How to price a book
 

How to price a book  

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shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

I have had a number of books printed, all of which have sold out.     I now have a new one at the printers.   It is A4 and in full colour.  Card backs with coil binding so it opens flat.   (Practical reference book).  It has 25,608 words, 240 images and 102 pages.    I was just wondering what is a typcial RRP for this size of book in 2019.     I have been considering £12.99, but have nothing to compare it with, as my subject has not been written about very much (Building models of merchant ships).

Bob

   

This topic was modified 3 months ago by shipbuilder
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Posted : October 18, 2019 8:59 am
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

hi Bob. It's not unusual to see specialist books at this price but there are a lot of books about model ships. Just google "book about model ships" and 50 come up - all around this RRP. Try a POD or Print on Demand print firm like Lightningsource.com - part of the Ingram group. The customer pays you - you pay the POD, the POD prints and posts the book to the customer. You don't have to keep any stock - simples. You might want to set up e-versions on Smashwords or Amazon etc. Good luck. 

This post was modified 3 months ago by mitch
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Posted : October 20, 2019 1:33 pm
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

@mitch

Hi Mitch,

Thanks for reply.    My book is not like the rest (I know they all say that 🤣)   The difference is that I specialise in merchant ship modelling of ships that carry cargo rather than built for war.     The vast majority of model books are about warships.   Then most of the others are on worn out subjects such as Cutty Sark and Titanic.    I have already produced this manuscript in e-book form, and it has already brought in just over £100 so far.    I use BookprintingUK who produce a high quality book with superb colour images at modest cost.   My initial print run is 46 copies, at £8.36 each after that, reprints will cost less than £7 each.     I was just wondering if £12.99 was average for a 100-page colour book.   Looking round at similar sized publications, it may even seem rather low, but at the same time, I don't want to over-price it.    I will be doing all the marketing myself as I have done for my last four or five books.    This is my last model ship book that was a very great success, the e-book version alone topping the £600 mark and the printed version has been reprinted lots of of times, but my customers have been agitating for fresh material, so I wrote one dedicated to the barque Gulf Stream.

Bob

 
This post was modified 3 months ago 4 times by shipbuilder
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Posted : October 20, 2019 2:21 pm
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

This is the Gulf Stream - rather unique as far as ship models go these days (The "gunports" are just decoration, painted on!)

 

This post was modified 3 months ago 3 times by shipbuilder
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Posted : October 20, 2019 2:29 pm
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

@shipbuilder

Hi Bob - sounds like you have it sussed. Any profit is better than a deficit in this game! £7 for full-colour editions is not bad and a sale at £12.99 seems about right for 100 pages even though it is specialised and a £100 on e-version sales already is great news. Are you selling them on Amazon and Gumtree as well? 

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Posted : October 21, 2019 2:43 pm
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

Amazon have no chance.   On two earlier books that I put ISBNs on, Amazon started advertising them (together with just about every other bookseller world-wide) even though they didn't have any.   Someone told me they ordered one, and paid for it, but Amazon just waited two weeks, refunded them and told them it was not available!     When I kicked up to Amazon, they said they would purchase some, but wanted about 55% discount on the selling price, and me to pay the postage as well.    I declined, but they refused to even take the Amazon listings off, and they are still there years later! ☹    I have never tried Gumtree, but have had fantastic results with Ebay and Facebook.  

I have put an ISBN on this one, but expect the same thing will happen.   I only did so because that will allow the ALCS to collect from libraries etc.    I get two ALCS payments per year, both quite substantial from articles and a couple of books with ISBNs.    I ordered the books on the 17th of this month.   I see they have now printed them and are in the process of cutting and separating at the moment, so should have them shortly.  Here are my last effort, all sold out now -

Bob

 
This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by shipbuilder
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Posted : October 21, 2019 4:42 pm
stevef
(@stevef)
Famed Member

Always great to see success in whatever form of printing, distribution and sales! 👍 

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Posted : October 21, 2019 5:21 pm
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

The 46 books arrived today.   I chose coil binding so they can lay flat on the table, as they are practical reference books - Bob 

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by shipbuilder
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Posted : October 28, 2019 9:15 am
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

Excellent. Well done!

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Posted : October 28, 2019 2:21 pm
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

@mitch

Thanks - Nearly got knocked over in the rush for this one, 21 gone in the first two days - just hope it keeps up! 😀 

Bob

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Posted : October 30, 2019 8:50 am
mitch liked
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

Things are slowing down now, but of the print run of 46, only 15 are left now.   Still not got into profit, because having to give 6 away to the British Library and their "hangers on" has knocked a £65.55 hole in the profits.   But it looks like it will sell out, and if I get more, the price per book from the printers will drop substantially, as it is all set up in their system.

Bob

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Posted : November 27, 2019 6:53 pm
mitch liked
ionicus
(@ionicus)
Noble Member

@shipbuilder

You seem to be doing reasonably well with your enterprise, Bob, even though using an ISBN number proved to be disadvantageous. Good luck for the future.

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Posted : November 28, 2019 11:00 am
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

Well done, Bob. Best to use an ISBN number for larger runs - the deposits are costly but should you have to issue a copyright challenge then they are extremely useful even though it's unlikely someone would steal your work. Besides, your masterpiece is now in the British Library - immortalised! 

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Posted : December 4, 2019 12:26 pm
shipbuilder
(@shipbuilder)
Estimable Member

@mitch

So far, all that has hapenned is that Waterstones and Amazon are both advertising it although neither of them hold any stocks, and have no intention of doing so!     I only put the ISBN on to maybe get some return via the ALCS.   It has slowed down now.   Of the 46 printed, 13 remain, and none sold fro several days.   I have made the printing costs back with a few pounds profis (less than 20).    No doubt the rest will go eventually, but a lot of work and energy (going to post them) for very little return.    I will probabaly stick to downloads from now on.   

Bob

 

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Posted : December 4, 2019 1:15 pm
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