editing and publishing
Let's say you have a book that is print ready, that is to say, all other publishing requirements have been completed (editing, layout, cover, ISBN, etc), and you are after a distribution model that is cheaper than printing hundreds of books in an initial print run.
Here's how it works, and the costs involved. Note: the example used to illustrate the possible scenarios is an average sized book of about 60K words. Amounts and costs of individual books may vary, but only by cents rather than dollars, and dimensions of books may also add some variation. All amounts are in Australian dollars.
Firstly, you hire Esstee Media to be your agent, agree to the terms and conditions and supply print ready files. Print ready files means that the internals of the book have an acceptable layout and the cover file has the necessary dimensions, spine width and bleeds. All files should be hi resolution pdfs.
Esstee Media sets up the book for print-on-demand. The setup includes nominating a US, UK, Australia and worldwide sale price and subject categories. The price set will determine the amount of royalties that are paid after sales through online stores; the prices listed can be determined through consultation between you and Esstee Media. The categories determine the section in which the title will appear in catalogues.
A 30% wholesale discount will be applied on all books. This will ensure your book will be available at all online bookstores (such as Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Booktopia).
The cost of this will be $320, consisting of a one-off administrative charge of $120 and book setup costs of $200.
Here are 4 ways in which books are sold, invoices are paid and royalties are forwarded to you:
1. Personal sales
You can order a single book or buy in bulk (ordering in cartons of 34, or multiples thereof, gives the best value per unit). Say you ordered 50 books; the cost of each book will be in the region of $6.50. Esstee Media will send an invoice to you detailing the cost, which will include a 20% agent’s fee. Esstee Media will send the books to you when the invoice is paid. After that, you can do with the books as you wish.
2. Sales at your own website
You can, if you want, make the title available for sale on your own website. Say you have it on your website for $24.95, inclusive of taxes and postage. If someone buys from your website, you make the sale and collect the money. All you need do is tell Esstee Media where the book is to be sent and Esstee Media will pay the costs and have the book sent to the nominated address.
You will then receive an invoice from Esstee Media for the actual cost of fulfilling the order plus an agent’s fee of 20%. For an average book that would work out to be about $17.95 for printing, handling, shipping and taxes, and $3.60 commission fee for Esstee Media, totalling about $21.55.
Different mailing rates apply in different countries. If the buyer is in the US, the mailing rate will be as if the book has been sent within the US. Ditto the UK, etc.
So, in this scenario, you have received $24.95 for the sale of the book, and paid out $21.55 to Esstee Media.
For bulk purchases (any purchase of 5 books or more), you will need to pay the invoice before the books are sent.
3. Sales at the Esstee Media website
Say someone bought your book from the Esstee Media website. Esstee Media would fulfil the order and send you 80% of the profit as a royalty.
4. Sales at online bookstores
Say someone bought a book from Amazon. The order would be fulfilled and royalties for the sale forwarded to Esstee Media. Esstee Media will pass on 80% of the royalties to the author.
Now let's make a comparison of costs between a digital print run of 100 books and 100 PoD books, both delivered to your door.
100 copies of a print run would cost about $1000.
100 copies using Esstee Media’s service would cost closer to $600, but you also have setup and administrative costs that would add about $300.
The difference seems to be only about $100. However, there are hidden differences.
• With print-on-demand you only need buy and print what you sell
• Your books are always available
• Your books are available worldwide
• Somebody else fulfils the orders
• You don’t need to have packaging materials on hand
• You don’t need storage space
• Bookkeeping is made simple
In a nutshell: whatever you can do with a short print run, you can do with print-on-demand. However, with print-on-demand your books will be available worldwide, orders will be fulfilled with greater efficiency and it will cost you less.
If you want to discuss matters more, contact me ...