What it takes to get a signed copy of one of my books in your hands


self published books unboxing

Penny the Whopper Thief checking out a new batch of books.

I love this time of year. The holidays are almost upon us, and for me that means book publishing time!

As most of you who consistently buy my books know, I publish around November and December of each year. It’s not something I really planned for, it’s just the way it all always seems to work out. This suits me just fine. Books make a great gift, and what better book to give than a fantasy adventure novel signed by the author and shipped right to your door?

As those of you who have purchased books from me know, I charge $25 for a signed copy. This includes the shipping, and (starting this year) it includes the free e-book version.

I think that’s a bargain, and I’m going to show you why.

First off, let me just say that most of you are totally cool with what I have to charge. But every now and then I encounter someone who questions this. It’s true, what I charge is higher than what you’ll be charged if you just buy the book online, and much higher than the cost of an e-book. But I think it’s a fair price, and I’d like the opportunity to show you why.

Here’s the breakdown:

* these prices fluctuate, but this is a good ballpark

  1. Print the book ($4; I use Createspace because no indie writer can afford to pay for a 1,000-3,000 book minimum print run from a print shop (no offense to print shops). Createspace is reliable and they consistently do a darn good job.)
  2. Shipping to me ($2; this cost is always passed on, and there’s no real big break for ordering in higher quantities; takes several weeks; if I want them sooner I pay much more)
  3. Packaging to ship it to you ($2; I use crushproof, oversized envelopes because I care)
  4. Drive to the post office ($2; a guesstimate; fuel, my time, standing in line, wear-and-tear and all that)
  5. Shipping to you ($5; writer’s do get a break on media rates, but this cost is also on the rise) UPDATE: This cost has now increased to $7.48
  6. Income Tax ($5; again, a ballpark, but the self-employed can generally expect a 33% hit each tax season)

Total costs for me = $21.48
What I charge you = $25
Net profit for me = $3.52

What’s detailed above represents the obvious costs. There are several others I won’t even go into.

So, in general, after working on a book for about a year, editing and proofing it, designing the cover, laying it all out and uploading it, paying for a proof copy mailed to me (which I need to approve), and marketing and socially promoting the book—I net about $5 a book.

I love you guys, I really do. But trust me—you’re getting the better end of the deal. 😊



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