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24,179 Views 13 Replies Last post: Apr 29, 2012 12:05 PM by yaip RSS
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Feb 26, 2012 1:08 PM

How much does a book really cost to print?

How much does a book really cost to print? I'm not talking about CS pricing, royalties, etc. My book is 370 pages. It's trim size is 6 x 9. How much will it really cost to get printed so that I can calculate my mark-up, royalties, etc. CS's POD model is pretty straight forward. But, if I have to go out to a traditional publisher, howmuch will it cost them per book?

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1. Feb 26, 2012 2:21 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

Printing 370 pages isn't printing 370 pages . . . for a comparison to other printers. You need to compare everything.  You will probably find that you would need to order about 1800 to 2200 books to get a price that is below CS's.  But when you find that great price, don't forget you have to warehouse 1.7 tons of books, keep the mice and cockroaches out (no joke), and figure out how to handle order fulfilment (there are fulfilment houses).

 

Click on the Buying Copies tab, https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/, to find out the cost of each book.

 

Walton

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2. Feb 26, 2012 3:21 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

You may find this interesting:

 

Printing POD (including short runs) and offset are 2 different animals.

 

POD printing costs can actually be higher per page compared to Offset printing costs.

 

For example, CreateSpace POD cost per page is 0.012 for b/w. Add 0.85 per unit. Let's say you have a 300 page book, your costs would be: (0.012x300)+0.85, total cost per unit/book is:  $4.45.

 

Let's compare Lightning Source POD costs per page, it's 0.015 for b/w. Add 0.90 per unit. Same book, costs would be: (0.015x300)+0.90, total cost per book is: $5.40.

 

For short run/offset printing, by increasing the number of books you want printed it'll bring down the costs per unit/book, thus your per page costs are less.

 

So in the case of LightningSource, they offer discounts for their short run & or offset printing for larger volume of units/books ordered.

 

Discounts in increments of 5%, 10%, 20% and 25% for 50-99, 100-249, 250-499 and 500+ units. There is an additional discount for larger offset runs of 750 (hardback) and 1500 (paperback).

 

So let's say you order 500 paperback books through LightningSource, you'll get a 25% on the total run:

For the same book, 500x$5.40 = $2700.

Discount at 25% for 500 units: $2700x.25=$675; Total cost = $2025.

Cost per unit/book will be: $2025/500 = $4.05;

Total cost per page: $4.05-.90=$3.15; $3.15/300 = 0.0105.

 

The larger the run, the less per unit/book and per page cost.

 

Per page cost for an On-Demand book via LightningSource: 0.015.

Per unit/Book: $5.40.

Per page cost for a Short Run/Offset book (printing 500+ units) via LightningSource: 0.0105.

Per unit/Book: $4.05.

 

Eric

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Eric V. Van Der Hope | #1 International Bestselling Author, Publishing & Book Marketing Strategist

 

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5. Feb 26, 2012 3:44 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

In answer to your question:

yaip wrote: "Dumb questiion - what's a short run?"

This is LightningSource's description of an order of books that vary from 50-500 units. Anything over that they refer to as offset.

 

In response to your question:

yaip wrote: "Also, this is what it will cost me as an Author. What will be publishers "tell" me? I'm sure that they will tell me a higher price to buffer in some profit."

Since my example is based on CreateSpace/Lightning Source - YOU are the publisher (CreateSpace and Lightning Source are in the simplest of terms the printers). There is no higher price. That's YOUR cost to print the books/units.

 

Eric

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Eric V. Van Der Hope | #1 International Bestselling Author, Publishing & Book Marketing Strategist

 

Available From Amazon: "Mastering Niche Marketing"

After Purchasing the Book - Get Your Free Gifts Here: http://www.MasteringNicheMarketing.com

Read Eric's Latest Blog Posts: "Eric's Book Marketing Minute"

Connect w/ Eric on his personal Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/ericvanderhope

Connect w/ Eric on his Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/BookLaunchMarketing

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6. Feb 26, 2012 3:49 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

Here is a real world example using my 304 page book Not Much of a Crime printed by CS

 

Print cost: $5.12

Retail price: $16.95

Royalty if I sell the book out of the back of my car: $11.33 (50¢ shipping per unit when ordered in qtys 10+)

CS eStore: 20% commission ($3.39) + print cost ($5.12) my royalty is $8.44 (no shipping due to CS fulfillment)

Amazon: 40% commission ($6.78) + $5.12 leaves me with $5.05 (Amazon fulfillment)

EDC: 60% commission ($10.17) + $5.12 earns me with $1.66 per unit sold.

