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dasein
12-05-2014, 10:33 PM
I've done some searching and can't find this answer, so here goes.

Feel free to direct me elsewhere if necessary.

I am trying to configure a plan for selling print books. I have researched many options, and here is what I would like to do:

1. Print through Lightning Source (or perhaps IngramSpark, though I have Layout/Design experience)
2. Ingram adds to distribution catalog (I already have at least one indie book seller wanting to stock)
3. Order batches and sell direct through my website

All of the above seems very clean. Here is my big question:
4. I want to sell direct through Amazon and fulfill myself via my indie-press (list myself, sell myself, ship myself)

Can I do this last one? If Ingram does in fact sell print through Amazon, can I shut this off and have my Press be the seller via Amazon?

I hope this makes sense.

D.

WriterBN
12-05-2014, 11:57 PM
For #3 and #4, the question to ask yourself is: Why?

Save yourself the headache and let Amazon do the work.

dasein
12-06-2014, 06:17 AM
For #3 and #4, the question to ask yourself is: Why?

Save yourself the headache and let Amazon do the work.

I'm still interested in my original query, but WriterBN's question is a good one, "Why bother?"

I realize that for many it doesn't matter much if your units per year through Amazon is low OR if your time is worth more than the difference (i.e. for an indie author who's time is better spent getting the next novel out instead of packing, shipping, accounting, etc.).

However, I am interested in developing an indie press with several holdings in the catalog. As numbers grow, it makes a big difference.

I am utilizing off of CS and LSI's websites for the following figures. I think this is correct. I understand that there are also set up costs that must be considered.

I'm going to work this out below. Please don't read any of this as snarky, because, again, I think WriterBN's question is important--and I am wrestling with it.

(All examples will be using: 200 page non-fiction book list price $16)

Start to Finish through Create Space:

Standard Distribution: 40% $6.40
Fixed Charge: $.85
Page charge (@ $.012): $2.40

Total: $9.65
Royalty: $6.35

Printing through Lightning Source (virtually the same format):
Price per book: $2.34
Shipping per: $.15
Tax per: $.15
Total: $2.60

Sell LSI Printed Book on Amazon (not distributed through Ingram):
Production cost (above): $2.60
Amazon Referral Fee: 15%= $2.40
Closing Fee: $1.35
Total Cost: $6.35 per Unit
Revenue: $9.65

Difference: $3.30 per unit

Traffic driven through our networks, platform, events, and possible contracts (working in the edu sector primarily) to buy direct from the press:

Price: $16, (buyer pays shipping)
Cost: $2.60
Merchant per order: $.30 (worst case scenario, selling single book via credit card)
Merchant percentage: $.29

Revenue: $12.81 ($6.46 more than Create Space)

And yes, a lot more work. That ain't free. I get that. But if this is a start-up business; that is what we are signing up for. This is different than an indie author who discerns her time is better spent writing more.

Some other costs that are difficult to work into scenarios: web costs (which we would have in any scenario), etc.

Assuming this is a start up that assumes time spent on being a press, push back on this.

And if anyone knows the answer to my the question I had asked in the original post, that would be great.

D.

knight_tour
12-06-2014, 11:24 AM
What bothers me about Amazon is that they take the 55% discount from Ingram and don't give much of it back to the buyer. My book was listed at full price for a bit on Amazon, meaning Amazon was taking the full 55% discount for their profit. I you could list yourself as the seller on Amazon, you could vastly undercut their price, since you'd have the 55% discount to play with (though I see you may have chosen the lower discount, which retail booksellers normally won't touch). At the very least that may force Amazon to match your discount and sell your book for a lower cost.

dasein
12-06-2014, 07:07 PM
What bothers me about Amazon is that they take the 55% discount from Ingram and don't give much of it back to the buyer. My book was listed at full price for a bit on Amazon, meaning Amazon was taking the full 55% discount for their profit. I you could list yourself as the seller on Amazon, you could vastly undercut their price, since you'd have the 55% discount to play with (though I see you may have chosen the lower discount, which retail booksellers normally won't touch). At the very least that may force Amazon to match your discount and sell your book for a lower cost.

I didn't include the Ingram distribution discount. I would likely go with the standard 55%.

Interesting idea on discounting lower than Amazon.

knight_tour
12-06-2014, 10:35 PM
I didn't include the Ingram distribution discount. I would likely go with the standard 55%.

Interesting idea on discounting lower than Amazon.

Yes, for this reason (Amazon matching the lowest price) I think it would be difficult to really sell many copies there as an alternate vendor. However for those like me who wish Amazon would have a lower price on our books, it's something to think about.

WriterBN
12-07-2014, 11:51 PM
Dasein, your idea makes more sense now that you mentioned setting up a small press. It's not gong to be easy, but you won't know until you try.

To answer your original question, AFAIK all you need to do is set up a seller account with Amazon. I'm not sure what the requirements are, but they have a pretty comprehensive guide on their site.

dasein
12-08-2014, 04:35 AM
Dasein, your idea makes more sense now that you mentioned setting up a small press. It's not gong to be easy, but you won't know until you try.

To answer your original question, AFAIK all you need to do is set up a seller account with Amazon. I'm not sure what the requirements are, but they have a pretty comprehensive guide on their site.

Thanks. And at the end of it all, I might just realize it wasn't worth the trouble!

dasein
12-08-2014, 09:41 AM
Perhaps the way around this is to print through LSI, don't sign up for extended distro, and then be the Amazon seller for print and have them handle the e-books. This way I could make contact with indie book sellers and give them a higher discount and drop ship to them.

This would keep us out of the catalog of Ingram, but the niche is tight and I wonder if extended distribution would be much of a help. Still thinking about this...

I'll keep ya'll posted.