Offer multiple print grades/price points/distribution questions?

Hi there, can't find this after extensive searching.

 

There are 3 6x9 qualities. Costs are quite different for a b&w 300ish page book. I've seen on Amazon that some authors offer all three options. So questions are:

 

1. The fine print says premium and hardcover only are distributed through retail (does that mean brick and mortar or all channels online POD)  ie, it will be offered through online retailers at lower quality but will not be in the "catalog" for booksellers. Otherwise, it seems the lower quality price is only useful for author purchases.

 

2. What quality is best for selling directly from the author (book signing, clubs, promotions, etc? Can I get away with the lowest cost or is it really a much lower quality? I would hate to give a bad impression to readers, but it's not a newsprint pocket book and some people prefer lighter weight books.

 

Obviously, printing and shipping costs go up for the premium book. I understand there are sometimes free shipping opportunities (see, I did my research!) and it makes sense to time premium purchases to that, but it's not always possible. Thus, I want to know people's direct experience with each quality.

 

3. Hardback is obviously very expensive, does it make sense to offer this at all for a self-published author. I suppose  since it only costs the proof then I could.  (except maybe my own special copy and one for mom ;-)?

 

4. Do I need separate ISBNs for each of these formats?

 

5. Do I upload separate interior and or exterior files for 6x9 book interior would be the same but cover dimensions would seemingly differ (spine) for each book quality (thereby increasing initial investment) and manage them separately on Lulu? (Therefore, changes in one book will require 3 separate file updates.

 

6. Does it make sense to/is it possible to upload one file to buy proofs of all three book print qualities and, therefore, check quality on my own? Do you recommend this? 

 

7. Since books sold through Amazon and other stores use their own presses, will the quality of the Lulu book I purchase be commensurate with these other presses?

 

8. By the way, if I submit my own production files do I retain the rights (buying my own ISBN) (not copyright which I do retain, but production pdfs) I've read that CS owns the production files. (Not sure how big a deal this is, it matters for moving to a new POD, and any set-up costs to create new files if you've already invested in them I suppose.

 

Lots of questions but Lulu seems really lite on details (maybe it will become more obvious when I start a project, but I am still in the research phase for my POD. I appreciate your answers (in advance) and hope others find this useful.

 

Comments


  • JaneAusten a écrit :

    2. What quality is best for selling directly from the author (book signing, clubs, promotions, etc? Can I get away with the lowest cost or is it really a much lower quality? I would hate to give a bad impression to readers, but it's not a newsprint pocket book and some people prefer lighter weight books.

     

     


    Obviously the less expensive : 6x9 B&W softbound. The quality is good, professional, and if your cover is attractive it will catch potential readers' attention.

    Have a poster-size photo of your cover to signal people of your presence at the book fair.  Scotch it on the wall behind you. 

    P.S. Buy one of my books, and you'll see how good Lulu productions are. Smiley LOL


  • JaneAusten a écrit :

     

    4. Do I need separate ISBNs for each of these formats


    Each edition requires an ISBN. Each edition means a new project with Lulu, and Lulu gives us free ISBNs. 

    My advice. Start with the 6x9 B&W softcover edition. When you are satisfied with it, launch a new new project (6x9 B&W hardcover). Use your first file (file-A) on your computer for the second project. Don't forget to give the new file a new name (file-B). In the copyright page of file-B, replace the file-A ISBN by the new ISBN, etc.


  • JaneAusten a écrit :

     

     

    3. Hardback is obviously very expensive, does it make sense to offer this at all for a self-published author. I suppose  since it only costs the proof then I could.  (except maybe my own special copy and one for mom ;-)?

      

     


    For obvious reasons, libraries prefer hardback books. If you donate a copy to a local library, the hardback one will be welcome.

    What you can do is have both editions with ISBN - the softback one for commercial purposes, the hardback one for your private use and gifts ... as well as for those few customers who prefer to have a hardback copy. It costs you nothing to keep them both on the market

    I now only sell some of my titles in their hardback editions. I retired their softback editions because these are rare books with small readerships, so there is no need to make them cheap. Generally they sell for 30€. This is not very expensive compared with similar books by some of my colleagues whose publishers offer them for 80€ to 120€.

     

  • You should offer the paperback and ebooks for sure. The hardback is so expensive your profit is next to nothing. I sold two of mine and made 40 cents profit for each. Unless you intend to buy a few copies and sell them at some convention it is not worth it to me to put on on Amazon.

  • 40 cents! That is disheartening.

     

    I have to say that hardback covers are a bit of an oddity. Looking at the Dust Jacket Hardcover its costs $ 13.13 for the minimum of 24 pages and yet only $ 14.65 for 100 pages.

     

    I never buy hardcover books, unless second hand. More and more I am training myself only to concentrate on the story and not worry how it is delivered, so a epub read is now as satisfying to me as a paper book read. I know that this doesn't work for everyone! However, since I started buying epubs I spend way, way more on books than I used to; there must be a lesson in that.

  • The lion's share of the Cost are the covers, the pages cost very little, unless they are in full-cover.  Smiley Surprised

     

    I would assume that those who also have hardbacked books on Amazon etc., are not using Lulu for them.

     

    Very often First Editions are in hardback because that's what some people collect, but First Edition is not really something that applies to POD books unless the publisher orders a few 100, then removes the mention of First Edition and then also turns it in to a paperback. 

  • My suggestion would be to create a hardcover version without an ISBN for sell in the Lulu bookstore.

    This gives you more pricing leeway for greater profits and allows you to purchase and sign "collectable" hardcovers for family and friends.

     

    With that said, unless you are J.K. Rowling, it is no longer necessary to release your book first in hardcover, then in softcover. Given the choice, most shoppers will choose the least expensive option - particularly for new authors.

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