Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

This Question is Answered

1 "correct" answer available (10 pts) 2 "helpful" answers available (5 pts)
2,274 Views 5 Replies Last post: Oct 14, 2016 11:37 PM by tinyjose RSS
Level 1 54 posts since
Mar 6, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 20, 2016 4:57 PM

Scared To Death and need advice

I have promoted my book to zoo's.  I have had several zoo's order the books directly through me and I give them a 30 day billing.  I order the books and have them drop-shipped from createspace directly to the zoos.  The books title is "A Day At The Zoo"  I did custom covers for 4 zoos that has their zoo name on the cover and on the title page.  All is good so far.


I have now been approached to do a book signing at a zoo. I would have to travel to this zoo, it would take me about 2 days by car and another 2 days driving back home.  Plus the 2 days for the book signing. Plus my hotel stay.


My question is how do I make this 6 days profitable?  In the past, the zoo would order 24 books at a time. They order, I drop-shipped and billed them.  24 books just won't cut it for the book signing and travel expenses.  They have not said how many books they would want for the book signing.


Do I ask them for a minimum order to do the book signing?  The books would have the custom title, so I could sign and leave any unsold books at the zoo, after my book signing is over.  Obviously, these customized covers are no good to other zoos.


ANY help or suggestions would be so appreciated?  I am excited but also scared at the same time.



Level 4 2,558 posts since
Jul 2, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
1. Jun 20, 2016 5:09 PM in response to: banner44
Re: Scared To Death and need advice

Hi B,


Congratulations!  It sounds like your book was well-received.


The first thing you need to do is to determine how much it will cost you to make the trip.  Then how many books you will need to sell to break even.

Then ask the zoo if they would be willing to buy that many and explain why.



Level 5 12,994 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
2. Jun 20, 2016 6:03 PM in response to: banner44
Re: Scared To Death and need advice

There might not be any way that you can make it profitable in the short term (i.e., sell enough books at that one event to pay for trip). But you presumably like zoos, and there are bound to be quite a few of them between you and a destination that's a two-day drive away. So I would try to arrange visits (and maybe even signings) with a few others along the way, build the groundwork for future promotions, and enjoy the experience.


If you're operating your publishing enterprise as a business in the USA, most of the expenses would be deductible. If the business is a pass-thru entity for tax purposes, and if you're married filing a joint tax return, the loss could offset your spouse's income and lower your taxes. So there can be ways to make a short-term loss work for you in the long run.


I have a client who writes children's books, and every December, she and her husband load up their RV and go on a book tour to a major retirement destination like Florida, south Texas, or Arizona. It's really a vacation for them, but since she is also selling books every day (grandmas buy a lot of children's books before Christmas), the whole tour is a legitimate business expense. If you really want to do the book signing at the zoo, I would try to think of it in the same way, and make it a working vacation.

Level 0 1 posts since
Oct 14, 2016
Currently Being Moderated
5. Oct 14, 2016 11:37 PM in response to: banner44
Re: Scared To Death and need advice

Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...