Whoa, this is sweet like Flavorite ice cream topping. Especially if you're me and a mosquito on the back of the publishing waterbuffalo. And also, um, a big, big dork.
What makes books, especially translations, so expensive?
*Paper costs go up by at least %10 per year. Paper is the largest single cost in printing.
*Books aren't widgets. Each one is a separate product, with different production expenses, different sales potentials and different prices.
*The first printing of a book is often small because there have been no reviews yet and no one knows how well the book will sell. A low first printing means a high unit cost.
*Add on to translated books the cost of translation, another $2,000 to $3,000 on top of the royalties paid the foreign publisher.
*How do the costs break down?
For a book costing $9.95:
$2.98 Printing and production
$3.98 Bookstore commission
$1.49 Distributor commission
$1.00 Royalty to foreign publisher
$ .50 Shipping
$ .50 Publicity
$ .25 Profit
*It's important to realize that publishers must pay all the production costs within thirty days, while distributors and bookstores have ninety days to pay. A successful book sometimes means that that a book must be reprinted before it has made back even its initial costs.