and AU).  Please contact the Lightning Source Accounts Payable Department if, for example, payment information for the US market differs from that in the UK.  These changes will be handled internally.
  • Click “Edit” or “Add Compensation Information”
  • Update or add payment information. When entering your bank checking account information, please do not use spaces or dashes when entering account numbers, routing numbers, etc. We cannot deposit compensation earnings into bank savings accounts. 
  • Click “Save”

Payment Options:

  • USD Check – Compensation payments are not deposited until the amount due reaches $100.00. 
  • USD PayPal - No minimum
  • USD ACH direct deposit (must be US-based bank) - No minimum
  • CAD ACH direct deposit (must be Canada-based bank) - Payments are not released until the amount due reaches $25.00.
  • GBP BACS direct deposit (must be UK based bank) - No minimum
  • EUR BACS direct deposit (must be EURZONE based bank) - Payments are not released until the amount due reaches $25.00.
  • AUD BACS direct deposit (must be AU based bank, NO NZL banks) - Payments are not released until the amount due reaches $25.00.
If you would like to change the currency of your compensation payment, for example from GBP to USD, please contact the Lightning Source Accounts Payable Department.

Instructions for Updating Pub Comp Payee Mailing Address

  • Log on to your Lightning Source account
  • Click the drop-down arrow in the top right-hand corner
  • Select “Account Information”
  • Scroll down to Publishers Compensation Mailing Address
  • Click “Edit” to update the address
  • Click “Save”


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