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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Working the Numbers

Well, been doing a little calculating. Looking at how many books I'm going to have to sell to make money. On the bright side, I'm confident they will sell at the new lower price. $39.95 as opposed to the original price of $79.95, which was then raised to $93.95. I wonder if they really meant to take my advice and lower it to $39, but that somebody typed it wrong and it came out to $93?

To sell them, Amazon is a must and probably the primary channel, at least to start. The thing with them is that they take a hefty cut, 55% discount off the List Price. Sure they've got all the operations and the overhead that goes with it, but that's pretty steep. But besides Amazon, what else to do? That's a big question.

There are wholesalers and distributors, and there are the bookstore buyers. Some bookstores only buy from the largest wholesalers, and if you're not listed by those wholesalers you won't get in those bookstores. Some distributors supply the large wholesalers. It's all a bit convoluted. Especially if you're a small publisher or self-publisher.

Bookstores only want books that sell. That makes sense. So the wholesalers and distributors only want books that sell. That makes sense too. Large publisher's books are, on a whole, more likely to sell because 1) they have bigger marketing budgets, and 2) they go through a very rigorous vetting and production process meaning that the quality of the final book is likely to be very high.

But, with the proliferation of small publishers and self-published books there are plenty of distributors willing to service them. But here's where the decisions come in, many distributors want exclusive rights to distribute your book(s). That has advantages and disadvantages, so you have to decide. I won't go into that right now, but I'm at the decision making point right now.

Stay tuned.

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