Square Photographs has not sold well: 23 copies, total. You can’t win them all.
I ran a few experiments with this book. The most important of them was to find out how a higher-priced but high-quality edition would sell against a lower-priced but good-quality edition of the same book. I want to find out how sensitive potential readers are to price vs. print quality. I published the high-quality edition of Square Photographs on MagCloud and charged $24.99. I published the good-quality edition on Amazon and charged $15.99. I made a similar amount per book either way, as MagCloud’s per-copy cost to me is considerably higher than Amazon’s.
Only five people bought the high-quality edition at the higher price. 17 people bought the good-quality edition at the lower price. I don’t think 23 purchases is a large enough sample space to know for sure, but I’m willing to conclude anyway that readers are more sensitive to price than to print quality.
Really, the good-quality edition from Amazon is plenty good. A keen eye can see how the high-quality edition from MagCloud is better, but it’s not that much better.
As a result, I’m going to publish future photo books only through Amazon.
This choice does not come without a key tradeoff. I know a number of people who consider Amazon to be the evil empire and won’t purchase from them. A segment of my audience will never see my books as a result.
Someday I might try having one of my photo books custom printed in advance. I’d have to keep an inventory and handle distribution, which is a hassle I’ve so far sought to avoid. But given that I’m in an experimental place, it would be interesting to try it and see how it goes.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of Square Photographs, go here for all the ways you can do it.
To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!