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723 Views 3 Replies Last post: Oct 25, 2017 10:16 AM by awin RSS
Level 0 15 posts since
Jun 30, 2017
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 13, 2017 12:08 AM

publish a copy on demand - Ingramspark

Very very new to publishing; too much to learn beforehand so I'm learning as I go.  Uploaded the cover and inside pages files for issue 1 of my magazine; I'm in some sort of technical review status at the moment. IS recommended I order one copy to see what I've got.  Great idea:  see what the customer will go through, too.   Unit selling price - $8.17, handling fee - $1.99 ok whatever,  shipping - $12.33?  Hmm.  Looks like a deal breaker to me.


So let's examine my naive assumptions:  I provide a free pdf downoad (and/or onsite pdf reader)  for readers and my customers - most of whom I anticipate are  my contributors (literary/graphic arts mag: poets, authors, cartoonists, photographers, etc.). Many/most are unpublished new artists and I think they will be  anxious to buy a copy of the magazine - at max $10.  Without a markup, price so far is $22.49.  There goes my business model.


Is IS the wrong place to go if I want to provide an accessible pubish-on-demand option for a magazine format?


Thank you for your generosity in considering my dilemma.

Level 5 12,916 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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1. Sep 13, 2017 7:36 AM in response to: eventhorizon
Re: publish a copy on demand - Ingramspark

If this is a magazine, then given the print and shipping costs you indicated, I'm guessing you've selected their Premium Color option and a trackable shipping method. Standard Color might not be acceptable for this project, but would be less costly to print -- so I'd be inclined to order a proof using Standard Color to find out, especially if cost is an issue (and it sounds as if it is).


As for shipping, I can offer two suggestions. First, yes, trackable shipping options are getting very expensive, so some risk analysis may be in order. For example, we have a children's book that costs $2.38 to print. Paying three times as much for insured/trackable shipping makes no sense -- it's cheaper to just replace the book if a recipient says it never arrived.


Second, ordering a stock of books and fulfilling your own customer orders can save you and the customer money compared to using Ingram to dropship them. If we buy one copy of the book above, Ingram charges a minimum of $5.79 shipping and handling (making the unit cost $8.17, and leaving us very little profit margin), whereas is we order 100 copies, they charge $22.20 shipping and handling (making the unit cost $2.61). Big difference. Granted, we'll pay to ship individual copies to our buyers, but that's currently (and coincidentally) $2.38 for media mail in the USA now (for a total unit cost of $4.99, versus $8.17 if we had Ingram dropship).


Finally, magazines in general rely on advertsing to survive. If you're not selling advertising, then it does present a business challenge regardless of the printing method used.

Level 1 99 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
Currently Being Moderated
3. Oct 25, 2017 10:16 AM in response to: eventhorizon
Re: publish a copy on demand - Ingramspark

On the advertising issue.  If you have a general interest magazine, look at the cost per copy for a major magazine, let's say it's $100K for a full color page in a magazine with 1 million circulation; that's ten cents per issue.  If you charge more than that your magazine won't be competitive.  If you charge that and have a small circulation magazine (1,000 or even 10,000 copies you're too small to bother with.)  Only likely way for you to make money with ads is 1) if you have a highly targeted audience such as a specialized magazine for brain surgeons or 2) you are getting a donation in disguise (the back of the school yearbook.)


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