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[personal profile] becka_sutton
Note: The Internet ate the original version of this post after 5 hours of me looking up figures, checking prices and doing currency conversions. It was longer.

Following on from this post.


In the comments to the previous post [personal profile] anke notes that a lot of people like it if you know what you're doing and that having a break down of costs. This is a good point, so I thought I'd poke around a bit and see what I could find out. Meilin put up an update on her Kickstarter listing hers so I'm using that as a reference.
  1. Story/Development Editing - I haven't spoken to any editors yet. I'm rather shy so approaching new people is intimidating, but it's got to be done. If anyone has any recommendations I'l be glad to hear them. I'll likely want to get sample edits from several to find the best person for me. Meilin lists her editing costs as $1500 and having poked around Google that seems about right. If I can't raise enough for that an intelligent copy edit is the next best option. This combines a heavy copy edit with a sort of light develomental edit and is somewhat cheaper. No doubt it would improve things but I'd always know it wasn't the best it could be.
  2. Cover Art - Meilin had an artist do her cover and lists the cost as $400.  I've seen cheaper options - usually stock based - which are still attractive and high impact. I've also seen much more costly options. I'm pegging this at between $200 and $500. I'd really rather not do this myself. I'm making my own cover for the first Dragon Wars ebook and it's stressful.
  3. Final Proofreading - I suppose I could do what Meilin does and ask for beta readers to do this. But I'd rather hire someone. A professional proofread or light copyedit can cost between $400 and $600. Or I can hire an English student or unemployed graduate to do it. I'm also getting the first arc of The Dragon Wars Saga ready for ebook release and wanted to get it proofread for any errors that I and my beta reader [personal profile] inventrix might have missed.  I have a friend who offers what might be termed semipro copyediting services at a very low price and I knew his grasp of grammar/punctuation was up to the task, so I hired him. Cost me less than $70 and he did a bang up job. He should probably charge more. For Haventon I'd like to get an experienced professional on the job but if I don't raise enough HA wil get a call (as he already will for the rest of Dragon Wars).
  4. Internal Layout - I can certainly do this myself, but equally I'd rather not. It's tedious and time-consuming. Meilin lists $300 for typography. I'm not sure if this is for both ebook and print or if she does her own ebooks. I need to cost this up myself.
  5. Printing Costs - Unless something astounding happens with the campaign or I win the lottery a long offset print run is out. This leaves the options as Lulu, Createspace, LSI or shortrun digital printer. There was a whole section in the original post on the advantages and disadvantages of each of these. I will write a post about this at a later date but the last option is my favoured one.  Allowing for an initial print run of 50 and a better than POD paper and cover stock I'd need about $325 for this if my page count estimate is correct and I use this printer and assuming my page count guesstimate is right. I will go POD if I have to but while cheaper for me I'll make less profit per unit and the book will cost more.
  6. ISBN block - We can't buy single ISBNs in the UK and a block of 10 costs £118.68 (about $190).
There are other incidental costs - some of which might raise eyebrows (Passport fees and a ticket to the Amerian Embassy in London for example (it's a tax thing))  but these are the major ones I can think of right now.

So all things considered perhaps a starting target of $2000 to cover the developmental edit and cover art with any extra going to the other stuff would be reasonable. What do people think?  I could make a little graphic to show what's been covered so far.


Regular reader Giom popped up in comments on the previous post to say he would donate :-D. He also mentioned that he's not really into print books and would rather the raw manuscript was the $25 perk. This got me thinking perhaps at $25 I can give peeps a choice of the manuscript or a signed print copy and at $40 they get both. Thoughts?

[personal profile] inventrix suggested stickers as part of the perks. This isn't a bad idea. Or maybe I could commission postcard art or bookmarks. She also suggested allowing higher level donators to name a lesser character. Meilin did this as well and it's certainly possible.


Thanks to everyone who said that they would signal boost.

I've been wondering about doing a blog tour - similar to the book launch ones that some authors do - but pitching to crowdfunding blogs. Again thoughts?


I did have a bunch off useful links but I think I'll do a seperate link post.

Date: 2012-02-12 12:22 am (UTC)
inventrix: (scribbling)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
One note on the short run printing versus POD: when you actually do your print run, make sure to take into account any "sales" by donations as well. If you end up doing a discount code for a print book as one of the donation incentives/rewards/whatever the deuce they're called, you should count those in as well.

I think your cost estimates look good! Which brings me to another point I wanted to make, which is to not forget the actual cost of the rewards/etc. you're offering for each individual's donation size. I don't know how much your unit cost for print books is, for example, but I would say you would want the pitch-in amount to get one to be at least 2x the unit cost, probably closer to 3x or more.

This counts for material costs of any physical goods you want to offer, and I would count an estimate of shipping in there as well.

It doesn't do much good to make your $2k goal if several hundred of it winds up going to raw bonus costs!

Date: 2012-02-12 04:04 am (UTC)
inventrix: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
I was thinking even a sticker with just the title of the book would be nice, honestly. Not just typed text, of course, but like an actual title/logo kind of thing. No need for fancy pictures, really. Save that for the cover. :P

You're welcome!

Date: 2012-02-12 03:00 pm (UTC)
inventrix: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
Should be part of your cover design costs, unless you hadn't thought of that yet?


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