Yesterday I set up an account with Lightning Source, the printing company that almost all print-on-demand publishers use. Lack of funds at my end has prompted me to take the POD approach with Chion, rather than opting for a traditional print-run. The downside is that each copy of the book will cost slightly more to produce, but the upside is that the novel will never go out of print. Thankfully I’ve got the necessary skills in desktop publishing and graphic design in order to go straight to the printer, rather than using one of the existing POD publishers. Those publishers are doing a great service for budding authors, but they’re also part of the reason why the books need to be so overpriced: printing cost + publisher’s cut + author’s cut + bookshop’s cut = retail price. As for retailers, did you know that many bookshops demand 40% of the retail price? Ouch! However, for internet sales, a man in my position can easily restructure the equation thus: printing cost + author’s cut = retail price. This model is effective for sales that come directly to me through my website. Why tell your readers to go buy your book at Amazon? That’s throwing money away. If the author does all the promotion necessary to bring visitors to his website, why send them away to another? After all, when’s the last time you ever went to Amazon scouting for new talent?
It occurs to me that it will cost very little to put my first novel Ulterior back in print again using the POD model. However, I’m less than happy with the novel’s original cover (I’ve had a lot more Photoshop experience in the four years since publication), so I did a little digital sketching this morning and came up with something. This is by no means a final design, but I thought I’d share. Comments and comparisons welcome.