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  1. Cherie
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    Cherie Member

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    Man, I was floored! Newbie bites the dust!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cherie, Oct 30, 2010.

    Man, did I get an eye-opener today.

    I've written a "how to" book. Everybody that has looked at it has loved it, and I think it would sell. It's 112 total pages.

    I thought I would try to have it printed and sell it on Amazon.com at $19.95 a copy. So I went to Staples about an hour ago to get it printed, and with price breaks for printing 20 or more copies, they said could get the printing down to $20 a book! And that doesn't include taxes!! Or Amazon's fees, or mailers.

    What am I missing here? I see many books in the book stores that are beautifully printed with slick gorgeous covers, selling for $19.95 and lower. How in the world can they get them printed and make any money?

    Can anybody take mercy on me and tell me what in the heck to do?

    Thanks,

    \Cherie
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My friends who chosen to self publish has done so on Lulu. And they gotten reasonable prices even after expensive shipping to Europe.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you want to use a printer, for heaven's sake go to a real one, not a store that sells stuff!

    i use gorham printing in centralia, WA... they turn out my books that run a bit longer than yours for under $5 per copy + set-up fee and s/h...

    if you want to go the POD route, try lulu...
     
  4. Cherie
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    Cherie Member

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    Thanks so much, W176 and mammamala, I will be checking it out!

    Cherie
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    A publisher printing thousands or tens of thousands of a book at a time, on presses that keep busy printing millions of books a year, is a completely different thing from a Staples store that may print a few thousand books a year, in tiny runs of as few as twenty at a time, on printers that may spend a fair amount of time idle and unprofitable.

    I think that it's important to remember that when choosing to self-publish, that David versus Goliath effect is going to be true in many more areas. If you self publish, you'll be competing with agents and editors and marketers and artists and copyeditors and distributors that are backed up with the institutional learning and memory from decades of publishing.

    And traditional publishers have existing relationships with reviewers, distributors, bookstores, and other essential people that I don't even know enough to list. By self-publishing, you're taking on the reponsibility, for your book, of many different professions.

    Most self publishers lose money. Have you considered the traditional publishing path? Sure, there are no guarantees that any agent or publisher will accept your book. But if you self-publish, there are no guarantees that enough people will buy your book, to pay for the printing costs. And once it's self-published, it's that much harder to get it traditionally published.

    And remember that Amazon's cut will be substantial. I remember reading about a small press - a full-fledged publisher - that still lost money on each book that they sold on Amazon. I suspect that even when you find a printing option that's cheaper than Staples, you may need to drastically raise the price of your book to make any money per copy sold.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    aside from the fact that you'll most likely be out a lot of money by self-publishing that can't be recouped by sales, it also will not make you a 'published author' if that matters to you...
     

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