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Cuneiform
02-19-2015, 03:01 AM
I can't seem to figure out the best approach. Not just Electronic or Print, I'm almost sure just to go with print for a bit. It is the companies... It seems like one has to sign a contract just to see the offer. The 'A Company' has the most exposure and the most rules and gives you 70-80% of unknown numbers. Sure maybe easy, but I wasn't born yesterday, a percentage of unknown amounts means what ever the dealer deals. Alike not knowing how many decks are being used while paying black jack ! And I've been escorted out of casinos for counting cards. How does this all work? I keep searching and can't seem to run across where ya'll are talking about the subject. The electricity from above seems like the best place so far, they have POD world wide so shipping should be almost the same as across the continental USA , no? At least with Little blank blank or the other just mentioned they tell you how much the printing costs are. So if it is $10 a book with shipping and one charges $20 one know one makes $10 per book , right ? Where are these type of conversations going on? Ebooks seem great, but one thing at a time. Tangible means more to my subject matter when the lights go out.

M. H. Lee
02-19-2015, 04:01 AM
Your post is a little confusing to me, but it sounds like you want to know more about self-publishing via print?

Have you explored the Createspace website? www.createspace.com (http://www.createspace.com) I think it is. Once you choose your book size and upload the file you can see what they'll charge you for each book and then what you'll get via each distribution channel. You know this before you ever agree to publish through them.

I think most self-pub conversations you'll find are going to focus on ebooks. Createspace does have a forum associated with it. I haven't checked it out, so can't say what's discussed there, but I found them very easy to use. (I put out six print titles this month for the first time since I started self-publishing in late 2013. I was all e-book before that.)

The Writers' Café at Kboards also has many self-publishers on it if you have specific questions. Many use more than one POD option because of the distribution costs and options.

If you can ask some more specific, targeted questions here I'm sure the members would be happy to provide some advice or discuss their experiences as well.

Polenth
02-19-2015, 04:28 AM
I'm not sure what you're saying either or which companies you're referring to. Unless you're writing books for younger children, chances are you'd sell a decent number of ebooks, so I wouldn't completely dismiss that as an idea. Most self-publishers sell more ebooks than print books.

The profit on POD books is usually very low. Much lower than $10 per book.

J. Tanner
02-19-2015, 04:37 AM
As M.H. Lee mentioned, your post is frustratingly vague in the details.

Why would you pass on what tends to be 90%+ of the market for self-published books?

What companies are you referring to with these odd codenames? (Ingram Spark? Lulu?)

Anyway, I'll cover the broad spectrum of my experience and research:

All the money is in ebooks.

If your subject matter isn't compatible with the ebook format for some reason, you're probably a bit hosed, but start with Print On Demand (POD) because of the expected result that you won't be able to move them and you don't want a garage full of unsold books given the most likely result.

Unless you absolutely require hardback, CreateSpace is the place to start because they are priced within reason per book, have almost no setup fees, have a fairly simple DIY user interface, and have the best access to the largest online bookseller, Amazon.

If you need a hardback, then you'll have to deal with the less optimal platform (in one way or another) of Lulu or Spark. Both of these are reputable companies that offer good quality results for reasonable (but typically more expensive) prices. Even if you want a hardback, it may be optimal to use CreateSpace for the paperback because of the Amazon factor.

And finally, if you have jackpot level results with your POD book, you may want to consider an offset print run which will vastly increase your cut per book. (At the expense of paying up front for the whole run, and setting up a fairly complicated fulfillment agreement with any retailer you want to carry the book and importantly who is willing to carry the book.)

I would not consider any other POD vendor as a starting point other than CreateSpace, Lulu, or Ingram Spark without a ton of careful research and double-checking your findings with experienced people like those in the AW "Bewares" forum. There are a lot of places trying to cash in on the self-publishing boom with substandard services, agreements, and pricing.

Old Hack
02-19-2015, 12:20 PM
I can't seem to figure out the best approach.

There's self publishing, trade publishing, and vanity publishing.

Trade publishing is where a company pays you an advance and royalties on your sales, and publishes your book for you AT NO COST TO YOU. Your publisher edits your book, designs it, gets it into bookshops and online retailers, and markets your book. All at no cost to you. It's called trade publishing because these publishers publish books for the book trade.

Self publishing is where you do all the things a trade publishers would do. You can hire people to do things like edit your book and produce your jacket design, but you control everything, and do everything. It is a lot of work, and many writers find their sales are minimal, although some do well. It's very hard to get self published books into bookshops so most self publishers focus on digital editions.

Vanity publishing is where you pay someone to publish you; these companies make most of their money from the authors they publish rather than from selling books, so this is not often a good way to proceed. It is usually more expensive than self publishing, and it usually results in poor sales.


