Friday, 29 April 2011
Paperback or not for Replica?
It was a no-brainer to publish Replica for the Kindle on Amazon; it cost precisely nothing, as I did my own proofreading, formatting, photography and cover design. I believed that the readers who bought and enjoyed Remix would buy Replica, and indeed they have; Replica has spent most of its twenty days since launch within the UK Kindle top 200, and it won't be long till sales reach 1,000.
But is it worth producing a paperback version? I'd like to be able to hold a physical version of the book in my hands, of course, but how many would I sell? I'm not entirely sure how many paperback copies of Remix have sold, but I think it's fewer than a hundred. (Compare this with Kindle sales of nearly 20,000 so far.) Sales were brisk in the first half of December, but Amazon put a 9-11 day delivery on it, and sales stopped. By the time Amazon had ordered 45 from Lightning Source, the Christmas rush was over, and the book had dropped out of view.
To publish a paperback, I'd have to re-format the text (a job I enjoy, but it's painstaking and time-consuming). I'd also need to re-do the cover to the correct specifications, including a spine and back. Then, assuming I got everything right first time, Lightning Source would charge me about £70 for set-up and a proof copy. It's possible to sell to individual bookshops, but the time it takes and the profit margin make that a waste of time. And I can't sell the paperback as cheaply as publishers with print runs in thousands can, so as an unknown I'm charging more for my novel than famous authors. This naturally puts buyers off.
I'm just not sure it's worth it. What do you think?
Posted by Lexi at Friday, April 29, 2011