How much does it cost?
This is the question that concerns all of us. But it is a difficult one to answer because there are many differences between books. For example, a 200 page book costs more to print than a 100 page book, and different books need more or less editing and/or copyediting. Because of the uniqueness of each manuscript, Groundbreaking Press provides each author customized cost estimates. However, we know you would like some guidelines. To make it easier, let's break it up into four major areas: Book Development, Cover Development, Book Production, and Sales and Distribution.
While we offer a wide variety of services for our authors, because of our commitment to you that your book will meet the high quality standards of the publishing industry, there are certain services that we require you purchase. These services are: editing, layout, copyediting, and cover design & production. Again, the amount you will have to pay for these services depend, at the very least, on the length of the book, the quality of the original manuscript, and the amount of changes required after the process has begun.
Following the basic description of our pricing philosophy, you will find a Sample Pricing Scenario that describes the basic cost for producing a typical book of 150 pages. Please remember when looking at the pricing scenario that it is only a representation of what your book might cost. Each book is different and the only way to know for sure is to let us evaluate your manuscript and send you a proposal.
This process involves the following essential services: concept development, title selection, writing, editing, copyediting, layout, and the production of the master. Title selection is found here as well as in Cover Development because it is evolutionary in nature, and it's best to begin thinking about it early on in the process.
The phases for cover development mirror the phases for book development: concept development, title selection, cover design, writing, layout, editing, copyediting, and production of the master.
You may or may not have a concept in mind. However, the actual layout and production of the master is done by a professional artist. The cost for this process is largely determined by your degree of conceptualization. The fewer the iterations the cover design process goes through, the lower the cost will be.
These services include: delivery of the book and cover masters, delivery of book proof , copyediting, submission of corrected master, delivery of second proof, proof acceptance, delivery of cover match print, acceptance of match print, printing of cover and book, binding, and finally, the shipment of completed books to the author.
There is an additional cost of $100 for providing the ISBN and Library of Congress numbers, obtaining the bar code, and listing the book with Books In Print.
Essentially, the marketing of your book is your responsibility. Currently, Groundbreaking Press does not have a public relations staff dedicated to the marketing of authors' books. Neither do we have sales people on the road talking to retailers or distributors. Conversations with authors who have gone with "traditional" publishers have shown little support to authors who have not had a "best-seller." The truth seems to be that, within the publishing industry, the public interest generated in the book is essentially the responsibility of the author.
Groundbreaking Press does have an excellent relationship with Ingram and is authorized to publish books through their POD process. This assures the author of full distribution potential, every bookstore throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain will be able to order your book. In addition, it will appear in Ingram's catalog and Books in Print, and have a presence on the major online web sites (Amazon and Barnes & Noble). In addition, we will be marketing and selling your book through the Groundbreaking Press Bookstore.
We are committed to helping you produce a finished book that you and yours will be extremely proud of. You may be writing your book for posterity, only interested in sharing your story with your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, with no thought for a broad readership. However, you never know what will catch the public fancy. And if, by some lucky chance, yours does, we want it to be worthy of this opportunity, produced to be right at home on the shelves of bookstores across the United States.
Let's say that you have a completed manuscript of 150 pages needing editing, copyediting and completed layout. In addition, while you have chosen a title and have a rough idea what the cover should look like, you still need the services of a graphic artist to do the final design and production. Then, of course, you need the book and cover printed and bound and shipped to your location.
You should know that requested services, beyond those recommended by Groundbreaking Press, cost extra and are charged at a rate of $50/hour.
Even though Groundbreaking Press is an author-services company where the author pays for services rendered, we do not publish every book that comes our way. The first step in our process is an evaluation of your manuscript and whether not it's ready for us to become involved. There are times when we tell the author that much work is needed before we can even begin the editing phase. We will offer to help, but this is a special service that is not discussed or priced here. We have even recommended that certain authors take advantage of subsidy or vanity presses.
