In my last post I happily stated that both Brother printers were humming along, churning out crisp, clean copies of the book about the D-Lux 4. Well, very soon after I wrote that, the original printer, the one Clenise had successfully cleaned up, ran out of toner. These Brother printers, model HL-4070CDW, manage to run out of all three colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow) simultaneously. I think this is a programmed feature. Anyway, that printer stopped printing, and we didn’t have any spare toner. But we did manage to finish up the order of 27 books for Amazon Advantage using the other printer, and Clenise delivered those to the UPS Store today.
I have been coming to the realization that toner can be the major stumbling block for this venture. We have been burning through it at much too fast a rate, at more expense than we can handle. So today I searched for a cheaper toner source. We settled on Cartridge World, a franchise store that refills cartridges. I had hesitated to use refilled cartridges, fearing that they might be sub-standard or somehow mess up the printers. But we have to save money, so Clenise went out there today, traded in our ample supply of empty cartridges, and came home with a stack of refilled ones. We’ll see how that works; if the printing stays stable, we may be able to operate at a small profit, or at least avoid a loss. Next I’ll try to find cheaper paper. Right now we’re using premium color laser paper from Office Depot, 28 pounds, at $14.00 per ream. We need to reduce that cost considerably.
On the sales front, things have been very quiet. I have only three orders to fill, for individual buyers. I think that slowdown is due in part to the fact that Amazon now lists the book at $14.96, though out of stock, and says you can order now and they’ll deliver it when it’s available. I imagine some buyers have ordered it at the lower price and are waiting for it come back into stock, which will be when my box of 27 books arrives in Indiana, probably next Monday. So, in a way I’m undercutting myself by supplying these books to Amazon, but I still think it’s a good idea for now, so the book will be an actual stocked item on Amazon, which I think lends it some credibility and might lead to some more reviews on Amazon.
As far as I can tell, the D-Lux 4 camera itself has been selling well; I see ads for it from various outlets, and I see messages on Leica forums from new buyers, so that situation could be good for sales of the book. But it’s still early to tell. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here.