Having a publisher in America is the goal of many writers. I am lucky enough to have found one, a good one who accepted my entire trilogy of novels – under the presumption I actually finish writing the third one – and produced a very good package for me.
However, living in europe and with the paperback version of my books being printed through Createspace, I am caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to getting copies of my book.
It took almost 3 months (if memory serves) for me to get my 5 author copies, and my publisher was shocked at the shipping prices. As someone with a family, surviving on a single income in a highly taxed part of the world (the highest bracket is 52%) I do not have a lot of disposable income, and this includes money for books… even my own.
I simply cannot afford to order any of my own books because the cost of shipping them is far too high. Likewise, I cannot order them and then wait 3 months for the high price. Why? I just think it is unacceptable. Besides, their delivery times are very unreliable compared to their promises. With this in mind, I could not order anything, for a particular event that I may attend, as I very rarely plan things that far in advance.
I am thinking more about business trips and taking copies of my books with me to ‘forget’ in airport or hotels, etc.
It cannot be denied that Amazon are one of the big boys of online retail, and the leading figure for self publishing – I know about Lightning Source and a few others, but Amazon offer the best package from my impression – you would have thought that it was about time they opened up some distribution networks outside of the states.
They already have KDP bases around the globe, so setting something up for the physical print copies in their large places, say UK for Europe and Australia for the Eastern regions, would allow people in these places a more affordable way to print their books, and actually get copies of them for a) a decent price of delivery and b) in a reasonably acceptable timeframe.
I know a lot of fellow writers spread in other parts of the globe and I am sure they would be just as excited as me to hear that Amazon is broadening its horizons beyond the US borders. For a large company their fear of international development are staggering, and something they will have to get over, because while what they offer is good. Should anybody pop up outside of the US, there is an entire market hungry for the services.