The economics of publishing books in electronic form are too good to ignore.
When you consider the cost of marketing, publishing, shipping, and returns of printed materials vs. the cost of marketing and shipping an e-book the two are just not in the same league.
The cost of having a book printed and published exceeds $20,000 for about 3,000 copies. Again the cost of an e-book is $0.
How to sell and deliver your books to the reader?
To get your printed book sold you will need to market the book-to-book stores. To get in the bookstore you need a favorable review of your book. The review process works like this:
The author sends out press releases to book reviewers representing the genre of the book. If the reviewer becomes interested in the press release, the author will receive a request for a “review copy.”
The author digs into the stash of books, pulls out a copy, attaches a reviewer or a media kit, and pays for the postage. On a $5 book that may add another $5 in shipping materials as well as postage. Many reviewers will ask you to ship your books by overnight express. The author may find himself spending up to $18 – $25 per reviewer!
Experts in the self-publishing field, state that you must send between 300-500 review copies to target genre reviewers before your book has a chance to become a hit. If you send out 500 book copies at a minimum of $10 per book, you have spent another $5,000 of your money.
Now you have to market the book. It’s your job as the self-published author to get the books into the store, and it is your job to move the books from the store to your customers.
Many self-publishing marketing experts feel it takes around $30,000 per title to effectively market a book.
So here is the rundown of what it costs.
What it costs to print and sell a self-published book
$20,000.00 to print and place a cover on your book.
$ 5,000.00 to send books to reviewers
$30,000.00 to market each book effectively.
$55,000.00 is your total investment.
Out of your initial 3,000 run of books you have already given away 500 leaving you with 2,500 copies to sell.
Assuming your retail price is $20 per book and you can maintain that retail price for one year, the most you will bring in if you sell every remaining book is: $50,000
If you subtract the $50,000 you incurred as expenses you will have a net income of only $0.
Believe me when I tell you that will be the hardest you have ever worked for free.
Are these figures realistic? Yes, they are! Ask any self-published author what it cost to print and sell books.
Now let us use an example of creating or publishing an e-book and bringing it to market.
We will assume that you will want your own web site. It is possible to sell e-books without one, but lets look at all of the possibilities.
Let’s assume that you have a computer and word processing software. You will need that anyway to self-publish your book the traditional way.
What it costs to publish and sell an e-book?
- Cost of a Web site with secure credit card ordering is $50 per year. A good hosting company RD-Webhosting
- Cost of an Internet provider is $240 per year.
- Adobe Acrobat Software is $269 (One time charge)
- Create as many e-books as you want with this setup.
- Marketing costs. You can get by using “sweat equity” in other words you don’t need to spend anything. (You just saved $30,000 Congratulations!) I will explain marketing later on.
- Cover Graphics. You don’t really need any unless you are posting to Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. There are people who will charge $100 or less to create an attractive e-book cover for you. Let’s estimate on the high side of $200. You can use software like Paint Shop Pro or other graphic design software or take a picture, scan it into your computer and use that as your cover art.
- Review Copies. There are e-book reviewers. You send the reviewers e-mail attachments that include copies of your e-book. Your cost to send it is $0. Think of how many reviewers you can service on the Internet. You will be happy to send out a review copies when you are not paying $10 or $20 per reviewer.
- Once you own your e-book publishing software, the cost to “print” the e-book in digital form as an Adobe Acrobat, ASCII text, or as a Microsoft Word Document is $0.
- Your total cost of the e-book production run of 3,000 e-books and your cost of sending these to 500 e-book reviewers including the total marketing costs for one year is $784. Now that you own the software for your next e-book projects, the total cost for each successive e-book is $200.
If you sell that $20 book for only $10 as an e-book thus giving your reader 50% savings, you will bring in $30,000.
Many on-line e-book sellers are selling e-books at only a 20% discount compared to the printed and bound versions. If you follow that model you will receive $48,000 with out of pocket expense of only $784.
I am assuming a print run of 3,000 e-books in this example. An e-book is a digital file. If you have orders for 10,000,000 copies for the year, the cost will still remain at $784 for the first year!
Do you see why this may be the best time in your life to consider finishing that novel or to begin selling e-books and booklets on-line?