Self-Publishing: The Economics
post # 469 — November 26, 2007 — a Strategy and the Fat Smoker post
There are only a few key numbers to pay attention to in self-publishing, which means that each is very important.
First comes the book’s cover price. There are basically two main strategies that people follow here – stay in line with other mainstream books if you want a shot at a general audience, or consciously set out to extract a premium from the niche audience you are targetting.
I set my new book (STRATEGY AND THE FAT SMOKER) at the mainstream price of US$29.95
Next, you have to factor in the bookseller’s discount, which can be anywhere from 40% to 55% (Amazon requires the latter if you want your book available for pre-order before publication date.)
So now you have anywhere between $13.50 and $18.00 to cover production and distribution.
There are two main technologies today for this: print-on-demand (no inventory) and old-fashioned off-set printing where you choose a print run and store the books.
The prices for these two are still far apart: I was quoted $2.75 per (hardcover) copy for offset printing and $11.75 for print-on-demand. That’s a heck of a difference! The latter would basically have reduced my profit per book to close-to-zero after order processing and other distribution charges.
Not surprisingly, I went with off-set printing!