Wednesday, November 17, 2010


These two unrelated items have been giving me troubles this week, so I thought I would clump them together.  First of all, the PRICE is always a tough decision. 

No one likes to spend money, so it shouldn't be too high, on the other hand, you need to break even (or..maybe a profit?) and you also don't want the book to look like a discount box book from the get-go with a price that is too low.  When pricing my book, I looked at similar lengthed Sci-Fi and fiction hardcover books and saw that most were 23.95 or so.  I was leaning toward 24.95 but ultimately went with $22.95.

WHY?  $24.95 made more sense for the production cost, but $22.95 seemed cheaper.  Think about it - isn't it odd that book prices stay the SAME but everything else goes up in price?  CDs, MOVIE TICKETS, DVD, BLU RAYS?  Their production value is NOTHING compared to a book! (Well, movie reels do cost $10k or so per film, so let's exclude that one).  Anyways, you need to price your book at number that you might ACTUALLY made money!  If you sell a book yourself, you make 100% of the profit.  Maybe you book sells for $20.  So, you physically paid $3 per book, but then it cost you $3 for production that gives you $14 profit!  YES!  But then you remember you are $20k in the hole, so you need to sell a lot of books.  What about if you can't sell books on your own and need professional help?  If you list your book on amazon, they take 55% of you cover price! (so thats now a $9 a book sale!).  What about a distributor that will need a 65% or 70% cut? (they need to make money and their end vendor needs to make money).  Thats $6 a book!  HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE ANY MONEY!?  And let's not forget that you need to pay shipping to vendors, etc.  Thats another $2 gone PER BOOK!  You are making NO MONEY!

So today I received a REJECTION from a very BIG distributor of museum gift shops.  MY book would be PERFECT for science museums and young adult museums, etc.  The reason for the PASS?  The price needs to be under $20 - thats what people spend.  From working in the failed sector of independent film, my mind immediately went "this is the excuse to give to deny the book from the many other REAL reasons."  Whether true or not, it makes sense.  It's easier to sell something that is CHEAPER.  While I don't think this person was lying at all, I did offer to sell it for $19.99.  But at a standard distribution discount, I probably would make $0.50 a book.  The important thing is to remain realistic.  While you need to make money, you need to start a career first.  This is my first book and if there is a monetary goal, its to break even.  The "business" purpose of this book is to get my name out there to make more books and get more creative gigs.

 I am having a BAD PROBLEM with amazon.  First I found out that they will take 55% of my sales... after I pay to ship the books to them!!  F**K!  I am going to make NO MONEY from amazon sales! MAybe this is why books are $27?  Then again, who buys books for $27?  ANYWAYS - I listed my book on amazon and was mortified for 2 weeks that the image was 100% BLURRY!  See the image below comparing the amazing listing to the listing on GOODREADS.COM

(click to enlarge--- you really need to)

As you can see, the AMAZON image SUCKS!  I emailed amazon to ask what was going on and their response was that they render all images and thats how it goes.  WELL?  All other websites look fine!  BCH, GOODREADS, LIBRARYTHING, why is AMAZON having the problem here? ARRGGGH!  I emailed a few times and never got a response!  For a company I ADORE and especially am giving 55% to sales to a product I have invested years and too much money to admit, I found this DISGUSTING!  I created a list of different things to change every day to see who it would look online once posted.  I FINALLY changed the font of my book and while it still looks a little fuzzy, it looks better.  I chose my font because it's awesome - its unique, and gives a unique, vintage feel and importance and class.  It fits my book perfectly, so it TEARS ME APART that amazon can't post it as such!  I will continuously work to improve this, but last night I finally cracked and ditched the font for a similar one - it looks "OK" but not as nice.

My only regret with this font, while fully knowing that RED bleeds (I learned this in video class in 12th grade) is that the SPINE is too hard to recognize from a distance.  Looking at it now, I should have done something different with the spine so you can read it from afar, but with this font, you can't.  I am not really mad about this, but just something I would do differently.

So in the end, Amazon is pissing me off.  The font is great and it look PERFECT on goodreads, but amazon just can't do it.  ARGH!

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