The aunt/uncle factor – Part Trois
Yes, I know. Who is the mystery Print on Demand (PoD) company that I was talking about yesterday? :p Should I keep you in suspense? Should I drag this all out till the end of the entry? Nah, guess not :p They are Diggory Press Publishers and so far, they are the cheapest that I know of for certain, overall, to do a PoD book. Their prices actually let you have a reasonable cover price which is close to standard mass market retail prices and still make a profit.
I’ve been doing some digging on Diggory Press since I wrote my entry yesterday. There isn’t much online about Diggory Press but whatever I could find was always positive. There were a couple of people on a writing forum that I visit who were Diggory Press authors and they couldn’t praise Diggory enough – they say that they are first, efficient and do a very good job at printing. Of course, this is all hearsay. However, I did have the opportunity to experience their customer service/support firsthand when I sent in a query about cover sizes. My initial query went out on Sunday and on Monday morning, I had a response. I had a few further questions and I sent those out on Monday morning and again by business hours in the UK, I got a response and further inquiries were followed up within minutes or at least within the hour. They were very courteous and helpful and were willing to help me save money.
That brings us to the money itself. How much does it cost? I had done a costing for a 190 page 6" x 9" book with Lulu and it came to $8.34 for just the production cost. With Diggory the production cost for a 190 page 6" x 9" page came to $5.88 and I was actually able to prune down the number of pages by about 10 pages due to the way Diggory asks for books to be formatted/laid out for publishing as opposed to the way Lulu wants it done.
However, there are a few catches with Diggory, if you are a Lulu aficionado :p The first is that with Diggory you have to pay $50 up front as a setup fee. You also have to purchase your first proof copy at $20 (you have to tack on about $7 more if you are not in the US or UK for international postage). You can get an ISBN from them for about $80 and they throw in listings with online bookstores and some of the major wholesalers for that price and add the ISBN to your cover as well. You can of course, go with your own ISBN if you have one but you won’t get the free listings then. (The difference here is that if you use Diggory’s ISBN, they become the publisher for your book but if you use your own, you are the publisher). If you do decide to go with the ISBN option be aware that Diggory has to send out 6 copies of your book (at your cost, including postage) to the British libraries. This apparently is the law and not something that Diggory has control over.
The overwhelming advantage that I see with Diggory is that if you go through them and use them as your distributor/fulfilment agent, you can provide as low a discount as 25% to Amazon.com and you can list your books with them. At that price, I can still afford to have a cover price of $10 and hope to make a small profit … if anybody buys my book that is (and that’s a completely different story :p)