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  1. 354897

    354897 Member

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    Questions about self publishing a book

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by 354897, Apr 12, 2021.

    im trying to understand wholesale costs better

    1 (following question summed up) im wondering basically this math calculation ( wholesale - myshare = ? ) )

    (long version) what does the full wholesale cost include minus my share (wholesale - myshare=?) which would include printing and misc charges, the following is a calculation i did using the page that says this
    "Use this tool to determine how much you will be paid on your print titles sold through the distribution channels. "
    i set retail at 4 and wholesale discount at 0 and got this number from a ingram calculator
    Print Charge
    $ 3.95
    Publisher Compensation
    $ 0.05
    2 can i have the whole sale cost as little at 4 dollars(bare minimum costs to make it) or what is the bare miniumum costs if i made 0 royalties
     
  2. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    You are needlessly complicating things. Very simply, wholesale cost is the price a bookseller pays to the printer or the distributor for the book.

    What's the point of even looking at a calculation with a wholesale discount of zero? If $4.00 is the cover (retail) price, that's what the bookseller has to SELL the book for. They need to make a profit. If the customary wholesale discount is 55%, than to sell a book for $4.00 the bookseller would want to buy it for $1.80 -- which is less than the cost to print.

    If the wholesale price is $4.00, then the retail price would have to be $8.89.

    I know from your other posts that you don't want or expect to make money from this book you want to publish, but HOW are you going to get it published if you don't want to follow the system established by the self-publishing services? They are set up to function according to their royalty system. They are not going to make an exception for you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  3. 354897

    354897 Member

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    thats not my final number i was just trying to figure out what the cost involved are, im not actually going with 0 i was just trying to figure out the numbers

    now that i think about it moose said it was 4 plus 2 but when i do this caclulations it says something completely different like 4 dollars is the answer im looking for, or what do you think
     
  4. 354897

    354897 Member

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    i forgot that i asked this before my apologies, but now the calculation doesn't have the 2 handleing there this time, is it 4 or 6 the absolute bare bones cost before i start getting my share
     
  5. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I'm sorry, I can't even begin to comprehend your question. I know you want to do a book that's in some way religious, and that you want to get it out there and not make money from it. Somehow, though, you have become fixated (or so it appears) on trying to force the system into doing something it isn't designed to do -- let you publish your book without paying you royalties.

    Let's approach this from a different aspect:

    1. What do you have now -- today, right at this minute? Do you have a finished manuscript? Do you have a complete first draft? Do you even have a full outline?
    2. How do you plan (or hope) to self publish? My recollection from your previous questions is that you want the book to be in book stores, so that means you want a printed book. Will you also be doing e-books?
    3. Do you have any idea what the physical book is going to look like? Trim size, number of pages, interior design (font, type size, page layout and margins, etc.)?
    4. How much effort are you willing to put into marketing/promoting the book after it has been published?
    I have some thoughts but, unless you have answers to these basic questions, you can't even begin to estimate the cost of producing the book so there's no point in even beginning the discussion about pricing it.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    As an aside Ingram allow a discount of between 30 and 55%... since most of us won't be getting our books shelved and print sales will be on the basis of either requests or orders via websites the experience of many self publishers is that retailers will accept the 30% since they don't have to order until they have a definite sale

    However the OP does seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that bookstores across the country are going to order his books up front... were that true he'd need to offer the 55% discount,

    I already covered at great length on the other thread the issue that if he sets his retail price to a point where it only covers the print cost and ingrams profit.. he won't be allowed to offer any discount because ingram (or any other POD service) aren't going to allow him to discount to the point where they are making a loss

    also i'd suggest just giving ingram a call and having the conversation with them... at the end of the day it will be a lot more productive than asking the same question over and over on forums
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  7. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    From the other thread where you asked about this:

    How did you calculate those costs? This relates specifically to my questions above, such as whether or not you know the trim size and total number of pages that will be in the printed book.
     
  8. 354897

    354897 Member

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    i think the answer i am looking for is about 4-6 dollars in the bare bones cost, i think i should do as moose suggested and contact them about this particular detail

    im assuming that the authors portion(profit) is a part of the wholesale cost

    i think there was confusion when i used the 0, that's not my intention i was just playing around with the calculator(2 different ingram calculators)

    what i am trying to do is set the wholesale costs at the bare minimum that is reasonable to the end seller(yes no losses only gains for them)like you said SapereAude "If the wholesale price is $4.00, then the retail price would have to be $8.89." or 6, whatever is minimum

    SapereAude to answer your questions
    "HOW" "if you don't want to follow the system established"
    im going to make it work with the system, whatever that is. im not wanting them to to make an exception for me. im making it work with the system.

