Softcover History

This first scenario is a basic, low-cost approach based on the following example:


Suggested Specifications:

  • Softcover (perfect bound)
  • 6x9" trim size
  • 96 pages
  • Full-color cover with gloss film lamination
  • Cover paper: 12 pt C1S (coated 1 side)
  • Black-and-white interior pages
  • Interior paper: 60# white uncoated stock
  • Cover and interior files provided as print-ready PDFs
  • Quantities between 100 and 250

How many should you order?

Determine who will be interested in your book. Descendants and current local residents are a good audience. A fairly large contingent are simply interested in history of the area. They are the ones who are stopping at the local museum to see how the area developed as well as those looking for gifts. Ordering 100 to 250 books would be a good starting point.

How much should it sell for?

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Priced at $10 to $12, this would not be a major purchase. In comparison to books of similar size and page count this price is somewhat high—but remember the uniqueness of this book’s subject matter will allow for a slightly higher price. For our example, we will set the cover price at $10.

How much will printing cost?

In order to keep the selling price attractive, this type of book needs to have a relatively low production cost. Keep costs in line by:

  • Having a softcover-only edition with a full color cover
  • Limit the page count to around 100 pages
  • Keep the trim size of the book down to save production and shipping costs
  • Do the text and cover layout yourself and provide PDFs for printing

Using our suggested specifications:

  • 100 books: $3.45 each
  • 150 books: $3.13 each
  • 250 books: $2.76 each

Additionally, we suggest taking advantage of our marketing package for $150.

Softcover Scenario Pricing Strategy

The museums we have talked to will require a 40% discount from your cover price. In this example, with a $10 cover price, a 40% discount would require selling to a museum at $6 each. Not the greatest margin for a small print run but some of your books can be sold through your web page at full cover price of $10 allowing for a more desirable profit margin. Let’s say half are sold at the museum and half are sold through your web page (see page 20). That would give you an average selling price of $8 per book. The graph illustrates the investment (including our marketing package), the production costs and the potential profit based on three different quantities.


Softcover Book Summary

This book should provide some modest returns as well as satisfaction and compliments from others about your efforts in compiling this special history book. We think with this limited market and interest, keeping your costs down is important. When estimating quantities to print, work with real, not overly optimistic numbers of books you can sell. This book could be enhanced with hardcover binding, color interior pages, custom cover and text design, but the price you would need to charge for this would restrict your already-limited market.

Additional Printings of 100 books:

  • Production cost: $345
  • - minus setup: $55
  • Total: $290 ($2.90 each)

Additional Printings of 250 books:

  • Production cost: $690
  • - minus setup: $55
  • Total: $635 ($2.54 each)

The reprint pricing does not include marketing. The initial marketing package is valid for 18 months. After that period you can renew the marketing package for $50 per year, which includes web page upkeep as well as a place for your book in our history book catalog. (Pricing shown is current as of 03/16, subject to change without notice).