1. Konan

    Konan Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
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    Minimum unit number and cost at printers?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Konan, Apr 18, 2017.

    I'm considering self-publishing, and I have a few questions for those who have been there...

    On average, what's the minimum number of units conventional press's ask that you order?

    Also, what's a ballpark price on the total? My manuscript is about 40k words.
  2. joe sixpak

    joe sixpak Banned

    Mar 20, 2017
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    They don't care. The price goes way up for small quantity , and down a lot with increasing print run after 300 or 1000 total.
    Every printer will have varying prices depending on their workload so get quotes from 3 or more before you pick one.

    Ads in WD have some pricing info for POD. And most trad printers have guidelines on their web sites to help you price the cost for your book.

    ROT: under 300 use POD. Over 1000 use traditional printing. In between see which works best for you.
    The real question is HOW MANY BOOKS WILL YOU NEED AND SELL?
    Too many SPers have a garage full of printed books. That is why POD is nice. Price is higher per book, but total cost may be cheaper.
  3. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Mar 6, 2016
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    I agree with Joe. For my first self-published book, I printed up about 2000 copies. That was ten years ago, and now about 90% are sold. So I think I lucked out. (And they're still selling, although now more in a POD format.)

    The beauty of POD is that you don't need to carry inventory, and you don't have to worry about mailing out copies. That alone makes it worth the added expense for me.
  4. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

    Sep 30, 2015
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    I just self published through Create Space. Because I anticipated selling to a lot of people locally, I ordered about 120 copies. In CreateSpace, you can order as many copies of your book as you like, at production cost plus shipping: for me that is about $8.50 vs. $14.99 on Amazon. I sold over 80 in 3 months, and anticipate selling the rest this summer, but haven't set up any more book signings yet.

    You can also order books to be sent at your wholesale cost to destinations other than your own address as gifts, to pre-position for book signings, etc. I will be having a signing and presentation at the Historical Writers of American conference in Albuquerque, and will be doing that avoid having to pay overweight charges on the airlines.

    Other than book signings or book fairs, there is not much reason to order a lot of paper copies. Also, in the event you find typos, you can fix what hasn't been printed yet very easily, in about 24 hours, but what is printed you are stuck with. Yes, despite 2 years of editing, I (and others) found some typos in the first run!

    Remember for marketing, you want to find a way to sell to people outside your circle of friends, people who haven't heard of you or your book, to begin to generate word of mouth momentum. Book signings will get a lot of people saying nice things to you, but will not, at the end of the day, sell many books that way or generate much momentum. Nor will they move your sales ranking on Amazon, which is an important part of your visibility.

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