I hustled off to the post office last week to mail copies of my new novel, The Money Tree, to assorted bodies in Canada and the UK. The cost per book by cheapest rate was $11.50.
This is a paperback weighing about 30 percent less than my last novel, which I was able to send for around $8. I came home in a certain amount of shock, mentally editing the complimentary copy list and feeling a sense of bereavement at the death of my marketing program.
A curious thing happened while I was handing over my life savings. An employee emerged from the rear and announced that the post office was out of stamps. “We can meter your parcel,” he said. But they had no books of stamps to sell. The Post Office. Ran out of stamps.
Is that like BC Hydro saying “we’re all out of power, folks. Come back in the new year.”
I’m going to be investigating US Postal Service prices for mailing my books, since the border’s not far away. I’m also adding my voice to the growing number who want the Canada Post monopoly ended.
If all market restrictions are lifted (an unlikely event in this country, where genuine competition is viewed with deep suspicion), and if mail carriers still can’t give me a price of less than $11.50/book for my little package, then so be it.
But I’ll be surprised if that’s the case.