Sunday, October 5, 2008

Discounted Books?



I just received a letter from one of the submitting poets asking if he could get a discount since three of his poems were published in the the Mayberry poetry book (actually, only two were published; we declined one). Don't get me wrong -- usually I am the person negotiating for a discount! However, I have had people raise eyebrows at the cost of the books before. I think shoppers are used to buying trade paperbacks with lots of pages for $7.99. They look at a book which is larger but with fewer pages and think the $12.99 price tag is high. To put things in perspective, I sent him the following note.

Actually, more poems = more formatting and more pages printed = more cost to print, so the more poems I run from one person, the more they have increased my costs. That's one reason many publications charge a "reading fee" or "submission fee" for each poem submitted. The $12.95 covers the cost of compiling, editing, formatting, layout, binding, trimming, printing, and publishing, as well as the costs to ship to me and the cost for envelopes and postage to ship to you, most of which money goes to the publisher, Staples and the Post Office, not to me.

Also, The Mayberry Poem - A Tribute to Mayberry and How to Promote Your Book are printed in small runs numbered in the hundreds, not thousands like drug store paperback books, so the cost per book is higher. And since I only have 7 left from my first order, I am not highly motivated to discount!

Next time you see a Hallmark card which is one sheet of paper folded twice with one poem and a couple of illustrations on it for $5.99, just think - for the price of two of those plus a couple of bucks, you would have paid for a book with over 200 poems and 45 illustration!

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