Recently, I’ve been doing a good deal of research on POD printers – specifically in regards to distribution channels and pricing.
The very first paperback edition of my novel, “Dark Justice” was actually set up by a British ebook publisher who also wanted to offer paperback versions of the ebook titles they carried. This publisher chose to go with Lulu.com, a popular POD printer. I personally had nothing to do with that first paperback edition, as the publisher did all of the work to get it set up.
I was actually quite excited about having a paperback version available, was rather surprised when I discovered the publisher had priced the book at just over $16 USD. Add in shipping and handling and any buyer would be putting out about $20 for the 6″ x 9″ trade paperback. Quite expensive for a first novel by an unknown author.
Sales were dismal. I knew it was too expensive, but since I did not set it up, I could only request that the publisher remove the paperback option, and the publisher graciously complied.
So I decided to set it up myself at Lulu.com. I don’t know why the original publisher chose the 6×9 trade paperback option, but I ran the pricing on that and then compared to other format options. I soon discovered that Lulu also offered a 5.5″ x 8.5″ digest size option and it priced out to be about 40% less expensive!
Okay – my entire point was to try to get a paperback offering on Amazon at what I considered a reasonable price. I was a bit closer with the latest reduction in cost. The price still wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but it was closer.
A few weeks later, I was talking with a writer friend who is very knowledgable in all aspects of publishing and self publishing. He suggested another POD printer as an option, and I went to check them out. Enter CreateSpace.com
I went to their site and began running the costing options. For the same 5.5″ x 8.5″ Digest size book, same page count, the price was about 40% less expensive than the same thing at Lulu! Not only that, but shipping costs were also less expensive than Lulu options. Best of all, CreateSpace.com is an Amazon company, so all books have an easy tie-in to the Amazon website.
I got the CreateSpace version set up and ordered a proof copy (a requirement at CreateSpace). Got the proof in just a couple of days and the product was great quality. In fact, when compared to the Lulu version of the same book, the CreateSpace version was a bit thicker, which indicated that they must use a slightly thinker paper, as the page count was identical. In all other aspects, the quality was the same or better than Lulu, at a substantial savings.
Switching over to CreateSpace has now allowed me to price my novel very attractively on Amazon.com
It pays to shop around for the best pricing options. I would suggest that you check out CreateSpace.com if you want a quality POD printed book at a very reasonable price. I will write another article about my experience with CreateSpace.com as soon as I can. Until then – go and compare.