Sunday, April 27, 2014

A look at traditional book publishing via Scratch Magazine

The second issue of Jane Friedman's new e-magazine, Scratch is now available.

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In Issue Two, Jane has an article about traditional book publishing, explaining the facts many first-time authors forget.

Getting an agent to LOVE your book is one thing. Getting an editor to LOVE your book is another. But .... before you can get a big YES from a publisher, they run a P&L [profit and loss analysis].  Friedman shares a sample P&L. It is rare to see this detail shared, so Friedman's insider-information is worth examining.

  • Before a publisher decides on a book project, they need to get a sense of the costs for editing, artwork, and marketing.
  • Then they figure the manufacturing costs, overhead and infrastructure expenses.
  • Then they set the retail price, deduct the manufacturing cost, the discount given to booksellers, and the cost of returns.

So you see they spend a great deal of time and money investing in an author's book. That is why they need to be certain the author has a platform that can sustain continued sales. They are in business to make a profit, and they use the P&L to can determine an accurate dollar amount of net earnings from the book's sales.

Do the work to expand your platform before you ask a publisher to invest in you.
I have fourteen posts on platform here.
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