So, this post has been a long time coming, and may get a little convoluted, so bear with me...
As you may know, if you've ordered a book from me to be shipped overseas... mailing anything over 1 lb (ie: all my books) gets obscenely expensive.
I can't help that - my shipping prices are based on shipping tables from USPS, taking weight and destination into account. They're actually out of date, because I get lazy and frustrated when the prices go up, and haven't changed them for the last two price changes. I just eat the cost difference and grumble about it.
Well, great news! Through my publisher, I'm now able to send orders to their printers in Australia and the UK, for direct shipment from those countries! This option is also there - in some cases - for surrounding countries. New Zealand, for example, can be shipped to from Australia for less than half the price that I have to charge! (Economy shipping, though. Premium is insane for Australia-> New Zealand.)
Throughout every test order I've inputted, it is coming out *monumentally* cheaper, and should even be a little quicker... even with the print processing time.
The "convoluted" comes in with pricing. Right now, my pricing is straightforward, using the aforementioned shipping tables. When shipping directly from one of the overseas printers, though, I don't actually know what the price is, until I put the order in with the printer. There is a handling fee that varies based on order, taxes, etc. Using one of my cookbooks as an example (one
they were using for all test runs), sending a book to an Australia address is $15.54 AUS (about $11 USD), rather than the $23.XX USD that book currently costs me to ship.
That's for premium, trackable shipping, btw - and tracking is something that is *obscenely* expensive - when it's even available - for USPS overseas. Economy (non trackable) is about $3.50 AUS cheaper in this instance.
As another example, it recently cost me $34.50 USD in postage to send 2 books to a customer in France. Shipped from the UK printer, that comes down to $8.26 USD in shipping!
Unfortunately, because things are varying wildly... it's not something I can build a shipping table for, when it comes to my shopping cart setup for ordering.
From what I'm seeing, the best way I'll be able to do this is to use the printing-abroad option from my publisher, send directly from them, and just refund the difference through Shopify, my credit card processor. When you place an order, it doesn't charge your card until I process the order manually, and it gives me the option to refund, partial refund, etc at that time... so the amount charged should be the actual, cheaper shipping cost.
It's a little messy, I know... but better than getting stuck with paying the price for shipping from the USA, I would imagine! Bonus for not having USPS handle them (don't get me started on the HUNDREDS of dollars of books they destroyed/lost during my last Kickstarter shipment!), and not having to deal with customs!
Now, that's addressing retail customers.
Another really nice thing about this set up is that I'm now FAR more able to handle direct wholesale orders abroad, at least in the UK, Australia, and nearby countries.
I handle wholesale orders a little differently - The interested company tells me what titles and amounts of books they would like, I input the order, and give them the total. In this case, it will work the same as it does with my domestic wholesale orders, it's just far more reasonable to DO so, given the ability for much cheaper shipping.
If you are in the UK, Australia, or any of the surrounding countries and want to buy my books directly from me, go ahead and do so as-is. Hold your breath when you get the initial shipping total, yes, but just know that it's not the actual amount. When your order is processed, it will be for the correct amount, to be shipped from either the UK or Australia.
If you are in the USA, UK, Australia, or any of the surrounding countries and would like to carry my books in your store - awesome! Shoot me an email, and I will give you the link to our wholesaler page. Get back to me with book titles and amounts, I will price out your order and send a custom invoice to pay online. It will ship from whichever country makes the most sense, in your case.
Whether you're in the USA or not, looking to be a retail or wholesale customer... welcome aboard! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have, and I look forward to doing business with you!