It is hard to believe that my Indiegogo campaign is almost half way over. It’s one of areas where time moves in odd ways. Somedays it feels like this is a slow, dragging time. Other days it feels like I can’t keep up with how fast it is going.
I’m not going to lie, I do wish that I were a little farther along than 34% of my goal. Admittedly, that is still a significant figure and a decent amount of books printed. I could go on and on about self-doubt and not giving up, but that is a post for another time.
This is a post all about Where the Money goes. It is incredibly important to me that those who are supporting this book know how I am going to use the cash that is coming in. So here is a bit of a breakdown:
This is going to be a short section, mostly because I am going to put the main expense, the actual printing, in its own own section. This book hasn’t really cost any money.
I wrote it. Friends and family have served as volunteers beta-readers to help catch errors and beta-read it. My wife is handling cover-design and interior illustration (so forgive me if I don’t make too big a deal about not having permission to reveal anything on that end yet.) I’m handling all the formatting and conversions for the paperback and the different ebook formats. Since this is a complete in-house work or fees are basically our time.
The only money that has been spent on this book has been roughly $50 (5000yen) on a Facebook ad. I wanted to see if it had an impact. Just like last time, I’m getting views, but no actual purchases. (Which of course makes me wonder if I just suck at pitching my work, but I’m trying to avoid self doubt here.)
Okay, here is where it gets a bit messy. I already decided that the cover price on these books will be $15. That seems to be the going rate for paperbacks of this quality. Later I’ll do a side by side comparison, but I can honestly say that the printing company I use is superior to Amazon’s create space or a mass market paperback. For quality of work, it is every bit the equal of modern literary fiction. And, any less than $15 and it gets a little too hard to justify the expense.
I can’t simply give you a unit cost of printing, because the more I print the cheaper that price is. Instead I am going to explore what it would cost to print 100 books, 200 books and 300 books. The company I use has a handy dandy estimation page. You go there, enter the details, they pump out the estimate. Feel free to give it a look, just keep in mind it is all in Japanese. Which is why all the following amounts are in yen. (To keep things simple, I am going with an exchange rate of $15=1500 yen, even if it isn’t the exact rate.)
This would cost an estimated 153,095yen. I don’t even need to break out the calculator to see that this would lose me money on every book sold. Something about that hurts my heart, so even though its the cheapest option, I wouldn’t opt for this. I would gladly go into my own pocket to live for the dream of being able to eventually break even.
The estimate on 200 books is 247,845yen. My calculator tells me that makes it a unit cost of 1235yen. Meaning I make 265 yen from every book. Not bad. I could live with this.
(Okay, I know that this doesn’t work out exactly. I mean, some of the people who are supporting me bought extra rewards or ebooks and that money goes into paying off the printing meaning that I’m probably getting a slightly higher unit profit. Or at least I might break even sooner. Or something like that. Really, I’m not sure. I just want to show you the numbers I have so you know I’m not trying to cheat you. I’m okay with you knowing my writing skills are higher than my math skills. ‘Cause I can still do enough of the math to run this. Promise.)
The printing cost here is 342,745yen. So unit cost is 1143yen. Woohoo! 357yen profit for book! Talk about rolling in the cash! Easy street here we come! Okay, no. That’s not true at all. But it would be a better deal to be able to print this much.
Because you know what I haven’t talked about at all? Shipping. Padded envelopes and stamps. It won’t be anything glamorous, but we want to make sure the book is protected.
Wow. I don’t know if anyone is still reading at this point. This might not be the most exciting post ever, but I really want those thinking about purchasing a book through me know that these numbers have been looked up. There is a plan. And I am happy to share these amounts with you.
The money I get go to printing these books. And hopefully after printing them and sending them out, I can sell any extra copies and one day that money might go to getting me and the Mrs. a nice lunch. Or maybe I’ll just but it aside to use as back up money for the next book.
Also, if you are interested, the magic number of paperback buyers needed is down to 106. A long hill to climb.