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3,447 Views 16 Replies Last post: Nov 23, 2017 11:19 PM by lipmag RSS
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Level 0 7 posts since
Oct 23, 2017
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Nov 15, 2017 10:25 AM

Pricing for store sale?

There is a local bookstore near me who will carry my book on consignment when we get closer to the next Halloween season.  They will pay me 60% of the list price.  The problem is, this is my first book and I don't know much about market forces.  The store, understandably, declined to offer any advice.  I know that there are cheaper books, certainly, but each book is different, and I can't put a sticker price of 7.99 on my book.

 

Currently, my 8.5x11 matte finish softcover book is listed at $15 on Amazon, and I can get them from Creatspace for $4.60 (including shipping).

 

At $15, I would receive $4.40 for every book sold (15 x 0.6 - 4.60).

 

$15 = $4.40

$14 = $3.80

$13 = $3.20

$12 = $2.60

$11 = $2.00

$10 = $1.40

$9   = $0.80

$8   = $0.20

 

Has anyone experienced success with a similar book?  Where did you price your book?  Does mine look like a $15 book?  Also, how many should I order?  This is a trendy, independent bookstore in an upscale location.

 

Here's what the proof copies look like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LI7J5OjNVQ&t=208s

The retail copies are identical except for glossier pages and more saturated color.

 

Here it is on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Skeleton-Ghost-Nathaniel-James-Dowell/dp/1979121729/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510770177&sr=8-1&keywords=skeleton+and+ghost

 

 

Thanks for the advice!

Nathaniel James Dowell

http://www.nathanieldowell.com

Level 4 2,894 posts since
Feb 7, 2015
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1. Nov 15, 2017 12:51 PM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

Looks like a nice little book. Fifteen bucks for a 32-page book strikes me as a little strong, though. It has some dynamite reviews from your friends and/or family. Better hope Amazon doesn't remove them.

Level 5 3,976 posts since
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2. Nov 15, 2017 1:35 PM in response to: Lorem_Ipsum
Re: Pricing for store sale?

I thought you were joking about $15 for 32 pages, but I had a look and it's true, also the comment about the reviews.  OMG!  What a rip-off.  That's nigh on to 50 cents per page.  I think that it's B/W too.  My best selling  B/W book goes for 5 cents/page.  My HIGHEST PRICE color photo book is only 22 cents per page.

 

Dan'l

 


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Level 5 13,065 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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3. Nov 15, 2017 8:14 PM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

AngelicBeaver wrote:

At $15, I would receive $4.40 for every book sold (15 x 0.6 - 4.60).

If you had a typical first book author contract with a major publisher, you'd make about $1.20 for every book that sold at a list price of $15 -- so that's another way to look at it.

 

The real problem comes with trying to use print-on-demand to supply this type of book to brick-and-mortar booksellers. Because there are no economies of scale with print-on-demand, your unit costs to print the book are considerably higher than they are with a traditional offset print run (as used by major publishers), and the quality of the print-on-demand product is considerably lower. So you have to set what often seems like an extremely high list price in order to make any money.

 

Some authors and self-publishers have succeeded at this by providing unique content to specialized niche markets, and/or by employing some very clever and inventive marketing techniques to justify the higher price.

 

The only other option is to lower your unit costs (and improve the product) by using a traditional offset printer. For example, your unit cost for a perfect-bound paperback on plain paper produced with print-on-demand is $4.60 (as you mentioned), whereas the unit cost for this book in casewrap hardcover with a library quality Smyth Sewn binding and 80# coated paper (a much higher quality product) could be $2.92 -- that is, IF you ordered a print run of 3,000+ copies. Of course, you'd need to pay nearly $8,800 for printing and freight up-front, have a place to safely store 2 full pallets of books -- and last (but not least) find ways to sell them. Most small publishers don't take this step until they know for certain that they can move that volume of books quickly.

 

Which brings us back to the start. I'd view the in-store consignment offer as an opportunity to expand your visibility, and not worry too much about the profit aspect initially. That way, if sales are modest, there's nothing lost. If sales take off, however, then you can reassess your options.

