I want to write and publish an ebook, but I am restricted to earning a set amount of income per month from all my income earning efforts. Is there a way to cap the passive income from an ebook on a monthly basis if that gets too high certain months? Essentially, I would be given the option by a publisher to monitor my earnings and modulate my income accordingly. Example:

I can earn $100 a month.
Ebook A earns $50 in January
Ebook B earns $75 in January
I can decide to limit the income from Ebook B to $50 that particular month.

I feel sure you could LEGALLY, it's just a matter of contract, but I doubt any publisher would want to fool with such a complicated setup. I might be wrong though. Possibly you might find one who'd be willing to do a contract where, if your total royalties from them exceed some fixed cap (it would need to stay fixed - asking to let you change the cap monthly is unreasonable) the excess would go into promotion, might be doable. Alternately, you could simply spend that amount directly promoting your books yourself, and not bother the publisher. Then it would be a deductible business expense I'd assume and so wouldn't be "income". That is probably the simplest thing.

The ebook distributor won't do that. Make arrangements for another person to receive your royalties and disburse them to meet your needs.

  • That really depends on the legal reason fit the limit on income. It could be seen as an attempt to defraud. – Mark Jul 14 at 8:19

Answering adequately your question would at least require an understanding of the reasons for the limitation you seek. If the limitation has a legal origin, some solutions may not be legally acceptable, while they would be if it is simply a decision based on some metaphysical belief or choice of yours.

The book distributor (publisher or reseller) is unlikely to accept a complicated scheme, for practical implementation reasons, and because costomers might react negatively to unpredictable availability ... though they apparently tolerate a lot of aggravation.

One thing your distributor might accept is to keep for himself whatever income is in excess of your set limit.

Another possibility is to set up a small company that manages your books, and deals with the publisher or the retailers. For exemple, you could decide to be your own publisher. Some indie authors do that, I believe. Then your company can make arbitrary profit, but you, as its manager, will decide each month how much you deserve. But I would do some checking to make sure that such a setup is legal wherever you live.

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