Deb Simpson : Formats, Fulfillments, and Fees
Your Book's Bottom Line
Formats, Fulfillments, & Fees
By Deb Simpson
The first two installments of this four part series "Your Book's Bottom Line", focused on book development costs and marketing costs. In this article, the focus will be on publication costs, including preparing the book for publication, printing, and distribution. Whether you are self-publishing your book, or working with a publishing house, it is still beneficial to understand the elements involved in getting your book into the marketplace. First, a quick review of what may be included:
Formatting: This includes the formatting of the interior pages (margins, spacing, fonts) as well as the sizing, paper and binding.
Editing: This can be done by the author, but use of a professional editor often yields a more professional outcome.
Indexing: Especially necessary for reference books to provide quick subject look-up for readers; may require the services of a professional indexer or purchase of a specific software application.
ISBN#: The International Standard Book Number, required for all books sold commercially via booksellers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble).
UPC#: Universal Product Code, required to sell any product via retail stores or sites (Wal-Mart, etc.).
Book Cover Design: The author may design the cover, but use of a professional designer may be worth the investment. Remember, the cover is the first impression.
Printing Set-up Fees: For offset printing, where plates are created for each book page, there will be set-up fees. For some POD printers, set-up fees may be charged, although less common.
Printing & Binding: The actual cost-per-book for the printing and binding you have chosen. Note: This may be affected by the quantity of the print run.
Distribution & Listing: This may be charged in various ways. Some POD printers require a one-time service fee to set a book up for distribution. Others charge an annual fee to set up and maintain the title.
Preparing a book for publication begins with formatting the content, the pages, chapters, front material, etc. But, before you can determine how to format your book, you will first need to decide where and how the book will be printed and distributed. Many printers, distribution services and booksellers handle limited sizes and formats. Example: CreateSpace, a Print on Demand (POD) publisher, does not offer hard cover options. Lulu, another POD publisher does offer hardcover books, but distribution options are minimal.