Sunday, April 11, 2010

Be An Informed Consumer

Let me start by saying, If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is.”

Now let me explain my statement. I can’t tell you how many authors I have talked to and work with that published their book with one of the online publishers that offer services for a minimal fee. What a great deal! NO! Many of these publishers rely on the first time author to keep them in business. In most cases the author ends up with a book that is not accepted in the marketplace.

Bookstores typically don’t work with Print On Demand Companies (POD). More often than not the book is also missing valuable information that should be included.

Once you get past that there is the issue with the book price. That is the amount the author must pay to have each book printed. I have seen case after case where the author loses money by selling books. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

This is one of the areas that the online publisher makes their money. They have the author charge an unreasonable amount for the book, and then charge half of the retail for each book printed. We won’t even talk about the shipping.

So now the author’s publicist has scheduled a book signing at an independent bookstore where the author can bring their books. Let’s say for arguments sake the book retails for $20 which is overpriced for the marketplace. The author paid $10 for the book plus shipping. Let’s assume shipping is $3 per book. So the author has $13 invested in each book which means for every book that sells the author makes $7, right? NO!

The bookstore expects their cut which typically is 40% of the retail. So now we take $8 and give that to the bookstore which leaves us with $12. Remember the author has $13 into each book which means for every book sold the author must pay $1. I’m no math expert but I don’t think this is how it should work. We won’t even talk about the time, gas, marketing tools etc…

How do you get around this? Be an informed consumer and remember, “If It Sounds To Good To Be True, It Probably Is!"


Progressive Book Marketing, LLC

Don’t forget you can request my monthly newsletter filled with marketing tips. When you request my newsletter you get put in a drawing for free books.

Follow me on the following social networks.


Smoky Trudeau, Author said...

I think it is important to distinguish between vanity presses and legitimate independent presses that happen to use POD technology. You are correct in saying bookstores won't work w/vanity presses, but most bookstores are happy to carry independent titles, regardless of whether they use POD technology or do a large print run. Many, many indies use POD--they simply could not stay in business otherwise. To assume a publisher is predatory and not legitimate based on how they print their books is a big mistake. What gets books prominent placement in the big bookstore chains is money: the major publishers pay for placement. Indies cannot do that. Yet, the majority of books published now adays are published by the indies.

EA said...

I like the premise of your blog. It is important to educate ourselves with the publishers that are out there, and the services they make available to us. Education is the first step to good publishing and good marketing.

blueicegal said...

great advice! btw im now a follower keep it up :)

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I'm a follower,

Bill ;-)

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

Denise said...

When I say that many bookstores don't want to work with POD's. The large box stores have to order through B&T or Ingram. If they try to order POD books 9 out of 10 times the book is unavailable and takes months to get to the bookstore once ordered. Independent bookstores on the other hand are more flexible. The author can bring the books along. I am a big fan of authors publishing and printing on their own and I understand they can't do large runs. I am talking about those publishing companies that claim that it costs nothing to get your book published so the first time author thinks this is great only to find out that they suggested that the author overprice the book so that the publisher makes more money every time the author prints. I am also all for everyone making money but to prey on people that are not aware... I am not a fan. And as for big bookstore chains. I don't believe bigger is better. I would much rather have my books in an independent bookstore where they not only read but will hand sell books. Thanks so much for your post. I appreciate your thoughts.

amber polo said...

The same is true for small bookstores. They want at least 30% to advertise your signing, host the event, and stay in business.
New authors need to learn to do the math.
I had two bookstores agree to place stickers over the barcode with a higher price to I would not lose money on every copy.

Tami said...

Great tips!

following you from Blogging Books from Book Blogs! :)


Denise said...

You are right! It's even harder for the independents to stay in business. It was great they were willing to do that for you. I love independents! They READ which is important in the book selling business. Stay the course. We do this because we love books! I am doing blog tours for clients and that is working out great! Meeting wonderful readers!