 

Now, before you discount EDC as a viable option, most of my sales are coming through EDC and $1.66 is a lot more than you will earn through a traditional or vanity press. A friend of mine only earned 7¢ per unit sold for the 500,000 copies sold through a traditional press. He is now self-publishing.

 

Seal

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8. Feb 26, 2012 3:56 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

Through a traditional publisher they do not pay you for six months to a year, subtract all review copies, destroyed copies, and returned copies and advertising, shipping, and production costs from your royalty before they get around to cutting you a check. It is not unsimilar to the concept of a fractional percent of the gross vs the higher percentage of the net. I would prefer 0.05% of a multimillion dollar grossing movie to a 10 percent of the net of the same movie because EVERYTHING is considered overhead and whatever is left over ends up being split a thousand different ways. With my example above, my friend's book sold for $8.95 was 300+ pages in his mass market edition and he only got 7¢ per unit after the overhead was deducted. Granted 7¢ of half a million copies isn't chicken feed but it didn't all come at one time.

 

Seal

Need A Job? Publish A Book! with Open Office and

FREE OpenOffice Interior & Cover Templates available at:

http://www.stevenwjohnson.com

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9. Feb 26, 2012 3:56 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

So what you're really asking is How much does a book really cost to produce?

 

You have also left out the retail discount in your equation. If a book retails for $10.00, 55% of that goes to the distributor and bookstore, leaving $4.50 to cover production (editing and design), printing, warehousing, marketing (if any), author royalties and publisher profit.

 

The printing cost for most novels, depending on the size of the print run is probably somewhere between $0.50-1.00 per copy. Editing and design might be valued at $1.50 per copy, warehousing $0.20 per copy, leaving $2.30 per copy to split between author royalties and publisher profit. From the publisher profit, they have to pay for overheads and salaries. There are a lot of people involved in getting a book out the traditional way.

 

(these figures are not based on any research, and are just examples)

 

 

Michelle

-------------

Odyssey Books -- editing, cover design and book formatting services to help you on your publishing journey.

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11. Feb 26, 2012 4:29 PM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

In response to your comment/question:

yaip wrote: " But the trick is to get the word out...to get people to read my work. I've tried variouus ways, from FB fan page, gathering reviews, Tweeting, Press release, giveaways, reviews on blogs, Amazon reviews, etc. Any other suggestions?"

Your comment/question is a common one here on CreateSpace AND everywhere else, so you are not alone in feeling the 'pain' of marketing your book.

 

There is much more you can do as far as marketing is concerned.

 

Unfortunately, using FB, Twitter, blogs, Press Releases, Giveaways & Amazon Reviews is not nearly enough, that's just the tip of the iceberg! BUT, you are certainly on the right path!

 

Marketing is an ongoing process and it has to be done everyday (I'm sure many CS members have 'heard' me say this more than once).

 

Here is a starting point to an inexpensive or no-cost way to market your book (this is a small list of what you can do):

 

  • Working and building your brand is extremely important to strengthening your credibility.
  • Start with developing a website and or blog.
  • Use social media effectively (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube).
  • Pre-marketing/promotion.
  • Organize a Virtual (or physical) Book Tour.
  • Guest Blogging.
  • eZine Marketing.
  • Article Marketing.
  • Joint Ventures.
  • The proper use of Press Releases.

 

Take a look at the following thread, it'll have more info on Marketing your book:

 

"Does anyone have any advice on marketing for a new book coming out on Amazon designed by CreateSpace?"

