Is it a hobby or a job?

It is very expensive to self-publish a book of color photos.  I can’t afford it.  Therefore, if no traditional publishers want to buy my manuscript regarding favorite restaurants in Hawaii, then it will fall to the wayside.  So sad!  I’ll be heartbroken if that happens.  But, that’s life.

It would be less expensive and potentially more profitable to self-publish a black and white book, i.e., an all-text book, with no photos, that could be digitally printed.  I did this with my third memoir, LOOK FOR ME IN HAWAII.  Printing and shipping cost $1,441 for 500 copies – or $2.88 per book.  You can imagine the profit margin for a retail price of $13.95.

The other day, I submitted my third memoir, LOOK FOR ME IN HAWAII, to two book fairs:  1) Public Library Association fair, which will be held in Portland, Oregon in March, and 2) American Library Association annual convention to be held in Washington, DC in June.  Hopefully, these attempts at marketing my book will pay off and I’ll get some orders.

Why do I do what I do?  Writing books is so much fun.  The hard part is selling them.  Would I be better off making jewelry, instead?  At craft fairs, jewelry stands always attract a gaggle of women.  Alas, not so with books!

Conclusion:  We all have problems, don’t we?  Mine are so minuscule compared to David’s labile situation at work, and Lisa’s struggle to become a physical therapist. My problems are minuscule, because I don’t have to self-publish books.  It’s optional.  I can do it or not do it.  Bottom line:  If I can’t afford the investment, then don’t even go there!  Amen.

P.S.  If you are curious as to what I sent Brit Gal Sarah last week, do see her blog entry:

http://www.britgalusa.com/2010/01/bloggers-are-nicest-people.html

10 Responses to “Is it a hobby or a job?”

  1. kavita Says:

    I hope and pray to God that all the problems of you, David and Lisa just go way.I am sure that some publisher would realize the worth of this book of yours .

  2. Susan at Stony River Says:

    What about Blurb.com? I publish photo books for myself and family there — the price per book is reasonable but you don’t have to take a shipment, you can buy a few copies at a time to keep or sell locally, and sell mostly online through their store.

    The book quality and photo clarity btw is really good; they were recommended to me by a friend who’s a professional photographer and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I feel the same way about the time I spend writing — knowing I could spend it with the kids or cleaning the house or working in the garden… it’s a guilty pleasure sometimes, more than a job!

  3. LizKauai Says:

    E-Publishing is the way to go.

  4. Kay Dennison Says:

    I hope everyone gets their problems solved soon. And I admire your determination.

  5. CTarleton Says:

    Aloha! I agree with LizKauai – many affordable options for downloadable eBooks can make your full color photo masterpiece available to the masses at practically no charge to you. As Susan says, Blurb.com is good; I love Lulu.com; even Amazon has CreateSpace to help you. As you know it’s damn near impossible to make money selling books – but we’re all still writing for OTHER reasons. Keep doing it. Imua –

  6. Hattie Says:

    Gigi: Any chance of putting your memoirs on Kindle? Do you frown on that, or does your publisher?
    I know books with photos are expensive to produce!

    • gigihawaii Says:

      I don’t own a Kindle, and none of the people I sold books to own one. There’s nothing like opening a real book and thumbing through the pages. I LOVE paperbacks.

  7. gigihawaii Says:

    I looked at Blurb.com and think the pricing is too high. $36.95 per book PLUS shipping would beak most customers’ wallets. I would never make a profit.

  8. Hattie Says:

    Gigi: I felt the way you do until I actually got my Kindle. Now I love it. But I can imagine how you feel, too, especially since you have published books. That must be a thrill.

  9. musings Says:

    I did go and check it out, Gigi! Wow! Looks great! I know she’ll love it all!

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