Tuesday, April 03, 2018
One Week til Launch + Some Book Biz Thoughts
Hi Everyone. Thanks so much for placing the orders for Crafting A Patterned Home. I am up to 122 books that I will be shipping out by the end of this week. I am in the process of packing them now. The official release date is next Tuesday April 10th. Only 378 left to go to hit my goal of 500 books.
I was speaking with a person this morning who will be interviewing me for a podcast I had never heard of. She was asking me about how I would like the link to point when she adds the book to her show notes on her podcast's website. I said I would really appreciate it if she pointed everyone to my very own website. She asked why so I explained. She was fascinated by the explanation I gave her and she said she never realized how little an author made from writing books nor how Amazon sales affected an author's income. I thought it would be good to explain it here since you too might be deciding to buy my new book on Amazon versus directly from me on my website - even if I do throw in all the goodies.
I received an advance for this book. I got two checks - one in 2016 and one in 2017 - each for $7500. I also paid my agent her commission of 15%. I used the advance to fund all the projects in the book - there are 30. For most of them, I had to purchase new supplies. My advance was to help cover the cost of the supplies and to help me live during the book production.
This book took me about 1 1/2 years to do, write, illustrate and edit. There are a lot of very big projects in this book that took eons of time. In between I did other projects to help pay the bills. I ran classes at our farm, sewed tea towels, made pottery, did Farmers Markets. We live pretty simply and try to keep our expenses low.
By now, the advance payments are long gone. There are 2 ways I can make more off of this book. The first is to earn back my advance and if by some miracle I do earn back my advance, I will get a check twice a year for a very small amount. I will say that in all of my 12 books that I have written, there is only one book that I have earned my advance back on. Writing craft books is not the road to riches. I'm not complaining - I like to conceptualize, make, write, illustrate and do all the work that goes into making a book.
I know that my only good chance of earning any more money off of Crafting A Patterned Home is to sell books myself. I purchase the books wholesale from the distributor and then I sell them direct to you. I have costs associated with this. Here is how I have broken them down.
Book Cost: $ 12.48
Bookplate: $ .04 (my own handpainted design for you)
Postcards (set of 5): $ .50 (goodies from me)
Postage via Media Mail: $ 3.17 (I am offering free postage for a while)
Shipping Label: $ .04
Envelope: $ .28
Tissue Paper: $ .16
Plastic Bags for goodies $ .05
Paypal Fee $ 1.02
Ink and paper for printer? Who knows
My total cost: $ 17.74
My profit: $ 7.21 per book
This does not count my time designing postcards, painting the bookplates, ordering supplies..... nor packing the books. Lots of planning and time goes into this.
If I sell you the book for $24.95, I am making $ 7.21 per book past my advance that was received in 2016 and 2017. This will really help me keep my business alive this spring. Once again - it is not the road to riches but it is a help.
If you buy the book via Amazon, the purchase of the book will go towards the book count towards my book advance. Amazon will make the spread past the cost that they pay the publisher for the book. I am quite sure they receive a larger discount than I do. As we all know - they are the largest bookseller in the world and most books are now sold through them.
My agent Linda and I met the other day for lunch. I was telling her how I would be selling copies of the book. She said "I always tell authors - the person who puts the book in the hands of the purchaser is the one who makes the most money. Past the author, the editor, the book designer, the photographer, the distributor. "
So thanks for purchasing from me. Here are the four different bookplates that I have designed. I am randomly packing them in envelopes but if you want a certain one, please note it on your order.
This is my collating station where I stack up the various postcards and goodies and bag them up to go with each book.
I'm not sure why more authors don't take the opportunity to sell their books directly. Perhaps they would rather be writing books rather than packing and shipping them. Perhaps they don't have an e-commerce website and don't want to bother. Me - I like to have my income come from many streams. I like the variety and the planning and the scheming and the physicality of shipping orders and going to the Post Office. I'm going to be thinking about all of you kind people as I wrap and package this new book - Crafting A Patterned Home.
Here is the link to order Crafting A Patterned Home from me. Thanks so much.
Of course - if you are lucky enough to have a local indie bookstore, please buy from them to help keep them in business. Bookstores struggle as much as authors do to make a living. It is your choice but if you do purchase from me - thank you so much - from Julia, Mark and I here at our farm.