    1 all is nearly complete

    2 im trying to put the book everywhere i can (ebook and physical books), even a full free version on my webpage

    3 yes i have it all planned, i want 6x9 and the page count on that is 213 pages with these margins (top .3 botton .63 left .63 right .63), i have a font and size picked and implemented

    4 on marketing im thinking of casually doing it when i have time here and there maybe once a week or every couple weeks do something different, as in adding advertisements to recommended places by a webpage that suggests where to advertise, probably make a Facebook, twitter and other social media accounts advertising the book, i may contact choice stores around the nation or world asking them if they are interested via phone or email.

    you also asked where i got my numbers i entered my trim size and page count of 214 in 2 different ingram calculators, the one you sited is from a calc that is specific to shipping books to either yourself or to my own customers, the more simple one i secondly did was from a calculator that is ment for print costs and publisher compensation i enter a whole sale cost and discount in that calc

    At this point on my previous questions i will just try to contact ingram for that number(probably 4-6$)

    but please keep the thread open i may have future questions, ill try to make them on new topics

    SapereAude if you have any comments, suggestions or insight to share on the above information provided i need all the help i can get.

    thank you all for your patience with me

    new Q
    does the book store require that it be 55 percent wholesale discount for them to even consider stocking it, is 30 percent taboo to them(stocking only not direct order)
     
  9. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I said I had an idea for you, and I do. That's not to say it's a good idea ... but it's an idea.

    If you publish through Amazon KDP, you can do both print-on-demand and Kindle-format e-books.When you publish through Amazon, naturally they sell the book for list (cover) price, and you get their standard royalty (one of two, depending on whether or not you give them an exclusive). From what I understand, book stores won't buy from Amazon because there's no trade discount. In other words, Amazon is only set up to sell to readers, they don't get involved in wholesale distribution to book stores.

    BUT ...

    Amazon allows authors to purchase books for just above printing cost, and you can order as many as 999 copies at once. This means that, if you are willing to act as the agent for your own book, you could have buyers send the money to you, you order "author copies" from Amazon, check the box for "Is this a gift?", and use the buyer's address as the address to which Amazon should ship the book(s).

    Here are some real world numbers, for the book I published through Amazon in January:

    The book is a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" trim size, 194 total pages (that's including the inside title page, the front matter, table of contents, etc.).

    I ordered five author copies. The cost to me was $3.17 per copy. Shipping was $5.95. My state has sales tax, so I had to pay that, too, for a total of $23.20 for five books. That works out to $4.64 per book. (Two copies went to the Library of Congress, to register my copyright. One went to a close friend, and I have two left.)

    Recently, an organization I am a member of decided they want to try selling my book through theeir merchandise program. They want to start with ten copies. The breakdown for ten copies is as follows:

    The cost to me was still $3.17 per copy. Shipping was $8.00. My state sales tax was $2.50, for a total of $42.20 for ten books. That works out to $4.22 per book. If I increase the number of books to fifteen, the total unit cost goes down to $4.11 per copy (but they all have to go to the same address to get the shipping cost per book down).

    For what it's worth, the cover price for my print book is $13,99. The cover price doesn't affect the price of author copies -- all that matters is the printing cost. Your book is a larger trim size than mine and a few more pages, but not significantly more. I'll guess that your book would come out of Amazon with a cost per author copy of around $3.50 to $3.75. With shipping in low quantities, the total might be around $5.00 per copy. You could sell it for that, put a cover price on it of $10.00 (or $9.99), and let the book stores make about $5 per copy in profit (if they sell it for cover price, which they don't have to).

    You can also get your ISBN barcode without any price coded into it, and let the stores sell for whatever price they want. But Amazon will require that you set a price, even if it isn't in the bar code.

    This is why I asked how much work you are willing to do. The suggestion above answers the question of how you can sell the book without taking royalties, but it means that you have to be a hands-on participant in the process.

    [Edit to add] I forgot to mention that Amazon has a printing facility in Europe for buyers on that side of the Great Pond. (I think it's in Italy.) You mentioned wanting to distribute your book to Europe without high shipping costs -- that's how you can do it. Amazon has distribution options for UK, France, Germany, Italy, and possibly a couple more I don't remember off-hand. Books for "over there" will be printed "over there."
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    ref the above... this is true but

    a) its a lot of work
    b) 999 copies isnt very many in the greater scheme of things, and
    c) most bookshops won't deal like that... they want to do their orders through the big catalogues like Gardiners (and until recently Bertrams - now taken over by Gardiners)
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    that depends on the store... the big chain stores hardly ever deal with self publishers anyway (unless they have a break out success first) but their buyers will require standard terms which are 55%

    Independent bookstores will vary depending on other factors which are mostly summed up under 'how well will this book sell'

    the more copies they think they are going to sell the more likely they are to accept a lower discount..

    with a book from an unknown, with no following, and writing in a relatively niche field (as i assume you are from what you've said) the answer to the 'will it sell lots of copies' question... is 'probably not'... therefore if you want to convince a store to stock it you are best to offer them the most advantageous terms possible.

