Self-publishing a book is an interesting experience – like riding a mountain bike. It’s exhilarating, but even the downhill slopes are full of rocks. Sometimes – often! – it’s just a matter of holding on!
For those of you interested in numbers and business, I’ve done my research and this is how the numbers for In Mr. Handsome’s Garden add up.
By Labor Day, my book will be formatted and ready for print production – meaning people can order it online or get it through their bookstores. However it’s ordered – by a person ordering one or a bookstore ordering ten – it’s printed one at a time. THAT’s self-publising. The turn-around is quick, but there are no “economies of scale.” The production costs for producing anything one at a time are high, which is too bad. But none of this could be done without the internet.
Regarding In Mr. Handsome’s Garden, the production costs are VERY high: $10.56 each, not hardcover. This is because the book is full-color, and it’s pretty simple math: paper costs money, ink costs money, colored ink costs LOTS of money. But the color is worth it: imagine Catherine’s fairy in black-and-white. Yuck.
Here’s the interesting thing or – putting it bluntly – here’s how royalties are figured.
If I price my book around $18, after shipping and handling, I make about $5.50 for any order that comes through my website. Not bad. And I share that royalty with Catherine. If the book takes off, lots of sales should come from amazon.com, other online sites and retail bookstores. This will be great and wonderful and fantastic – although 40 percent of every retail sale (i.e., the retail mark-up) goes to Amazon or the bookstore that sells the book. In those cases, Catherine and I share about $2. Again not bad, but it shows what the internet can do!
As I’ve often said, the internet is like the Gutenberg Bible.