Impatience is my Achilles heel and I almost paid dearly for it.
As I needed to recoup my costs I wanted the launch to be as soon as possible after receiving the books from the printer. But for some reason I decided to wait an extra week.. A very lucky decision as when I received the 1000 copies that I’ ordered the paper used for the cover of the book wasn’t thick enough. As the format was A4 landscape the 300 gram weight of the cover was insufficient and on picking the book up it just flopped in my hand like an over-sized corporate brochure. Luckily I had delayed the decision for the launch as all of the invites had gone out and the venue etc booked…but more on that later!
The actual product of a book is just that- a product- albeit a more entertaining one. Just like any marketable commodity, (a term I don’t like using for books)-research needs to be done on the response to it, the viability and the look. But with a book there is always that X factor that can completely throw all of your feedback -both positive and critical-right out the window so if you feel good about it then just go for it…after all we do only live once.
It’s all good and well being a published author-whether with a publisher or being self published, but if your books aren’t selling the romantic notion quickly fades away. A publisher handles the distribution, but if you’re self-published then that responsibility becomes yours along with all marketing and PR.
When I first received the sample copies my mission was to find a a reliable distributor that would handle all of the major bookstores as to handle that alone would be a logistical nightmare. Of the two distributors, I narrowed my choice down to contact, one never bothered to return my emails or phone calls, and the other, Stephan Phillips, were really professional and helpful. A meeting was set up and, suggested retail price, commissions and bookstore policy’s of firm sales; and no sale and return; were explained. Stephan Philips liked what they saw and agreed to distribute The Magic that’s Ours.
How it works with selling though bookstores is that you give them a suggested retail price.
The bookstore will take that figure less 14% VAT (make sure you add that into your calculation otherwise you’ll fall short. That gives the bookstore their net price of which they’ll take between 40 and 45% commission and the distributor takes about 25% of that price leaving you with the balance.
The Magic that’s Ours retails at R108.30
Less 14% VAT R 13.30
Net Price R 95,00
Less 40% commission R 38,00
= R 57,00
Less 25% Distributors fee R 14,25
Total to you = R 42.75 (Before your cost of the book).
My profit per book after printing costs amounts to about R11,00 through books stores.
Unless you’ve written a huge blockbusting, best seller, the chances of you making lots of money through the sales at book-stores is unlikely. BUT don’t be put off as there are other avenues where the profits are much higher!