Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Price Points

And now, some nuts and bolts. Price Points.

My current book, Previously, was designed as a simple collection of work and published using Small Zone (which was very simple and I'd encourage its use). The book cost £180 to print and then about £25 for postage to me. Knowing that I'd only intended to sell the book directly, I set what I thought was a reasonable cost for selling £3 - this meant that if I sold about 66 copies I would break even. As it happens, I was able to add a premium to the price by selling it with sketches for £4 and so I broke even at 50 copies. The remainder have been selling online.

Now that's great but when you need to place the comic into a comic shop you have to take into account that the comic shop will take 40% of your takings (unless you know them really well, in which case they might go as low as 25%). That means, that the £3 book is earning £1.80 for every copy sold, or, to put it another way - you're losing about 20p for every copy you sell. This is clearly unsustainable.

There are two ways to improve the situation, you can either increase the cover price (a £4 book will pay £2.40 - so you can recoup about 40p per copy, or a £5 book will pay you £3 - leaving a profit of about £1)

The other way is to increase the print run, 200 books will reduce the book cost down to about £1.50 per copy, making a £3 price point barely sustainable.

But why profit? Simple: wastage. Your aim will always be to have books in stock so you need to be able to break even as quickly as possible. Breaking even at 100% of your print run is a sure fire way to lose money (because not everyone sells 100% of their run).

So, there you have it. My current thinking on pricing. Of course, it's all open to change/debate. I'm learning this as I go...

1 comment:

Bolt-01 said...

A good point. FQ was carried in Travelling man earlier this year for a while, and despite selling a few copies, the way the deal worked and the postage involved both ways meant that we were down on the deal. Not just a little, either. To be blunt we'd have been better off giving those copies away.

For us, Direct sales at a con, or paypal are the best way to go. Which is a shame as I'd love to have FQP comics (or dogbreath) in a shop.