D’Oh: Confused about the Wholesale V. Retail Discounts with Ingram

I have spent the last three months sending emails to bookstores encouraging them to stock my book somewhere in their brick and mortar. I have very likely killed every one of those sales by getting my numbers wrong.

I made the mistake of telling them in the sell sheet that I’m distributed by Ingram. Right! There is a wholesale discount of 55%.


Wrong! Well, not wrong, just irrelevant. I got confused between Wholesale and Retail discounts.

I now understand that retailers pay 60% of the cover price. I was telling anyone who asked that they paid 45%, which, if they then followed up with Ingram and discovered I was wrong, probably put them off entirely.


So, here is how the discounts with Ingram actually work.

Ingram wants you to WHOLESALE the book to THEM for 45% of the cover price (a 55% discount).

Ingram will then sell your book to RETAILERS for 60% of the cover price (a 40% discount). Their price to the retailer includes shipping and all fees and covers the costs of returns.

You, the author/self-publisher make your profit in the narrow margin between the cost of printing the book and the 45% Ingram pays to cover the printing and royalties.

My book Dot to Dot to Dot: 88 Advanced Dot to Dot Puzzles with Extra Dots has a cover price of $15.99. I let Ingram have it for 45% of that, which is $7.19. It costs $5.19 to print the book (a chunk of which is profit for Ingram as the printer). So, I get $2.00 per book.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how much money I get per book if I turn everyone off with my misinformation!

More learning.


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