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knight_tour
11-18-2009, 01:00 PM
How do you make Self-Publishing cost effective, or is that simply not possible? I haven't tried self-publishing yet, but it is something I am considering. However, when I bought a couple of copies of my book from lulu.com (just for allowing me to edit easier) the price was not bad except once I factored in the cost of shipping. I can imagine people being willing to buy my book for $9 or $10 (it cost me a little under $8), but I don't think they will pay this and also the shipping charges. I just wondered what others have done about this. I could imagine trying self-publishing if I can get the total cost to the readers down below $10.

zpeteman
11-18-2009, 07:51 PM
Why do you want to sell it so cheap? Don't undervalue your work. A trade paperback book typically costs $13-$20. In my opinion, if you sell your own book for much less than that, consumers automatically assume that it's worth less as well.

The answer to your question, though, is that Print on Demand publishing is rarely cost effective. You sacrifice quality and cost effectiveness for convenience and minimized risk.

If cost effectiveness is your prime concern then you might want to look into doing an off-set print run. It involves a greater investment of research and work on your part, but you shouldn't have to pay more than $2-3 per book when printing 1000+. That means that you have to sell far fewer books to break even but the initial financial outlay is huge and you better be darn sure you can sell that many books or you're stuck with them.

ResearchGuy
11-18-2009, 09:43 PM
How do you make Self-Publishing cost effective, or is that simply not possible? . . .
If you have not studied Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual (latest edition), let me recommend that you do so.

Also, you might find my booklet on "The Pursuit of Publishing" helpful. See link in signature block, below, for a free PDF.

zpeteman is spot on, by the way, in his comments.

--Ken

knight_tour
11-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Why do you want to sell it so cheap? Don't undervalue your work. A trade paperback book typically costs $13-$20.

Hmm, I guess it is because I have had to live overseas for so long that I only buy books from Amazon, and they all seem to be $7.99 or even $6.99 when I buy them. That just got pounded into my mind as the standard cost for paperbacks these days.

I like the idea of doing a run at a cheaper price. If it comes to doing it this way, I will research that option. I have commissioned some artwork for my book, and I know standard publishers don't like authors to provide art, so I may do self-publishing just so I can have the book look the way I want it.

Art Edwards
11-19-2009, 06:47 PM
Knight, providing your own cover art is one of the great benefits of self-publishing.

As far as the price of your work, I'd focus on the other end--keeping your expenses low. That will allow you to sell the book for whatever the market will bear and not feel like you've wasted a great deal of money. I think Lightning Source is the best way to go most of the time, but there are many subsidy publishers out there who are reasonable, too.

ResearchGuy
11-19-2009, 07:11 PM
. . . subsidiary publishers . . ..
Subsidy (meaning paid for services), not subsidiary (meaning part of a larger company).

--Ken

ResearchGuy
11-19-2009, 07:13 PM
. . . $7.99 or even $6.99 when I buy them. That just got pounded into my mind as the standard cost for paperbacks these days.
. . . .
Mass market paperbacks, yes (but up to $9.99 now for a slightly taller format that was apparently created in order to jack up prices). Trade paperbacks are a different animal.

--Ken

knight_tour
11-19-2009, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the responses. I guess I must not have bought trade paperbacks before, or even really know what they are. Yes, I have seen Amazon list the various options, including trade paperbacks, but I always wait for the mass market ones to come out. Weight costs a lot to ship when you move as often as I do, so I go for the lighter, cheaper stuff.

brainstorm77
11-19-2009, 09:16 PM
Trades are slightly more expensive.

brainstorm77
11-19-2009, 09:17 PM
Mass market paperbacks, yes (but up to $9.99 now for a slightly taller format that was apparently created in order to jack up prices). Trade paperbacks are a different animal.

--Ken

I hate the taller ones... What's up with that anyway?

ResearchGuy
11-19-2009, 11:34 PM
Trades are slightly more expensive.
Bigger format, larger print (often printed from the same plates has hardback original), better paper, better binding. Price typically $12.95 - $16.00 (sometimes higher), as opposed to small, pulp paper, mass market paperbacks at a typical $6.99 (but edging up, with more now at $7.99, and a few still at $5.99).

--Ken

ResearchGuy
11-19-2009, 11:37 PM
BTW, I think the issue is more a matter of making self-publishing profitable than it is to make it "cost-effective," the meaning of which is harder to discern. Not easy to make it profitable. Dan Poynter's rule of thumb is that the cost of the books should not exceed one-eighth the list price of the book (to allow for trade discounts, etc.).

--Ken

veinglory
11-19-2009, 11:40 PM
I hate the taller ones... What's up with that anyway?

They are meant to be easier to read for those who won't read large print but probably should....