On April 1, 2017, Joaquin F. Matias and I self-published our first book: A Call to Action: How to Save Millions of Lives; the book is about relocating people out of flood and drought areas into sustainable & resilient communities (Plan Relocation or Plan R). We have decided to publish through Amazon’s www.createspace.com. This self publishing vehicle, like most things in life, has its pros and cons.
The pros are independence with the copyright, printable on demand so we do not have to hold an inventory of hard copy books (that may or may not get sold), relative flexibility in editing the manuscript and the choice of a createspace ISBN number or a universal ISBN number (an ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and their 10 and 13 digit ISBNs (the three additional digits are in the front of the number).
The cons are that printing in four color interior on demand is very expensive and costs us over $25 per book before splitting with createspace the profits. One of my author friends suggested having a number of ISBNs for different fields to expose your book. We have fields like business economics, environmental economics, nature/natural disasters. Another con is that we are sort of Amazon driven and not Barnes and Noble, Costco, Walmart and all other book retailers around the world, although Amazon does pay us a much smaller royalty if those entities purchase the book. I have heard that Amazon sells 25% of the books sold worldwide so they are, de facto, the 800 pound Gorilla in book publishing today.
We are hoping some young people experienced in SEO (search engine optimization) and social media can help us get the word out a lot more. For the right person(s), we can afford $10 per hour USD (this is a labor of love for all of us and you can get internship credit as well) to help us sell more books online and get us speaking engagements about Plan Relocation and Plan R.
Since we are a not-for-profit I have no problem sharing our margins. Our textbook edition, a 298 page four color glossy cover with four color interior filled with dozens of photos, graphs, tables and articles lists for $54.28 (we make $10.85 for each copy sold on Amazon.com). We have a $14.95 list edition with the same cover but a black and white interior for those who do not want to spend the additional money for the four color interior (we make $4.55 for each copy sold on Amazon.com). The Kindle edition (still a work in progress) lists for $4.99 (we took the 70% royalty option and that is somewhat complicated and gets us $3.14 per copy on Amazon.com after a delivery charge that is not applicable to the 35% royalty option). If you purchase a hardcopy book, the Kindle version is Free. You see that self publishing is complicated and even though we have international distribution options through Amazon, we have not really reached bookstores and we have to do our own promotion.
Personally, we are up for the initial self-promotion effort, at least for now. We are targeting universities and colleges with courses in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability for the textbook edition. The primary target audience is millennials and post millennials but we hope to “cross over” to audiences of retired people, investor (both impact and traditional), property developers, urban planners and politicians.
The NRF was formed in August 2013 as a public charity to help build awareness about the emerging field of climate resilience. One writer friend suggested we get a literary agent and go the more traditional book publisher track and though we are not adverse to that process we feel at this early stage of marketing we have to be discerning about finding the right agent/publisher. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Here is the typical email we are sending to our network. We would appreciate you forwarding the Amazon link to as many in your networks as you are comfortable.
My partner, Joaquin F. Matias, and I recently completed a book entitled – A Call to Action: How to Save Millions of Lives about relocating people out of flood and drought areas into sustainable/resilient communities.
We think this book is ideal for introductory environmental science classes as it contains a glossary/appendices that can be very informative for people interested in the emerging field of climate resilience.
Klaus Jacob, Senior Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University says the book “is a mind boggling, kaleidoscopic tour-de-force ranging from the utopian to the very urgent and practical. It is a visionary manifesto for how to secure a brighter future.”
Donovan Burton, Founder of Climate Planning, a consultancy specializing in climate change adaptation, predicts “A Call to Action will pay valuable dividends to investors, property developers and politicians in creating a wealth of opportunities while preparing for our common future.”
Attached is a lo res e-book file. The pricing for the text book in four color paperback, printable on demand, is $54.28. We also have a color cover/black & white interior for $14.95 and a Kindle e-book for $4.99. The Kindle edition can be free through their lending library. The Amazon link is:
A Call to Action: How to Save Millions of Lives includes contributions from the Smithsonian Institution (a copy of the book is in their library), Cosmos Magazine, Victoria Museum, Natural History Museum, London, UNFCCC, IPCC, Climate Central and National Geographic.
We would appreciate it very much if you could forward the Amazon link to as many of your network as possible as Millennials and Post-Millennials are the age demographic this book is targeting.
Thank you in advance for any potential interest you may have in helping getting the word out about… A Call to Action