Paperbacks and Canadian Authors

Today's thought


While I was anxiously awaiting for the delivery of my newly published book Conflicted Hearts, my brother asked me for a copy about a week ago and I told him I didn’t even have one yet for myself, other than a proof copy. I spend most days with the exception of one or two days a week at the most, at home working on my new books that I am writing. Of course, the one day of the week I went out yesterday to take my husband to the doctor’s office and to buy a new laptop, my books had come while I was out. Or let me rephrase that, the postman had come to my door with them but didn’t leave them behind. I was puzzled at this as I pulled the tag off my front door with the notification to go to my local post office and pick them up. It didn’t dawn on me until this morning why the books weren’t left on my porch and as I went to recheck the notice, I turned it over and discovered there was a customs tax I was required to pay for $15.00.

I found it a bit exorbitant that as a Canadian author having my book published in the United States, that the cost of each book for an author to purchase for herself becomes quite costly for us with all the add ons. Yes, we get a slightly discounted price for buying our own books but that is only the beginning. The shipping to Canada charges are monsterous and then let us not forget those charges are all in U.S. dollars and then are converted to Canadian dollars worth less, on our Visa cards also with an added surcharge, courtesy of Visa and then Canada customs gets their grubs on us deciding that we should have to pay yet another charge to allow our items into Canada.

So in essence, my $53.00 order became $110.00! I’m just saying, that is pretty steep. Is it any wonder why many Indie authors don’t opt to get involved with paperbacks when self-publishing? Where is the justice?

I just thought I’d use my space here to vent. All feedback is welcome! 😉



16 thoughts on “Paperbacks and Canadian Authors

    1. Because it is hit and miss with Canada customs. It is a bogus charge, a money grab, that’s what our government does! Sometimes a package will go through, sometimes if it’s caught they charge. It is not worth my time to fight cityhall, that is why they do it!


  1. I was surprised when I had to pay about $18 on an order that totaled about $190 last fall. I had ordered five or six times in the past and hadn’t paid anything at the door.

    I have discovered the only way to make any money off paperbacks is to buy in bulk. And I don’t use my own credit card where they can ding you more. I buy a $200 Visa gift card and use it. There is a $5 and something fee to activate it, but that’s it. With only one book, this might not be the best plan, but when you get three or four books published, you can order a selection of books in one order.


    1. Thanks for the advice with the Visa gift card Di, I will certainly look into this next order. And yes, I concur, a few times I have ordered books and they seemed to have sailed through customs untaxed. I order many things from the U.S. and find this hit or miss procedure happens randomly. So in essence, I am correct in saying that there is no need for this bogus charge, it is a money grab if it happens to be spotted by a beatty pair of eyes! Also I was under the impression that books shouldn’t be taxed.


      1. I agree that we shouldn’t have to pay this fee. As for the taxes, I can never figure that out. I believe we have to pay only the GST, which is 5% (I think). If I recall, one author who paid the full 15% HST to an American printer questioned the payment and got some of it back. But what a hassle to have to do that.

        It seems many things these days have fees or something added to them so we have to pay more. If you buy a laptop for $600, it usually ends up costing you more than $1,000 before you walk out of the store. It’s crazy.


      2. And a big lol to that! As you may know, my laptop crashed last weekend and I had to get a new one this week. Yup, $800.00 quickly became $1300.00!!


  2. Figuring out postal fees to Canada takes way more thought than necessary. 😦 I am happy your books have arrived, even if you’ve been forced to pay a high ransom.


  3. I’m still puzzled as to why, here in the UK, where we have a European Createspace facility for printing our books, as the author I still have to order them from the US. We don’t have your problem with added tax, but the postage is exorbitant, unless you want to wait up to 3 months for delivery.
    I admit I’ve discovered that the mid-range postage charge gets them here a lot quicker than they estimate, and I used that to get my first batch of Desprite Measures, but I did Prince’s Man through Draft2Digital and they use the cheapest postage option. As that was my first book I was horrified to discover the paperbacks did, indeed, take 3 months to arrive by boat!
    Doing the figures, and as for a reason I can’t yet fathom, Amazon have discounted Prince’s Man, I can now make more profit by ordering the book as a customer, having it arrive from the European print facility in 2 days, and re-sell it at the price I originally set.


    1. Wow that is bizarre! I have tried to figure what it would cost me to order mine as a customer and it is ridiculous. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the pricing either way. Either he higher price or the heavy postage, either way very costly here. And what’s up with amazon changing our prices at liberty anyway?


      1. Yes, that’s something I would very much like answered. The prices never seem to be the same as the ones I set – highly confusing and I’ve no idea what to do about it. Think I will start asking some experienced writer friends and get back to you if I get a clear answer.


  4. Reporting back – have asked experienced author friends and they say Amazon is allowed to change your pricing (in rules and regs) but as they use their mega-smart algorithms to do so, they are pricing our books at the best price point for them to sell. Plus, no matter what they sell at, we still get the correct payment according to the price we set. So apparently it is A GOOD THING. 🙂


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