Friday, February 5, 2010


Everybody seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to “Buy Local”. “Think Globally, Act Locally”. Then they turn to Amazon to buy a book or whatever. Since the Internet is not “local”, I’ve come up with the phrase:


I have had a special offering of $20 [no S&H or tax] to readers of my blog for my book on Drip Irrigation since December 29, 2009. Not one sale. [Over 930 people have visited my profile.]

Let’s look at the math: Amazon charges $16.47 for my Drip Irrigation book with a cover price of $24.95. [a savings of 34 %]. They charge $3.95 for shipping which equals $20.42.

I‘m offering the book at $20 via Priority Mail, no CA tax, and with an autograph. [As a writing friend says, “That adds another $.12 to the value!”.]

So, given my generous offer, buying from Amazon costs you $.42 more than buying from me. With no autograph. [$.42 minus the $.12 mentioned above equals $.20 more!]

My book is not sold by me to Amazon, just through my distributor. From my distributor I get a generous 70% of the NET, not gross. This means the money for me is not based on retail price. Amazon buys the book somewhere less than 66% off the list price because if it sold it at 66% it would just break even at their price of $16.47 [34% off]. My NET per book is about a mere $4.94. I think, the Amazon game is to become a brand in a few years, while it took Coca-Cola many decades to establish their brand. Amazon is willing to sell at near cost to gain market share and “brand”. The low return to me is supposed be compensated by the increased volume of sales. In my opinion, Amazon is leading to the decline or death of small presses and self-publishers. [In spite of the hype, it’s a relief to know that all on-line book sales represent only 21% of all books sold.]

See: for more gruesome details and eBooks scams.

I’ve had casual acquaintances [no longer my “acquaintances”] call to say: “We saw that great article in the paper on your drip irrigation book and immediately ordered it and some of your other books from Amazon. Will you come over [12 miles] and autograph it?”


Let me know what you think.
Visit my web site to learn about my new book on drip irrigation and other gardening books.

NOTE: The comments section at the bottom of the post has disappeared. Click on the "___ Comments" button or the title under the "Blog Archives". Thanks, Robert