Friday, January 4, 2008

paypal experiment--and why you should buy your copy of Tornado Siren from me

I've been very slow in getting around to fixing up my own web sites. I still haven't done it yet, but after some encouragement (haranguing) from an old friend, I finally signed up with PayPal and have a button on my site (and on my blog--just look over to the right...) so that people can buy a copy of Tornado Siren (signed, no less) directly from me. ($14 and shipping is included!) As my friend said: I, of all people (who is always going on about marketing) should know enough to make it easy for people to give me money.

For now, this is an experiment, but I might try adding this feature for other scripts or books. We'll see how it goes. The economics of it aren't too bad--PayPal gets 2.9% of the purchase price plus $0.30. So on a $14, even with free shipping, I can make a couple bucks (probably about $4-5). If someone buys my book at Amazon, I get about 67 cents.

(Wait, you say--how is that possible? Let's say I have a contract with a small press that gives me 10% of the net price of a book sold (don't ask). Amazon buys books at a deep discount, in this case through a wholesaler, like Ingram or Baker & Taylor. The wholesaler pays the publisher only 45% of the cover price, about $6.73. I get 67 cents. It gets to me eventually, after accounts are settled, etc., say in about six months. Though the wholesaler can return unsold books for a full refund, as can bookstores.)

In the grand scheme of publishing, it's actually helpful for authors if you buy their books from bookstores, because those numbers are tracked and used to make future publishing decisions, and bookstores also use those numbers for deciding which books to order. The publishers want to publish books that sold well, and bookstores want books that have shown they can move off the shelves.

At this point, however, my book has been out for a while, so I don't know if those numbers matter that much anymore. So if you've been holding off, waiting for just the right moment to buy Tornado Siren, now is the time.

If you do--let me know how it works out. It's really hard to test these things properly. I'll even throw in a free copy of my play, Blinders, to the first three people who buy Tornado Siren through PayPal. (Sorry, no ginsu knives.)

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