I recently received an email from an indie author bookstore that wants to stock my books.
My response is not elation or gratitude, it's suspicion.
I think this industry is making me a cynic.
P.J. Boox http://pjboox.com/ was started by "award-winning(?) author and illustrator, Patti Brassard Jefferson in the summer of 2015. Brassard describes herself as a self-published author who released her first book with an indie publisher (how does that work?) and so on and so forth to the end that apparently she can "relate".
Her store only accepts self-published and indie authors (are these not one and the same?), "as well, micro, small press, vanity and subsidy publishers may submit books. Traditionally published large publishing houses and imprints may not."
Already I'm having difficulty with the pitch and wondering if Brassard wrote this how she became an award-winning author? I mean is there a difference between micro and small press? Aren't vanity and subsidy publishers the same thing? Is a traditionally published large publishing house the same as a large publishing house or a traditional publisher? Does the writer know that saying the same thing only using different words is still being redundant?
Anyhow, let's cut to the chase.
Brassard doesn't want to stock my books she wants to rent me shelf space in her store.
For $80.00 and a one time set up fee of $18.00, I can rent a shelf that will fit six books max for four months. If they sell your books in the store you get 98 percent royalty. If you want them to sell them online you ante up another $15.00 set up fee and they take twenty percent.
You send them your books and every month they send you the money you earned that month.
So lets crunch some numbers, shall we?
My novel Abandoned Dreams sells for $9.99. I order six to fill the shelf and have CreateSpace ship them to PJ Boox. It costs $26.57
I add the set up charge and the shelf rental of $98.00 plus the cost of the books for a total of 124.57. If I sell all six books at $10.00 = 60.00, less 2%@ $1.20 = $58.80 net. I'm in the hole $65.77.
What about if I sell more than double that, say 13 books at $10.00 = 130.00, less 2% @$2.40 = $127.60, but printing and shipping has just jumped to $49.07, so I'm still in the red $46.04.
My brain's getting tired but suffice to say I would need to sell about 20 books in four months to break even and just a few less in the next four month cycle to pay the shelf rental considering the setup fee is waived. I fare even worse with books sold online by PJ Boox.
Will a bookstore in a strip mall in Fort Myers, Florida sell more books (a lot more) for me than Amazon considering they have my books available in all major English speaking countries in the world?
So let's sum up shall we? Taking advantage of the offer presented by PJ Boox means more hassle and less profit and grinding my teeth every time I have to think, say or write that ridiculous name.
Sure I want to see my books in a bookstore, but I'm waiting until they pay me rather then the other way around.
Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs
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THE BIG PICTURE, FOREST or ABANDONED DREAMS
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