    (although as I've said repeatedly stores by and large don't stock books from unknown self publishers, or for that matter unknowns with trad deals unless they are with a house that has a preexisting relationship with the store/chain, or one where the publisher is paying or otherwise incentivizing the store to take the book)
     
  12. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    Granted, 999 copies isn't a lot. Do you know if that's an aggregate total? If so, then this isn't such a great idea. The way it's stated on the Amazon KDP web site, I interpreted it to mean 999 copies per order.

    (Emphasis added)
     
  13. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    As an aside, I noticed something crazy at my local bookstore--a (bestselling) self published author's book in the horror section! It seems she sold the rights to the paperbacks and maintains full control over the ebooks. I thought that was wild and awesome. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/profiles/article/84323-happily-ever-after-horror-spotlight-on-darcy-coates.html
     
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  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Yeah, that is cool! From a business standpoint, you can see where acquiring a 25 book catalogue would be attractive to a trad publisher, as opposed to one self-published book that sold really well. Y0u got to figure the trad publisher is in an unenviable position of trying to sell something that many people already own. But diversify that among a few dozen books, suddenly you have an investment.

    Publishing is a weird business. I think they're still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that they don't have to assemble heavy piles of paper anymore to do the same thing they've been doing for centuries.
     
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  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Mark Dawson just did that as well... he also got a much better profit share than normal on the print

    Like i said further up (or possibly on another thread) its different when you're a best seller

    This year coming I'm about to have my WW2 Battle of Britain book Day of The Eagle in our local book shop... but thats a special circumstance where the owner is big into ww2 aviation and has been helping me with the research and fact checking
     
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  16. 354897

    354897 Member

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    ok, something for me to think about ,thank you

    SapereAude said "and let the book stores make about $5 per copy in profit (if they sell it for cover price, which they don't have to)." "You can also get your ISBN barcode without any price coded into it"

    1 Are you saying that the book store can sell it for more than retail if they want to if i dont put a price on the isbn,
    so if i set the retail for 7$, about 40percent, can they choose to sell it for 15 if they want(im ok with this, because there will be an option on amazon for cheaper,as long as the end user can get it cheap somewhere else is all I care about)

    2 if i dont set a price on the isbn, will this cause problems, do book stores want prices on the book or do they care. im sure some bookstores dont put sticker prices on their books so the buyer would be left standing clueless.

    3 i read somewhere that ingram also sells their book through amazon also and that you are charged double cost because of ingram fees and amazons fees is this true and can i opt out of that and have each be separate and not have double fees. and vise versa amazon on ingram?
     
  17. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    What I actually had in mind was that if the cover price is $9.99 a book store could sell it for less -- but they can also sell it for more, and they can do that even if you put a price in the ISBN bar code. They no longer sell paperbacks, but I used to buy mass market westerns (mostly Louis Lamour) from a rotating rack at a truck stop I went past periodically. They always put their own bar code sticker over the bar code printed on the back cover.

    As to having Amazon sell it for less -- why do you care? What you DON'T want to do (in my opinion) is set one price for selling on Amazon and a different suggested price for book stores. My understanding was that you want to get your book in bricks-and-mortar book stores. To do that, you need to give them a reason to carry it. That means allowing them enough margin that they can, if they choose, sell it for a buck or two less than Amazon and still make a reasonable profit.

    Remember -- Amazon KDP is a megacorporation. The price you set for selling on Amazon has to be high enough for them to make a profit and for you to get a royalty -- because that's the way they are set up. But book stores don't buy from Amazon.com, so you also need a way to get your book into the stores, since that's what you have said you are interested in doing.

    I have books on my desk and on my shelves that don't have a price built into the ISBN barcode box.
     
