In the last dispatch I explained the digital workings of how an e-book ends up on your reader. Today, I’m going to explain how you can get a print version of my novel using this new business model.
Before the future, let’s reacquaint ourselves with the model of the past. In yon olden days a publisher would order, say a print run of 1000 books. (I know that’s a puny figure, but that’s what the publisher ordered for the first print run of Harry Potter.)
The printed books (paid for by the publisher) are shipped to book sellers and it’s time to shop. This is the concept of supply and demand. We provide the supply; you go wild with desire, and demand to purchase one. That model worked fairly well for a long long time, but in the last decade or so, likely two, the bottom has dropped out of the publishing industry.
Why has this happened? Some say that people are stupid and don’t read any more. Phooey. I don’t believe that for one second.
Others blame the Internet and big box book stores. Might be some truth to that, but before I get off on a rant, back to the exciting new model of book selling – demand and supply.
What this means is that you will never see a stack <sniff> of Night Town in a bookstore near you, unless it is specially ordered and paid for in advance. In the past, the publisher would ship out a supply of books and the cash was ponied up later. Some feel that it was sending out those stacks of books, many that never sold, that could be responsible for putting the publishing industry on life support.
Here’s how a printed copy of my novel will find its way to you. You order Night Town from Iguana Books, Amazon, Lex and Lou’s Amazing On-Line Book Emporium etc …any on-line book seller. They contact Lightning Source (the folks from Tennessee) who prints up a copy especially for you. (And might I take this moment to brag mention that Lightning Source makes very pretty books. Furthermore they’ve got plants in Australia,England and Tennessee making worldwide distribution a snap.)
Lightning Source then ships you Night Town in an Amazon or Chapters/Indigo or whatever mailer (depending on where you bought it) and it could be delivered that very day or the next. Worst case scenario? A week. And that’s very rare.
So that is how it works. Any questions, comments or observations?
Coming up next, I will attempt to address the thorny issue. “Come on Cathi, isn’t this a vanity publication? How can you do that? Ewwww.”