U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Judy Seigel's new book

Re: Judy Seigel's new book

On Wed, 29 Nov 2006, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

Thanks for asking, Sam. I'd like to get a copy, too! I'd also just like to add how utterly refreshing it is to see someone do something great like this--publishing a book--and never mention it herself here. So I'm doubly impressed. Where can we get a copy?
To show this list what an honest person I am (which adds credibility to "the book," right?) I have to admit that I'd *planned* to announce the book on the list, but got totally screwed up because I don't have a driver's license.


Deciding for several reasons (not so much poisoning as vandalism) not to run another press out of my house, I rented a PO box for Front and Back Press. But, as you don't want to know, the USPS has a few regulations, such as that what they now call "an assumed name" (used to be "dba") can't be on a PO box without a Certificate of Sole Proprietorship from the County Clerk's office, which can only be obtained with photo ID. NY State, however, won't issue a non-driver ID without one's Social Security card -- mine having been stolen by aliens, and the attempt to replace it requiring so many trips above 14th street I got the flu.

Finally, in desperation, I went downtown to the County Clerk's office with an expired passport (which fact I failed to mention) and tra la !, got the certificate, and at last the press name on the PO Box. The next hurdle is getting the website (frontandbackpress.com) up, but to do that I need a host (platform?, or whatever they call it), as is yet be negotiated.

My advisor, very experienced in e-affairs, says a minimal website is best -- I plan just the front cover image and back cover copy-- and maybe a word or two about the folks at the West Village PO, who are swell... But that's still a ways down the pike, so I will put purchase info in another e-mail, without the digressions, and thank you so much for asking -- but I feel compelled to explain now (for all small presses) why this book will NOT be on Amazon.

I've priced the book at $18... which for 209 pages, some 200 in full color, is obviously low. I may simply lack ego to value my opus adequately, but I want folks to be able to buy it -- and give it as gifts, which some say they plan to do. However, as is not sufficiently known, Amazon.com demands a 60% discount from the cover price and IN ADDITION the author/publisher must pay shipping, which has to be by UPS or DHL, & for a single volume could be $5 or like that, and I think the very next day. (Unless you have a big seller, they order one book at a time.)

The final reckoning is yet to come, but I calculate to date that my cost to print (not counting my time of course, which is beyond price) is approximately $10 per book. That may be shocking, but consider that just shipping the one & a half tons to my sidewalk from Brainerd, Minnesota cost $1100 !! (Nor do I think China would be cheaper, tho it would have taken months longer... And I admit it felt good to write "Printed in the USA" on the flyleaf -- no offense to dear "foreign" friends, but... we've had so little to brag about lately.)

As I was saying, my math (possibly off in either direction, but essentially correct) shows that to simply break even through Amazon, cover price would have to be vicinity of $30. A book in black & white would obviously cost less to print & hence be priced lower -- but still that 60% off is a bite. Plus, black & white was anyway out of the question .... I had to show my beautiful people in color... And I do love them all, *especially* the Republicans (there being so few of them).