Introducing Cheaper in Dozens
Something’s about to Come out of the Box…
I have been doing some background work for several months, and so the timing is now right to introduce a new book service to interested publishers.
In the notes below, I will outline this project in several points, and then endeavor to respond in advance to some of the thoughts and questions in an FAQ section.
This initiative is being made to trusted publishers who I believe share the same ministry goals, who are committed to a God-centered and biblical ethos in their ministry, and who embrace a model of service that is committed to the life-transforming power of the gospel.
What is Cheaper in Dozens?
Cheaper in Dozens aims to promote and supply biblically based resources in higher-volume quantities at affordable prices, and to encourage people to read and live transformed lives to the glory of God.
Book-selling and book-purchasing has gone through a paradigm shift in recent years. In its form as a tangible, physical product, some people consider the book to be an endangered species, though I do not share this concern. Reading is not diminishing, but the way in which people acquire their reading materials is.
Integral to the selling and buying process is the force of publisher-push on the one hand, and customer-pull on the other hand. In this realm, a publisher has limited ability only to help shape customer-pull. The challenge of the competition of the trivial is always latent, often patent. What prospective reader with disposable dollars in his pocket will not be attracted by “Ten Easy Steps to Spirituality” or “To Heaven and Back in One Day” compared with the seemingly much less exciting resources put together thoughtfully and prayerfully by a publisher committed to a biblical model of ministry?
Cheaper in Dozens has been founded with a view to (a) encouraging, fostering and stimulating disciplined reading habits and (b) facilitating the promotion, purchase, and use of biblically reliable resources. This initiative is primarily web-based. It intentionally utilizes the power of efficiencies at various levels, including
(a) economies of scale (the principle that the investment of buying in bulk is rewarded incrementally)
(b) publisher-to-customer supply logistics (the principle of the efficiency of the straight-line connection)
(c) influence of endorsers and encouragers (the principle of godly persuasion and mentoring)
(d) planned purchasing of a holistic range of resources (the principle of stimulating comprehensive library-building)
(e) rewarding of purchaser loyalty (the principle of gaining customers rather than clients)
(f) expansion of buyer base (the principle of stimulating and fostering new market realms)
As an undergirding and overarching principle, Cheaper in Dozens understands and has insight into the importance of working strategically with publishers, recognizing the challenges they face in connecting their resources with needy users who live in an ungodly world.
To achieve this, Cheaper in Dozens interfaces between publishers and public as (a) a vehicle to stimulate the sale of existing and new publications (including prepublication or forthcoming reprinted items) and (b) a facilitator to the general public in buying books, reading them, and growing as a result.
Specifics of a range of modalities and programs are in the business plan, and will be outlined in detail to publishers who commit to working with Cheaper in Dozens. There is a comprehensive strategy to promote reading and the purchase of books.
Working with Cheaper in Dozens: A Word to Publishers
The operational model for www.cheaperindozens.com is very simple:
(a) A web-based portal makes your books available on an attractively designed website with functionality to offer graded or scaled discounts. This website has an attractive look and feel. It is populated by metadata from you, the publisher. The more information a publisher can offer (graphics, sample text, author interviews on YouTube or Vimeo), the stronger the culture of representation (and persuasion to purchase) of that resource there is.
(b) A series of programs and initiatives drives prospective customers (or purchasing decision-makers) to the website. At the heart of this is the understanding that the difference between success and failure in much of marketing is the difference between “having books for sale” and “selling books.” Cheaper in Dozens aims to make the best of both aspects, but majoring in a focused way on the latter.
(c) Orders received are emailed to the respective publisher(s) who in turn ship the item(s) directly to the client.
(d) As the business model is largely a payment-with-order one, Cheaper in Dozens does not request extended credit terms of the supplying publisher. Any monetary risk lies with Cheaper in Dozens, and never with the publisher, as Cheaper in Dozens ordinarily collects payment with order ahead of relaying the order to the said publisher(s).
(e) Cheaper in Dozens does require a sliding scale of discounts, ordinarily calculated as a percentage differential between Cheaper in Dozens’ advertised price to the public, and the actual purchase price from the publisher. With each purchase order, this discount is noted.
(f) As Cheaper in Dozens has a policy of never charging shipping, actual shipping and handling costs are borne by the publisher, which is reflected in the differential between actual intrinsic or manufactured product cost price, and invoiced value to Cheaper in Dozens.
Some questions are anticipated and answered below, these from the point of view of the general public:
Q: You seem to be a new operation. Why should I buy from you?
A: That’s a great question! Our intention is to be a supply channel to you for sound, high-quality Christian literature and resources. We do not knowingly list or supply any items that we consider would not in one way or another glorify God, be unfaithful to the gospel of His grace, or not be of help to His people in the advance of the historic Christian faith.
Q. You seem to offer an unusual discount structure. What underlies this?
A. We operate on the principle that buying in higher volume makes better economic sense. If you are buying for a church, the chances are there are many people who want to get a copy of the same book. And, even if you only want one book, well, there is still a small discount and free shipping. So why wouldn’t you want to get all your books from Cheaper in Dozens?
Q. I would like to mix and match titles to get to twelve or more and so get a deeper discount; is this possible?
A. Our model requires that, to achieve the discount for the number of copies of a book, it has to be counted on a per-title basis, so the discount breaks apply to each title, and not to a mixed range of titles.
Q. How do you check your books for biblical faithfulness?
A. We have secured good relationships with reliable publishers who are committed to a robust editorial and pastoral model in their publication philosophy. And we consult with mature Christians in areas where we may have concern over the trustworthiness or usefulness of particular resources.
Q. I love this model, but you don’t seem to have every single book that I might like to purchase. Can you help me to purchase resources that you do not list?
A. We are working on the range of publications all the time, so please check in with us again to see if the item is listed. As far as special orders are concerned, they are treated on an ad hoc basis. Email us, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a particular request.
Q. How long does it take to receive an order?
A. Your shipment is dispatched to you directly from the publisher of the book. Therefore, if your order includes titles from different publishers, you may expect to receive more than one package.
Q. Another vendor is offering a book at a lower price than I can buy it from you. Do you ever negotiate your prices with your customers?
A. We love negotiating! If your order is for above 250 of a unit, and is a book (not a booklet), let us have sight of your quote or advertisement, and we’ll see what we can do!
Who Is the Founder, Jim Holmes?
(a) I am a Christian, persuaded of the Bible’s teaching, and aligned with the historic creeds and confessions such as the Westminster Standards;
(b) I am committed to a biblical ethos and model of publishing, and to the promotion and widespread use of Christ-honoring resources;
(c) I am persuaded of the place and value of reading, and to its ongoing usefulness for all faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(d) I have experience in editing, producing, publishing, marketing, and selling books, having operated discount mailorder businesses before, and having served for over ten years as director of publications and marketing for a UK-based publisher.
(e) In addition to commencing Cheaper in Dozens, I serve as a publishing consultant, operating a cluster of websites, including www.publisherpresentations.org, www.greatpublishing.org and www.greatwriting.org.
I look forward to serving you in advancing the work of faithful publishing!