5 Most Common Questions This Author Gets From Readers About Being An Author ~ Occasional FAQ

Well hello there, Gentle Reader.

I get a great many questions from readers about being an author. Many I could probably have guessed at and a few surprise me. Here’s a selection of some of the most common things I’m asked (online and in person) specifically about the author business side of things.

Part of Miss Gail’s Occasional FAQ series.

1. What edition should I buy that gives the author the most money?

Honestly, the first time someone asked me this I was genuinely flummoxed. Now I realize it comes from a place of patronage, really wanting to support the author.

So thank you for even thinking to ask this question!

For my indie (self-published) projects ~ the publisher will be listed as GAIL CARRIGER LLC

Here it is in order of “the most money comes directly to me” via royalties…

  1. Directly from my website (via the Gumroad interface)
  2. Amazon digital (USA) or Kobo
  3. B&NiTunes digital (USA)
  4. Subscription venues (like Audible)
  5. Libraries (if you requested and they order it because they didn’t have it)
  6. Amazon print
  7. Elsewhere print
  8. Short story reprints (anthologies/audio collections/storybundles)

I genuinely do not know the order of…

  1. Traditionally published (digital/print/foreign editions & translations)
  2. 3rd party indirect sellers (on Amazon & elsewhere like Book Depository)

Yes, I can figure out how much I am theoretically owed via my contracts but with advances, flash sales, discounts, distribution, wholesale deals, subscription models, returns, and licensing fees this is unbelievably difficult to tease out.

I don’t get any $ from…

  1. Used copies
  2. Charity auctions
  3. Charity foreign edition sales
  4. Giveaways

I’m talking purely fiscally here. There is a return on many of these, it just isn’t always in hard cash. Also, this is dependent on my own business model so other authors may vary.

2. Where do you get your ideas?

My arse, if I sit on it long enough.


I pay very close attention to my friends when they’re drunk, but usually inspiration comes to me when I’m contemplating the absurdity of the universe and at the most inconvenient time – like in the shower.

3. Was being an author always a goal for you?

You betcha. Along with sleeping in Pompeii, owning a motorcycle, traveling to Egypt, and eating guinea pig.

Four out of five ain’t bad.

4. What are your least favorite parts to write?

The nookie and the humor. It’s true what they say; it is harder to make people laugh than cry. With the smooching scenes, I keep embarrassing myself.

5. What’s the best thing I can do to help an author?

  1. Buy the book.
  2. Leave a review.
  3. Follow the author in a way that means you’ll know when their next book comes out: Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | Newsletter

Other things are sweet and thoughtful: tribute, fan mail, cosplay, social media interaction, but honestly the absolute nicest thing you can do for any author is leave them a review.

Fan Art Conall by Matt Harrison via Twitter

I have a career because YOU spread the word and shared the love.

For no other reason.


Hey, thanks for that.

Yours forever,

Miss Gail

Love My Books Review Them Gail Carriger

Want more like this?

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July 2017 is The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger.}


The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Gail’s guest blog post for Horn Book Review: Fashion-Forward Vampires and the Power of Humor in Genre Fiction

Book News:

Parasol Protectorate in Thailand (thanks Pete)

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

Posted by Gail Carriger

5 Responses

  1. Malena said:

    I went for option 5 with both Poison or Protect and Romancing the Inventor, as I came across both of them in my local SFF bookshop. Also, I prefer to read on paper and the locality I’m speaking of is located in… southern Scandinavia. On that note, I hope I’ll be able to see you in Denmark in October. Will try to convert people for you; bought Soulless in translation for that very purpose.

  2. Laurie A. Green said:

    What is it about showers? *eye roll* My muse also seems to delight in hitting me with some of the best possible ideas at the worst possible time.

    Loved the list and your responses. Thanks to Lea for posting the link.

  3. Richard Dengrove said:

    You’re great when you combine the nookie and the humor scenes. I really laughed like hell at your scene where Alexia has, at least foreplay, with Lord Maccon. However, she is thinking of anything but the action in bed.

    On the other hand, couldn’t you do something with Victorian flirting? I gather there was a lot of that, at least in Victorian literature.

© 2022 Gail Carriger
Site built by Todd Jackson