Self-publishing price comparison

You could make more money with CompletelyNovel

One of the most important questions an author can ask themselves is: “How can self-publishing work for me financially?”

To show you why you might want to self-publish with CompletelyNovel, let’s follow one author as she compares CompletelyNovel to a couple of other self-publishing platforms, CreateSpace and Lulu.

Spoiler alert! You could make more money publishing with CompletelyNovel than with any other platform.

One author's publishing journey

An author writes her first novel, and after going through the editing process it’s about 122,000 words. She decides to self-publish it and starts looking at possible avenues.


She comes up with a list of three popular self-publishing platforms to use: CreateSpace, Lulu, and CompletelyNovel. Now she has to choose between them.


At first glance she likes being able to sell books seemingly for free through CreateSpace and Lulu’s networks. However, she is intrigued by the idea of keeping 100% of book royalties through CompletelyNovel whilst paying a flat subscription for using the service. She decides to do a little investigation.


Each service requires that she sets a ‘list price’. This is the price at which the book will be sold to customers. She discovers that CreateSpace takes 40% of the list price for each book sold. Lulu takes 20% of the author royalty (i.e. the difference between the list price and the production cost of the book). CompletelyNovel on the other hand, charges a flat monthly subscription of £7.99, but lets the author keep 100% of book royalties. She wants to know which of these models makes more sense for her – commission or subscription.


Selling through the publisher website

To begin with, she wants to compare the money she’d make if she sold her book through the publishing service’s own website: CompletelyNovel.com, Amazon.co.uk for CreateSpace1, and Lulu.com.


She sets the list price at £10, for easy comparison, and then calculates how much she’d make if she sold 10 books in one month.



Comparison: Selling 10, 390 page books at £10 each

Selling through publisher website

CompletelyNovel

CreateSpace

Lulu

Income from 10 books sold @ £10 each

£100.00

£100.00

£100.00

Production cost of 10 books

£51.402

£46.00

£72.90

Subscription fee

£7.99

-

-

Cut taken by publishing service

None

£40.00

£5.20

Author profit

£40.61

£14.00

£21.90



By paying a £7.99 monthly subscription, our author finds that she can make much more money on CompletelyNovel.


This is if she were to sell only 10 books. If she were to sell more books, the benefits of CompletelyNovel would only increase, as she will take 100% of her book royalties from every single sale.

Selling through other retailers

This is great, but she knows she’s not going to sell all her books through CompletelyNovel’s own website. One of the main benefits she would be getting from her subscription is the ability to sell her book through major booksellers such as Amazon and Waterstones with an ISBN. Now she wants to know how the publishing services compare if she were to sell 10 books through major booksellers in one month.


  • If she uses CompletelyNovel the retailer will receive a 30% cut of the list price, and the author will keep 100% of the remaining royalties.
  • With CreateSpace the retailer will receive a 20% cut of the list price and CreateSpace will take 40% of the list price.
  • Lulu works slightly differently, but essentially the retailer will take a cut equating to 50% of the list price, and Lulu will take 20% of the remaining royalties.


She makes the table, although Lulu wouldn’t actually allow her to sell her books at a loss.



Comparison: Selling 10, 390 page books at £10 each

Selling through other retailers

CompletelyNovel

CreateSpace

Lulu

Income from 10 books sold @ £10 each

£100.00

£100.00

£100.00

Production cost of 10 books

£46.00

£33.003

£51.304

Subscription fee

£7.99

-

-

Total cut taken by publishing service and retailer

£30.00

£60.00

£50.00

Author profit

£16.01

£7.00

-£1.30


To be able to sell it through retailers when using Lulu she’d need to set the list price at least £10.26.

CompletelyNovel’s £7.99 subscription fee actually allows her to create two books with ISBNs included in the price, so she can also publish her sequel for no extra cost.



Verdict: CompletelyNovel works for her!

After seeing this, CompletelyNovel’s £7.99 monthly subscription makes a lot of sense. She understands that she will make much more money publishing with them. It also so happens that they provide the best quality books too, which makes it even better!



So, who’s the author?

We used the text of Pride and Prejudice to complete this example. We thought it especially apt, as Jane Austen did self-publish some of her most popular works. We’d like to think that if Jane Austen was around today, she’d use CompletelyNovel to publish her books. And it would be a pleasure to have her!


As well as offering unique publishing plans, we also actively hunt for opportunities for our authors. Click here for more information on what makes us CompletelyNovel.



Ready to see what CompletelyNovel can do for you and your book? Click here to start publishing with CompletelyNovel.




Statistics behind the numbers

When we used the different book creators, we kept the book production details as similar as possible to make a fair comparison. Here they are:


CreateSpace: 15.24 × 22.86 cm, perfect binding, white paper. gloss cover

Lulu: 14.81 × 20.99 cm, perfect binding, white paper, gloss cover

CompletelyNovel 14 × 21.6 cm, perfect binding, white paper, gloss cover


Accurate as of 30th May 2014



Footnotes


1 Amazon does have the CreateSpace eStore, where they take a lower cut of 20%. However, as there isn’t a consolidated database that readers can browse, and as authors would be most likely to view Amazon as CreateSpace’s store, we decided to use this for the comparison.

2 This includes £5.40 of PayPal processing fees.

3 Converted from $ at an exchange rate of £0.5968 to the $. The book production cost when using CreateSpace’s expanded distribution service is cheaper than when selling through Amazon.co.uk, but this is based on printing in the US. Not considered are the shipping costs to send elsewhere.

4 Similarly, the book production cost for Lulu is lower when selling through other retailers than it is when selling through Lulu.com. We were unable to discover the reason for the discrepancy.



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What makes us CompletelyNovel?

  1. We use technology to make things simpler: We provide simple tools so you can create professional books and distribute them all over the world within days.
  2. We believe that long-term contracts and large upfront fees are rubbish: There are no long-term lock-ins when you’re using CompletelyNovel: if you sign up for a service, you can cancel at any time.
  3. Our publishing subscriptions: We’ve pioneered a different way to self-publish, using low-cost subscriptions that allow authors to keep 100% of book royalties.
  4. Personal customer service: If you’ve got a problem, we’ll solve it. In fact we’ll solve it and then some.
  5. We actively hunt for opportunities for our authors: Behind the scenes, we meet with partners, literary agents and traditional publishers, and organise unique opportunities and events for CompletelyNovel authors.

We are ALLi Partner Members

CompletelyNovel is a Partner Member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and has been vetted by ALLi’s Watchdog Desk.