Once we've determined that your book is ready for us, we present you with a proposal that describes fully the services and costs associated with producing your finished book. The cost of the Manuscript Evaluation is $500. Contact Brad Fregger if you would like to discuss having your manuscript evaluated.
The actual cost for Editing, Manuscript Preparation, and Copyediting is dependent on the nature of your work. If your work is highly technical, specialized, includes non-English language, or requires some other form of specialized editing, then it will take longer and cost more. This process can be expensive for a self-publisher.
The better shape your book is in, the less time the editing will take. One advantage you have in working with us is that we want the book to be yours - we don't need to make it ours. This means the process will go faster. The best way to save money on this phase is by producing a well-written manuscript that will require minimal preparation and editing.
Normal editing should cost approximately $2000.
Copyediting is also dependent on how well written the manuscript is. Our objective is to make sure that your book is grammatically correct, the words are spelled right, the pages are numbered correctly, the table of contents is accurate, and so on. We don't want to embarrass you, or ourselves. We recommend you have some detail-oriented friends check your manuscript first so that most errors are caught before our copyeditor sees it. This will save you money.
Copyediting usually takes a few iterations ... say an average of two and a half reads (the final read would go about twice as fast at the other two). In addition, there is a charge for a manuscript preparation step, which formats the book at the basic size of the final product (5.5x8, 6x9, etc.).
Normal copyediting should cost approximately $2000.
Manuscript Preparation is an ongoing task that involves keeping the manuscript up-to-date in regard to the copyediting process. Copyeditors work off of hard copy, once these changes have been identified, they have to be made in the manuscript ... this is called manuscript preparation.
Manuscript Preparation should cost about $1000
The cost for Layout and Master Production Services are also dependent on the content and complexity of the work. The good news is that this process has been dramatically simplified. With offset printing technology, the layout and master production was much more involved. The time needed to do this has now been dramatically shortened. However, it does put some limits on what can be easily accomplished. This is very much a "case by case" consideration.
For our purposes, and anticipating a "best case" scenario, we would estimate the layout and production of the master to cost approximately $1000.
This is one area where you don't want to "cut corners." Graphic artists capable of producing professional quality covers are rare and can be expensive. Standard covers will generally be less expensive than covers requiring special treatment, or some specialized knowledge, as the level of effort will be less.
It is essential that the cover is done right. We've all heard it said, "You can't judge a book by its cover," but most of us are powerfully influenced by a book's cover. More than anything else, your book's cover (and title) will determine its fate.
Assuming you have a good concept in mind with an excellent title already chosen, we would estimate the cost for cover design and production of the master to be approximately $1000.
This is another area where you don't want to "cut corners." This is where we take a final, in-depth, look at the book and make sure that all everything is just the way the author wanted it. This means factually and grammatically correct, with no layout or final production issues. This type of close inspection takes a very special talent, someone who can focus completely on the project, and check the book line-by-line.
Final Proofing should cost about $1000
According to this scenario, the total cost needed to get your book ready to be print and bound is: $8,900 (including $500 for manuscript evaluation, $300 for your web page, and $100 for ISBN, Library of Congress, and Books in Print).
The decision of how to have your books print and bound is ultimately yours. We recommend, especially for new authors, that they choose Print-On-Demand technology. This technology enables short-runs (under 500) at a a very competitive price. This are not your only choice, in fact, if you are convinced that you can sell 3000 or more books, you will want to discuss other alternatives with us when the time is right. This decision is best made once the book is in the final production phases.
Sample Scenario Assumptions
Assuming a book size of 5.5" x 8.5", 150 pages, all text, printed on 60 lb. acid-free paper, with a four-color cover printed on 10 pt one-side coated stock:
Okay, now let's look at the total cost before you can hold that first book in your hands:
This also provides distribution to all major on-line booksellers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). You will receive 10 copies of your book.
For Authors interested in having their book available as an eBook on Kindle and/or the iPad, there is an additional cost that cannot be determined until the final book is completed.
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