  18. 354897

    354897 Member

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    I want to set the rock bottom price as the wholesale costs, for both ingram and amazon. but if a book store need to amp up the price to meet their profit requirements they can and i think not having the price on the isbn encourages that.

    but yes maybe have a higher retail price on ingram so they don't shoot it down right away, i dont know how amazon works but i want to set the final price as low as they will allow it whatever that is(which includes whatever amazon normally makes)

    I do want the book to be super cheap on amazon and if that interferes with ingram sources taking on the books then im not concerned about that, i think that its maybe ok to have the book be a few more dollars in book stores than what you can order it online because customers like convenience and they don't mind a convenience fee to have it now rather than having to go though the process of ordering it, paying for it and waiting for it in the mail when they can have it now in their hands no fuss. thats what I think at least

    you said "My understanding was that you want to get your book in bricks-and-mortar book stores." what i really want is just the broadest exposure all together which would include bookstores,ebook,social media, magazines or wherever i can put it for free). book stores was just another venue. i just had questions about ingram and figuring how that all worked
    the thing i am most concerned about is just that it gets to as many readers as possible even if i dont make a penny on it.

    1 how does amazon work what do you think is the minimum price i could put on the book where i get 0 royalty. at ingram it cost about 4 dollars to make my book(i want the highest quality put into the book)
    2 i read somewhere that ingram also sells my book through amazon also and that you are charged double cost because of ingram fees and amazons fees combined, is this true and can i opt out of that and have each be separate and not have double fees. and vise versa amazon on ingram?
     
  19. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I suggest that you go here https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200735480#royalty_calculator and download Amazon's calculator. When you run it, it will calculate the actual cost of printing, and it will also tell you the minimum price you can charge for the book on Amazon.

    I'm not sure how Ingram works, so I can't address that. Amazon offers you a choice of two royalty levels. If you give Amazon an exclusive on your book, you get a higher royalty -- it's either 60% or 65%, I think. If you don't give them an exclusive, so you can also put your book up on Direct2Digital for distribution to other outlets, your royalty is 35% of 40% (don't remember which at the moment. I think the calculator tells you what your royalty will be along with the printing cost and the minimum cover price.

    Just remember that if you want to put the book into multiple channels, you will have to buy your own ISBN from Bowker.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Amazon royalty levels are 35% or 70% on ebook (not dependent on exclusivity or not that's a different issue).. for print it works out at 60% minus the print cost
     
  21. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I just opened the calculator and did a trial run for your book. You said 213 pages, but I don't know if that includes things like title page, copyright page, front matter, etc. Page number has to be divisible by 4 in any event, so I used 220 pages.

    I started with a list price of $6.99 and ran the calculator. It told me that the minimum list price is $5.82, so I entered that and re-ran it. Here's what I got:

    Amazon_KDP_Calc.jpg

    Note that the bottom line says the list price is too low for expanded distribution. Expanded distribution is where Amazon makes the book available to distributors, so it can be sold to book stores and to libraries. So I was mistaken -- I didn't know you could do that through Amazon. But -- if you choose to do it through Amazon, you'll have to set the cover price a bit higher. You can run and re-run the calculator until you hit the breakeven point to use expanded distribution.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  22. 354897

    354897 Member

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    I thought expanded distribution was optional, and that meant sending books through ingram(if you haven't done that per say) so if i opt out of expanded distribution then would 5.82 be my rock bottom price(no expanded distribution)

    instead i would just list it everywhere my self and not pay extra for amazon to do it
     
  23. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    Expanded distribution is optional. I said that, but I guess I didn't make it clear enough.
     
  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Point of note KDP Expanded distribution does not mean sending books through ingram. If you want to distribute to other outlets through ingram you opt out of ED on KDP

    https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GQTT4W3T5AYK7L45

    I think you really need to do some basic research on this by looking at the info on KDP and Ingram direct,
     
  25. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    As Big Soft Moose has advised, you need to research and understand all the options offered by the various services. For one thing, if you decide to go with more than one service for the print-on-demand service, and you intend to pursue selling for the lowest possible price with no royalties to yourself, you are probably going to find yourself in a situation where the cover price is going to be different for each service. I don't know for certain, but I rather think that's going to be confusing as all get out.

    You may (Note the conditional) also be getting yourself into a situation where you need multiple ISBNs. I'm not sure how that works. Obviously, if you let Amazon provide an ISBN for the version you print and market through Amazon, you can't use that ISBN for a competing version that you do through IngramSpark, or Barnes & Noble Press. The Amazon ISBN belongs to Amazon, not to you.

    If you buy your own ISBN (which I think is preferable in any case, but that's just me being a control freak), then Amazon can't tell you what to do with it. You could at any time de-list it from Amazon and move it over to another service. What I don't know is if you can use one ISBN to have two or three print-on-demand services all offering your book at the same time. You should research the implications of this -- or else just pick a service and go with it. If you use your own ISBN, you can change to another printing service at any time.

    For what it's worth, Direct2Digital is experimenting with also offering print-on-demand. However, as of a couple of weeks ago it was still in beta testing mode and they were not accepting new authors for the beta test phase -- so D2D is available for your e-book version, but not for print.
     
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