A lot goes on for an author behind the scenes which the book-loving public rarely think about! I face the exciting challenge of having my book published in another country, which gives the issue of not being able to just drive to the publisher and pick up cartons of books to take to events or talks.
Oh, no. They need to ship internationally to me before I can do that. And the publisher doesn't pay for that, I do. We all know shipping of books from USA is not a cheap thing and being a new author, I really have no idea how many books I should be taking to places like the Abbey Medieval Festival or other events.
So up front I get to:
- buy the books at cost (not cheap)
- pay for the cartons shipping to Australia (seriously, not cheap)
- pay for postage for anyone who wants a signed copy (add $7.50 in AU if it fits the standard package)
- pay for the packaging material as well (several more dollars right there)
A few people are saying they want a signed copy at Abbey, but whether they actually turn up with money or do the "I'll get one later" thing, I won't know. I'm looking at a pre-order where they can pay beforehand and collect at the event. And quite frankly, I don't know what amount of books I should be taking. Site fees need to be paid for. I still need to get Exhibitors Insurance as well which will cover me for a year of selling books at places as my re-enactor insurance won't cover me.
If I want 200 books which isn't many really, say 15 in a carton, that's paying for shipping for 13 big, heavy boxes filled with books. Still waiting to hear what that is likely to cost, but I'm stressing about it. Ordering online and bringing to an event is a great idea for signings, but this year, our first event will launch the book, so anyone who buys one there will be ahead of online buyers and save the shipping cost. Not me. I pay the shipping cost and for the book. My share at the end is very small before everything else.
This, dear people, is a peek into behind the scenes.