In line with our vision that every child should own a hundred books by the age of five, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can reach more children with more books.
One of the challenges in making books affordable, is to print large enough volumes of one title to get the benefit of the economies of scale. We have experimented successfully with a mechanism that we call a “collaborative print run”.
Funding from donors is used as the base from which to leverage the print run. Together with the funder, we select appropriate titles from our library. An important step here is to maintain a good balance between variety of titles, and volumes per title. This should be informed by the funding available, and the tipping point of volume versus price. For Book Dash, we aim to never pay more than R10.00 per book.
The next step is to make the circle bigger: we invite partners and the public to send us pre-orders for the quantities of the selected titles that they would like. Sometimes these orders are as small as a few hundred copies, sometimes thousands. We put together the small orders, and voilà: we have large enough volumes to offer all parties an exceptionally low unit cost. Everyone wins.
If you are interested in sponsoring a print run of our books, speak to us and if you’d like to be informed when the next collaborative print runs happen, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or join the mailing list.