Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paperback proof

I received the paperback proof of my book the other day.  It looks good and it feels good to hold a physical copy of my work.  Lighting Source so far has been a great company to work with if you are going to do things on your own.  It took less than a week from when I uploaded the files correctly to having the proof in my hand.  There were a few minor corrections that I need to make to the interior, reorder a proof with changes and it should be ready to launch.  So my guess is this time next week, I should be approving the print and ready to order copies for myself to sell.  Before it shows up elsewhere via Ingram's catalog, that could be much longer.

This brings me to a topic for this blog post.  Selling books vs selling eBooks.  When I started my trilogy I had planned on both eBooks and regular books to be sold.  The idea of traveling around the country or world to shake hands and sign my name for fans seemed about as Hollywood as it could get.  Four months into writing, editing, formatting, researching etc. this is pretty un-realistic financially.  Well...  At least it is for now.  When it comes to numbers, selling a single copy of my book myself produces the greatest return.  If I were to attend a conference or book signing, I would have to sell 1.5 books an hour to make minimum wage.  That doesn't sound too hard.  But if you do the research, selling ANY can be hard.  For every person who had a good book signing of 10+ copies, there are 1000 that didn't sell.  I am still looking forward to setting up some signings in my local area and perhaps outside of that if I can combine the trip with something else like a vacation.

I think however that until the paperback shows up on Amazon and other online stores I will focus on selling the paperback online myself with either an e-bay store or just a simple PayPal account and email me if someone wants a signed copy.  I already have a good list of people who want to buy the paperback because they do not own a e-reader device.  Also by offering to sign any copies through my own store could be a little bonus.

This leads me to a marketing question for everyone reading.  In the end, I do not want to charge anymore for the book than I have to.  I priced the paperback at $14.15 so with Idaho sales tax it comes to an even $15.  This is for my own convenience on making change.  So at $15, what do you see as a more attractive buy?  A discount off the cover price and you pay shipping, or paying full price for the book and "free shipping"?  In the end math regardless of choice it will be $15.


  1. I too share your book tour fantasy--wouldn't it be cool if it could be profitable.
    Marketing can be such a challenge and now with so many options out there it's difficult to know the optimal approach for moving product.
    Psychologically some folks naturally gravitate toward any kind of discount or bargain, while those who are familiar with shipping and handling costs see greater value with the free option on those. Win some, lose some, perhaps, but in the long run I think ultimately it's the perceived value of the product due to buzz and content that will have the biggest effect on sales.

    Good luck! It should be an adventure as well as a learning experience. Let us know what you learn.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Its a great feeling to hold one's book in one's hands. Selling books on one's own is a daunting task SBJ...and I wish you loads of success.

    Have you thought about hosting giveaways and blog tours to publicize your book? Everyone seems to be doing that.

  3. Wow, that's YOUR book you're holding. Nice one :)

    Regarding your marketing question, from a personal point of view, I like to know immediately how much I'm paying. I'd go for $15 with free P&P.

  4. @AB- Yea, I will have to research it as well as ask around for opinions. This whole project has been a learning experience and I don't mind sharing what I find.

    @RC- I am going to let Amazon and B&N sell the paper backs like they do the E-Books. But I have a fairly large presence in a couple of non-author/writer circles. Dual-boxing and at the local collage. They all want signed copies and the majority of people still do not own e-readers. I don't plan on trying to make a living by selling books out of the back of my truck. But I will keep some there just in case!

    @SP- Yup, that's the proof copy. We have joked around about how rare it is. The only copy of world famous book Requiem. Now if I can sell it for a zillion dollars, I can retire. I too prefer the free shipping and handling. I don't like seeing the price go up after I checked out. It will require some research.

  5. Just came across your blog and I am looking forward to following along with your indie pubbing. I'm doing the same thing over the next few months. Congrats on getting your proof--looks great!

    My vote is for the full price and free shipping. That way it appears to the buyer that more of their money is going to you, which is important to a lot of readers.