I thought I’d take a moment and explain how pricing works for self-publishing. It will vary depending on the company the author works with, but the basic concepts are the same. If you’ve ever sold anything through Zazzle or CafePress, you’ll be familiar with the process.
The publisher offers different book sizes, black and white w/color cover, full color book, and so forth. The number of pages is factored into this as well. Echoes is full color (cover and inside), since it contains artwork. So, TBP sets a base price, which covers their printing costs (just under $15.00, in this case). Then the author marks-up this base price, and the difference is their profit. Many companies, like Lulu (my original publisher) then takes a percentage of the mark-up! TBP does not! They’ve basically stated that the author wrote it, did all the work, why should they make money off of our profit?
When I started with Lulu, their costs weren’t too bad, but by the time I got around to being ready to sell, they’d gone up a fair bit. If I’d stayed with Lulu, I would have had to sell my book for over $27.00, just to see a few dollars profit! I decided that was ridiculous. Sure, I’d like to make a living as a writer, but not by being ripped off and not by ripping off friends and family, and potential customers!
It was at this point that I looked further into TheBookPatch. Not only were their printing costs much lower (and with better quality output), but this meant that I could sell my book for a more reasonable cost: $19.99. With the base print cost of the book, I will make just over $5.00 for each book sold.
I will also be learning more about taxes! I’m not sure what, if anything, that I’ll have to pay out in taxes for the income made from Echoes, so I’ll be putting all profit aside, just to be safe, until tax time comes around next year. After that, I figure I’ll be better able to estimate what I need to save and what I can use to pay bills and use to purchase future ISBNs.
While I have other full-color book ideas in mind (and in the works), I mostly plan to be writing stories. These would be color cover/black-and-white inside, which would allow for a lower cost for everyone in the long run.