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/message/144449#144449

 

Read the thread I've suggested above (including the links/urls in that thread) because there is really good information there!

 

Also, do a search in the "Search Community" search box (top right hand corner of the CS website), using search terms like: promote, sales, marketing, etc., you'll find alot of good info that can help you to at least start brainstorming ideas.

 

Here is a thread with great ideas by Walton and Henry (Playwight):

 

"I'm another newbie wondering how to sell books"

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/message/153415#153415

 

Another thread:

 

how to get rich off your createspace books???

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/message/144365#144365

 

Eric

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Eric V. Van Der Hope | #1 International Bestselling Author, Publishing & Book Marketing Strategist

 

Available From Amazon: "Mastering Niche Marketing"

After Purchasing the Book - Get Your Free Gifts Here: http://www.MasteringNicheMarketing.com

Read Eric's Latest Blog Posts: "Eric's Book Marketing Minute"

Connect w/ Eric on his personal Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/ericvanderhope

Connect w/ Eric on his Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/BookLaunchMarketing

Connect w/ Eric on his Twitter profile: http://www.twitter.com/ericvanderhope

Connect w/ Eric on his LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ericvanderhope

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Apr 19, 2012
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12. Apr 29, 2012 11:59 AM in response to: yaip
Re: How much does a book really cost to print?

A lot has been covered here so I'll just chime in with some thoughts.

 

No one ever said writing books is the way to riches, the authors who come up with a fantastic book  that sells like hotcakes, and they go off to doing a series of books that generates a big following so they get rich like the "Harry Potter" series by Rowling;

 

The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies

 

to become the best selling book series in history.

 

The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript.

 

A year later she was finally given the green light (and a £1500 advance) by editor Barry Cunningham from

Bloomsbury , a small publishing house in London.

On the 4th book- In the US, the book sold three million copies in its first 48 hours, smashing all literary sales records.

Forbes has named Rowling as the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books.

 

Authors like Rowling are rare, most authors will probably just barely meet costs, while others will make at least something for their efforts, a smaller number might be able to make a living on their book(s)

 

Back in the 1980 when I had a brochure laid out and printed, going to a commercial printer WAS the only option, and to print color was going to cost 3x as much as the $700 it cost to print 1,000 of them in B&W. They had to make paste-ups and plates for the photos, but now that's all changed.

You no longer have to make copper, metal or other plates to print photos but the costs for labor, paper and materials and other overhead as well as shipping  have gone WAY up!

I remember being able to UPS a HEAVY box, about 60 pounds from my place in NYC to California back then for around $8, the shipping was cheap enough I included it in my prices because it was a matter of a dollar or two at most difference to ship to Kansas or California.

Now I regularly see the cost to ship a  box of that weight to California costing closer to $60, and then there is a pickup charge, fuel surcharge and residential delivery surcharge on top.

 

Books are not "cheap" to print, ink is expensive- any kind of ink, just buy the 7 color inkjet refills these days and you are spending around $50 for a few TEASPOONS of watery ink that looks more like cheap food coloring than anything, refilling an inkjet almost costs HALF the price of a new machine with the ink included!

The amazing thing is they can print books as low cost as they do despite the amount of paper and all the rest, still it's not cheap for labor, advertising, distribution etc and I can see as someone said- an author making only 7 cents a book on a 500,000 book sales run done through a traditional publisher (the only viable option back in 1980 too)

 

Hard covers are even more expensive, reminds me of the color v/s B&W cost for my 1980 brochure where the cover is adding $10 to $15 more to the cost of the $5 paperback bound book.

 

Regardless of what the book actually costs, if you are getting say $6 royalties on a $19 book, that $6 is what you are getting, that's your bottom line and the ONLY thing that really matters in the end- how much your payment check will be for how many books sold.

Forget about what the book COSTS the publisher- they will make money, they will also take some hits too now and then, but for every book sold you GET that $6 regardless of whether they had to replace a costly machine that week, or an employee screwed up and they had to re-print an entire 5,000 book run and throw the screwed up ones away because 2 pages were missing- you don't have to worry about any of that, the publisher does.

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