Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sureshot Presents - Print Run

The print run would be based on how much effort i wanted to go to to sell my share of the print run and total cost. With a bit of pondering and looking at OzComic Magazine sold i decided on 300 copies. Ozcomic Magazine sold a bit more than that per issue and even though i thought Sureshot would have more appeal than a magazine about Australian Comics i didn't want to lose too much money (Goal#5).

It would not take too much effort to sell 150 copies of a comic. Sell about 80 copies at zine fairs and conventions and the the other 70 copies to retailers. There's a principle/rule of thumb i like a bit which i've spoken about before; Pareto's Principle. I cite Tim Ferriss and use the principle to say that 80% of sales comes from 20% of customers (in this case comic retailers) (though i don't like Ferriss' idea of outsourcing work to the poor finding it immoral). So i'd concentrate on a handful of retailers and make sure they are happy. I'd hope people would travel to that retailer to get Sureshot. This benefited me because it would mean that I'd spend less in postage; 20 copies to one comic shop in Brisbane is cheaper than sending 5 copies to 4 shops in Brisbane. And it also meant i'd deal with fewer people.

A print of 300 would be cheaper than a print run of 400; obviously.
Sure you can say i'd make more money in the long run with a larger print run. True but lets put some numbers into the mix and talk about effort.
Lets say printing cost is $1.00 a copy and it wholesales for $2 and retails for $4.
Lets say that if i split distribution in half so i wholesale have my print run and personally sell the rest. Then on average i'm making $3 a comic. (I won't bother with postage at this point)

So if i print 200 copies, it'll cost me $200 - that's not much. I send 100 copies to the creator, leaving me 100 copies to recoup my costs. I can make $300 if i sell-out, which is good. And i only have to sell 67 copies to break even. That's easy. But 200 copies isn't much in circulation to reach Goals #1 and not much of an incentive for the creator to work. Its too easy. With 400 copies, it'll cost me $400 to print and with my half i can make $600 gross profit. But I have to sell 133 copies to break even. Plus shipping 200 copies of a comic can be expensive (around 20kgs of a 100gram minicomic) which eats into profit margins.

With 300 copies, i just need to sell 100 copies to break even and i can gross about $450 each - which is nice and not for much work. If i was a creator and i could print for $1 a copy and retail for $4 then i'm making a profit from day 1 on every book sold.
In terms of the creator, if they sold all their copies they'd make between $300-600 (depending if they sold wholesale or retail). That's decent money for self-publishing.

1 comment:

Heather said...

finding these posts very refreshing. I've been dealing with these concepts for years but basically making it up as I go along with trial and error. I guess as a creator the majority of any effort is going into better work. But what use is that if it's a the proverbial tree in the woods that no one hears.