Sator's ecological costs:
Sator Press titles feature paper stock composed of ≥30% recycled post-consumer waste. I'm light on packaging. And other than charging my laptop, I've got no overhead.
The manufacturers that have printed Sator titles do so under well-documented environmental standards; two of the companies that have printed Sator titles are employee-owned. Sator titles are manufactured in the United States of America.
When you buy a Sator book directly from sator.press:
Sator authors are paid an $1000 advance. Once the advance and the printing costs of the book ($1000-$4500) have been recouped, Sator pays authors royalties between 60% and 75% of gross profit from each paperback copy sold, and 80% of gross profit from each ebook copy sold.
For example: When you buy Confessions from a Dark Wood from sator.press, I walk to the post office and mail you that book. The money Sator receives goes towards current Sator authors and future Sator authors. I draw no salary from Sator Press. The only other stuff that Sator pays for: website hosting, shipping supplies, occasional web design, yearly nonprofit paperwork, and taxes.
I love everything about selling books directly to readers. Sator Press makes the most money this way; Sator authors make the most money this way; new Sator titles are funded with this money.
When you buy a Sator book from Amazon:
Amazon occasionally orders copies of Sator books, and pays Sator 45% of each book's listed price. Amazon does not pay Sator to ship these books to their warehouses. For example: when you buy Confessions from a Dark Wood from Amazon, Sator is paid $6.75, less the amount of money it cost to mail said copy to Amazon.
Amazon pays a 35%-70% royalty to Sator for each ebook copy sold. The Kindle version of Confessions from a Dark Wood costs $2.99, so Amazon pays Sator between $1.05 and $2.05 for each ebook copy sold.
I don't mind selling books via Amazon. Sator turns a tiny profit from each book sold, but buying a book from Amazon is also incredibly easy, reliable, and efficient. Amazon gets more people reading Sator titles, and that makes me happy. Do I wish their cut wasn't so high? Sure.
When you buy a Sator book from an independent bookstore:
Most bookstores pay Sator 60% of each book's listed price. Some bookstores also stock Sator Press titles on consignment, meaning that they don't pay Sator until someone buys a Sator title from their store. The percentage paid is often similar to the 60/40 retail split.
Getting bookstores to pay on time is difficult. Contacting book buyers can be difficult, too. That said, the thrill that I receive from the fact that patrons accidentally discover, buy, and then read Sator titles in their favorite local bookstores is worth the hassle.
When you publish a book with Sator:
I'll pay you a $1000 advance, print at least 200 copies of your book (I've never printed more than 1000 copies of a Sator title at a time), and make them easy to find and buy online. Hopefully, SPD makes them easy to find and buy from bookstores. If your Sator title recoups its costs, then I offer a royalty between 60% and 75% on paperback copies sold after that (and 80% on digital copies sold).
I involve authors in every decision about the production of their book, and spend between 20 and 100 hours editing a manuscript accepted for publication. I design Sator book covers myself, and I try to design the precise book cover and interior layout that an author desires. This process involves exchanging hundreds (if not thousands) of emails with authors during the production of their work. I also try to get blurbs from people whom my authors respect.
Upon publication, I send authors 20 copies of the work at no charge, and make copies available to them at cost after that. Once the book has been published, I don't spend that much effort in trying to get the work reviewed; book reviews except those in the New York Times and similarly large and gross rags fail to lead to sales. I promote newly published books via email and social media. And whenever possible, I try to take my authors out to really nice dinners.
The bestselling Sator title has sold about 1000 copies.