Lots of authors are turned on by the bells and whistles offered by some of the POD publishers. They seem to think if they just buy this, that, or the other, their book will be a success. Before they know it, they’ve spent several hundred to several thousand dollars…before learning the only way their book is going to be successful is if they get out there and do the marketing themselves, through online customer-direct interaction (most lucrative), through book signings (rarely lucrative!), or through seminars and other speaking engagements (lucrative only if you work really hard, and are already on the speaking circuit).
Book selling success doesn’t happen overnight. Some authors think slapping a book listing up at BarnesandNoble.com means success and that people are going to start buying their book as soon as it goes up for sale. It doesn’t work that way.
The best thing you can do is publish your book for as little as possible, but not through one of those bargain-basement, so-called “free” POD publishers (if you want a professional book, along with an ISBN and Ingram distribution, it is NOT going to be free).
When considering POD publishers, you should look at the total they’re going to charge you. Be sure to check out ALL your options! What you assume would be included in a basic package (like distribution, or an ebook, or a custom back cover) may very well be an add-on. Oh, and be sure not to fall for that “free” publishing package that only offers distribution through only one online bookstore!
Then, use this simple formula:
Total Publishing Costs
Divided by Royalty Per Book (be sure you use the right number – some publishers are tricky about their calculations!)
= Total # of Copies You Need to Sell To Earn Back Your Investment
I ran an article previously that broke down these numbers for a few of the large POD publishers.