July 25, 2007
POD Secrets Revealed: Inflated Shipping Charges? By Angela Hoy | printable version
You did it! Your book is finally in print! After months of sweating over details like editing and cover colors and even the final list price, you're ready to start that marketing campaign! You've even figured out that you can make more money buying copies at your author discount and doing your own fulfillment at appearances than you would if you sent potential readers to your publisher's website. But, wait...
You just tried to place an order for 100 copies of your book...and discovered that your publisher is charging you around $1 per paperback book for shipping and handling! Say what?! That blows your budget right out of the water!
A few weeks ago, a new author approached several POD publishers and asked them how much they'd charge to ship 100 copies of his 248-page, 6 x 9 paperback to book to a specific address. He gave all the publishers the exact same specs and address. He said he'd like the books shipped via UPS Ground.
$53.81 - Booklocker (owned by the author of this article)
$60.00 "approximately" - AuthorHouse (Did not give exact quote and hemmed and hawed about specifically answering other questions that were sent...while then adding the author to their marketing email list without his permission. More on that scenario later.)
$82.50 - Trafford
$100.00 (estimate only) - iUniverse: First quoted $0.50 - $1.00/book but later, when asked yet again for an exact quote (the author said it was a pretty "wide estimate"), the iUniverse rep. said the author never gave her an address for a quote....but she had previously responded to the author and included his earlier email that contained the address. When he sent the address again, she said it would be "about $1 per book to ship."
$117.00 - xlibris: $7.00 base plus $1.10 per book
??? - Lulu: Their online help service said he'd have to place an order to obtain shipping costs. But, even to place a test order, you have to give them your credit card number before the shipping charges will even appear. No thanks!
You, too, should demand to know exactly how much your shipping will be before you decide on a POD publisher! Sure, while shipping costs do vary based on the economy and even fuel prices...they don't vary THAT much! And, remember, most of the big POD publishers use the same printer, who ships their customers' orders from the same place.
Next Week - List prices vs. royalties vs. author discounts. We'll try to make sense of the financial side of self- publishing for you.