Print-on-demand Prices

At our self-publishing meeting last night, we discussed the price of getting a book printed. My only experience has been with Blurb and CreateSpace.

Besides prices for printed books, the biggest difference between these two companies is that if you create a book with CreateSpace, it can also be listed online at Amazon and other distributors. Blurb doesn’t do that. This is why I’ve gone exclusively with CreateSpace.

On October 25, 2015, I placed an order with CreateSpace for 24 books. The shipping came to $43.39. To calculate the base price of each book [the price to print and get it to my door], I divided the shipping fee by 24. This means I paid $1.81 per book.

Because CreateSpace is in the United States and I live in Canada, there is an added cost of Import Duty and Taxes paid to DHL Express on delivery. If you buy less than a certain amount [I’m told the magic number might be nine (9)], there are no import duties.

The duty fee I had to pay to the deliver guy was $21.02. Again, I divide this by 24, giving me $0.88 to add to the cost of each book.

Remember: I am in Canada, so when I make a payment, I have to consider the currency exchange rate. I use an online ‘calculator’ to do this. I go to google, type in the following key words—Canadian US dollar—and the calculator appears.diane cover

At the time of writing this blog (Tuesday October 7, 2015 10:23 am Nova Scotia time), my Canadian dollar is worth only 77 cents American.

In other words, for every hundred dollars-worth of books I buy from CreateSpace, I’m paying $123.00. That sucks! But not as bad as when I placed the order on September 25th. The difference was 33 cents, which means for every hundred dollars-worth of books I ordered, I paid $133.00.

Here is the breakdown of two books from the order.

5 x $2.36 – Pockets of Wildflowers

$2.36 (print cost for 1 book) + $1.81 (shipping) = $4.17

$4.17 x 33% (US exchange) = $5.55 + $0.88 (duty) = $6.43 (cost per book)

Cover Price: $10.00

Profit: $3.57

5 x $5.24 – Shadows in the Stone

$5.24 (print cost for 1 book) + $1.81 (shipping) = $7.05

$7.05 x 33% (US exchange) = $9.38 + $0.88 (duty) = $10.26 (cost per book)

Cover Price: $15.00

Profit: $4.74Diane Lynn McGyver - Pockets of Wildflowers

The cover price for Pockets of Wildflowers was $7.00. Obviously, I can’t sell it for that now, so it now sells at markets for $10.00.

I’m working on another post on pricing, but I want to do a little more research first. I haven’t ordered from Blurb since 2010, and I want to see how their prices compare to CreateSpace. The last time I checked, they were outrageous. To have Shadows in the Stone printed was approximately $12.00 per book, and that didn’t include taxes or shipping. Now that they have to compete with CreateSpace, perhaps they have adjusted their pricing.

4 thoughts on “Print-on-demand Prices

    • Oh, I know: the ugly dollar. When I ordered books earlier this week, I was happier with the extra 23 cents per dollar after the extra 33 cents I had to add a few weeks ago. I’d love to see it be on par again, or better yet, our dollar worth more. We can always dream.


  1. I use CreateSpace, but have found a printer who can print small quantities of books at a cheaper cost than Amazon. So I take a chance and order 100. I order a couple of books from Amazon for my files, and all local orders and orders from distributors and through my website I supply from my printed stock, post free in the UK as the postage is covered by what I would otherwise pay to Amazon. For me, this is a better deal, and it is made possible by many printers now going into digital printing. It would be well worthwhile you doing a search for printers in Canada to see if any offer a book printing service, and compare costs.


    • I’ve checked for printers several times in Canada over the past six years, and I have found they are not cheaper than CreateSpace nor do they offer the advantages CreateSpace does. Shipping between provinces is crazy expensive in Canada, so the alternative would have to be somewhere close (within two hours drive) so I could pick up books.

      But things are always changing, so I’m going to check again this fall. One local company offers quality printing, but the minimum order is 200 books. At this time, I cannot afford to have 200 copies of each title printed. Nor do I have the space to store them. They also work with InDesign only, which I don’t have yet.

      I encourage everyone to check with local printers first. I’m happy to hear you have found a printer that works for you. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.


Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.