Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A New Adventure: Mailing a Book to Canada

photo by RealPhotoItaly via Dollar Photo Club
A few weeks ago, I shipped a paperback copy of Blue Hydrangeas to a reader in Canada for the first time. It was a bit more complicated and expensive than shipping books to addresses in the U.S. 

My ebooks are sold and delivered to readers all over the world, including Canada, which is a market I'd love to penetrate because they're neighbors and speak and read English. Distributing ebooks globally is a no-brainer because the costs are minimal and delivery is immediate. Print books are  another matter.

First of all, Canada does not have Media Mail, so it cost $10.45 rather than the usual $2.69 (this did not include the cost of shipping materials or my time.)  The book I sent was a review copy so the cost was on me. If I were to sell a paperback book to a Canadian reader I would have to charge them the $10.45 shipping fee and a materials fee of 1.50, bringing the total cost of the book to $23.95. Seems a steep price for a paperback even to me. 

I also had to fill out a Customs Form, something else new. According to the USPS website, you generally need a customs form for all international mail and parcels. Which form you need depends on the service you’re using and the declared value of your package. This was easy: It was a book.

And the mail clerk covered the package with all kinds of stamps, postage and otherwise. He also told me it would take 5-7 days for the package to arrive, which is what it takes for books shipped within the States. I shipped June 26th and received word the package arrived July 10th.

For more info on shipping a book internationally from the USPS please visit their website.

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