• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • paul wheaton
garden masters:
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Mike Barkley

International shipping for the better world book kickstarter

 
gardener & author
Posts: 2054
Location: Manitoba, Canada
628
cattle hugelkultur monies duck forest garden fish fungi earthworks building rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I originally posted this in this thread but I've decided to copy it here to be its own thread.

Apparently shipping things to the other side of the world is rather expensive. Shipping a single book over to Europe can cost $30+ for reasonable delivery time. So by ordering 1 physical book you would be paying twice for shipping as you would for the actual book. This is discouraging for me. I know I would certainly think twice about whether or not I wanted to buy.

So let's look at buying 12 books instead. If we would change the format of the book to be a different size than we had planned (and a touch thicker), then we could fit a dozen books into a USPS medium flat rate box. Which going over to Europe would cost $71 in shipping. Less than $7 per book but, still, ouch. If we were to keep the book at the planned size, the shipping will probably be closer to $100, maybe more. Because of size.

So we had a great idea. Which it turns out lots of other people have also thought of. Why print the book here and ship it there when we can just print it there and ship it there? Some folks suggested we take this path with our entire book. That way we don't have to pay any printing up front and our budget is much easier. The problem is that to do this in Canada and the US (especially the US) drastically reduces how much we could earn per book. So we decided to print a bunch of books at once with an offset printer. But now we're thinking: what about printing offset for Canada and the US and using print on demand for other countries?

After crunching some numbers, by doing print on demand for one book we might be able to lower the cost of international shipping from $35 to $20. Still not cheap, but almost half! This kinda seems like a slam dunk.

Looking at shipping 12 books again... instead of $70 or even $100 (possibly more) for international shipping, we might be able to cut it down to $40. I think this is a huge difference! Again, seems like a slam dunk...

BUT! As mentioned earlier[...], we are talking about the possibility of, if things go really really well, having Paul and I scribble in one of those 12 copies. Which means it would need to be here and then we would need to ship it internationally... adding about $35 in shipping costs.

I suppose one option is to say (again, if we do really really well and do the scribble thing) that we will only scribble in books destined for Canada or the US. Another option is to just set the shipping cost at $75 for 12 books internationally (we can't change shipping costs once the campaign launches).

So... does anyone have a better idea on how to do this?

 
pollinator
Posts: 439
Location: San Diego, California
69
forest garden trees rabbit chicken food preservation building woodworking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any chance you could entice a Canadian or European Permie to volunteer to be your "distributor" in those parts? Have them print small offset run of the book(to save your costs) locally, then ship locally from their home(to save the customer cost).

It could be a lot of work, but the process could be streamlined, and the volunteer could get a PEP badge and a free book out of it?
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
gardener & author
Posts: 2054
Location: Manitoba, Canada
628
cattle hugelkultur monies duck forest garden fish fungi earthworks building rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dustin Rhodes wrote:Any chance you could entice a Canadian or European Permie to volunteer to be your "distributor" in those parts? Have them print small offset run of the book(to save your costs) locally, then ship locally from their home(to save the customer cost).

It could be a lot of work, but the process could be streamlined, and the volunteer could get a PEP badge and a free book out of it?



I live in the place some call Canada, so that part is already taken care of.

It's theoretically possible that we could make an arrangement with someone in Europe. But it would have to be done in a way where we were able to trust 100% that they would actually get the job done properly and not take our money and our book and run. I think that, for many reasons, it would be hard to ensure that level of trust. But I suppose it's possible.
 
master steward & author
Posts: 17526
Location: Left Coast Canada
4296
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thoughts of what worked for me (take what's useful, ignore the rest)

