Lulu.com Is It Right for Your Book? Part 4

Today we'll pick up where we left off and talk more about Costs & Book Production.
In part 3, I touched on the fact that there is a difference in price depending on the paper you choose; I want to emphasize how important it is that you look at all aspects within your business that are affected by this number. This is a must unless you are only planning to give your books to friends and family, then these numbers are obviously not as big a deal. For the rest of you who intend to make money with your book, let's go through some concrete examples of what I'm talking about.

Start Here
Let's say you have a 200 page, paperback book which is common in both fiction and non-fiction. Choose "6x9, black & white interior and perfect bound (which means glued edges not staples). Let's also figure your cover price is an average $16.00

Crunching the Numbers
If you use the default paper choice "standard" your cost for one book is $8.50, bump it to 10 copies and you save a buck per copy. If you want to fulfill your orders yourself here's how it might look. Sell on your website or in person for $16- $7.50 (production cost) - (credit card processing fees/shipping) = around $7.00 left over.

Now let's say you are going to have Lulu fulfill orders as they come in from Amazon, B & N.com or other retailers. Same $16.00 - $8.00 (typical wholesale discount of 50%) - $5.50 (slightly lowered production cost) -$1.00 Lulu's cut = about $1.50 left over.

Want to make more money? You'd have to set the retail price higher, and possibly price yourself out of the range your customer expects to pay. The other option is to choose "Publisher Grade" paper. This saves you $3.00 per book in the first calculation above. This also puts your per book price in the range of that of other print options. I'm not sure about savings in the retail example though because Lulu's current retail pricing examples only include standard paper from what I can find.

Why Is All of This Important?
Hopefully, you are now starting to see that whether to use Lulu or not is not as simple a decision as it might appear at the outset. I've touched on just a few of the aspects that can make a significant difference in many aspects of your business as an author. The key to making sure you make a solid choice is taking the time to understand how things work and then how those things apply to what you're trying to accomplish.

Still have questions? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me for one-on-one help.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett

P.S. Still working on getting in touch with someone from Lulu. If I'm successful and get some clarifications, I will certainly share them with you.

No comments: