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Not sure if this will help but thought I'd add it just in case. I recently did research on the lowest cost for book printing prices and this is what I found out. I compared the top 5 I found which are (In order by lowest prices) Createspace-Book Printing Revolution-Selfpublishing.com-Lulu-Aardvark. At 208 pages with full color covers, for as few as 1 copy, my novel (Paperback) is printed by createspace at an average cost of $3.50 with no minimum number required. No one else was even comparable unless you ordered a minimum of 100 books or more (many required this) & most still couldn't come close. Createspace doesn't charge for publishing to amazon, amazon kindle, or your own createspace e-store. They only charge for the books you order! THERE IS A YEARLY FEE for getting the reduced price option but it is an extremely low cost and the higher profit margin allowed to you in sales more than compensates for it very quickly. It would be too much to list the other benefits they offer but I'd recommend checking them out against anyone else. However, if there's an even better deal please let me know since I'm looking for a way to put my books out there at the lowest possible cost to the reader.

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You have to ask more than just cost of copies.  You didn't say how much you had to pay for your package, and how much the yearly fee is to buy books cheaper.  You didn't mention if amazon or your createspace e-store costs money.  you didn't say if the e-store is through their website, or if you have to promote your e-store yourself.  And is your book only listed on Amazon?  I was setting up a website with an e-store, but between my merchant account and webhost, I was going to have to pay more than $100 per month, even if I sold no books.  I also set up a facebook page for my book..The facebook page is free; however,  in like two weeks, I've only gotten 3 likes and about 19 unique visitors.

 

I used AuthorHouse.  Did I pay too much? I don't know, as i've only written the one book, so have nothing to compare the cost to.  My publishing package cost me $2000.  I have Print on Demand for both Hardcover and paperback, plus I have e-books (on Amazon as Kindle, and Barnes & Noble as Nook Book.  Don't know what other forms elsewhere if any).  As part of the package, they also have a buyback policy, so stores can stock my book, knowing they can return those copies if they don't sell.  My book is also listed in their retailer catalog, so my book is available in pretty much every online bookstore in the world.  The drawback there is it's just one book on the virtual bookshelves of their virtual stores, so the chance of being seen is slim, unless I suddenly start selling a whole lot of copies, then they might actually advertise it.  While some stores say they are "in stock", there is only one store I know for a fact they're in stock, the store I have a consignment deal with.  It's also through this store that I'm doing my booksigning next month.

I've only bought hardcovers, so it's hard for me to relate to paperback pricing.  But i bought 250 hardcovers (plus 10% additional free copies) for $2475, so that's about $9 per copy; however, i had to pay shipping, so the total cost per copy was $9.68.  My hardcover's list price is $27.49, so that means, at this level, my cost was  35.2% of list.  My paperback's list price is $14, so I'm guessing if they use the same formula, it would make my paperback $4.93 each, for 250 copies.  Is that more than your $3.50? depends how much your annual fee is, compared to your copies purchased. 

Hi Stanley. Sorry to be so general but with everything needing to be considered its why I said createspace should be compared to other publishers. I'm one of those authors on a very strict budget who couldn't afford a $2000 package or a monthly fee for a merchant account or webhost. Createspace simply allowed me to publish my books without any cost at all except the yearly fee and the cost of my purchases. As far as things like the yearly fee it only runs about $30 per year. The amazon, kindle, & createspace e-store deals are included totally free but you do have to promote. With concerns to Barnes & Noble, Nook Book, & other online retailers as well as all forms of electronic apps I'm finding other resources (like Smashwords & OffTheBookshelf.com) that provide that for free as well simply by creating an account to upload and sell off their sites as well. Luckily there are a great number of merchant and book review sites with which a financially challenged author can self-promote and sell through. I have also found that free web providers such as 50webs & Freehostia allow for the creation of a great author site at absolutely no cost, and yes, I am currently using both myself. The real drawback to createspace is the lack of its hardcover book. With regards to Authorhouse I have checked them out as well and though I found them to be a great opportunity, financially they just didn't fit into my budget. I apologize for not titling my discussion better since createspace is really geared for authors with little or no money at all and still wish to get published. However they do offer some nice publishing packages as well. Since Amazon itself bought out and took createspace (and booksurge I believe) as a subsidiary company they now have the ability to offer extremely competitive pricing to new authors like me who just want to get published. My goal is not really to get rich or famous, lol, its simply to see others enjoying my stories. The unfortunate side of it is I can't afford to give my books away as much as I'd really like to so I have them priced at a cost barely above printing & shipping fees in the hopes that they'll be much more affordable.

a yearly fee of $30 makes it negligible...I thought it was going to be like $100 to $200, where it could make a significant difference, based on sales.

I'm definitely in the "no money" category.  I didn't spend cash, I used a credit card with an unreal credit limit.  When I first signed on the dotted line, I was looking at $2000.    I did the math, and estimated I needed to sell about 1000 retail copies to break even on royalties.  Getting rich I figured would be unreasonable, since I'm not famous, but with 7 billion people in the world, I didn't think selling 1000 copies would be that hard.  12 retail sales later, I'm seeing that 1000 copies is harder than I thought.  That's when I took matters into my own hands.  My credit card grew from $2000 to $6900.  But on the bright side, if I sell the 311 hardcover copies I have in the closet, that's $5100, and I'll almost be even.  Booksigning seems to run between 20-300 copies, unless your famous...so since I assume I'll run at the low end, that's only about 15 booksignings....the problem is getting people to let me do it.

