Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Book Blogette: The Cost of Book Publishing

Dear Book Blogette,

I completed my thesis recently. It was very well received at a conference I spoke at recently. I would like to publish it for September of this year. What is the cost for a publishing company like yours to publish my book? How does this publishing thing work?

- Mr Curious

Hi Mr Curious,

Working in a publishing house, this is probably one of the most popular queries we receive by phone. Unfortunately, if you contact a traditional publisher, they will probably tell you that you are not typically charged by a publisher to publish a book (though this may be done in some funded projects).

The Publishing Process
  • Project Proposal (submitted by author).
  • Proposal Evaluation
  • Contract (if proposal accepted).
  • Manuscript Delivery (This is sometimes required before a contract is signed).
  • Editing (The author works with the editor to refine the text).
  • Author Corrections
  • Design and Layout (The author is often allowed input or at least another look at the final book design)
  • Printing (This cost is usually undertaken by the publisher).
  • Marketing (This often calls for a lot of author involvement).
  • Distribution
  • Sales and the payment of royalties (The author receives a percentage of each sale as stipulated in the contract). 

Penguin gives a fun explanation of the process here:

Mr Curious, if you are merely searching for a printer, you don't need a publisher. You probably need a designer and a printer. You may need to read up on self-publishing.

Best of Luck!

Book Blogette

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