Trafford was from 'up North' in Canada. They, in many ways, were the grand old company of print-on-demand publishers and self publishing companies. Trafford is now owned by Author Solutions, the company that owns AuthorHouse, iUniverse, xLibris - and now, Trafford.
Trafford Publishing: No
Dog Ear: YES
Trafford Publishing: $6.74
Dog Ear: $4.28
Trafford Publishing: $0.22
Dog Ear: $3.26
We begin to sense a common theme in all of our competitive reviews - when you dig deep enough, you'll see that self-publishing companies are only the same in the fact that we all use almost the exact same technologies to print books.
On each of these self publishing company review pages, we include a link to what we believe is important in choosing a company to self-publish your book, click here to see our list.
On to our discussion of self publishing company Trafford Publishing…
We’re using the same specs for each self publishing company competitive review. Information and self publishing costs are derived from the Trafford Publishing web site and contract.
(Dog Ear’s total cost for this package and options is $1,527, our per unit book printing price is $4.28, and you get 5 free author copies of your book.)
Trafford Publishing recently released a new self publishing guide and removed older information that was well outdated. We continue to review the Trafford Publishing contract.
Trafford Publishing was based out of Victoria, BC, Canada. Trafford Publishing used to allow you to set your own profit and had a very nice profit and pricing calculator. Trafford Publishing allowed you to choose the price you would charge for your book, as long as it was above their minimum retail. The $1297 publishing package allowed for your choice of interior design templates (no custom design). Get the idea, from our use of italics above, that things have changed? The Profit calculator is gone, defined author book costs (printing prices) are gone, no more choice for interior design... Hmmm
Printing Services - $6.74 / unit X 100 units = $674 (printing this book at Dog Ear is only $4.28 per unit - if you only wanted 1 to 49 books at Trafford, the cost jumps to $7.17 per unit)
Dog Ear builds a unique design for both the cover and interior for every book. The design is custom (literally from the ground up) for each and every book - no 'templates' are ever used. Dog Ear provides a Design Sample using your manuscript and allows you complete freedom to revise what our team has built. No other publishing services company provides this service FREE OF CHARGE - only Dog Ear. Every one of our books are designed and built by professionals with long histories and lots of experience from the traditional publishing industry. Your book is being built by the same staff that created books for Harper Collins, Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, Wiley, Penguin and many others of the world’s most successful publishers.
Trafford Publishing charges a significant amount more than Dog Ear to print author copies - as noted above:
Trafford Publishing will require a 'minimum' retail price for your book. The book in our example would require AT LEAST a $15.07 retail price. This is calculated by multiplying the single per unit author purchase price by 2.1. Is $15.07 a reasonable retail price for a 150 page paperback? We’re not sure. Using the same multiplier at Dog Ear Publishing your retail would be only $8.98 (which, by the way is too low in our opinion, but you could easily do it if you wanted, and at Dog Ear you have that option).
Author profit is also a great weakness of the Trafford Publishing programs. At Dog Ear Publishing, when you purchase your own books, they nearly $3 LESS EXPENSIVE per unit, with that money staying in your pocket.
Your author profit when selling through Trafford's 'Basic' distribution - even using their required retail price
Trafford Author Profit: $1.12
Your per unit author profit from each sale is over $3.50 MORE for each book with Dog Ear.
Dog Ear Author Profit: $4.76
Watch what happens when you expand your distribution options using Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble...
When using 'Advanced' distribution your profit drops dramatically at Trafford - and a little bit at Dog Ear.
Trafford Author Profit: $0.22
Your per unit author profit from each sale is over $3.00 MORE for each book with Dog Ear.
Dog Ear Author Profit: $3.26
Imagine what these numbers do to your profit over the life of your book. It would be extremely challenging to recover any profit from your book.