 

My main goal was to write a book, which I have done, so I've accomplished that.  My secondary goal is to break even on the process.  That's coming a lot slower.  I have several other projects floating around, but since I've been coming here, I've slowly learned there are cheaper ways to go.  So I shouldn't have to sell as many copies to break even as I do on this book. 

Well, the question you should be asking is how much of the retail price is your royalty? And how much will the book sale pay for marketing?  Please understand this, real marketing costs more than the book print.  My book POD lowest price turned out to be 7.20 a copy (it is 9x6” – 470 pages book with some illustrations.)  Even though the retail price is $18.99, my profit is ZERO.  While now I will be printing the very same book at less than 3.00 a copy. 

If you are serious about authoring, you should join Transmedia Press.  Cost you nothing and you could become a co-founder.  See the beginning at http://www.txgroup.org/App/Tools/36-Transmedia-Press.html#49 .  Our marketing tool, the Public Voice soon will be online.

I just joined Authors.com tonight and this is my first communication on this post, so I'll get right to the point.  I already learned some valuable things by reading this string of comments, but I'm only interested in printing probably less than 50 copies of my book that I wrote for my grandkids, my siblings, possibly their kids/grandkids, etc.  I have no visions of seeing my work for sale in a bookstore.  It's really just my intent to communicate my thoughts about various aspects of life in a series of about 20 essays that I'd like to see printed into a reasonably professional-looking finished product.

Can anyone recommend a company that could do that at a reasonable price that simply gets me the finished product without being concerned about marketing the book for sale?  Thanks for your help.

i hear, especially for a small production, that you might go through amazon.com.  I think they have a good package for paperback and ebook.  but if you are just planning to make a few copies for relatives, and not producing them for public consumption, you might want to check with a local printer.  They can do a nice ring binder product that would probably be suitable...It just depends what you are looking for.  But through Amazon, you could order the paperbacks for family (and they do have the possibility of doing hardcover books also), and you could also sell ebook only through them, and maybe make a few dollars besides...

Lulu are pretty reasonable, although they have just increased prices. I did my 282 pg softback works out about £5. something for my costs. Anything beyond that is profit. Lulu get 10% or your royalties. If you don't want to put it on the "public" shop you can just keep it private and give people the link to the product. They seem to have a nice range of sizes etc, hardbacks are obviously more expensive and fancy hardback/dust jacket are more too. I had softback basic cover and it looked fine to me:)

 

The "extendedreach" package is free, you get a lulu ISBN which you can use for your book and the setting up isn't too difficult as it is through Word but they have templates and they go through what you need to do. They quote you the price so say US trade plus colour cover plus this many pages is xxx. You get sale through their store and also through Amazon 8 weeks later (if you take the public one.)  You do need to buy at least one copy of your book to check its ok but they sell to the author at cost. 

The "globalreach" package is I think $79 or something but you do get Barnes and Noble and somewhere else on that too.  

Amazon e-book you need to go via amazon but Lulu will do e-book for B and N and a couple of others as well as lulu. BUT Amazon do put their own mark up on any Print on Demands sold through the Amazon market place which means less royalties so you may as well sell through lulu.

I haven't used Createspace  so can't comment

I have just published my new book.  I'm using Createspace for paperbacks for Amazon and LSI for paperbacks and hardcovers for general distribution.  The book is 256 pages.  LSI charges $4.80 per paperback and $11.39 per hardcover (quantity discounts are available.  IE I bought 75 paperbacks and the price was $4.50 each).  My paperback from Createspace is $3.89. 

Update to mine. I am now on Createspace. Whilst the price on Amazon is cheaper as there is no retail mark up I think the formatting is more picky. Also the postage costs for non US authors  to get their proofs are ruddy expensive unless you wait a month.

Of course Lulu allow you to discount.

Both have pros and cons.

Tanya, you can format yourself if you know word, or have a friend to help. You don't have to pay. There are a couple of free books - Building your Book for Kindle, Building your Book for Smashwords  etc.

Tanya Robinson said:

Thank you Mr O'Neil for starting this discussion.  Like you I am on a very limited budget.  My book has been published as an e-book with Kindle, for which I did pay.  I would like to have print copies available but really could not offered the prices I was seeing at the time.  Your and the other peoples comments are helping me considerably.  For me Createspace appears to be favourable so I will investigate it further.  I intend to write more so this will be a good test of how I should proceed in the future.  Thank you.

They don't have a printing unit in the UK?  I'd think since the amazons in different countries appear to operate as individuals, as in royalties coming from each branch as separate from the others, I'd assume they each had their own book printing unit as well...


Alexandra Butcher said:

Update to mine. I am now on Createspace. Whilst the price on Amazon is cheaper as there is no retail mark up I think the formatting is more picky. Also the postage costs for non US authors  to get their proofs are ruddy expensive unless you wait a month.

Of course Lulu allow you to discount.

Both have pros and cons.

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