roger federer stampWhile much has been written about independent book publishing and online retailing, one factor remains as an enormous handicap for self-publishing authors. It is cost of postage and shipping of books.

As with all things internet, an author’s potential market is international. Online retailers are useful in this regard, but what of an author’s own marketing and delivery? As an individual author it is not possible to obtain the competitive shipping rates of volume suppliers such as the major publishers. So authors spend a lot of time at the post office. Shelling out a lot of money.

No matter where you live, self-publishing services are based in the US predominantly. Therefore the first cost for an author is the shipment of new books for his or her own distribution. I live in Switzerland and in my case the shipping cost per book is DOUBLE my wholesale price for a book. (And yes, this is for a bulk order of books.) Then, if I want to send on a copy myself, I have another postage fee of at least DOUBLE the original book price. (Totally forget about hard cover in this example as the postage rates for heavier items are astronomical.)

As books transit the world eating fossil fuels in the process just maybe there is a valid reason for adopting e-books as an alternative. Even if they don’t feel and smell the same.

Derek’s Vandal Blog
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An Independent Handicap
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One thought on “An Independent Handicap

  • 24/04/2010 at 7:26 pm
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    WOW Derek! You do make a strong point.
    I know that the patron does not have to pay the shipping costs for Books just as we do not have to pay the shipping fees when purchasing CD's online. I did not realize the cost was so high for the author.
    I recently made a $63.00 purchase of dinnerware from a well known company. The shipping fee was $45.00. I can tell you this, the next time I want to buy something for $63.00 I will drive to the store.
    It is sad that the cost of selling your wonderful books is so dear. It doesn't seem at all fair.
    I wish that I had a solution to this problem but I do not.
    I can tell you that I for one am always very excited when I get A book (via) UPS.

    No words of wisdom Just a nice thank you from me to you. :)
    You are greatly appreciated. Thank you for making your wonderful books available online.
    And yes, there are always e-books and good old fashioned book stores. There is nothing quite like walking into a bookstore.

    Warm Regards,
    Kathleen

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