Are hardcovers worth the cost for indie authors?

*Just a heads up. I wrote this at 8 am EST after NO sleep. If you see mistakes, I'm sorry and sleepy*

As the indie world picks up steam, so do the platforms that allow indies to create! From Amazon's preorders to Nook offering POD hardbacks. I was excited about the latter until I researched the costs that come along with it. 

I guess some would think it would be a novelty to own a hardback of their book and I agree, but I also want to sell hardbacks to readers who want them.

So, I guess I am asking readers to decide if it is worth it or not. I'm going to be really upfront here about the cost of self-publishing and I am going to give you REAL prices so that you can see what it would cost you to have a hardback from me and why.

I don't know and I don't care how much other authors pay for their covers and formatting. LOL. I am basing these number off of what it costs ME to publish a hardcover. Other authors will have varying numbers.

What does it cost me to order the book and have it mailed to me? 

I'll start with showing you the cost of ordering a book that I have already published.

This is for: 



233 pages

Cream Paper

Hardcover with dust jacket

Okay, so you can see the reader's cost for the book will already be $20.90 - $1.18 = $19.72

I don't charge tax, so that comes out of what I make. I charge a flat rate for shipping on my site of 3.99 even though it costs me more than that to ship a 6'9 book. ($5.25). So for the reader's the cost comes to $19.72 + 3.99 = $22.71 Then, I add what I am going to make per sale: $5 making the reader's cost $27.71. I picked up the tax, so I'll only make: $3.82 and the I pick up the rest of the shipping and I make: $2.02. :) 

However, I can't sell these on Amazon, Nook is NOT set up that way. So you'd have to order them from me off my site.

But, if I were to have to get my cover reformatted and my book interior reformatted, I'll have to charge more for the book. :/ 

There is a HUGE difference between Nook and Lulu. The biggest being that you can sell your hardcover on Amazon as well. Last year, when I checked with Amazon about listing a hardcover, they told me I would have to pay $99 per book!! So, I opted out of that, but I have heard that there is no longer a price tag on listing hardbacks. I don't know if that is true or not. 

Here the cost of the book is $22.30, so the cost to the reader here is $22.30 + 3.99 = $26.29

Then, I add $5 making it: $31.29 subtract about a buck from what I make for covering a buck in shipping. $30.29

It sucks, the reader pays for shipping twice. I hate that, but I can't figure out a more affordable way to make this work.

I think it is more expensive with Lulu, because of the options you have with other sellers. Also, when creating a hardcover with a dust jacket on Lulu, you have MANY more options to help make your novel beautiful. After all, you are paying for the cover as well as what is inside. 

However, if you were to buy this novel from Amazon via Lulu, it would cost you an arm and a leg! LOL. Really, in order for me to make...Oh, hell. I'll just show you.:

In order for me to make $1.60 when selling on Amazon, I'd have to price my book at 33.32 and that does not include what Amazon will charge you for shipping, :/


OPTIONS ARE A BIT LIMITED WITH NOOK. That's to be expected since this is a new feature with them. So, I didn't have as many choices to make my novel stand out.

All in all, I don't think I will list a hardback on Amazon or even sell them unless they are requested. If you have any suggestions  or opinions, let me know!! I'd like to know what you think about hardcover pricing!

A novel in two weeks? Yes, I did.

This is the EXACT dance I did at 3:12 a.m. Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Okay, so the process is not done yet, but I actually received a few FB PMs about my post. Most PMs were good, some sad and others were very encouraging!! 

One said, "OMG I wish I could do that!! You amaze me!" Me: GURL STOP!! LOL

Another said, "You are reminding me what a slacker I am! Me: Psst...So am I!

The one that stuck with me most said, "I WISH I had that much free time, energy & creative brain power!" Me: Say what now?

Let's start with the FREE TIME:

I love the support and messages, but I must tell you. I didn't have the time, I forced the time to bend to my will and be my B*&$^! I work full-time or something like it. Mon-Thurs from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and every Sun for 10 hours from 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. I'm supposed to have Fridays off, but over time has me working 6 days a week. I only have Saturdays off and to me, that doesn't count because I work from until 6 a.m. on Saturday and have to work 10 hours the next day. Now, I am glad I have a job, many don't, but I DON'T want to be there 6 days a week. I don't care how much they pay me!

Then there is my Mister :) Anyone with a hubby, BF, GF, etc... knows that if you work 6 days a week ALREADY your lovah is going to expect you to spend the ONLY day you have off with them or at least, part of the day, so when instead, you open your laptop and place ear buds in your ears and ignore him or her, expect some trouble in paradise.

My Mister's face when I power up the Mac...again.

So, I didn't & I did have free time. Why both? Because I sacrificed time with my Mister, friends and family, sleep, personal time and did I say SLEEP? 

This was my writing schedule:

Work: 11p.m. to 6 a.m.

Writing: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Sleep: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Writing: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Eat, shower, and maybe watch half a movie with the mister WHILE I kept the laptop open.

•Refer to the OMG gif above•

10 p.m. Ready up for work.

11 p.m. work while plotting out my next chapters and praying I didn't forget anything.

^^I did this for 12 days.^^

Now, let's address ENERGY

I didn't have any...

 Moving on to Creative Brain Power

 I had the idea to write a novel like this when I was cruising on FB looking at a page called, Swirl World and I thought, what if two people who had never met in person fell in love with each other? Then I was like, "Nah, too contemporary & too boring!" Also, I've seen books with a similar plot, but I have never read them. Then I was like, "What if a dude in the KKK fell for a black chick?" I was getting there! I went to work and ran my idea by a co-worker who I like to call my MUSE. Over the two weeks, I explained in detail what was happening to Katie and Logan and listened as she gave her advice and opinions. I also interviewed a few ex-cons willing to give me some insight on what happens during that parole process, I spoke to a few peeps who worked in a prison and I watched a documentary or two.  

After a week, I had 30,000 words and I was proud of myself. However, I was tired, I'd missed a swim day with my sister and nephews, the Mister: refer to the OMG gif and did I say I was tired?

By the time the second week came around, I was ready to put the book up. I'd only planned to write 20,000 words to get a head start on my 70,000-word goal for Camp NaNoWriMo. Instead, I am writing book two for NaNoWriMo. Anyways, it's 9 a.m. and I'm tired so I'll get right to the point -she says after all that writing- I'm no superwoman and I am not typically a fast writer. I just had an idea and I sacrificed a lot of time to write it. That's all. 

So, if I can do it, so can you. I know that sounds corny, but it is true. Good luck and happy writing!!