I went to a local post office. I figured it was better to speak to someone with expertise rather than noodle around on the Australia Post website for hours to find the same information.
“If I was interested in sending an A5 booklet. This size (I had two samples). What would the cost be to post domestically? Internationally? To the US? The UK? Europe? China? etc…
Before too long the scales held the samples (both), and a price was forthcoming.
Shipping from Australia is expensive. Hell, shipping to Australia is expensive, in the instances when I have purchased games from overseas the shipping has often cost more than the game.
Shipping domestically is fairly well priced, a little over a dollar for something like an A5 Zine, plus the cost of the envelope it is put in.
Shipping internationally, wow.
A5 booklets can be sent as letters in the appropriate packaging, packaging from Australia Post can cost anywhere between $50 for 100 envelopes, through to $90, depending on the quality. In other places, like Office Works or similar stores that specialise in stationary and office supplies, you can find cheaper alternatives.
Postage costs, in the case a zine being sent as a letter, are based on weight. If the total weight (the weight of the booklet and the envelope together) is less than 50g, then the cost to send to most places internationally is $3.20. Between 50g and 125g, and the price jumps to $8.30. If it’s between 125g and 225g, the prices jumps again to $13.50, and beyond that and you’re probably not sending a zine.
So I’m waiting for the printer to get back to me with options and projected weights, and the choice here lies somewhere between getting as low a weight as possible and maintaining a level of quality.
The postage costs are high, which makes them difficult to roll into a backing level in the case of the Zine Quest. If my zine ends up weighing over 50g (envelope included), which is likely, it will mean adding or absorbing $8.30 on top of the cost of printing, and on top of any additional margin for losses, profits, and so on).
What does this mean for the Corsairs Kickstarter? Well, if the weight is over 50g, which is likely, it means that I will likely charge for shipping on top of the cost of the Zine – backing levels will be set at x, shipping at y, and backers who want a physical copy will be required to pay x+y.
If, in the unlikely scenario, that the weight is beneath 50g, then I may be able to increase the cost of the backing level for the physical Zine slightly, and absorb some of the shipping costs. Is the prospect of ‘free shipping’ worth it? What will it bring to the campaign? These are questions I need to ask myself.
On the upside the Australia dollar is fairly weak compared to most major currencies, so my $8.30 (well, $8.30 plus the cost of the envelope) for shipping translates to about $5.70 USD, €5.15 EUR, ₤4.5 GPB, $7.5 CAD, or ¥39.5 CNY. Perhaps that makes it more palatable, perhaps it doesn’t…
All food for thought!