December 10, 2008
POD SECRETS REVEALED: Shipping Costs Charged to YOUR Customers By Angela Hoy, co-owner of BookLocker | printable version
Several months ago, we ran a feature that revealed the shipping costs charged by POD publishers on author orders (large-quantity purchases).
Today, we're comparing the shipping costs POD publishers are charging YOUR readers - the customer who drops by to order a book from the publisher at the recommendation of the author. Yes, inflated shipping costs CAN impact your sales!
This comparison was based on paperback books of 200-220 pages because these will (or should!) have low shipping fees. The shipping address provided during the research we performed was in Texas.
NOTE: Some of the books below can be ordered through BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and some other online bookstores for "free" shipping. However, your customer would need to spend more money (buy more than one book) in order to qualify. It's often cheaper to just order the one book they came to the website to find.
LISTED IN ORDER OF LEAST EXPENSIVE SHIPPING OPTION - LOWEST TO HIGHEST
BOOKLOCKER.com (co-owned by the author of this article):
208-page paperback, 6 x 9 (A View From Bed 15: A Parent's Perspective - The Story of an Organ Transplant for Zachary Johnson)
$3.00 - Media Mail - Applies to the customer's ENTIRE order, regardless of book size and number of books ordered.
$5.95 - Priority Mail
BOOKSURGE.com / CREATESPACE.com
210-page paperback, 6 x 9 (7-Slide Solution(tm): Telling Your Business Story In 7 Slides or Less)
$3.99 - "Standard shipping" (not sure what that means)
208-page paperback, 6 x 9 (Leadership and Training for the Fight)
$4.03 Media Mail
$6.76 - UPS Ground
(AuthorHouse does not tell customers the page count of their books. We had to find the info. on another website.)
204-page paperback, 6 x 9 (Patient-Directed Dying)
$4.18 - Media Mail
$7.76 - UPS Ground
218-page paperback, 5.5 x 8.5 (A Chorus of Frogs: Fifteen Stories of Suspense and Shock)
$4.50 - "Standard Shipping" (Not sure what that is but it's the only shipping option offered)
(NOTE: The Infinity Publishing bookstore link is the very last link on their homepage. This is NOT good for their authors!)
208-page paperback, 6 x 9 (Jessie: the story of a genteel lady in frontier Alaska)
$5.52 - Media Mail
$10.48 - Fedex Ground
(Lulu's shopping cart is oh-so-painfully slow!)
210-page paperback, 5.5 x 8.5 (Bringing Chesty Home)
$5.60 - "Standard"
$8.10 - Priority Mail
(XLIBRIS does not provide shipping costs until AFTER the customer has submitted their credit card information. If you have to go "back" for any reason, including to change your shipping preference or even to add another book to your order, you have to start ALL over and re-enter your contact info. again.)
207-page paperback, 5.5 x 8.5 (24 Hours in Hell)
$7.70 - "Postal Surface" (Up to 14 business days)
$10.47 - UPS Ground (up to 10 business days)
The amount charged to the general public for shipping isn't usually a question authors will ask a potential POD publisher. When considering a POD publisher, you should look at ALL the ways in which that POD publisher's business model can negatively affect your sales.
You can read previous installments of this series HERE.