Initial calculations for the new Amazon
Now I have a somewhat better idea of exactly what I have to do to cope with the new Amazon policy. It's not terribly pleasant, because it means raising prices solely to feed Amazon, but unfortunately if I want to sell via Amazon, I have no choice but to play by their rules.
- I have to make new covers for all my books, because CreateSpace (CS) uses thinner paper, so the spine width is different. This doesn't cost anything except time and effort.
- I have to make new covers for a few Lightning Source (LSI) books, because the listed price is incorrect. These will cost me USD37.50 apiece.
- I can probably use the same book blocks that I used for LSI to print CS books. I will have to change the Kurodahan Press book ID on the copyright page, but I shouldn't have to make new layouts. Unfortunately, many of our books have ads in the back showing prices, and most of these prices will be wrong, which means I'll need new book blocks for those, at USD37.50 apiece.
- I have to register the book data at CS, for USD39 apiece.
- I need to see proof copies of every CS book, and a few LSI books. LSI charges US30/copy; CS apparently charges a variable fee of about the same amount.
The total, assuming everything goes smoothly and I only need one proof copy each, comes to about USD3700 if I ignore the incorrect prices in back-of-the-book ads. And since we have a few thousand copies of printed books here in Japan, which will be impossible to change the ad prices in, I'm wondering if that's the way to go. If we change all the ad prices we can, the total bumps up to about USD4400. In any case, considering cost and effort required, books will be handled one at a time, I think.
Oh, and I also need to contact every author and translator receiving royalties calculated as a percentage of books sold, and convince them to switch to a fixed fee per copy sold. (If their royalties remain as a percentage of the book list price, I would have to roughly double all book prices to be able to pay them and still make a profit.) This will mean the actual percentage of the royalty drops, but the amount paid per book remains the same as it is now. And considering all of the price increase is going to Amazon, not me, that is not unreasonable.
Depending on the number of pages, specific contract terms with author and translator and a few other things, the prices for most books will rise by 20-25%.
I still have some more options to investigate, and I haven't given up hope that there's something I'm overlooking somewhere, but as far as I know now, this is what's going to happen.