Monday, May 16, 2016

The Economics of Small Press Publishing

For now, I'm leaving my Facebook status here. At some point, I need to write at length on this issue of how much poetry books cost, and why they only seem to cost too much.

Don Share writes that poetry books cost too much. They seem to. But here are details on Tinfish Press's next book. Granted, the production values are high. To make the books, ship from MN to HI, and put in specially designed and silk-screened envelopes costs $5.40 per book; the designer gets a very minimal fee; we then ship some to SPD, which will take 50% of cover price to distribute the books; 30 copies to the author (international postage); copies sent out for review (with postage) and to blurbers. For the first time ever, I bought a $20 facebook ad, which netted no sales. What we don't need is to rent space to store books. I work hard at this project, and pay myself nothing, though I often fund my travels to AWP to sit behind a table for three days and sell fewer books than the table costs. The pre-publication price is $16. Go buy one, Mr. Share! 

Our designer is Jeff Sanner.

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