P.O.D. 4 Bozos: teaching an old dog nu trix, on demand, subito! Dobry, Brat, 2 bee truly nimble, Publish Now!


6/26/23 : Got copies of Red Earth in the house, any 1 wanting an ARC lettuce no.

pushing product from 455 CPW

Weave bin so busy hustling Ↄalamari we haven't had a chants to unpack our office, tho the rest of the apartment is more or less set. Still waiting on sum Gothic bookshelves to be built so we have somewhere to put all these boox, got spoiled w/ the built-in shelves in our old place. So our bathrooms still looks like Mar-a-Lago, but w/ file boxes of books instead of top secret documents. Still working on getting the Subito books, (far from "subito," which either means "sudden" in Spanish, or "right away" in Italian), academic bureaucracy has bin stalling things, but a mole in Colorado sent us this pic, so at least we know the libros have been loc8ed, now it's just a matter of sending them boxes so they can ship 'em.

That's what they look like IRL, prettier than the Mar-a-Lago-ish Ↄalamari HQ. The book data wasn't EZ to loc8 either. Thanx 2 archive.org's way-back machine, we were able to salvage most of the 411 (the Subito press URL had lapsed 404, az had their contract w/ SPD) 2 build out new pages on Asterism. Here's a list of the titles, soon as we receive 'em they'll be available to consume (the buy btns don't work yet), subito... arriba, arriba!

2 years ago, in post 924, we went into the nuts + bolts of running a small press + even titled the post "nimble sustainability," but in the past year weave bin questioning our old stubborn wayz. In that post we compaired + contrasted offset vs. digital, but didn't consider print-on-demand, mostly b/c when we tried it 10–15 yrs ago (when we "perhaps created the first American literary press that has no physical presence in America") we weren't happy w/ the quality + reverted back to low-run digital (back when Bookmobile didn't gouge U 4 print-runs less than 100). But a lot has changed in the past 10 yrs. We smirked/shrugged at a few POD books that have been shown to us in recent years (not willing to admit we couldn't tell the difference), but really it was John "Inside the Castle" Trefry who made us a believer (ITC uses POD) + now that we've drunken the Kool-aid (specifically Bozo's Amazon KDP), there ain't no going back.

So hear's the 411 (again, 4 any 1 dumb enough 2 want 2 start an in-D press)... we'll use the above 140-page Red Earth as an eggsample. When we priced this @ Bookmobile, this is what it wood of cost:

— $3.23 per book for 1000 copies
— $4.47 per book or 250 copies
— $5.66 per book for 100 copies
— $11.50 per book for 25 (which is the minimum)

... + this doesn't inkloot shipping, which 4 whatever reason Bookmobile won't use USPS Media Mail (the best thing in America since sliced bread... if they get rid of Media Mail, in-D publishers wood B dead in the water). So, in sum, if we wanted 2 get 50 copies of Red Earth from Bookmobile it wood cost $500, $10 per copy:

By comparison, the above 50 copies we got from Amazon cost (drumroll please)... $162.50 ($2.68 per book printing cost + $23 shipping). Yep, U red that rite, Bookmobile is 3x as eXpen$ive as Bozo's KDP POD.

The other thing we should mention is that Red Earth is 6" x 9", the standard print size that, as we discovered in our original a4mentioned nuts + bolts post, was cheapest w/ Bookmobile (cheaper than 5 x 7, for eggsample, which doesn't make a lick of cents). Amazon doesn't really care what the trim size is, in terms of cost, its generally cheaper 4 smaller books b/c they use less paper, witch makes more 5cense, in our mined.

The only real caveat we've discovered so far is that the Bozos are a bit Byzantine in their requirements, as far as book D-zine, they want fonts 2 B legible + no text in margins or running across the gutter (so all our weird text/image experimentations wouldn't fly)... it's all idiot-proof, 4 self-publishers that don't know shit from shinola. The main thing we've bin grappling w/ is 2 get the spine text to meat their ridiculous specifications. We set up Beth Steidle's The Static Herd using Amazon KDP + since it's only 82 pages we kept having to reduce the spine font size 2 absurd proportions, 2 the extent it ain't even legible so we 86ed it til we can re-D-zine. We haven't tried Ingram POD, but apparently the pricing is comparable + they don't have the above stringent requirements, they print az is (+ they fulfill str8 in2 Ingram distribution channels, if that's your thing), but they have a $50 set-up fee (did we mention that Amazon KDP has no setup fees?).

The Bozos genre/classification categories are also pretty lame, the only genre suitable for most Ↄalamari Arɔhive books = "unclassifiable".

+ here's the medieval options for poetry:

... who needs genres anyway, file 'em all under unclassifiable! Amazon also doesn't let U choose a future print date (hint, hint... get Red Earth b4 we pull it! (we needed 2 publish it 2 print up ARCs))... not that i'm not all 4 Publish Now! as in Apocalypse Now! Subito, subito! But it's these stuffy review places that require 2-3 month lead time if they're gonna consider a book 4 review.

Here's the kicker tho, especially for books like Red Earth, since Michael lives in Berlin + is from the the UK (+ "U must be the U-S-A!" as David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap says), 1 can have the books made in Germany or the UK or wherever + not have to pay INTL shipping + 1 can also have unlimited "author" copies printed at cost (the printing cost), tho Amazon doesn't honor Prime free shipping, but still, the shipping is way cheaper than the UPS rate BookMobile uses. So we can have author copies made in Berlin + shipped str8 to Michael. The other thing is you (or the distributor or print) don't have to pay to ship the books to Amazon to fulfill them... all that shipping adds up! + U know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup? Mayonnaise. I've seen 'em do it, they drown 'em in that shit.

