Wow... It is Sunday afternoon and I get to post again.
Friday morning I had to teach a Balloon-Twisting workshop for a children's entertainers convention at a church in Nashville. I was doing the event for free, as a favor to my parents, but the opportunity existed to sell "Lecture Notes" after the workshop to those who wanted a written version of the class to take home with them. I had prepared this material already back in 2002, when I gave much the same lecture at the same convention.
That time, I had to compose and self-publish my notes, which involved several hours (days, maybe?) behind the computer, writing and illustrating, and then several more hours at Kinko's spending a fortune printing the things (including the full-color cover), then cutting, folding, and stapling....
I probably made twenty of the things, at a cost of well over forty dollars, not including time and effort. I figured I could sell them at 6$ a piece, and then, if I sold all twenty of them, I would leave the class (which I was teaching for free, remember) with an eighty dollar profit to show for all my labor.
I sold 6, I think. The details are a little fuzzy, 'cuz this was over 5 years ago, but one point stands out clearly in my mind, and that is... I didn't quite make the money back that I put in. I was left with a stash of more than a dozen booklets that I gave away most of over the course of the next 5 years.
Then this year I had an opportunity to do the lecture again. Only I had given away the notes over the course of the last 5 years, so I had none! I decided to use the knowledge gained from my past mistakes, and print them at the University Library instead of Kinko's, Skip the Full Color cover, only make a few of them (I made 6), and charge more for them. $7.50 sounds just as fair as $6, anyway.
So I spent slightly less than $20 to make half a dozen of these little 32 page masterpieces, and I went to the convention and did a wonderful presentation. I sold two books... I didn't quite make the money back that I put in. Again.
Anybody want to buy a book? I got 4 left. At $7.50, they make great stocking stuffers!