Updated October 2018 – to reflect current exchange rates and changes at Amazon
Today, while procrastinating on the Interwebs, I saw an ad on a New Zealand website for a local printer. The business involved provides an on-line calculator for the costs of printing a book with them.
Curious, I ran the figures — assuming a standard fiction book:
- a 250 page black & white book,
- A5 Portrait (148mm x 210mm)
- 80gsm paper (the cheapest).
- perfect bound with a matt laminated cover.
For a print run of 50 books the price per a book was NZ$12.35 — that included GST and P&P and included two proof copies.
hen I went over to my printer of choice — Createspace in the US. They have a handy calculator too, you’ll find it here. (click on the buying copies tab).
Unfortunately Amazon and incorporated Createspace into their KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing – offering now. However prices have remained consistent.
I chose the closest books size to the NZ A5 — that’s 5.5″x8.5″ — the price per a book was US$3.85 (it doesn’t matter if you order 1 or 100). The postage for 50 books shipped from the US is US$105 — that’s US$2.10 per a book.
Fifty is the most economic number to ship from Createspace — you can do a ‘mixed case’ of more than one book, so long as it adds up to 50.
So that’s a total of $3.85+$2.10 = US$5.95 On today’s exchange rate (xe.com is your friend) $9.23 — let’s add GST on so that’s a total price of NZ$10.61 per a book landed in New Zealand including GST
The price difference between Amazon and local print has changed significantly- when I originally ran these figures in 2014 – the price difference was around $10 – now its nearer $2 – that’s partly to do with a weaker NZ dollar, and partly to do with some interesting changes in the local printing scene. Note printing prices vary a LOT
Now there are some of downsides with using Createspace
- the price I used above was for their cheapest shipping option — so it may take over 30 working days for your books to arrive;
- a free proof copy is available — but on-line only. You can order proof copies and cost (as above) — but shipping is proportionally more expensive — if you are impatient you’ll pay US$13 in shipping a single 250-page book within 4 days.
- interior colour books are very expensive
- limited number
Oh and of course printing your book with Createspace also puts it into the world’s largest bookstore Amazon.com and, for New Zealand book buyers into our favourite cheap paper book source: BookDepository.co.uk
For no extra charge. That’s real print-on-demand. Several years ago I investigated local print prices, and ended up going with Createspace, nothing much seems to have changed.
Our current advice is to consider doing both: have your book (print and eBook) on Amazon for a worldwide audience – and consider local print as well – its normal that we can use the same files for both.