SHOULD I GIVE UP? - Shipping too expensive for Indiegogo campaign

  • SVS OG

    Hi everyone! As you may know, I’ve been planning to launch a children’s book crowd funding campaign. I’ve decided I’m going to do it on indiegogo maybe this November or next March.

    Now, I’ve hit a brick wall. My base pledge is $15 but it costs $30 to ship parcels from the Philippines to countries like USA. I think it’s really unfair if I asked my backers to pay about $45 just to get a copy of my book.

    Should I continue? Do you know of cheaper alternatives for shipping?

    EDIT: Should I shut it down? I’m still at the earliest stage so if I were to back out, this is the best time.

    Thank you so much everyone. I look forward to your responses.

  • Is your book going to be hardcover or soft? Could a softcover fit into a
    One of those bigger envelopes, business size or whatever lol. Those big brown ones that are slightly bigger than a sheet of paper. Just an idea but I’m sure you probably already thought that out.
    Will terry made his book available digitally as a download because shipping was apparently pretty steep for some places. I know a picture book is really something people usually want in hand but maybe people read to their kids on iPads etc these days? I’m not sure about it, my kids are teens now. Just tossing out ideas, not sure how helpful they are 😜

  • I don't know much about it, but I listen to One Fantastic Week occasionally, and remember hearing about an artist in Europe using a fulfillment company based in the USA to store and ship part of their Crowdfunding project.

    I don't know what the expenses associated with it are, or how big of a project it needs to be to justify using a fulfillment service, but it may be something to research if you haven't looked into it already.

    Maybe a company like this?

    Oof, I hope you can find a good solution! I think people in the US are used to having cheap shipping, so it might be a shock for US backers to have to pay that much.

  • Shipping is something that is so weird when you think about it. We live in a world where I can get an 3 seat couch delivered from Amazon before the end of the week at ZERO cost for shipping. And I can drive down to the UPS store later today and I can ship my brother in another state a small box and it will be there in 10 days and it'll cost me $35.

    I know Amazon has fulfillment services also. I wonder if there's a way you can save money that way?

  • SVS OG

    @Coley Thanks for the input. Well, I'm planning to have it as a hardbound, 8x10 inches. As for if it'll fit in an evelope, I really don't know. Maybe? I googled it and I found postal envelopes around 9x12 inches. I don't know if it'll bring the price down though. I've inquired the rates of most postal companies in my area and the shipping cost range from $25 to $30 minimum, regardless of the size.

    I have considered making an ebook version. Ebooks are great coz I keep all the earnings but I'm worried about those who do want a physical copy. I'd feel really bad for making them pay so much just for one book.

  • SVS OG

    @TessaW Thanks, Tessa. That's really something I should look into. I'll probably just print around 50-100 copies given how small a following I got. I'm not sure if it will be cost effective given my small order but I'll definitely ask around and get some quotes. If they're still too expensive, I think I'm just going to pull the plug on this one. I could shop my book around to publishers or maybe just self-publish it. I don't know yet.

  • SVS OG

    @jdubz I know right? I'll try to look into fulfilment services more. Thanks for the input.

  • Realistically, how many people would you need to donate to reach your goal?

    Do you have any friends or family in the USA? Have the books produced in the USA and ship them to family and have them fulfill them for you. Toss them a few dollars for their work and everyone wins.

  • SVS OG

    @jimsz I have a very low goal given I have a very small following. I only need a minimum of 600 usd. I’m going to do the illustrations and graphics design myself ( I still have to teach myself basic graphic design lol! 😅). At $600, I won’t get any profit at all but I’ll be able to have the books printed, get them copyrighted, and edited. My base pledge is $15. I only need 40 backers to have my books out in the world.

    As for asking my family to be my fulfillment service providers, I’ve actually thought of that too. We have a few relatives in the US, working as nurses and teachers, but I don’t want to bother them, you know? Forwarding my books seems like a huge task and I don’t think I can afford to pay them fair wages if I were to hire them. However, I also haven’t asked them. Maybe they’d be happy to help. I don’t really know yet. I’ll have to message them to find out. Let’s cross our fingers.

    Thank you very much. You’ve been very helpful

  • Why not integrate amazon publishing? I have never used it, but I have hear some good things about it. 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @Geoffrey-Gordon I've been asking around crowdfunding forums as well and they also suggested using print on demand amazon KDP or Ingram sparks. I'm a bit apprehensive though because I feel POD makes the book a bit impersonal. I'd like to include a handwritten thank you note to all books sent to backers but I can't do that with POD. Of course, if I don't find any other cheap shipping alternative, POD is my best bet.

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz I hear you, I am new to this world. But perhaps for your first book it would be ok, it may not be a bad idea to get published and recognized. Then when your book does well use that as a social proof example to try something different. I would love to see what root you go, as I have only written my first book, I still have to illustrating it. 🙂

    Furthermore, my illustration skills are not as good as yours, so i have to learn first then I can only illustrate.

  • SVS OG

    @Geoffrey-Gordon yeah, but getting traditionally published takes years. plus, I'll be creating a collection of classic fairytales book. I don't think publishers will be interested with that. My best chance of getting this book out into the world is through self publishing.

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Will Terry experienced the same thing with his crowdfunding campaign. When he found out the shipping cost would be something along the lines of $50 per book (for international shipping), he sent out a note and was completely honest and transparent about it. Gave supporters the option of changing their pledge for an ebook version which was cheaper and, of course, didn’t come with a high cost of shipping. I don’t recall if he had realized this after his campaign ended or right before.

    I really don’t understand why shipping is so high. I sell a thin, light book, for $20 but mailing it overseas costs over $10.

  • SVS OG

    @danielerossi yeah, I remember that one. I ordered a hardback. I was willing to pay the shipping fee just to get a souvenir from Will. I hope people will the same for my book. But I don’t have that strong a following tho. 😭

  • Is it possible to get a partner in US ? so that you ship things in bulk to him/her, and then he/she send out for you. US domestic shipping for book is not expensive. Depends on the weight, 1 lbs is 2.80 ship in office, or only 2.10 if one prints shipping label online and drop off in office. You may also want to pay this person, but if it is a friend, things would be much easier.

  • SVS OG

    @idid i’ve been looking in partnering with a fulfillment service provider or maybe family but nothing has panned out yet.

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Yeah I was heartbroken, too. I really wanted the book but I’m unemployed right now so ebook will have to do. At the very least, the content will be the same 🙂

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Maybe you can use POD service and send to your buyers a handwriting thanks note by regular mail, just a thought 🤔

  • SVS OG

    @Hector-Sandoval-Ormeño Hi! Yeah, I was considering that too. However, sending cards from the Philippines to America or Europe cost about $4. If a backer will order the POD book and I'll send them the card separately, they'll have to pay for 2 shipments. It's still a bit impractical. However, if they ordered more extras like art prints, book marks, pins, etc, and I send these rewards separately, then I guess the added shipping fee will be justified.

    I'm considering that if backers only ordered the book that they won't get a note. I don't know if people will like this but this does seem like my best option yet. If I can't find a better solution, I'm going this route.

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