US Dollar Kicks Teeth

MoneyIf you live in Canada, you know what that means. The US dollar is kicking us in the teeth. I ordered a proof for Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove from CreateSpace—located in the United States—so I checked the exchange rate and almost choked on my tea.

For me to buy one US dollar, I have to pay $1.41 Canadian. Thankfully, I don’t have to order books in bulk at this time because I’m not attending markets. I have a few copies of each if I sell one online or in person.

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Pricing Books at CreateSpace

Taking a closer look at printing prices at CreateSpace, I discovered something very interesting:

A book measuring 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches is the same price as a book measuring 6 inches by 9 inches.

Not surprising enough?

Would you believe a book measuring 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches, black and white interior, 117 pages, costs $2.26, and…

a book measuring 8 inches by 10 inches, black and white interior, 117 pages, costs…the same price: $2.26.

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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.

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Are Independent Publishers Being Clobbered?

If you’ve been following ebook news over the past 6 months then you’ve noticed that ebook prices have tended to drop. In fact, the average prices of ebook bestseller lists have shown a fairly consistent downward trend for the past year as more and more titles exit agency price controls and enter the free market.

Indie authors are beginning to notice, and one in particular blogged about it last week. That blog post crossed my desk yesterday, and while it’s interesting and factually correct I don’t the author reached a valid conclusion.

To read more, visit Indie Authors Are Getting Clobbered by Big Name eBook Discounts – But Not For The Reason You Think at the Digital Reader blog.

Calculating the Price of Ebooks

The publishing world is changing quickly, making it difficult for authors and publishers to accurately judge the value of an electronic book. When ebooks first became available, there were no numbers to crunch to calculate their price. Should they go for free because they’re not permanent (in the same sense as a printed copy), or should they be priced the same as their paper counterparts?

Now with several years of ebooks behind us, a general pricing by publishers is taking shape. It’s aided by the facts more readers have devices to read ebooks and ebooks are becoming more popular. Have you looked at the price of the ebook version of the recent paperback you just bought? I did. The paper copy cost about $15.00 whereas the ebook cost $10.99.

Browsing Chapters online, I found many ebooks selling for more than ten dollars, some more than $30. Wow. I never thought electronic books would sell for so much, but then, this is a whole new world for books, authors and publishers. They—we—are learning as we go.

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