I admit it: I’m not a math whiz. But some math, simple math, does not make sense to me.
Did you know how much it costs to produce a 250 pg. paperback book per unit? $4.65 (Please wait until I finish before throwing your books at the wall).
So, you were charged $15 for a book that costs $4.65 to produce. That’s a $10.35 difference. Where does the $10.35 go? (Keep in mind, whenever you buy anything, it never costs the same as the amount to produce it.)
I give tithes, so 10% of the gross goes to God. I’ll come back to that later.
Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million: all great resources for selling. The brick and mortar stores are the same way. Would it shock you to find out they take more than HALF of what your book sells for? Based on a $15 model, $8.25 goes to Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, or Books-a-Million. That leaves $6.25 less the $4.65 it takes to produce your book. So, you get to pocket $1.65 per $15 sold through those avenues.
Sell it through your own website and you find yourself competing with the big boys, who get 55% no matter what price they set (which they frequently adjust to compete with one another). Add in used books sold by third-parties (which you get nothing but exposure from), and it sounds quite dark if you choose to self-publish.
Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
These places need to do what they can to keep the doors open. As a small-business owner, I get that. But, how many professions do you know of where the people are content with making a little more than 10.5 percent of their gross? In my former life as a teacher, that means I would have made about $4,500 a year. And you think you’ve heard teachers complain about salaries now. . .
There has to be a better way.
For the guy selling 1.5 million books (pocketing $2,475,000), 10.5 percent isn’t bad — exactly what the argument for wide distribution is. 10.5 percent of an audience you’re not likely to reach on your own is still 10.5 percent. I don’t believe in paying someone else a higher chunk of my income than God gets (that includes the government, at least on a few things. But that’s another blog topic altogether).
But, by contrast, the guy selling 5,000 books (which is actually pretty good for a first-time author) over a year period needs something a bit more than $8,275 to live on.
That’s the mission of Great Nation Publishing by 2012 — getting a quality, Kingdom-worthy product out to the masses without gouging you on the back end. Until then, feel free to ask questions.
FYI: C.R.E.A.M. = Cash Rules Everything Around Me