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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 29 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The New Thing  (Read 7969 times)
HighmoonMedia
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2008, 02:53:05 PM »

Hey, Vincent. I wasn't trying to be facetious, just wanted to make sure I understood correctly what this move is all about.
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lumpley
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2008, 03:23:34 PM »

Oh it's all cool, no grief one way or the other. I didn't understand your question! If I answered it anyway, great, I'm glad. Otherwise, ask it again in, I'll try again.

-Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2008, 03:58:14 PM »

Hey,

I think I might understand your question. I tried to make the comparison you're asking for explicit already in the Adept & IPR thread, linked in the first post. I don't know if you've seen that yet.

Here's the list of concrete differences.

1. Commission amount. IPR uses 15% commission off the cover price. For me, $1 per book through this new approach is either 5% for Sorcerer or 7.5% for the other books. I might be increasing my prices soon, so those percentages would drop further.

2. Convention presence. I want to emphasize that the IPR contract is generous and fair regarding exclusivity; i.e. there isn't any. However, when they sell your book at a con, they act as a retailer and get 45%. As such I'm not objecting to that amount; what works better for me is for convention sales to be more direct even than on-line. In other words, I want all the money. By acting as a retailer, IPR is basically moving away from my goals for convention sales. Since the fulfillment method I've moved to doesn't mention conventions at all, now it's all on me again - if I want my books to be at a convention, I have to ask a friend who'll be there to sell some for me on a totally organize-as-we-go way, and that's how I want it.

3. Contact with customers. Now I will know who they are again, and I personally reap the positive outcome of a good sales experience, or of a poor one that I can correct personally. IPR did a good job of both these things, but the benefit accrued to them - now it's back on me. The only thing I'm outsourcing is the brute act of mailing, and the professionalism of making it happen is my responsibility.

4. Web and sales-point experience. I think I'll get better sales from customers arriving at my site or (later) at a site which doesn't feature very many titles. This is not to say that sales at IPR were poor for me, but I think the overall situation of being buried in a sea of other books and companies, and for site visitors to have no way to assess the (I say seriously) genuine unique qualities of my books there, doesn't serve me the way I want. All of this means I need to revise all my own sites and coordination with other sites, but that's something I should be doing regularly anyway.

All of the answers are tuned closely to my goals as a publisher and should not be understood as a recommendation or expectation for anyone else. However, I do think that it illustrates the way one person assesses the differences in the two approaches.

Does that help, or make sense?

Best, Ron
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Meguey
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2008, 06:13:21 PM »

A few quick notes:

1. I always liked going to the PO, and missed it. If you try this, make sure your fulfiller feels the same way.
2. The first batch of orders have been filled. Independently Fulfilling tracks the cost of packaging and postage and my $1/book against the up-front money from whoever I'm fulfilling for, and I get to walk to town and mail books.
3. I really like the flat fee/book thing. Each group that sets up Independently Fulfilling for themselves can work out their own details. We timed it out and it seems very reasonable, and it lets me not feel rushed - books go out twice a week, and the rest of the time I don't worry about it. If it really takes off, there might be a need for compensation for time spent restocking supplies, but that's a bridge to cross when we come to it.
4. Independently Fulfilling seems like the sort of thing that will work best when the fulfillment person can reasonably expect the various publishers to swing by and drop off stock if needed. With few exceptions, this is how I plan on handling it, although I really see the wisdom in Ben's point about stocking some stuff that clearly has cross-market value.
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HighmoonMedia
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2008, 07:01:11 PM »

Ron and Meguey, thanks. That goes to the heart of what I was curious about. Good luck with these new plans.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2008, 08:52:00 AM »

It's hard to express my excitement on this matter. Suffice to say I'm running out of pants.

I've been thinking about how to maximize this for my own publication for a few weeks and I think I've got the balance sorted out. Fred, I've sent you and Brennan an email of my proposal.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Pelgrane
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« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2008, 03:01:47 AM »

Is the new fulfillment engine available to all publishers, or just those who follow the pure (creator owned publisher) COP model? What are the charges (if any) for using it?
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lumpley
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« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2008, 05:29:53 AM »

That's a good question.

The engine is a web app I've developed and I'm developing, and that I'm hosting. Right now, I'm the only person who can create accounts on it. So at base, it's available to whomever I make it available to.

There are no charges for using it, currently. Some future developments will cost money for individual publishers who opt in, but that will be to cover, for instance, the fee paypal charges to disburse money through its mass-pay API, not to pay me. I expect to make money off this thing by paying less to fulfill my books, and I'm offering it as a service to my fellow publishers, because cross-marketing helps us all, and out of altruism and solidarity. Toward non-creator-owner publishers, I just don't feel the same altruism and solidarity.

So: I suppose that non-creator-owner publishers who're interested in using their own installation of my fulfillment web app can contact me about licensing it. But that'll be for terms, not a service I'm just offering. (And it won't be right away. It's still way in development, it's nowhere near ready for anyone else to install, host or maintain it.)

-Vincent
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 05:36:21 AM by lumpley » Logged
Pelgrane
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2008, 05:53:26 AM »


There are no charges for using it, currently. Some future developments will cost money for individual publishers who opt in, but that will be to cover, for instance, the fee paypal charges to disburse money through its mass-pay API, not to pay me. I expect to make money off this thing by paying less to fulfill my books, and I'm offering it as a service to my fellow publishers, because cross-marketing helps us all, and out of altruism and solidarity. Toward non-creator-owner publishers, I just don't feel the same altruism and solidarity.

So: I suppose that non-creator-owner publishers who're interested in using their own installation of my fulfillment web app can contact me about licensing it. But that'll be for terms, not a service I'm just offering. (And it won't be right away. It's still way in development, it's nowhere near ready for anyone else to install, host or maintain it.)


Thank you, Vincent. I currently do my direct mail order fulfillment using a similar but probably more primitive system, hence my interest.

One other question of value to everyone, I hope. Currently I charge a percentage rate for shipping which doesn't really work too well. How are you set up for handling the amazing complexities of postal service rates? Is there anything in the backend which looks at weight/dimensions/customer choices for shipment?

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lumpley
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« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2008, 06:26:50 AM »

Not yet. The fulfiller charges the publisher the real shipping costs, after she's gone to the post office and knows exactly what they turned out to be. What the publisher pre-charges the customer for shipping, when the customer places the order, is all up to the publisher. (Good luck, publisher!)

When I develop the shared online store that interacts directly with the customers ... yeah. Then comes the grief of weight, dimensions and customer choices. We'll see!

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2008, 09:05:06 AM »

Shipping costs weigh simplicity against precision. There might be easily accessible USPS spreadsheets of weight:price, so maybe that's work-innable, or you can do what I do, and charge $5 per item and eat the couple of cents difference on average.

But this is an issue for the storefront/s to resolve, not the fulfillment backend.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
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