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!