Not just Electronic or Print, I'm almost sure just to go with print for a bit.


If you're self publishing you'd probably be better off concentrating on electronic, or digital editions first. It's far easier to sell your books this way, usually.


It is the companies... It seems like one has to sign a contract just to see the offer. The 'A Company' has the most exposure and the most rules and gives you 70-80% of unknown numbers.

Most self publishing companies are actually vanity publishers in disguise. Be very careful. Don't sign anything without checking them out here.

If you're looking at any specific companies list their names here, and I'll see if we have any information on them at AbsoluteWrite which might help you.


Sure maybe easy, but I wasn't born yesterday, a percentage of unknown amounts means what ever the dealer deals. Alike not knowing how many decks are being used while paying black jack ! And I've been escorted out of casinos for counting cards. How does this all work?

You're right to be wary.

Trade publishers pay their authors royalties, which are a percentage of the income received from sales. So yep, it's a percentage of an unknown amount. But they pay an advance against those royalties upfront, which is based on the number of copies they think the book will sell, so the author knows the minimum they'll earn.

Self publishers also earn royalties when they list their books for sale on Amazon etc: these are, again, a percentage from each book sold. It's impossible to know how much you'll earn if you take this route: you'll earn a higher percentage per book than you would from a trade publishing deal, but you'll have to do a lot more work to earn it.

Vanity publishers also pay a royalty per sale and again, it's impossible to know how many copies you'll sell so it's impossible to know how much you'll end up making. The problem here is you'll almost certainly have high upfront costs, so you'll almost certainly lose money on the deal.


I keep searching and can't seem to run across where ya'll are talking about the subject.

If you ask a few specific questions I'll tell you which room you're best off going to for answers.

If you want to find out about specific publishers, go to our Bewares, Recommendations and Background Checks room.


The electricity from above seems like the best place so far, they have POD world wide so shipping should be almost the same as across the continental USA , no? At least with Little blank blank or the other just mentioned they tell you how much the printing costs are.

I don't understand what you're asking here, or which companies you're referring to. Please clarify.


So if it is $10 a book with shipping and one charges $20 one know one makes $10 per book , right ?

Wrong.

That's the amount the book costs to print and ship. But you also have to consider how much you've spent on editing, cover design, and so on. Those costs can be considerable. If you only sell a handful of copies, you'll end up losing a lot of money.


Where are these type of conversations going on? Ebooks seem great, but one thing at a time.

Those conversations are going on all over AW. As I said, if you ask clear, specific questions, we can give you a bit of help finding what you want but your prose is rather confusing, so it's difficult to know what you're asking, I'm afraid.


Tangible means more to my subject matter when the lights go out.

I have no idea what you mean by this.

Cuneiform
02-19-2015, 06:02 PM
All that typing for nothing ! Why does this forum keep logging me off all the time .

Maryn
02-19-2015, 06:13 PM
[As an aside to the thread's main focus, the solution to being logged off involuntarily usually consists of two prongs. One, log out, then with your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) still open, delete cookies. Make sure you have your user names and passwords for AW and other sites noted somewhere, because you will need to log in at each one, since they'll all be gone. Next, clear the cache. (If you're unsure how to delete cookies or clear the cache, your browser's question mark or Help icon can show you.) Close the browser. Now open the browser again. Come to AbsoluteWrite. Log in and check "Remember Me" in the log in box. This usually clears up unwanted log-outs.]

Polenth
02-20-2015, 03:08 AM
Also you can type your posts in Notepad (or similar) and copy/paste them over. That way if your internet goes down or whatever else, you still have the copy.

However, I think in this case you don't need a lot of typing. Just state plainly and simply what it is you're trying to achieve, and what you need help with. Extra frills and information often make it harder to see what's being asked, rather than easier.

Cuneiform
02-20-2015, 07:56 PM
Yes, Short and sweet. OK, 'A' would be Amazon, remember Little Lu Lu comics? (I could have sworn there was a LuLu books back in the 60's), and Lightning Source. Sure seems like you have to sign up and download and just see what is handed out. I can't seem to find anywhere where the rules are laid out, that being all the percentages explained without hidden numbers of what printing cost or what ever. Seems disingenuous and some gag order between competitors so the customer is blindly choosing a company. I'm curious how they all work together. If ya'll say so, ok I'll go the ebook way also, was just saying cause my book is about the sky falling my credibility technically suffers cause your little tables aren't going last long to teach what just happened. I suppose I'm not gonna get the answer I want , so, how about who gives the best cut and distribution say just for predominantly English speaking countries ? As far as I can tell Lightning Source will print it for less, but then all goes quiet. Can one use them all? Sorry for being vague I use to work for one of the three branches of government where the gavel falls and am just a bit paranoid cause I know how it works in the courtroom. I would think the internet would be full of threads on this subject. Also, does the Ebook technology safe guard against sharing like music is done?

veinglory
02-20-2015, 08:00 PM
All the information on Amazon Kindle and Createspace is easily accessible online.

