December 29, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

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Books are heavy and expensive to ship.

That’s because they’re basically made out of wood!

Books are especially heavy and expensive to ship when they are graphic novels, because the paper we print on has to be thick enough to have a lot of heavy ink coverage without bleeding through to the other side of the paper, on which is printed something else.

A box of graphic novels can be twice as heavy — or more — as a box of prose books (much to our mail guy’s dismay).

(Fun fact: this is even more the case when you publish paperbacks — which is most of our list — instead of hardcovers.  Because the cardboard that makes a hardcover hard takes up significantly more space than the cardboard in a paperback cover — but the hardcover cardboard is much, much lighter.  Lighter + taking up more space versus heavier + taking up less space and therefore leaving more space for more books means our book boxes tend to be super-plus heavy!)

Frequently, as an author, it’s really difficult to tell when you may need books ahead of time.  Multiple friends and family may miscellaneously stop by your house asking for copies!  Local stores may run out suddenly and check to see if you have copies that can tide them over until they get a new order!  Suddenly you have no books, and the local indie comics convention that you’re exhibiting at is just around the corner!

Figuring out how many copies of your book to keep in your house can be a really difficult balancing act.

But!  When it’s possible, we recommend ordering books you need at least a week in advance of the date you need them (especially if you live far away from our warehouse, which is in Virginia).  Because books are so heavy and expensive to ship, next day or two-day shipping can be terribly expensive.

If you have some occasion when you know you’ll need books coming up in the next thirty days, we recommend sending in an author order to the warehouse as early as possible, so you don’t get stuck with the shipping costs!  It sucks to be like, ‘I could’ve made a decent amount of money at this indie show I exhibited at . . . except that profit was completely eaten by the shipping!’

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