The world is big and readers are everywhere. I tell authors this and their eyes often light up. On the other hand, these same authors will tell me “I don’t want to ship books internationally.” This statement always amazes me. By cutting out an international market you may be missing out on a lot of readers, possible international sales, as well as overseas exposure. But, to cut costs, authors often start there.
Right now, I’m going to show you a few shortcuts to doing overseas mailings without breaking the bank.
If you’re an overseas author, you might be in a reverse situation. It’s almost impossible to ship anything to the US without spending a bundle on postage. I know for a fact that most international postage from foreign countries costs three times what it does in the US. But there is a solution for this as well, which I’ve addressed below.
To mail internationally, we use a system called Stamps.com. This online program allows you a few options when it comes to mailings. In most cases, I can ship books for less than it costs to ship Priority Mail in the US and many times, the packages even arrive quicker.
Take a look at the screenshot, you can see that even if your book is four pounds (and most books aren’t) you’re still only paying $5.10.
If you’re an overseas author doing US promotion consider this: Amazon Prime. A subscription to Amazon Prime will allow you to ship anywhere in the US for free. You can even include a quick note with the package. We had an author who was traveling in Italy and had a dozen or so review requests while he was gone. Since he was shipping these himself this presented a problem. The easy solution was to go into your Amazon account, set up the book to ship, include a note and you’re done. Yes, you do pay full price for the books but you’ll get a royalty back which will offset it. It’s also a very quick and reliable way to get your copies shipped.
Cutting out international readers is just not a smart marketing move. But by knowing your option, you can incorporate this market without breaking the bank.