I would suggest starting there. It is easiest if you have an Amazon account so you can ask specific questions on the forum there.

I would suggest starting with Kindle, it is an easier set up process and tends to sell better with a higher profit margin.

Old Hack
02-20-2015, 08:39 PM
Yes, Short and sweet. OK, 'A' would be Amazon, remember Little Lu Lu comics? (I could have sworn there was a LuLu books back in the 60's), and Lightning Source. Sure seems like you have to sign up and download and just see what is handed out. I can't seem to find anywhere where the rules are laid out, that being all the percentages explained without hidden numbers of what printing cost or what ever. Seems disingenuous and some gag order between competitors so the customer is blindly choosing a company. I'm curious how they all work together. If ya'll say so, ok I'll go the ebook way also, was just saying cause my book is about the sky falling my credibility technically suffers cause your little tables aren't going last long to teach what just happened. I suppose I'm not gonna get the answer I want , so, how about who gives the best cut and distribution say just for predominantly English speaking countries ? As far as I can tell Lightning Source will print it for less, but then all goes quiet. Can one use them all? Sorry for being vague I use to work for one of the three branches of government where the gavel falls and am just a bit paranoid cause I know how it works in the courtroom. I would think the internet would be full of threads on this subject. Also, does the Ebook technology safe guard against sharing like music is done?

It's not being vague which is making it difficult for us to answer your questions: it's the lack of clarity in your posts.

If you can resolve that, you'll almost certainly get the answers you need.

Cuneiform
02-20-2015, 10:09 PM
This is the type of information I'm looking for.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v9Hu2Yv8N0
Lots of it. So, Amazon does their own POD, but what are the costs? and the relation to the Royalty? Is it the consciences that Amazon is king and go to another company is just adding onto the costs or subtracting your royalty ? There must be war stories on here. That's what I'm looking for, the threads already out there. You know, I went with them first and found out I chose the wrong blah blah.

Bolero
02-21-2015, 12:17 AM
Seriously. Go to Create Space. I played on their page a while back and there is a tool for calculating what you are asking. You put in number of pages, format etc and it calculated for me what the book would cost to produce, told me what I'd get per book and so on. That was without any money or contracts being involved.

J. Tanner
02-21-2015, 12:39 AM
Yes, Short and sweet. OK, 'A' would be Amazon, remember Little Lu Lu comics? (I could have sworn there was a LuLu books back in the 60's), and Lightning Source. Sure seems like you have to sign up and download and just see what is handed out. I can't seem to find anywhere where the rules are laid out, that being all the percentages explained without hidden numbers of what printing cost or what ever. Seems disingenuous and some gag order between competitors so the customer is blindly choosing a company.

CreateSpace as noted above has a free calculator that tells you exactly what it will cost. Typically, you'll be selling at around the $15 range and making $1-2 of that. That's really rough though as it depends on a lot of factors. There are no setup fees at CreateSpace

One of the top results when I Googled ingram spark POD was this page which appears to lay out everything you're asking including a detailed calculator for the specifics:

https://www1.ingramspark.com/Portal/CostsandRevenue

And lulu seems to have the same thing, though no basics:

http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Product-Pricing-Information/How-much-will-my-printed-book-cost/ta-p/33671

I believe Ingram Spark and Lulu both have setup fees in the $50-100 range but I haven't verified that's still current.

So all this info seems to be readily available. Not sure why you had trouble finding it.



If ya'll say so, ok I'll go the ebook way also, was just saying cause my book is about the sky falling my credibility technically suffers cause your little tables aren't going last long to teach what just happened.

Joe Nobody writes for the survivalist/prepper market and sells boatloads for ebooks at a higher than typical price point ($8-10).


I suppose I'm not gonna get the answer I want , so, how about who gives the best cut and distribution say just for predominantly English speaking countries ?

An ebook on Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble will give you roughly a 70% royalty when priced between $2.99 and $9.99.

A physical paperback book priced in the $15 range will make you about a buck a sale.


As far as I can tell Lightning Source will print it for less, but then all goes quiet. Can one use them all?

Lightning Source is for larger scale publishing companies. Ingram Spark is their self-publishing platform. The prices tend to be fairly competitive with CreateSpace, and make you a bit more on non-Amazon platforms (if I recall correctly) but will be at a competitive disadvantage on Amazon where most books are sold.


