Friday, July 08, 2011

The costs don’t end once the book is printed

For those of you who are interested in how self-publishing works, here is something else to consider.

You may remember how delighted I was when one of the biggest wholesalers agreed to stock my book, because this meant that anyone anywhere would be able to order it - through their local bookshop, or online from Amazon, The Book Depository, Waterstones, WHSmith, etc etc, etc.

Yes, it was good news, but there are costs. Not only do I have to give the wholesaler a massive discount, to include their profit and the retailers’ profit, I also have to be able to send them boxes of books when they order them. I couldn’t happily store all my books at home, so I am paying the printers to store my books in their warehouse. Then when the wholesaler orders a quantity of books, I email the printer and they pack up the books (at a cost) and courier them (at a cost) to the wholesaler.

This week I got my first bill. I have 30 days to pay. I am still waiting for the shop that bought 60 books from me for my launch to pay me for them. (They are still within their 30 day limit, so I’m not complaining.) Meanwhile, another wholesaler has decided to stock my book (at a whacking discount) and they want 90 days credit.

There are so many people in the food chain of publishing – the writer, the agent, the publisher, the courier, the wholesaler, the retailer - that it’s no wonder it’s impossible to make a living as an author unless you’re a wham-bam bestseller-writer.

By comparison, the cost of producing and marketing ebooks is minimal. Draw your own conclusions about the future of publishing.

Oh, and don’t forget, you can buy my excellent novel – BUT I TOLD YOU LAST YEAR THAT I LOVED YOU – as a paperback or as an ebook. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, someone you know (your mother?) will love it. As a reviewer on Amazon says - A really great, easy to read book that will be enjoyed by people of any age, sex and marital status!  

So why not buy a copy?

p.s. I have learned an awful lot about publishing in the last 6 months, but one thing still mystifies me. Why is it that yesterday morning the info about my book on Amazon (that everyone sees) said they had 4 of my books left in stock. At teatime they had 5 books left. And today they have 8 books left. How does that work?


galant said...

With so much to consider, finacially, it's a wonder that any book is self-published, Sue! But best of luck with shifting the whole lot of 'em! And if anyone is reading this, yes, Sue's book is excellent and would make a great gift. What about giving one to a friend for Give a Friend a Book Week, or whatever it's called!
Margaret P

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks for your support, Maragaret! And since I wrote my post I've had another order from the wholesaler - yay!

Anonymous said...

Sue, I ordered But I Told You Last Year That I Loved You a couple days ago. Can't wait to receive it! Ruth

Sue Hepworth said...

That's really encouraging, Ruth. Thanks for letting me know. Every sale helps. But more importantly, i hope you enjoy it!