find something so wonderful you have to share it with others? I just
ran across a company named SnowFall Press that would have saved me
thousands of dollars and a lot of hassle and time if I had found them
earlier. This article might sound like an advertisement for these good
folks, but I’m just trying to aid my fellow authors in finding the path
of least financial resistance. A while back I wrote an article on my
blog, which was reposted in other places as well, explaining my vision
of the best way to self-publish books. It contained a blurb about a
printing company that delivered within forty-eight hours and had great
prices. At the time I was pretty excited about becoming a customer of
that printer. My excitement about that business has dimmed considerably
as my idea of great prices has evolved.
At SnowFall Press, I can buy one
book at a cheaper price per book than I paid for 100 with twenty-five
freebies thrown in. The great news is that I can get out of the
shipping business. It costs about $3.00 and is a pain in the derriere
to package and send the little bound darlings through the USPS system.
With this new company, I can order my book online at a price of $1.25
for the base book, a penny a page extra, seventy-five cents handling
per order, and a nickel per book handling. Shipping for media mail is
$2.58 cents. Total cost of a 140-page book is $6.03, and all I had to
do was fill out the shipping address to place the order. Since I
collect $3.00 in shipping from my Website orders, that book would have
cost me a grand total of $3.03, so my profit at a modest charge of
$10.00 would be $7.00, and I would not have done any extra work to get
the book delivered (the only drawback is that I can’t sign them, which
actually saves me more time).
A self-published book selling
for around $20 might become a thing of the past. We all know that
competing with authors who enjoy name brand success is tough enough
without having to charge double or more than a Debbie Macomber or
Nicholas Sparks book in the bargain bin. I just checked my old book
printer for the price of one copy. I can’t order just one. The minimum
order is ten books. The price per book for ten is over $17.00.
Warehousing was a necessity at that pricing schedule. Now I’m sending
the warehouse to the outhouse and reserving closet space for tennis
rackets and running shoes. I can quit subsidizing the paper industry
and printers by buying copies of books that you may never sell. It’s
time to start working smarter instead of harder.
And the good news continues.
SnowFall Press has an API (computer program), which allows customers
with some technical knowledge to automate the process of placing
orders. When an order hits my Website, I can send the address info
directly to SnowFall Press and not have to do anything except smile. If
I told you this company is the greatest thing since sliced bread or
popcorn or any other cool thing, I’d be guilty of understatement. This
printing source is extremely huge to the self-publishing world, but I
think traditionally published authors might be interested in the
possibilities here as well. There are no costs for setting up books on
their Website. You can change your cover or interior any time without
hassle (though you have to consider that at some point, you need to
issue a new edition of the book with a new ISBN if your changes are
you need to get in gear with this outfit are two .pdf files, your
formatted interior manuscript, and your cover. A Word manuscript can be
converted to .pdf for free at http://www.freepdfconvert.com/.
The cover is a bit more problematic. You can hire a graphic artist to
create your cover for you and instruct them to provide you with .pdf
output. Or you
can buy a program to roll your own. I have one called
BookCoverPro, which I like very much and costs only about $100. When I
see the tools that are out there for computer savvy people, it boggles
my mind. However I realize that many people lack the technical skills
to take advantage of them. I sometimes ponder going into business to
help people bring their book babies into the world. (Can a man be
called a mid-wife?)
How about their service? I
ordered my book on Sunday evening, had it sent priority mail for $7,
and was proofreading it on Wednesday evening. I had one question before
placing the order and sent an e-mail to the address posted on their
Website. I got a timely reply along with the phone number of the man
who responded. He personally checked out my submitted manuscript and
adjusted it to the correct specifications on their site and expressed
some concern with a section of the manuscript. Later we talked on the
phone to clarify. This man was the director of Business and Alliance
Development. Talk about a personal touch.
Future plans include opening
printing office overseas so that customers from foreign countries can
order books from U.S. authors and have them printed and shipped
directly from a nearby country. At this time, SnowFall can’t get your
books into the distribution markets such as Amazon. I have a feeling
that in the future they’ll try to forge alliances that will give them
inroads into this arena as well. If and when they pull that off, this
company will be a force for the rest of the industry to reckon with.
The biggest question in my mind is whether they can make enough money
to continue to offer authors such a tremendous bargain. I pray they do.
I urge you to visit http://www.snowfallpress.com/
and check them out. I’m putting all ten of my books on their site as
soon as I find the time. SnowFall is trying to help authors make a go
of it. Perhaps you can join the list of their excited clientele and let
them help you.