Monday, December 16, 2013

32 Page Picture Book Budget

"What will I invest?" is a question I'm most often asked. There are many variables to producing a traditional hardbound 32 page picture book. From number of illustrations to location of printing. The choices are many.

First be a business owner. A business plan, profitable budget, and research attributes to a higher success in publishing picture books. Below is a sample budget I use when planning a 32 page full color, hardbound, picture book project.

Note:  This is a guideline and each project is unique.

Picture Book Estimated Budget:
  1. Copyright: $45.00.  If a publisher supplies the copyright, confirm it's in the author's name.
  2. ISBN: $250.00 (Block of 10). If eBook, print books, or a series is the goal, multiple ISBN's are needed. This fee is required for authors forming a publishing company. If an author's publisher supplies the ISBN, the publisher retains control over an author's book.
  3. Professional Editor:  $500.00 - ?  This fee is based on word count, time, and number of editorial reviews. Having a professional editor review before illustrations, after illustrations, and during the printer's press proof is smart.
  4. Professional Illustrations: $8,000.00 deposit with 10% royalty. A picture book requires an average of 32 illustrations. This includes Body Illustrations, Cover, End Sheets, and Title Page. Many illustrators consider a spread as one illustration. Use thumbnails or page breaks to get accurate quotes. If a book is not 32 pages the illustration price is reduced. Request samples of their work.
  5. Graphic Design: $1,000.00. Seek an all inclusive Graphic Designer who provides book layout, logos, scanning, art enhancements, along with press and web files for marketing purposes. Request samples of their work.
  6. Printing: $7,500 - ? Printing is based on 2500 copies of a 32 page hardbound book at $3.00 per book. Distributors and book retailers request 50% off the retail price. A $15.00 retail price equals $7.50 net sale. Less print and illustration cost, the profit is estimated around a $1.50 per book. Request samples of multiple printers' work.
  7. Shipping: $750.00 - $1,500.00. This is a one time fee to ship books from the printer to the warehouse. This cost may also include shipping the books to a distributor. This expense is calculated by weight, number of pallets, and distance from the printer.
  8. Climate Controlled Storage: $80.00 - $125.00 monthly. A climate controlled unit is necessary. Paper buckles with sudden temperature and moisture changes.
  9. Distribution: $0.00 - ? Many new authors manage their distribution, while others chose a distributor. Distributors take 40-55% for distributing books to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. The same percentage holds true for consignment in other retail locations.
Based on the numbers above, an average first print run of 2500 books can cost upwards of $18,000.00. Treat publishing as a business. Get fair and accurate quotes. Many publish with far less investment, however others publish with far more invested!

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