There’s an assumption that book printing in New Zealand is more expensive than printing overseas. This may appear to be the case at first glance, but there are additional factors and sometimes hidden costs to consider.
In the self-publishing world, a lot of the discussion centres around Amazon and overseas printing options. If you’re a New Zealand author, Amazon can be an inexpensive way to get your book to an international audience. However, when it comes to print copies to sell in New Zealand, Amazon isn’t your only option.
We ran the numbers for a 250-page paperback printed on 80gsm paper and found that our prices were comparable to (or even a little cheaper than) Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (formerly Createspace). We took into consideration the shipping costs and customs fees and based it on a calculation of 50-100 books.
There are many advantages to getting your book printed in New Zealand, including but not limited to:
Book printing overseas typically takes around a month to arrive unless you spend more for expedited shipping. Within New Zealand, you have the option of parcel post within a week or an overnight courier.
No unexpected customs taxes
We calculated the cost of bringing 50 author copies from Amazon into New Zealand and the customs fee (including GST) came out at around $120.00. Many people forget to allow for this.
If you go with a local company like The CopyPress, you’ll have experienced staff to look over your book before it goes to print. They can let you know about any issues with your file, like problems with bleed. They’ll also be able to advise you on how to improve your book for the commercial market and might even fix any typos they spot.
Beyond just book printing, your local print company will be in contact with editors, designers and other industry professionals who can help you on your self-publishing journey.
Distribution to bookshops and libraries
We’ve found that booksellers prefer to go through an established distributor rather than an individual author. Distributors have the systems in place to make it easy for bookshops and libraries to order from them. We’ve also heard from booksellers that they are hesitant to stock books published through Amazon because of the perceived lower quality. That isn’t to say that all books published through Amazon are poor quality, just that there is that judgement. The fact that Amazon is the biggest reason that bookshops across the world have been forced to close down doesn’t help.
Quicker print on demand reprints
As with your initial print-run, your reprints will arrive much more quickly if you’re working with a New Zealand printer. Imagine that your book takes off and you sell out of your first print-run. Do you really want to wait for the next batch to arrive from overseas while you have readers keen to buy your book? In the time it takes for the books to arrive your readers may have moved on and forgotten about it.
Amazon may still be a good option for you, especially if you want international book distribution. Many of the books we assist with are also available on Kindle. But it’s worth looking into local options if you want to sell your print books in New Zealand.
If you would like to learn more about working as an independent author in New Zealand, take a look at our book, Self-Publishing in New Zealand by H.L. Kennedy.