On Monday and Tuesday Alan Smith and I were in the Netherlands to visit the book printer, book binder, and cover printer together with Patrick Pijl. The whole visit was organized by Maarten Modderman
who is specialized in printing special books.
I made a little video below that shows some images of the visit. Most interestingly, at 0:35 into the video Mike Silva of the book binding company explains the special technique they will use to bind and finish Business Model Generation
. We chose that technique because it will allow the book to lie flat open on a table. Unfortunately, it is a relatively costly technique because it involves manual work. However, it makes the book more usable and also looks amazing. So for the first 5'000 prints we decided to go for that solution to offer you the best possible experience.
Our main challenge is now pricing and distribution. Given the high production costs, we had to go for a slightly higher price than initially planned: currently we are working with U.S. $35.- In retail a similar type of book (full color, designed, etc.) would retail at $50.- to $70.- That is unacceptable to us because we want to keep the book accessible.
The main difficulty lies in distributing through intermediaries like Amazon.com or wholesales, because they take over 45% to 55% of the sales price. That leaves us with 45% of the price (i.e. $15.75) to produce the books and ship them to intermediaries. It hardly generates a profit. That is one of the reasons why we will start with sales over www.businessmodelgeneration.com
only, before starting to sell through intermediaries. The latter is of course necessary because of visibility and to a certain extent credibility (a book needs to be an Amazon.com).
Pre-sales are going nicely, by the way. We sold 420+ to date, which seems like a small number, but is quite a bit in the book world. Keep in mind that selling 7'000 books in the Netherlands qualifies it as a bestseller. We have 470 members on the Hub (you each get a free version) and we pre-sold 420. That already adds up to 900 books sold.
Any comments or experiences from your side are welcome...
In any case this is an exciting experience with lots of learning involved!