Monday, June 14, 2010
Why should I bother?
An independent bookstore has a consignment program intended to allow the store "to carry and feature a much wider variety of self-published and print on demand titles than we could through traditional purchasing."
They want an initial shipment of five books, and after sale will pay 60% of the cover price. There is also a $25 administrative fee. At the end of the one-year consignment period, they will return unsold books (unless the contract is re-signed). Damaged or stolen items are the sole financial responsibility of the publisher. The publisher's website must include a link to the bookstore's website.
Some numbers to consider:
A book costs me $4 to print (at Lightning Source). It costs me $12 to ship five of them to the bookstore, for a total cost of $32 for the five books. The book has a cover price of $15.95. If the five books sell, the store collects $79.75 and I collect 60%, or $47.85. The $25 administrative fee lowers the gross revenue on the five books to $22.85. When I deduct the $32 cost of printing and shipping, I'm $9.15 in the hole.
For comparison, if Amazon or Barnes & Noble sells the books, I collect 80% of $79.75, which is $63.80. If I deduct the cost of printing and shipping five books ($20), I make a profit of $43.80. That won't make me rich, but it's better than a $9.15 loss.