Press For Change

Starting a publishing company is complicated. And slow. So we are starting a blog to keep our authors, our customers, our suppliers and the whole wide world appraised of what is happening.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Off to printer

It has been a little while since I posted here. The book has finally gone off to the printer in fits and starts what with the vagaries of ftp and all. It will be about four weeks before I get it back and in the meantime I have to pay for the printing - the single biggest expense in the whole business (if you don't count my time).

In discussions with other people about printing there are a lot of production cost factors they are neglecting to consider. Printing is bad enough but there is also shipping the finished book to wherever it is going - about one fifth the cost of printing but still a significant expense.

Then there is cost-of-sales. That means all the PR, marketing, etc. as well as fees and merchant account setups and distribution costs and so on. The two groups of people who make the least out of a book publishing project are the two with the most at stake: the publisher and the author. It is only fair that the publisher gets a bit more of the tiny piece of the pie that is left to them. The publisher actually pays for everything up front and takes on the burden of failure if the book fails to sell. The author of course, also doesn't get paid in that scenario, but with or without the publisher, they are in that position. On the other hand, most authors also don't really get fairly compensated. The ones who get the most for doing the least as far as I can tell are the distributors and booksellers. Not that they do nothing - their work is important too - but they get to have their cake and eat it too in a sense since they get to send the book back if it doesn't sell, so they are just out a bit of work - and that bit of work is a lot less than the publisher and author put in.

Anyway - enough of that for now. Now comes the exciting part to see if all of the work has been worthwhile...