Friday, 19 November 2010
The cost of selling to bookshops
I made a couple of visits to local Waterstones, hoping to interest them in selling Remix. The manager at the London Wall branch ordered six copies. Telling my daughter about this modest triumph, I said, "Of course, they could all come back again a bit the worse for wear in a couple of months." She asked what I meant, and I explained the system for selling books to bookshops.
The publisher sets a cover price, in my case £9.99, and a trade discount; I went for the full discount, 55%. So the bookshop pays £4.50 per copy. The print cost to me is £3.48, so I make £1.02 per sale. The bookshop decides what to charge for my book, and I certainly hope it's less than the full £9.99 (must go and check) because it's crazy for them to make five times what I do, and anyway, no one will buy it at that price.
But bookshops also require returnability. If my books don't sell, because the price is too high, or nobody notices them tucked away spine out on a low shelf, Waterstones will return them to me and get their money back. I still have to pay the printer, so I will be £20.88 worse off, unless I can re-sell these books second-hand.
"But that's retarded," said my daughter.
Posted by Lexi at Friday, November 19, 2010