Author Steve Laube

Bookstore Economics 101

by Steve Laube

Understanding the economics of your local brick-and-mortar bookstore should help you understand the upheaval that is happening in our industry. So put on your math cap and let’s take a ride.

This article focuses on the bookstore not the publisher or the writer. I spent over a decade in the Christian bookstore business, and while that was a long time ago the economic principles are the same.

Let’s start with a $10 book (retail price). I’m using $10 because it will make the math a little easier to follow.

The bookstore buys the book for $6 (or 40% discount off the retail price) from the publisher (who calls that $6 the net price). Note that this discount varies between 40% and 50%.

When the books sells to a customer the store then makes a $4 profit ($10 – $6 = $4).

If the store discounts the book during a 20% off promotion they have to sell two copies to make that same $4 profit. But often a 20% off sale is not enough to double the sales volume. Why? Because a high-volume operation like Amazon.com is happy to sell that $10 book for $6.50 (35% off). They can do this because they plan on selling 10 copies at the discounted price and clear $5 in profit. This pricing strategy has a chilling effect on the ability of the local store to compete.

Read More

Fun Fridays – April 30, 2021

Before watching today’s video, I would never have guessed how many languages are spoken on Earth today. Amaze your friends with the answer! In the midst of the video, Tom Scott makes a point about words that have changed meaning in recent years (before and after the Internet). I thought …

Read More

When the Outlook Is Bleak

by Steve Laube

In the constant ebb and flow of this industry we have authors celebrating and authors in tears. Ask any agent and you will hear the same. For every author excited about their new contract there is another experiencing bitter disappointment.

And I wish I could fix it.

To hear the anguish is difficult, but to be the one who delivers the bad news is heart-wrenching. Why is it that they seem to come in bunches? So what do you do when you run into the inevitable disappointments the writing experience throws at you?

Read More

Fun Fridays – April 23, 2021

Since the snow has finally melted for most of you and spring is in bloom, I thought it would be fun to look at the melting of snowflakes, in reverse. Start with the drop of water and see it turn into something of great beauty. Sort of like your writing. …

Read More

Ten Years!

Ten years ago this week Tamela Hancock Murray signed an agreement to become a part of our agency. Ten years! I was honored then and remain honored that she is part of our team. From managing dozens of fabulous authors to successfully landing hundreds of new book deals, she works …

Read More

Fun Fridays – April 16, 2021

Considering the topic of the post on Monday, April 5, today’s video is absolutely perfect. Are YOU a dedicated reader like this? (If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view it.) HT: Trissina Kear

Read More

Why Is the Book Proposal So Important?

This question has been raised many times: “Why do I have to jump through your hoops to create a proposal only to have it rejected with a form letter?” It’s a Job Application Your proposal is, in essence, an application to have a business (corporate or sole proprietor) to pay …

Read More

A Shocking Tragedy

We at the Steve Laube Agency were shocked and so very saddened yesterday morning to learn of the tragic events that took the life of our client, Dr. Robert Lesslie, along with his wife, two of their grandchildren, and two others. We express our sincere prayers and our heartfelt condolences …

Read More

Read “A Christian Reading Manifesto”

Last year David Steele created this document: “A Christian Reading Manifesto.” It bears review for those of us in the writing of books and those who believe in the power of reading said books. Given the efforts of our secular culture to redefine words and their meaning, his statement “Reading …

Read More