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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

July 25, 2008

More on Small Presses & Amazon

However, there's a price for entering such a spectacular marketplace; one so steep that it could be argued that all the economic advantage goes to Amazon alone. The standard fee for small presses working through the Advantage programme is a staggering 55% of a book's cover price. In addition, publishers are also responsible for the cost of shipping their books to Amazon warehouses. This puts these publishers in the horrible position of having access to arguably the best book distribution system ever devised, while being charged so much for the privilege that it becomes difficult to impossible for them to make any money.

This 55% charge comes on top of the considerably higher production costs smaller houses face in comparison to larger houses (who also have the power to negotiate lower fees from Amazon). The rice structure of the book printing industry usually rewards high volume jobs, which means that since small publishers on average print far fewer books they are charged much more per book than their larger counterparts. So between these printing and shipping costs and the high fees, it's possible in some cases for small publishers to actually lose money when working through Amazon.

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