View Full Version : [Ebook Production] Costs of Trade/Commercial Ebook Production

08-08-2013, 04:21 AM
I'm creating this list because I'm tired of typing the same URLS in multiple threads.

Note that many of the numbers disagree with each other. On a personal note, many of the numbers do not agree with my experience working in ebook production. Note that there are biases on every corner. As always, ask yourself about the source’s biases.

But here you go:

What it costs for a best-selling e-book: $12.99 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/05/AR2011020504712.html)

Math of Publishing Meets the E-Book (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01ebooks.html?src=twt&twt=nytimes&_r=0)

The Kindle and Questioning the Economics of eBook Publishing…the Conversation Continues (http://theharperstudio.com/2009/02/the-kindle-and-questioning-the-economics-of-ebook-publishingthe-conversation-continues/)

The Cost of Books (http://delkytlar.livejournal.com/81497.html)

The E-Book Royalty Mess: An Interim Fix

Why e-books cost so much (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57412587-93/why-e-books-cost-so-much/?tag=nl.e404)

Consumers Upset and Confused Over E-Book Pricing (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/consumers-upset-and-confused-over-e-book-pricing/)

Michael Bolton's Karmic Revenge -- or, How and Why It Costs More Than You Think to Make an E-Book (http://alg.livejournal.com/170502.html)

Since I know you're dying of curiosity about where I stand, I think yes, ebooks cost less to produce, but not a lot less; somewhere between say $2.00 and $5.00 depending on the book.

I also know that most of the costs of making any book happen before the book is printed. Ebooks should by right share the costs of editing, acquiring, typesetting, art, design, and yes, marketing to book buyers (i.e. not consumers but wholesalers and distributors), both those who buy print and those who buy ebooks, and that includes libraries.

Finally, I wish people would move away from thinking that the book is the container. Gilgamesh is a book whether it’s contained in cuneiform tablets, papyrus, a Penguin paperback, a deluxe hardcover, or an ebook.

The text is the book; not the container. If scops had used DRM we wouldn't have Beowulf.

Remember: of the making of books there is no end.