U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Beware of Amazon.com

Re: Beware of Amazon.com

Judy, I went to the Amazon Advanced Search page and searched on Midmarch Press, got piles of books listed for the publisher Midmarch Arts Press, most of which were $20 to $30 (one was much more, $90, but this was used from a 3rd party seller). I don't dispute your publishing economics caution, but see no evidence of pricing at multiples of the cover.


Judy Seigel wrote:
For a mainstream book by a large publisher, the economics of selling through Amazon are probably workable: The book is printed cheaply in China, Amazon will buy several hundred at a time, so the cost to ship per book is negligible, etc, and I also figure that Amazon does not demand 60% off the cover price of a book it will sell by the hundreds.

But for a specialty book, as for instance "Club without Walls," it's most likely ordered one at a time. Amazon's rule is that it must be shipped within 24 hours, which is going to cost the publisher at least $6, more likely $7 ... plus of course the 60% discount from the cover price... so unless the book is priced at over $40, the publisher will clear only $10, which has to cover cost to print AND a royalty to the author (however pitifully small).

At bookstores that are NOT Amazon, the commission is usually 40% OR LESS ! On the 3rd hand, in my experience of small-press publishing, it can be very difficult to collect for your sold books from brick and mortar stores. They NEED the large publishers... they don't *need* you.