The Voyage of Odysseus is now out as an e-book, but I’ve had lots of enquiries about when the print version will be available. Not owning an e-reader myself, I have total sympathy and am just as keen to fill that yawning gap next to The Oracles of Troy on my own bookshelf!
But here’s the problem.
Voyage is about 40,000 words longer than Oracles, which has put the publishing costs up considerably. The print costs I’ve been quoted so far per thousand books vary from between £4,717 and £7,040, or £4.72 to £7.04 per copy. Forgive me for getting technical, but based on the previous cover price of £8.99 for Oracles, the following deductions would apply:
- an average 40% “cut” for the retailer (£3.60), leaving £5.39
- warehouse and distribution costs of 15% net of receipts (81p), leaving £4.58
- sales team costs of 10% net of receipts (46p), leaving £4.12
- print costs of £4.72, leaving -60p.
So you see the problem. Even if I sell all 1,000 copies, I will still lose £600. One solution is to increase the cover price to, say, £10.99, which, going through the same calculation, would produce a profit of 32p per copy. That’s £320 if I sell all 1,000 copies, but I would need to sell at least 930 to break even. And with a higher cover price, fewer people will buy the book. Add to that the fact I don’t have a spare £4,717 sloshing around at the moment, then the prospects for a print version look grim.
But there is a solution. One of the delights of modern technology is that books can now be printed and bound individually to order. It’s called print-on-demand and works like this:
- no books are pre-printed and no stock is held, so the only upfront costs are for cover design (c.£250), typesetting (i.e. laying out the words on the page, c. £300) and a few sundries such as buying an ISBN number (the bar code identifier on the back page, without which you can’t sell the book!)
- a reader orders a book online
- a copy of the book is printed and posted to the reader
There are disadvantages, though. Because no copies are stocked in warehouses, the books aren’t sold in bookshops and are only available online. Sadly for me, and those who came to my local Waterstones back in 2014, it also means no book launch.
So will there be a print version, you might ask. Having decided to use Amazon’s own CreateSpace print-on-demand option, I’m currently having the manuscript typeset by them. This should take three weeks. As the cover has already been designed and simply needs new blurb for the back and an idea of the spine width (decided by the number of pages, which is only clear after the book has been typeset), then the book should be available at the end of February :). The cover price will be £10.99 🙁 for the reasons mentioned above, and in return for your extra £2.00 you’ll get another 40,000 words (that’s almost half the size of an average novel!) 🙂 🙂
Hopefully the above insight into the world of self-publishing has been interesting and not too boring. One other point to note. I’m going to order a few copies myself and sign them. If you’re interested in a signed copy and you live in the UK then let me know before the end of February by adding a comment below. No extra cost for my signature, of course, just the postage. I’ll clarify prices beforehand.
Im interested in a signed copy glyn
You’re on the list, Mark.
please may I have a signed copy, my son introduced me to your books, just completed a list of the novels to recommend them to a friend.
Thanks for the recommendation, Linda. I’ll put you a signed copy by when they arrive. Best wishes, Glyn
Please I woul’d love a signed copy of your latest book, The Voyage of Odysseus. Odysseus is a favourite character of mine and you do bring his intelligence and trickster
characteristics to life.
Thank you for bringing him sympathetically to life
Hi Stewart. Thanks for the kind comments. Much appreciated!
I’d like a signed copy, if i’m not too late.
Not too late, David. You’re on the list. 🙂
Hi! I too am interested in a signed copy. I can’t wait to read the book ☺
Thanks Laura. I’ll order a copy for you when they become available.
Hi Glyn, I’d be very interested in a signed copy thanks for considering me
I’ve added you to the list, Stewart. I’ll post details of costs etc. when it becomes available. I’m also happy to include any messages people want. Best wishes, Glyn
Congratulations Glyn on progressing the publication of a hard copy. I have the e-version, but would love a signed copy of the paper version please.
Certainly Dave. You’re on the list!
Do you have any idea when book may be published? Can it be pre ordered?
Great series of books. Such excellent reading they do not last long.Glad there will be more content in next book. Very entertaining.
Thanks Earl. The manuscript has now been typeset (I had to send it back as they made it 850 pages long instead of 530!) and the cover has now been finalised, so should be available soon. I seem to have been telling people that for months though…
Hey Glyn, glad to hear the fifth boox is coming into print…id be interested in a signed copy if im not to late please…
You’re on the list, Dan!
I’d be interested in a signed copy also
No problem, Gerard.
Loved the books Glyn … such a joy to read although a few lamp posts have only just been avoided on my walk home from work with book in hand. I couldn’t put your other books down and have been checking constantly for the release of the voyage of odysseus. a shame this is only released as an e book, but I can see why. if im not too late count me in
Please don’t sue me if you do walk into any lampposts! Great to hear you’ve enjoyed the series so far. The paperback of Voyage isn’t far off so let me know if you’d like a signed copy.
yes please glyn
Hello, please add me to the list too, I’ll have a print copy please! many thanks, Bev
Will do, Bev 🙂
Have absolutely loved the series so far & cant wait to read the next instalment, any chance of a signed copy!!!!
No problem Dean. I’m being sent the first copy from the printers for review, so the paperback should be made available shortly afterwards. I’ll put a post on the website to detail costs etc. for anybody interested.
Could you please add me to the list for a print copy. I have read the ebook and it was AMAZING!!!
Will do, Jodie. Glad you enjoyed the e-book.
I’m a huge fan of your books, they are spectacular and I’m really excited to read this one, I’m not a fan of e-books, so I’m going to wait for the printed version, please put me on the list if there is one. I would also love a signed copy if possible.
I’ll gladly add you to the list (assuming you live in the UK – posting abroad is very expensive).
And thanks for the kind words.
where and when will the paperback be available for those of us who don’t live in the UK?
The paperback is available from Amazon.de now. Follow this link.
Thanks, I have already placed the order.
I think that is how I will spend part of the coming weekend.
When is book # 6 expected to be out? Can`t wait.
All the best and happy writing
The sixth and final volume will be a couple of years yet (unfortunately I’m only a part-time writer). I’m still not quite decided on which ending to plan for – I’ve put elements in the previous books that could result in three possible outcomes.
Best wishes, Glyn
Just ordered my copy, glad to see there’s a paperback version! Too bad I don’t live in the UK for one of those signed copies …
Keep up the great writing!
Greetings from the river of no return in Salmon Idaho USA. Thanks to Alibris books I have been reading your saga of the Trojan war. I have the first 4 and am starting the Armor of Achilles.Cant put them down will look for your newest book on the voyage. Winters are long here but with a good book lots of firewood its a good life. I love ancient history sagas from romans to greeks and you write a great book. Keep it up.
What can be better than reading in front of a blazing fire? I visited Idaho back in 1993 but didn’t have the good fortune (?) to come across Salmon. Thanks for your kind words, Bill. Hope you enjoy Armour.