Sorry for being vague I use to work for one of the three branches of government where the gavel falls and am just a bit paranoid cause I know how it works in the courtroom. I would think the internet would be full of threads on this subject.

It is. Distilling it down, everyone says use CreateSpace unless you've got an unusual situation of some kind or another.


Also, does the Ebook technology safe guard against sharing like music is done?

Digital Rights Management is available. On platforms where you have the option (like Amazon) most recommend you leave it off. It does nothing to prevent piracy--it just annoys legitimate customers.

Bolero
02-21-2015, 06:03 PM
You will also find that page count affects print books. The longer the book the more it costs to produce in Create Space - but there is a market limit to the price you can charge.
As in people are used to paying roughly £4 to £8 for paperbacks (depending who produces them and a bit on thickness) so books at £12 in the same market are at a disadvantage.

Cuneiform
02-21-2015, 08:12 PM
The services agreement for just creating an account for Create Space sure seems like a legal document that should be understood before signing. There is another just as long or longer at Lightning Source.
And no one has seen this before ? I signed a contract like this once before, made them sign the same one for themselves, they really didn't want to do that, took about a half hour for them to decide. We both signed and they showed me around their facility in which nothing was new to me and then they said they will pay me $200 per product of mine, that was the components cost, and was worth at least $2,000 a piece to replace their non functioning system that cost them a good $100K. Now neither one of us can talk about each other forever by law. I think I saw something like that in the agreement about not divulging Amazons practices, a gag order... aka a non disclosure document. I had to sign an inch thick document for one of my jobs, it was full of we can sue you, you can't sue us and we can fire you any time , you have to give 30 day notice, and we can hold your money for months kind of stuff. There where times where I had to wait 3 months between pay checks ! My co-workers were floored when that subject came up and they all said not me, couldn't last that long with my bills. Yes, I see the point about print. When I look for similar scholarly books they range between $15-$30 and the consciences is that one can't get anywhere unless one sells it for under $10 ? Where are the spread sheets that show this? Personally I wouldn't order a serious book for $10 and expect it to be good. I think my book will be a must read, so back to the original question. If if it cost $10 to print and ship and I charge $20 won't I make $10 a book ? That sounds like a better deal than they hold all the unknown cards, can charge or corral you into a price range, and disclose what ever section of the book they choose and let others borrow it plus change the rules down the road... Another thing, returning a book after a week is to me out of the question only a clean freak or a gift would order a new book when there are 30 returns for 1/3rd the cost. That's like putting the Goodwill right next to a new book store that sells the same titles. Maybe ya'll are right about electronic books, still share sites doesn't sound good.

Old Hack
02-22-2015, 01:54 AM
The services agreement for just creating an account for Create Space sure seems like a legal document that should be understood before signing. There is another just as long or longer at Lightning Source.

Of course it seems like a legal document. That's because it is one. And of course it "should be understood before signing": that's because you should never sign anything without reading it first.


And no one has seen this before ? I signed a contract like this once before, made them sign the same one for themselves, they really didn't want to do that, took about a half hour for them to decide. We both signed and they showed me around their facility in which nothing was new to me and then they said they will pay me $200 per product of mine, that was the components cost, and was worth at least $2,000 a piece to replace their non functioning system that cost them a good $100K. Now neither one of us can talk about each other forever by law. I think I saw something like that in the agreement about not divulging Amazons practices, a gag order... aka a non disclosure document. I had to sign an inch thick document for one of my jobs, it was full of we can sue you, you can't sue us and we can fire you any time , you have to give 30 day notice, and we can hold your money for months kind of stuff. There where times where I had to wait 3 months between pay checks ! My co-workers were floored when that subject came up and they all said not me, couldn't last that long with my bills. Yes, I see the point about print.

I don't understand the point you're trying to make here.


When I look for similar scholarly books they range between $15-$30 and the consciences is that one can't get anywhere unless one sells it for under $10 ? Where are the spread sheets that show this?

I would appreciate it if you'd explain yourself more clearly.


Personally I wouldn't order a serious book for $10 and expect it to be good.

I think you need to think carefully about our one rule here at AW: respect your fellow writer.


I think my book will be a must read, so back to the original question. If if it cost $10 to print and ship and I charge $20 won't I make $10 a book ?

Because printing and shipping are not going to be your only expenses.

You will also need to have your book edited, have a jacket design produced, promote your book, send out a few review copies and perform other marketing tasks: all these things cost money, and reduce the amount you make per copy sold.

Now. Cuneiform: for your next post, I'd appreciate paragraph breaks, clear questions, and concise responses. Thanks.

Filigree
02-22-2015, 05:04 AM
Please! We want to help, but the Wall-O-Text and unclear sentences make it tricky to follow your concerns and questions.