What is the cost of publishing a physical book

Intersting analysis on the cost of publishing a book. Will be really helpful in defining the value ebook will bring to the authors and publishers.

  1. Author Royalty – 7 to 15%.
  2. Book Screening and Acquisition – Publishers cover this. Part of the 12.5% of book cost that goes to book production.
  3. Successful Books subsidizing failures. Publishers cover this. Unknown percentage of book cost – x%.
  4. Finishing the Book (producing the final book that will be printed and sent off). Publishers cover this and its included in the 12.5% book production cut.
  5. Printing. 10%.
  6. Book Distribution – Wholesalers and Distributors. Between 10-20% of the book’s cost.
  7. Book Retailing – 35-40% of the book’s cost.
  8. Book Marketing – 7.5% of the book’s cost.
  9. Book Returns – Publishers cover this. This is another unknown y% of the book’s cost.
  10. Customer’s Costs to get Book – This is not part of the book price. However, the cost in time and fuel for every trip to buy books ought to be compared against the upfront cost of buying a Kindle or eBook reader.


Kindle cost analysis

  1. Book marketing – 7.5%.
  2. Author royalty – 7-15%.
  3. Book acquisition and production – 9%.
  4. Retailer cut.
  5. Publisher cut.
  6. DRM, formats, distribution of ebooks – 3%
  7. Half the price of subsidizing failures.

PW cost analysis

Inside book publishing


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