Price Check in the Book Aisle

One of the issues with fee-based publishing/POD companies (like Lulu or iUniverse) is often cost per copy. If you plan to sell your book, there is obviously an accepted price range for each genre. Generally hardcover will garner more than softcover/paperback, small paperback romances are sometimes expected to be even less.

This means your book must be produced at a cost that allows you, the printer and the seller to make money. For example:

Cost to print and ship a book from the printer to a retailer is $3.50. The cover price is $15.00. The retailer will want 40-50% discount to buy it so they can sell at cover price. At 50% that means $15.00-7.50 (discount) = $7.50-$3.55 (production) = $3.95 profit. If there is a publisher involved, they get most of that, the author would get around a dollar give take. If no publisher, the $3.95 goes to the author. If the author sells direct without a retailer, he would also make the other $7.50.

Of course, the lower the production cost, the better that last number turns out and there's the problem. Some of the POD/self-publishing companies have per unit costs of 5, 6,7 or 10 per book for paperback. Angela Hoy has also started receiving information that some have begun to raise prices. You can follow along here if you wish http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/005038_11192008.html

The big lesson here is that if you feel fee-based/POD is right for you, you absolutely must have a handle on what your printing costs will be. If you don't, it is almost guaranteed you will make little or nothing when you go to market and I doubt that is on your goals list.

Good Writing & God Bless,

Cheryl Pickett

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