Half a page, half a page, half a page onward

Jul. 17th, 2007 | 09:48 am

My foray into the latest Helix slapfight (which may be unavoidable, since I found out yesterday that it is all my fault) has been delayed on account of better things to do.

In the meantime, lori posted this interesting breakdown on the pricing of Potter, which I'm sharing because we don't have much overlap in f-lists:

The list price of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is $34.99. Here, based on typical publishing figures, is where the money goes for each copy sold:




Discount given to booksellers by the publisher-- $17.49

Author's royalty*--$5.25

Corporate overhead (editorial salaries, etc.)--$5.00

Printing costs (paper and binding)--$3.32


Net profit for publisher--$1.40

Plant costs (editorial, artwork, etc.)--$0.70

Returns (unsold copies sent to publisher)--$0.35

Inventory write-off (defective copies/unsold in warehouse)--$0.08


Total: $34.99

*The exact terms of author J.K. Rowling's contract are not known.

Source: Albert Greco, Institute for Publishing Research Inc.

The numbers that really jump out at me are the author's royalty -- at about 15%, it's almost twice what a lot of first-time novelists with small print runs make -- and the net profit for the publisher. Even at that low number, it will add up to millions, but still. Booksellers will also offer discounts on the retail price in order to attract customers, which will cut into their profit, hoping to make up the difference in volume.

I've been writing six pages a night on the novel for about two weeks as I push to the end, but last night's six, aside from one or two descriptions, were utter crap and will need to be completely rewritten. This weekend, we're heading off to the Alpha writers' workshop, which I'm excited about doing. I'll block out some time for rewriting while we're there.

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