by Louis Bertrand Shalako
All Rights Reserved
Today I was the Mystery Shopper. It was kind of fun.
I went to The Book Keeper in Sarnia's Northgate Shopping Plaza and checked out the competition, or at least some of it.
I saw Tor Books science fiction paperbacks going for $9.99 and I saw another imprint going for a low of $8.99. There were some other books there going for $12.99, these were the 5x8s as opposed to the 4x7s.
The big shocker was Lee Childs' 'Die Trying,' a thriller going for $18.99 in paperback.
Honestly, I guess I had some idea of what to expect, because I have 'Kite Runner,' by Khaled Hoseini, a #1 NY TImes bestseller, (paperback,) and the price on the back says $14.00.
That one says 'June 2003' inside. But this all puts the $15.00 Martin Renaud was selling his graphic trilogy for per volume into perspective. I was also a bit stunned by the calculator figures from Lulu and WordClay. Those came in about $13.00 for 'The Case of the Curious Killers.'
So my business plan progresses with each new piece of knowledge. If I can make a nice proof copy and sell my books POD, then I can certainly make a file that would print well and make a good bookstore-quality product.
The Book Keeper is independently owned, and lots of local authors have gotten in there. In some ways, it's just a matter of finding the confidence.
Over the years, I have become quite good at scraping the bottom of a barrel.
I might need to do a little more research, but I know I can do this. And Martin got his books into a few Coles as well...hmn.