Although I appreciate all the folks who have said, "Oh, I would definitely buy your book, if only it was available as a "real" book," once they saw what I would have to charge, I highly doubt they would put their money where their mouth is. And that, in a nutshell, is why I chose to only go the eBook route...cost!
I never bothered trying to attract a publishing house as I doubted my debut novel would attract the huge following that would ensure a hefty advance, a large first-run print edition, a prime space on the shelf of a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and an all expenses paid marketing campaign. Sure, I'm a dreamer, but I'm not delusional.
I could, as many others have, published my own "real" book that I could hold and caress, and sign for the throngs of readers who would surely show up at all the book signing events I would be afforded, if I only had a "real" book, by going through one of the many self-publishing companies out there. One of the most popular and most affordable is one called Createspace. Let's look at the start-up costs...
The cheapest package they offer is a mere $728.00, which includes a book cover, interior design, and an ISBN number. The next package costs $1,737.00 and adds one round of copy editing and LCCN assignment which allows the book to be eligible for sales to libraries. The advanced package comes in at $2,534.00 which includes all the above and adds a press release and creation of a book description. The final package is the Marketing Pro one which costs $4,853.00. The Pro package has all the features of the others but also includes another round of copy editing and a video book trailer.
I already have most of the components including the cover and book trailer, the only thing I am missing is the LCCN assignment and the press release (and that's only because I've been dragging my feet on it!) Maybe if I was a doctor, lawyer or some wealthy person who could afford to spend thousands I would, but I'm not, so let's say I went with the cheapest package. After you pay the start-up costs you only pay for the books you order, and you set the price.
My book in print would be approximately 347 pages. Let's say the trim size is 5.5 x 8.5, soft cover and I chose to charge $14.99 per book. For each book I sold on Amazon.com my royalty rate would be 53 cents. I would have to sell 1,374 copies to recoup the $728.00. If I wanted to get closer to my royalty rate on Smashwords I would have to charge $20.99 per book. I would have to sell 208 copies to break even. Other than some friends and family, maybe, I can't imagine anyone (except for me, when I bought other local author's books, books by the way, in genres I will never read, but still felt it was important to support a fellow author) paying almost $21.00 for a paperback novel. Just not gonna happen.
$4.99 is more affordable, so affordable in fact that one reader told me she first downloaded it onto her computer, read it, and then decided to buy another copy to download to her Ipad. I thanked her, but informed her that if she bought it from Smashwords she would be able to just download another copy to her Ipad without having to pay again. Not bad. One other perk for potential readers is they get to sample 15% of the book via Smashwords before deciding if they want to buy it or not. I know I'm not for everyone, but at least the opportunity to "try me" is out there.
So, just to recap you can get Fractured Facade here at Smashwords, or here at Amazon, or, at any other eRetailer now. What? You don't have an eReader??? Christmas is coming, and you can get a Kindle starting at $79!