Level 5 4,277 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
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4. Nov 15, 2017 8:37 PM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

How about treating the whole thing as a learning exercise, from which you seek to determine the best price, rather than guess it? Here's what I might do:

 

  • Go with a nominal $15, as this is the price on Amazon, but...
  • ...start with a special 'limited period' $10 deal, to see whether this stimulates sales (keep it going, though, until you run out of stock*)
  • Be available at least once to sign copies (and gather email addresses, if poss.)
  • Maybe make a poster to go in the shop, announcing special price, your local author status, and visit times

 

* order quantity - I simply don't know. If you do this, please let us know how you fared.

Level 5 13,065 posts since
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6. Nov 16, 2017 7:58 AM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

AngelicBeaver wrote:

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, and my daughter enjoys spooky books, and there are a lot of poor quality ones that seem like quick cash grabs.

The good thing about Halloween-themed products is that they are a piece of cake (candy?) to market. People who get caught up in all that are more likely to make impulse purchases and pay higher prices for things than they might otherwise. So putting together some entertaining readings or other activities to promote the book can be very successful. Unfortunately, there's only a small time window to do that each year.

 

If I can get a few more books written and illustrated by next Halloween...

Exactly! It's virtually the same work to promote three books (or five books or ten books) as it is to promote one, but the potential profit from that effort multiplies. Also, consumers are about 12 times more likely to purchase a book by an author they already know and like than they are to purchase one by an author they've not heard of. So if you succeed (as an unknown author) in overcoming that first hurdle and actually make an impact on a new reader, you'd really like to have more than just one thing to sell.

Level 2 127 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
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7. Nov 16, 2017 8:14 AM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

The "Look Inside" feature only lets me see two inside pages; the copyright page is all B&W except for a tiny orange heart, the other page is B&W.  Have you considered doing the whole interior B&W to save on printing costs?  Also, I don't know how such heavy black ink coverage works on the paper CS uses.  Have you ordered a physical proof?

Level 5 3,976 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
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8. Nov 16, 2017 9:06 AM in response to: awin
Re: Pricing for store sale?
I don't know how such heavy black ink coverage works on the paper CS uses.

It works just fine.  I did a few books with black pages and white text.  I did it so that the photos would really stand out.  If you take a look at THIS book's Look Inside feature you will see more than just a couple page example of it.

 

Dan'l

Level 5 4,277 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
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10. Nov 16, 2017 5:22 PM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

Do you link to your YouTube video from your Amazon page? It might be worthwhile, since it clearly shows the colour.

Level 3 442 posts since
Dec 13, 2011
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12. Nov 18, 2017 9:30 PM in response to: AngelicBeaver
Re: Pricing for store sale?

I have a 36-page full color book out through CS that I sell for $9.99. Amazon sometimes offers it for a little less, but for any Amazon sale I make $2.34. It's not suitable for selling in a local bookstore where I live, but if it were, I would use that as the benchmark for profit. I'd suggest that you aim for a profit of $2.00. Or less for the local market.

 

Where you get killed on author purchases is the shipping. The per-copy cost of U.S. shipping can be as much as $3.59 (for one copy) but the per-copy cost plummets as you purchase more copies in one order. For 100 copies it's $0.43 per copy, so you should think about buying as many copies at one time as you can sell in, say, a year. You could also look for other ways to sell, such as at readings. Selling in person means no fee, usually, to the venue. Think about church programs for families, nursery-school and day-care parties (specifically, that parents and grandparents attend), and the like. Maybe also public libraries, although the public library here wouldn't allow sales on the premises.

 

Another way of looking at it is that, if a local bookstore were to order from CS Direct or from Ingram, you'd make only $0.35 per copy, so almost anything you can get by supplying the bookstore yourself is better.

Level 4 2,894 posts since
Feb 7, 2015
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13. Nov 23, 2017 10:28 AM in response to: YumYum
Re: Pricing for store sale?

YumYum wrote:

 

a s s hole ur everywher init

like ur bf lorem f a g g o t

You must be lost. You want 4chan or the YouTube comment sections, where you'll be among your own kind.

Level 5 4,277 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
14. Nov 23, 2017 3:51 PM in response to: Lorem_Ipsum
Re: Pricing for store sale?

Goodness gracious! I have a feeling we won't be seeing much more of this one.

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