June 7, 2020

How Much Should an Ebook Cost?

Simon and Schuster (one of the big six publishers) has purchased Author Solutions and opened a self-publishing service called Archway Publishing. Author Solutions is big, but not my favorite. I have worked with authors who have paid more than $10,000 (without marketing or publicity) to get their book published. Pearson paid more than $119 million for ASI.

So, how much should an ebook cost?

In my survey of rates, an ebook should cost about $500-$600 for the coding and cover (whose cost can range from $50 to $100), unless something extraordinary is done. (These prices assume that the manuscript has been edited already and that the author does the proofing.)

GalleyCat did a survey through their Facebook page and got similar results: $300 to $500 when hiring someone else to do the work; $25 or so when doing the work for oneself.

Archway charges $1,999 for the publisher package for the author package to $14,999 for the publicist package. Business books, however, run from $2,199 to $24,999. The question is to what extent (if any) stronger distribution channels are included.

In a different GalleyCat post, Bowker (which sells ISBNs) says abut 235,000 new self-published titles are posted annually. “The marketplace is dominated by four companies: CreateSpace, Smashwords, Author Solutions and Lulu.”

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