Sunday, 25 May 2014

Running With Wolves - by Susan Price

          Well, it's been available on Amazon's Kindle platform for some time now. But at last, at last, it's available as a paperback book, published by PriceClan. A paperback, that will clatter through your letter box, wrapped up in brown card, and solidly thump onto the mat. Or carpet. Or floorboards, or whatever you have under your letter-box.
          I set out to achieve this more than a year ago, when I received lots of emails from teachers, asking where they could buy copies of the book. It's always gone down rather well in schools, when I've read it aloud, and it seems many schools want to use it as a class reader.
          But it was out of print, and second-hand copies were selling on eBay and through Amazon market-place at silly money.
          So I commissioned new illustrations from Andrew Price, and published the book on Kindle, where it's selling rather well.
          But some teachers said they would prefer a paper book - and, of course, there are thousands of people outside schools who might like a paper copy too.
          So Andrew and I tackled CreateSpace, which has quirky little ways all of its own - and found that even when we got the book past the bots, the cover Andrew had designed didn't look half so good in ink on paper as it had as pixels on a back-lit computer screen. Back to the drawing-programme. (If you want to know more about this tiresome process, there are links to blogs about it on our 'How-To Page.')
          One of the great things about CreateSpace, for writers, is that there is no money to pay up front. I didn't have to go to Funding Circle, to try and raise the money to pay printers and distributors. Amazon pays all the up-front costs, and publishes 'on-demand.' They take their costs from the sales-price, and forward the rest to me as a royalty - and a considerably higher royalty than I would earn for a conventionally published paperback.
          I decided to put out two versions: one with the illustrations in black and white, at £6.28, and one with illustrations in full colour, at £7.99.


          It'll be interesting to see which one sells best, and if it changes around Christmas.

               The black and white paperback can be found here.

          And the one with colour illustrations can be found here.

          Now, at these prices, with conventional publishers, I would probably get a royalty of something like 45p per copy sold on the black and white, and 59p on the colour. With CreateSpace, I don't get an advance, but I do get more than twice the royalty for every copy sold.     

          If you live in America, and you'd like a copy, follow the UK link given above. Then go to the browser box at the top right-hand corner of your screen, where it says: http://www.amazon.co.uk/....  Click on this with your cursor, and change '.co.uk' to '.com/' 
         Change nothing else. Go to the other end of the browser box and click on the arrow. You will be taken to The Wolf's Footprint page for America, where you will find, to your delight, that the American black and white paperback copy costs only $8.09.
          There are much cheaper hardback copies, but they are second-hand, so not only will it not be this new and collectable edition - PriceClan's first production! - but it will be filling the pockets of second-hand book traders instead of putting bread on the table of this struggling writer. I aint even kidding.
          The full colour edition, in America, costs $9.89.
          The book was only published in 2003, yet I am already meeting and hearing from adults who tell me it was a favourite book of theirs when they were children.
          This, it has to be admitted, creates a certain big-headedness in a writer.
           Still - eight quid or ten dollars, for a book that will last for years, and quite possibly live in your child's or grandchild's imagination for the rest of their lives.
          Ker-ching!??


Susan Price has won the Carnegie Medal and The Guardian Fiction Prize.
          Her website is at http://www.susanpriceauthor.com/


4 comments:

julia jones said...

Choice of B & W or full colour is an interesting innovation. I do think your brother sounds like complete treasure. (It's a good book too!)

Lydia Bennet said...

Good luck with this Susan, yes very enterprising putting out two colour versions! so much to learn putting different types of book on Kindle, and now createspace a whole new skill-set!

madwippitt said...

oooer those pics are lush! I wonder whether collectors will buy both?

Susan Price said...

I can only hope so, Madwippit! -and thanks, Julia and Valerie.