You’re invited to join our upcoming Christian Authors Guild meeting at our Woodstock location Monday, October 6. Come meet new writers, get inspiration, and plug into your local Christian author community. Visit our location page for information on our meeting place.
Join members and visitors Monday, April 7, at 7pm, at Prayer and Praise Christian Fellowship for a special meeting of the Christian Authors Guild as they celebrate their 14th year as north Georgia’s premiere Christian writers group. After a brief business meeting, attendees will enjoy special “mini” presentations by member authors/speakers Cynthia Simmons and Bryan Powell. Also, opportunity to re-order CAG’s new anthology Relief Notes for a deep discounted price will be given attendees. The new release nearly sold out at the recent Coffee & Quill “Mini” Conference. For detail directions, click on the meetings tab above.
A special Saturday morning meeting “mini conference” is set for March 22 from 8:30 am- noon for breakfast goodies followed by two top-notch inpirational speakers bound to encourage aspiring writers. For more info please see the Coffee & Quill tab under our CAG website at www.christianauthorsguild.org
Aspiring Christian writers are set to meet on March 3, 7 pm, at Prayer and Praise Christian Fellowship in Woodstock. This monthly meeting is open to visitors and refreshments are served. For more information about the Christian Authors Guild, please contact www.christianauthorsguild.org
Dr. Dillard, Senior Pastor of Peachtree City Christian Church also just happens to be the Chairman of the Board of Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ and has a passion for the mission field.
Dillard is also the author of Seven Things That God Desires For Us and The Big Mission. He has been the guest pastor of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Georgia Legislature.
This free meeting is open to all and refreshments are served. The meeting begins at 7 pm. For directions to the meeting venue, see the CAG website http://www.christianauthorsguild.org
If you’ve done your homework and built a platform, you can have a great time talking to your friends and customers.
The question now is, “How do I get compensated? After all, isn’t that the goal (at least somewhere down the list after being a blessing and having fun and getting the word out and creating a wave and all that stuff)?”
Before we discuss the compensation from the retail side, we need to understand the wholesale side. If you are published through a traditional publisher, you need to read and understand the commission split in your contract.
I know it’s hard to read all that fine print, but you need to know it or you’ll end up embarrassing yourself. The one thing you don’t want to do is call your publisher and demand to know why your royalty check didn’t come the day after the end of the first quarter.
Let’s say you completely understand your contract (not). What next?
Know how much you paid for your books on the wholesale side. If you paid 40% of the retail price. That means you make a whopping 60% profit, not bad. It would be better if you could wheedle out of your publisher 35%. That’s the negotiation part of this blog.
I begged my publisher, using all sort of spurious excuses such as: I’m a poor, starving artist, my kids will go hungry if I don’t get a better discount, and I’ll have to put my mother-in-law in a nursing home if you don’t give me a better discount.
To my dismay, he didn’t budge. I was crushed, but he did throw in an extra 25 books. Free I might add. Shew! That was a relief.
Some venues will charge a “consignment fee” and others won’t.
- Let’s start with the coffee shops.
- They are usually a free event.
- You make the sale, you keep the money. It’s that simple.
- Keep a log of your sales and if yours is a sales tax state, be sure to charge the tax and record it in a log book.
If you don’t charge your customers the sales tax, you’ll have to pay it and that comes out of your profit margin.
- Next, are the independent or new and used book stores.
- I have been in many and they all do it differently.
- One store discounts my books 10%, but then pays me 60% of the retail price. They make a 30% profit and I make 20% (if I paid 40% to my publisher).
That’s where profit margins are so important?
- Next are the Christian bookstores, Barnes and Nobles, Books-a-Million and other big and little box stores.
- If they try to charge you 50%, walk away. 40% is the best you can hope for, 35% is even better, but that’s a rarity.
- Some bookstores have a “Local Author” corner. This is great because after a signing event, some people who don’t purchase a book when you are there may come back.
- Being a good steward is vitally important.
- Never leave your books without making a record of how many books you’ve left, the price, the percentage split, how long they are to stay on their shelves, and when they send out checks. Be sure to get the manager’s signature and make two copies.
- Make a follow-up call in three months to see how many books sold.
- Along with your log of venues, create a file of “Consignment Sheets” and look over it from time to time.
Remember, they are your books. No one cares for them as much as you.
- The next are Fairs, Festivals and Literary Events.
- Choose your events wisely.
- What’s it going to cost to rent a 10×10 booth? If it costs more than $150.00, you are running the risk of losing money.
- If it’s a large event, you may take a chance on it, but it could be a wash.
So What Have We Learned?
Writing a book is only half the fun. The other half is meeting people and signing (selling) your books to an adoring crowd of happy, smiling, anxious readers. But the other side, the Business Side of Writing, is your profit margin.
Don’t back away from your price unless you have a good reason. A poor economy, they are your friends, and you’ve only sold one book today are not good enough reasons to cut your price.
You wrote it, your publisher set the price, so smile, and quote your price.
Now go sell your books!