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Selling Ingram’s Net-Priced Items

Today on my primary blog, I’m fulfilling a commitment to help bring visibility to a book written by someone whom I have gotten know online over the past several years. As with many self-published books, it could have used a little more editing, but there are some rather interesting portions that I enjoyed and I have no qualms about recommending it.

The challenge for me as a retailer however is that the book is listed in Ingram at $9.99 NET. Most of you know that NET means there is no trade discount. The book is only 88-pages.

For U.S. retailers I am sure this raises some interesting pricing scenarios. If a retailer wanted to keep the standard 40% trade discount in place, they would multiply the cost price by 1.67. This means the book would retail for $16.70 at their store; which, for 88-pages isn’t an impossible price for an academic book, but a tough sell for general interest. Even $14.99 would be high. Or, in the spirit of the list price, they could just sell it at $9.99; but doing that, they would be unlikely to stock the title.

For Canadian retailers, there is a flat rate shipping charge of between 6.5 and 8.5 percent depending where you are in the country. Then there is about 12% exchange rate, plus the complexity of not knowing exactly what the rate is going to be on the day that Ingram settles the account with your credit card. Using an average of 7.5% for shipping, that means a landed cost of $12.04 and to obtain standard trade discount, a retail price of $20.10. Surely nobody would do that, right?

In the spirit of the list price, I would probably go with $12.99. I might be able to get $13.50. But again, the problem is, I want to carry the book in inventory. I wanted to carry multiple copies.  I really wish the publisher offered some type of advantage to brick-and-mortar stores.

It’s easy to promise writers some visibility in bookstores when selling a custom printing service, but it is impossible to get the retailers on board if there is no margin; if there is no incentive.  Authors who are just starting out wouldn’t get the nuances of that unless they’ve worked in a bookstore.

You can read my review of God is Near today at Thinking Out Loud. It’s also reprinted below:


“Reading about incarnate deity shouldn’t be a chore. This part of the story in particular should feel more like taking a child to a parade than loading the dishwasher.” ~Clark Bunch, God is Near, p. 65

What if I asked you to take several pages and give me overview of the Bible? What is it saying? How do the various stories fit together? Does any of this matter to me?

Being part of the Christian blogosphere has allowed me to interact with some of the greatest people on the planet, but there are some writers in particular who I feel are a kindred spirit. One of those is Clark Bunch who blogs at The Master’s Table, and I was honored when he asked me if I would be one of a select group to review his book, God Is Near: His Promise To His People (Outskirts Press).

God is Near - Clark BunchClark has taken on the unenviable task of blending two objectives into a single book, and keeping that book under 100 pages: To show the immanence (nearness) of God in relationship to His people, and provide an overview of the wider arc of the Bible’s big story.

The result is a concise, informal Bible summary that offers great giveaway potential to that person in your circle of friends who has started asking questions about your faith; but also offers a few insights for those of us who have been in church from infancy.

Eight of the ten chapters concentrate on the Old Testament underpinnings of our faith, but show the foreshadowing of the promise to come. With an almost poetic cadence, each chapter affirms the immanence of God, but without sacrificing the transcendence.

Some of the best portions of the book are where Clark breaks from the narrative to offer some personal glimpses as well as his own insights into the texts. I particularly liked the comparison of the Passover to Christ himself, or the relationship between heaven as depicted in Isaiah and as described in Revelation.

From my perspective, God is Near is a great appetizer. It sets up the reader to want to learn more; to ask more questions.

God is Near is available on ebook in a Kindle edition; or your local bookstore can order it in print from Ingram. You can follow Clark Bunch’s blog (link above) or keep up with book buying opportunities on @Godisnearbook on Twitter.

Read an excerpt from God is Near that appeared at Christianity 201.


For my Canadian readers, buying the print version of God is Near may be a challenge. A similar project both in purpose and page length, by a Canadian author was reviewed here a few weeks ago. Read about God Enters Stage Left by Tim Day.


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