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The Publishing Costs For An Ebook

Original Source Of The Shakespeare-X Message.


The Cost Of Producing An Ebook

I read all over the web that the cost of producing an ebook is $0.

Normally this is used as an excuse for stealing them.

Amazingly nobody ever mentions the cost to the writers in it all.

So, before this zero cost becomes an accepted web received wisdom, here’s what a professional ebook really costs:

These are all conservative estimates. Publishers only dream of getting their production costs this low.



1. A year’s work for a writer.

Let’s say that’s a minimum of $50,000 in the job market. These are highly educated people.


2. Editing and copy editing - a middle class professional does that.

It’s 2 jobs but let’s call it one. Either way it’s at least $3000, and more like $5000 really.


3. Book design – someone has to design the pages, the type, the covers. That’s another $5,000 at least.


4. Computer delivery – someone needs to set up and pay for a computer system to get the book out. I don’t see many computer programmers working free. Or being expected to. Most like to get $70,000 a year.


5. Publicity. Nobody can buy a book they don’t know is there. Top quality PR company service rates are $30,000 plus a month. They might be persuaded to handle a package of 3-5 books for that. Professional copywriters are well paid. More than writers.

No publisher can afford $30,000 a month for only 5 books. But that’s what your ebook PR has to compete against for media attention. Publishers have to run their own publicity departments to compete at all. That’s probably $10,000 for each book over the course of a year.

6. There are overheads and other costs. Offices and staff. Nobody in publishing is working for nothing. And neither are you.

So that’s the cost of an ebook.. It’s not $0.0, it's more like $100,000 when you include the writing cost. And somebody has to pay it.

The person reading and enjoying the book seems to me to be the best contender for covering these costs. Otherwise writing and publishing is an amateur charity business. And that's not good for the world.

Somehow all these people making professional ebooks expect to be paid when they work. I know that’s unusual in employment situations around the world, and I’m sure you work for nothing yourself, but those greedy people just insist on buying food.


Write and publish your own book and see how much you enjoy working hard for a year for $200.

My grandpa sings and gives away free cds of himself doing it. But he’s not as good as Pavarotti.

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