As we were writing this post, brother Markus emailed to say that Good, Brother + The Singing Fish (Ↄalamari's 1st perfect bound book!) are going 2 B transL8ed in2 Polish (Dobry, Brat + Śpiewająca Ryba!) + Peter wanted me to ship Piotr (the translator) a copy of Good, Brother. It wd cost $25.60 to send Dobry, Brat to Poland + even then it might take months, if it arrived at all. When we lived in Italy, 9 times out of 10, stuff sent to us INTL never arrived. Even when Michael spent an arm + a leg 2 send us the original source code for Red Earth from civilized Berlin, it took weeks, held up in customs + by canceled flights. So rather than send Good, Brother to Poland for $25.60, we set it up as POD in a matter of minutes (tho it takes up to 72 hrs to "approve" (in practice... so far it's been ~24 hrs or less) + then we can send Piotr the Polish transL8or a copy of Dobry, Brat for $2.30 (+ shipping).

The Bozos make it EZ 2 figure out your profit margin, reminiscent of Chuck Noblet (Stephen Colbert's finest moment) in Strangers w/ Candy:

They basically just give U a # when all's said + done (after printing costs + the Bozos cut), per country. So 4 eggsample, here's the lowdown 4 Peter Markus' Dobry, Brat:

If we charge $10, then we'll get $3.70 for each book sold (thru Amazon.com). Period. U don't halve 2 pay 4 or worry about shipping. The "expanded distribution" that pays only 40% (az opposed to 60%) basically allows bookstores, online retailers + libraries 2 get a discount if they get 'em from Amazon. Your book has 2 meat certain requirements 2 check said box (4 eggsample, b/c Dobry, Brat is 5 x 7, we couldn't tick it, however we did 4 Red Earth)... 4 what it's worth, we'd rather bookstores + lieburys just bot the books from Asterism (tho 4 intl bookstores, this is gr8).

A few days ago we set up The Revisionist az POD (after much trial + error, fixing the spine text, swapping out the "illegible" font, etc), so if U want 2 see what POD looks like, check it out (tho U might have 2 w8 4 the last few original copies 2 cycle thru b4 it reverts 2 POD)... U can tell it's POD if it has a barcode that looks like this on the last page:

+ B-low are the differences in covers for both Good, Brother + The Revisionist (original on the left, modification on the right). B-sides making the spine text insanely small, in the case of The Revisionist we had 2 change the font on Miranda's name b/c the Bozos said it was illegible. Coincidentally, it's the same font we used for Good, Brother (Eduardo Recife's "Porcelain" (or maybe it was "Selfish"?) which he's now made available as freeware, bless his heart), which the Bozos deemed OK, maybe b/c it was black against white, tho we did have 2 nudge Peter's name up a bit b/c it was 2 close 2 the bottom edge (+ thus shrink the image some).


A sacrifice worth making? The most important thing is that these POD books are available most anywhere in el mundo, w/o having to pay INTL shipping. We used 2 discourage INTL customers buying directly from us b/c shipping cost 2 or 3x az much az the book, but now U will be able 2 get 'em on Amazon.X, whatever your X may be... .pl, .nl, .it, .es, .fr, .co.uk, .se, .co.jp, .ca, .com.au, etc. So far we've done The Revisionist + Good, Brother (+ shhh, Red Earth, if U hurry, b4 we 86 it til Oct 1), all U gotta do is swap .com for your extension in the URL. We tried sum others (The Static Herd, Part of the World + a few Sleepingfish back issues) + got to many errors, but we'll keep working on 'em + other Ↄalamari titles in due time az we get 2 the bottom of print runs, + the above 5 Subito titles that they don't have copies of we'll use Bozo's KDP 2 bring 'em back in print.

+ circling back to our Mar-a-Lago bathroom, the other neat part is that U don't need to store boxes + boxes of inventory + U don't need need 2 front the money 4 a print run. This means more money can be paid 2 the writers/artists, + more frequently... Amazon pays in real-time, as compaired to SPD where it wd B a year or 2 b4 U saw money 4 books sold, if they paid at all. B4, our usual arrangement w/ writers was 10% of the retail price (for books printed, not sold), but w/ POD we can pay 70% of the profit ("royalties," 4 the books sold on Amazon) 2 the author, at least that's the # we pulled out of the hat that seemed fair (using Chuck Noblet's hand-waving technique), there are still hidden costs + tax liabilities that can come back 2 bite us in the ass so we got 2 cover it sum + keep reseeding new projeX. We're ½-way thru 2023... let's see if using this scheme we can reverse the trend of 20 yrs of negative income.

6/30 : had this excerpt from U/X published in GAMM, thx 2 Marco, our old amico Romano:

Don't think U/X will pass muster w/ Bozo's KDP POD, if/when we ever get around to finishing it. Nor wood 1/ 4 i am ĐNA , perhaps the last book wheel use Bookmobile 4. Speaking of witch, we're officially launching 1/ 4 i am ĐNA 2day! 5cense subscribers get a free copy, just respond 2 the upd8 email w/ your postal address, or show up 2 the launch shin-dig @ Bar Great Harry in Bklyn on July 9, 5-8 PM + we'll give U a copy just for halving the attn span 2 read this far in2 the post.

If U want to respond/comment to this post, send us a message through Calamari or subscribe to our mailing list + respond to 1 of our emails, we're not savvy enough to build 1 of those comment forums.

1094 <(current)> 1096 > Continued chronicles of a purging book monger in the soiled humun nexus along 110 + 111
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