1. before you start the book layout get some samples of bubble mailers and other packaging and find out if changing your book dimensions a little bit will make a difference to shipping (hint, the answer is a quarter inch smaller in height can mean $5-15 less shipping even for thicker books).  Experiment.
    1.a. a thicker book gives you more spine which makes it look better on the shelf.
2. Canada Post has different rates for small business.  You need to sign up with an account to get the quotes.  They reassess you ever three months (calendar months) which
     - My book is about half the thickness of the Better World Book.  With handling and packaging, it's costing $11 to the USA and $14 for international with Canada Post Small Business.  Two or three books cost $2 more (same price for two or for three).  I suspect my book is heavier than yours because of the paper and other stuff.
3. Keep the packaging light and consistent.  Some of my envelope choices (the paper padded ones) had a variation of up to 100g - which is ample to push the package into a different price bracket.  The less the packaging weighs, the less it costs to ...
    ...ship to you
    ...ship to the customer
4. overestimate your measurements and weights for Canada Post - add 2cm and at least 10 grams.  If you undermeasure then they will charge you a fine.  The other companies charge a much steeper fine.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 719
Location: Ontario, Canada
150
homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing I found with getting packages from the States to Canada was that, if shipped with USPS there were no brokerage charges. If shipped with FedEx or UPS, I'd get whacked with brokerage charges AND taxes and duty.  

I'm not sure if that's true for other countries.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 972
Location: Tasmania
474
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have you thought of doing an international edition with IngramSpark?

They print books in the closest printing location to the delivery address, so if someone in Europe needs a copy, it's printed in the UK, Australian copies are printed in Australia, US and Canada ones printed in the USA and so on.

I think the shipping cost was always less than $10usd to ship a single book to anywhere in the world.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
gardener & author
Posts: 2054
Location: Manitoba, Canada
628
cattle hugelkultur monies duck forest garden fish fungi earthworks building rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kate Downham wrote:Have you thought of doing an international edition with IngramSpark?



That is currently the plan! It drastically cuts the shipping costs, but it does triple or quadruple the printing costs compared to offset printing. So it doesn't save quite as much money as we'd like but it still makes a big difference.

Have you worked with IngramSpark at all? If so I might want to pick your brain when the time comes.
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 972
Location: Tasmania
474
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, they are the printer and distributor I used for Backyard Dairy Goats. I am really impressed with their quality and service and I am happy to answer questions.
 
Posts: 75
Location: Sweden
10
cattle transportation woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
E-books and the buyer can print it self.Environmentfriendly.
Actually,why printed books at all? E-books are cheap and good for the environment.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 17526
Location: Left Coast Canada
4296
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Canada Post now has flat rate shipping boxes in 3 different sizes for domestic shipping.

This is great because expadited shipping depends on where you are and where you're sending the parcel.  So the price for a book your size can vary from $16 for the same city, to $38 for halfway across the country, to $198 for delivery to Rural Arctic.  

With these new boxes, it's a flat rate.  It makes estimating shipping much easier.  
 
Posts: 99
Location: Mediterranean-Temperate transition zone
18
hugelkultur cat forest garden trees chicken solar woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is there any way to upgrade a pledge to the $100-tier and NOT be forced to add $75 for international shipping at the same time?

Not that many years ago I remember buying a bunch of books from Amazon and the shipping was in the order of $3 per book (with a minimum of $10 or so).  I find the mere notion of paying $75 for shipping a single book to be insane.  I don't know what has happened in the intervening years to force US shipping prices up several hundred percent, but I don't want to support what has clearly become a deeply flawed system.  I routinely get products from other countries and the shipping is far, far, far less — so it seems to be a US-specific thing.

As I'm more interested in the information than the medium, and am happy to read electronic (PDF) versions, I'd rather forego the physical copy — maybe donate it to the bundle going to Libraries — than pay the $75.

Alternatively, I'd be happy to accept a raincheck on the physical copy — in the hopes that some sort of more reasonable arrangement can be discovered/devised at a later date.  (Since electronic copies will be available immediately, there would be no urgency to get the physical copy, and "later date" could happily be months/years later.)

Possible?
 
