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Sunday, April 27, 2014

#Marketing for #Books ~ Where should I get my #Print books?

When I researched print availability for elf published authors, there were three big players.

Lightning Source

The main points I was concerned with were:

1) Cost
2) Distribution
3) Quality
4) Difficulty of use
5) Availability

Random point ~ On some you can sort of publish. Meaning, if you want a copy or two to look over in another round of edits, or copies for you and a few friends to go over, or maybe you never fully plan on publishing it - you can place it up, set it to private - and only you can access to purchase.

A) CreateSpace
1) Cost: For you - black & white print copy (5X8) with 240 pages is $3.73 per copy + shipping
On actual sales, this is how they computer their percent:

Scenario A

For a 184 page black and white book, you set your USD list price at $8.99. A customer purchases your book on and a book is printed to fulfill that order.
Sales Channel % = $3.60
Fixed Charge = $0.85
Per Page Charge = $2.20
Your Royalty = $2.34
2) Distribution: Amazon, Amazon Europe, your own estore, kindle. And through expanded distribution: Barnes & Noble, Ingram, NACSCORP, Baker & Taylor
3) Quality: The print book seems acceptable. The binding seemed to work. I'd give it an 8/10.
4) Difficulty of use: Their site is super easy to navigate. It does take a bit for the formatting (the first time), but then it's smooth sailing.
5) Availability: Less than a week from your proof acceptance.

B) Lulu
print & ebook
1) Cost: 240 page book (6X9) - your cost is $6.05 (bulk pricing does give some discount - for example 15 of the same book makes them $5.87 each) . On sales, they take around 20% of net profits.
2) Distribution: Print - Amazon, B&N, Ingram / Ebook - iBooks and Nook
3) Quality: Their print books do seem to be of good quality, but for the pricing, in comparison with others, I did expect more 7/10
4) Difficulty of use - Again, fairly simple process here, once you have the formatting and general how to down.
5) Availability - Less than a week from your proof acceptance.
6) Fine Print: eBook Note: eBooks sold on can be offered free of charge or for $0.99 or higher. Net profit includes all revenue earned above $0.99.

C) Lightning Source
ebook and print
1) Cost: They do have a set up charge that the other places do not:
Title Set-Up
Loading, storing, and managing book, ebook files, and metadata per title.
  • Book and ebook -- $49.00 (submitted at the same time)
  • Book -- $49.00
  • E-book -- $25.00
Titles are eligible for automatic free set-up with an initial order of 50+ copies. When a print order is placed for 50 copies within 60 days of title set-up, the customer will receive a $49 refund.
When your books are sold through our distribution network, you are paid: 
  • Printed (POD) Title -- Dependent upon your wholesale discount, you are paid 45% or 60% of List Price minus print costs
  • Ebook Title -- 40% of List and Agency Price
2) Distribution: Your title(s) are automatically available for purchase to over 39,000 global retailers, and their consumers
3) Quality: Absolutely wonderful 10/10
4) Difficulty of use: While  bit more difficult than Lulu and CreateSpace, not too bad.
5) Availability
6) Fine printGlobal Market Access (Book & Ebook Distribution)
Your title(s) are automatically available for purchase to over 39,000 global retailers, and their consumers.
  • Book and Ebook Market Access -- $12.00 per title, per year (if submitted at the same time)
  • Book Market Access -- $12.00 per title, per year
  • Ebook Market Access -- $12.00 per title, per year 

-and just when you thought we were done-

D) Virtual BookWorm - in business since 2000
Offers hardcover, softcover - black and white or color
Offer package options only (they also have an ebook package)
1) Cost - Their cheapest package for hardcover and softcover combination is level A at $590 - up to level G for $2225, you can an an ebook package for an additional $99 (black & white) or  $150 (color)
-Softcover pack only - $360-$1950 (black & white)
-Hardcover pack only - $430-$2100 (black & white)
2) Distribution - If you pay for the right packages, you get Amazon, Ingram, and Baker and Taylor, Barnes & Noble
3) Quality: It's difficult to say. While researching many listed that almost anyone can get their books published for a price, they also mentioned that VBM does at least, review before printing. However, in the end (and after way more hours researching than the other locations took)...I still had no sound answer about the quality of their print books or their ebook package.
4) Difficulty of use: They have templates for the books as well s covers. However, with the way they are set up, you can't actually access until they've accepted your manuscript.
5) Availability: 1 to 2 weeks after printed (7-14 days for their initial review of your manuscript)
6) Royalties - 50% of net receipts - You get monthly statements sent between the 15th and 20th and you're paid the 15th of EACH month, so long as you've made at least $25
Then we divide that number in half to find your "take."7) Fine Print - They do ask to be your POD supplier for TWO years, however state all rights to your book are yours and you can cancel with them at any time WITH  90 day notice. So, there is a contract. They also claim to read each and every submission and may reject you (they claim they won't "print garbage"). To me, this can be seen as a plus or minus. There may be some amount of publishing credential here since you're not automatically accepted (for those hearing the bad comments from some authors about self-publishing).
Proofing is via ecopy and if you want a physical galley it's $50
They also have a limited amount of corrections before they charge you for changes.
They also seem to have an issue with strong romance elements.

Packages (sample):
Level A: Includes all of the above services and one free book of each version.
Level A Price: $590
Level B: Includes the basic services, Library of Congress number and three free books of each version.
Level B Price: $685
Level C: Includes all of the basic services, Library of Congress number, five free books of each version and professional cover for each (includes dustjacket or casebound for hardcover edition).
Level C Price: $825
Level D: Includes all of Level C services, plus professional editing package for up to 75,000 words. Additional words are only .01 each.
Level D Price: $1,050
Level E: Includes all of Level D services and the Bronze Marketing Package.
Level E Price: $1,375
Level F: Includes all of Level D services and the Silver Marketing Package.
Level F Price: $1,650
Level G: Includes all of Level D services and the Gold Marketing Package.
Level G Price: $2,225
(all Combination packages have a $40 annual maintenance fee, with the first 2 years free)

What is in the Marketing Packages?

  • Bronze Marketing Package: $400 (if purchased separately). Includes professional press release, 100 four-color business cards, and a personal storefront for two years.
  • Silver Marketing Package: $700 (if purchased separately). With this package, we will write a press release and send it to over 200 media outlets and send review copies of your book to at least 10 major reviewers. You will also get a Personal Storefront for two years and 100 four-color business cards.
  • Gold Marketing Package: $1,300 (if purchased separately). This package includes a professional press release written and distributed to over 200 media outlets, review copies of your book sent to at least 15 major reviewers, a Personal Storefront for two years, placement in Ingram's Advance Magazine, 500 four-color post cards, 500 business cards and 500 2X6" book markers. Authors who purchase a Gold Marketing Package now receive an extra boost with a $250 value Virtualbookworm Virtual Book Tour at no extra charge!

E) Skoob ebooks
1) Cost: They do have free or package options. Some of the packages come with 6 to 12 books for you. Packages are 99 pounds to 499 pounds.
2) Distribution
3) Quality: Could not verify any details on the feel and look of the final print copies.
4) Difficulty of use: Honestly, I bailed out before fully researching. They seem to make it very difficult to find the information an author would want. Most of us do not have the time playing cat and mouse on a site.
5) Availability

Another to research HERE

Another for ebooks HERE

After days and days and countless hours in research and checking print copies, here is what I think.

If you can afford it, use Lightning Source. They have the largest distribution and their quality is amazing. In my opinion, it's worth the extra effort and expense.

As a second option, I fully encourage CreateSpace.

1 comment:

  1. I use CreateSpace and have been very happy with everything...Great post!


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