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Print Sales

Crumbly Writer

Trying once again to get local bookstores to carry my books, only to discover they're so anti-Amazon, that they won't purchase books directly from Indie Authors, I'm once again looking at my print distributors.

I prefer the job which Createspace does, but I'm taking a second look at the others. I've worked with lulu.com in the past, and while the quality of their books is better than CS, the price difference offsets the difference in quality.

Has anyone tried D2D, or any other alternatives.

Finally, what does everyone charge for their books? Since my books vary widely in size, I adopted a standard $7.99 price for all of my books, yet that hasn't made a difference in sales (i.e. they still don't sell!). However, every time I offer them at a local charity auction, they always sell for $20 or more. Which leads me to think I'm underselling my books.

The rational for selling low is that it makes them more competitive, but if they're (the print books) not selling at all (other than those I sell in face-to-face encounters), then that rational falls apart. In short, are my low prices driving readers away, rather than attracting them?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Crumbly Writer

Just checked D2D. While they do support print documents, they do it by submitting it to CreateSpace as their own book (i.e. the book gets distributed as a "D2D" book). Since I purchase my own ISBNs, I'd rather they list me as the book's publisher, and since they're using CS, publishing through them won't buy me diddly! So that makes the choice either CS or Lulu.

By the way, my sister just got her royalty payments. After spending thousands to get it published, she earned all of 37 cents! I warned her, but she wouldn't listen. (hee-hee)

My brother, who went through a traditional publisher who did a beautiful job on his book, has done better, but only because he's sold hundreds of books himself (he buys them 200 at a time, only restocking when he's sold out). However, for each $20 book, he only earns 25 cents. 50 if he sells it himself. He's framed his last royalty check (all of $1.00 USD), to remind himself not to expect much in the future. By the way, he's also legally obligated to supply them with another two books.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

Also tried Gorham printing. If I only print 100 copies at a shot, it comes to $2.93 a copy, which is a little less than 40 cents more than CS charges with no upfront charges and no minimum orders (my next book is REALLY short!). Gorham wasn't really an option I was considering, as there's no way the few local bookshops will ever sell that many (since my books don't feature local themes).

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

After spending thousands to get it published, she earned all of 37 cents!


Was it a Vanity Publisher?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Was it a Vanity Publisher?

They never call themselves Vanity presses, but yeah. She decided she'd rather have someone do a "professional" job formatting and designing the cover, so figured it was worth it paying for the service. It does look good, but there's no way to recoup the price, especially when she gives many of them away for free during conferences.

Crumbly Writer

I've decided that maintaining a low price on print books, when they don't boost sales, is stupid. Thus I'm going to increase the price of my print books from $7.99 to $14.99. That price is much lower than the inferior quality mass-market books by the traditional publishers, but makes the book more profitable and also, more attractive to local bookstores (who stand to make a larger profit on them).

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