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edition budgeting / costs / profit

>Date:    Fri, 10 Sep 1999 13:09:18 -0400
>From:    Peter Verheyen <pdverhey@DREAMSCAPE.COM>
>Subject: edition budgeting / costs / profit

>What are some of the current practices out there for printmakers/printers
>working with authors to publish books, especially how do you renumerate
>the author, % of profit, fixed fee...? How does one budget for production
>including presswork, binding in that context? How does one calculate

As a publisher, I can speak to this issue.

I have published 17 titles, and have another three titles in one or another
state of production.  In addition, I have produced 40 videotapes about one
or another aspect of bookbinding and book conservation.

Most of the print titles are reproduced from my reference collection, so it
would not be representative to cite them.

So, I'll use some figures for a book for which I purchased the English
language right, Lotta Rahme's book, _Leather: Preparation and Tanning by
Traditional Methods_

The English language rights cost me $300.  The translator who turned Swedish
into English was paid $1,000.

Five hundred copies were printed; cost of printing/binding/shipping/ came
to $5458.61.

All told, $6758.61.  To date.

The author will be paid a royalty of 15%, once production costs have been
recovered; if the printing goes beyond 500 copies the profits will be shared
equally by the author, the translator, and the publisher.  I wrote the

That book was announced to the world last October, and positive reviews
have been published in the Newsletter of the Guild of Book Workers, Leather
Conservation News, and on a web page, www.braintan.com.  Through the end of
June, 1999, a total of 75 copies have been sold.

The author has not received any royalty to date, and it will be awhile (at this
rate of sales) before the author does receive any payment.

As a publisher, I fullfill orders.  Some clients, such as the Getty
Institute, takes 90 days to pay their bills (the invoice states the the
bill is to be paid within 30 days.)

At this time, I am negotiating a contract to publish an English language
translation of an excellent German book about book restoration.

It will take years to recover the cost of that book, but it is a good book, so
I will write the contract.

Profit?  Yes, I hope to not only recover my upfront cost, and actually make
a dollar or two.  In the long run.

My work at the bench supports these publications.

People who check these titles out from the library are one thing; people who
photocopy pages from these books for others are quite another thing.

I'll leave it to you.


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Laboratory
Portland, OR 97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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