I Can’t Afford My Own Books!

Well, actually, I’m not. I’m not actually moving anywhere it would seem, but that is a whole new rant for a whole other post.

What has really irked me today is that once again I am punished for living outside of the US.

As I mentioned before, 95% of the world’s population live outside of the US.


So why is it so freaking complicated, and expensive for me to get copies of the books I have written!

Yesterday, at around midday, I was on top of the world. I had just agreed to a book signing event in Amsterdam, and had at least one more potential, even probable date lined up in a different store. I was beaming ear to ear. The only problem being, I have no paperback copies of my books.

No worries, I told myself, it’s not a problem, you can just order some.

Sounds easy right?

Well, it is.

However, what is not so easy (to swallow) is the price it will cost to ship these things to me.

Just to be clear, I am not actually blaming anybody here. There is nothing that can be done by me, or my publishers to alter the fact that costs are high.

To have 10 copies of my novel sent to me will cost $105, and with two titles out I would need 10 of each at a minimum, at least to make it look good when I’m doing the signing.

So that is $210 plus the overheads of getting to Amsterdam, parking, etc. Then there is also the promo material, bookmarks and the like.

I would need to charge $15 per book, an amount I personally would feel bad about charging, and even then, my profit would be next to nothing. It would still be a loss if I factor in the costs of bookmarks, etc.

It looks as though I will be cancelling this signing in any case. I just don’t have the money to spend on getting my own books.


5 thoughts on “I Can’t Afford My Own Books!

  1. I know how you feel, Alex. I have a book signing coming up and thought it would be cheap. For 10 books, I have to pay $220 (shipping and handling included) but an additional R414.00 (about $15) for custom taxes. That’s without the promo material. I ask R200 ($20 is a standard price for books here) a book and people think I’m a lunatic, but I don’t even make money off of it and seeing as I bought the copies through my publisher, I don’t even get royalties! C’est la vie… this is the punishment we get for becoming authors and not lawyers. LOL

    1. Indeed it is Monique. Indeed it is 🙂 As you say, we don’t get royalties off these sales. Could you just as well buy them all at amazon and sell them for a loss but still get the rankings boost. Immoral as it is. 🙂

  2. Wow. That really sucks. Can the publisher give you the PDF and cover files, and you could upload it to Createspace and just keep it set to “private” for use only by you? You could order your own copies that way and work out a way to give them their share of the profits.

  3. Damn. 😦 That really sucks Alex. But before you cancel are there any other options? I know a book signing is well, for hardcopy, but what if you just ordered one of each book for your display and then created CDs of the ebook versions? Not to sell but to give away for free. If your publisher can give you an epub file you could download and install Calibre and use it to convert those epub files to Kindle compatible .mobi files. Forget about the bookmarks and just use the CDs. That would reduce your costs a lot. And maybe you could print off a collage of the book covers to be the cover of the CD?

    Don’t give up. Think laterally. Book signings are not really for /selling/ books. They’re for promoting books.

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