Tim Bermaw
Posts: 99
Location: Mediterranean-Temperate transition zone
18
hugelkultur cat forest garden trees chicken solar woodworking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is the $75 for international shipping fixed regardless of number of physical copies?  So 12 copies all the way down to 1 copy?

UPDATE/ANSWER:  $75 is for the $100 level which covers 12 physical books.  Lower shipping rates apply for lower pledge levels with entitlements to fewer physical copies.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
gardener & author
Posts: 2054
Location: Manitoba, Canada
628
cattle hugelkultur monies duck forest garden fish fungi earthworks building rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Tim,

I posted about your question here:

https://permies.com/w/480/108403/World-Book-Kickstarter#915423

Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:We will send out a survey after the kickstarter. On that survey it will say (for $80 and up levels), something like "Up to 12, how many physical books do you want? The rest will be converted 3-1 to ebook gift codes." So you can choose how many physical copies. But unfortunately kickstarter does not allow us to alter the shipping total based on how many you choose. So you have to either pay 0 for shipping and get 0 physical copies, or pay for shipping all physical books... even if you are not getting all physical books. We are already stretching kickstarter's system about as much as we can and they do not provide us the ability to do this in a more detailed manner. I know, it sucks. But we had to make sure that we covered our costs. Because the #1 source of post-kickstarter failures is an inability to correctly estimate shipping expenses.




Crazy idea: If you only want 1 physical copy you could potentially make two pledges with two different cards. One at the $15 level for the physical book and one at the $100 level for all ebooks. That still comes out to $140 though and we wouldn't be able to sign a book.


Summary: It sucks. And we don't have a way to fix it that doesn't involve huge logistical issues.
 
Tim Bermaw
Posts: 99
Location: Mediterranean-Temperate transition zone
18
hugelkultur cat forest garden trees chicken solar woodworking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:We will send out a survey after the kickstarter. On that survey it will say (for $80 and up levels), something like "Up to 12, how many physical books do you want? The rest will be converted 3-1 to ebook gift codes." So you can choose how many physical copies. But unfortunately kickstarter does not allow us to alter the shipping total based on how many you choose. So you have to either pay 0 for shipping and get 0 physical copies, or pay for shipping all physical books... even if you are not getting all physical books. We are already stretching kickstarter's system about as much as we can and they do not provide us the ability to do this in a more detailed manner. I know, it sucks. But we had to make sure that we covered our costs. Because the #1 source of post-kickstarter failures is an inability to correctly estimate shipping expenses.



I came across the following text on the Kickstarter page:

Some people have asked "how do the shipping fees work?" Unfortunately we do not have the ability to scale shipping fees based on the number of physical books selected at a particular reward level. Each reward level has a set shipping fee associated with it according to location. If you are getting only ebook gift codes, then you can select "US Virgin Islands" as your shipping location and the shipping charge will be $0 and you will receive 0 physical books.  It's not perfect, but it's the best we can do within the system.



Is the Virgin Islands trick (still) the right way to go if I'm happy with zero physical copies?

Crazy idea: If you only want 1 physical copy you could potentially make two pledges with two different cards. One at the $15 level for the physical book and one at the $100 level for all ebooks. That still comes out to $140 though and we wouldn't be able to sign a book.



Hmmm...  Interesting.

Summary: It sucks. And we don't have a way to fix it that doesn't involve huge logistical issues.


Not your fault.  It is what it is.  I can only imagine how much time and effort you guys have put in behind the scenes to make this all work — so thanks for doing what you could.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
gardener & author
Posts: 2054
Location: Manitoba, Canada
628
cattle hugelkultur monies duck forest garden fish fungi earthworks building rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Tim, thanks for your understanding.

Yes, the Virgin Islands trick is still the right way to go if you're happy with zero physical copies.
 
Forget this weirdo. You guys wanna see something really neat? I just have to take off my shoe .... (hint: it's a tiny ad)
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!