With the spread of e-book marketing and reading through other digital platforms, creating a publisher that is restricted to marketing print books has become an obsolete investment. Many people still prefer printed books, but the growth of reading through digital platforms is already a reality and the numbers show that the sector will grow even more in the coming years.
According to an investigation carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), the expectation is that, in the coming years, the sale of e-books will exceed that of printed books in the United States.
Other calculations, the product of an investigation by the American Association of Publishers, suggest that e-book sales jumped from less than 1% in 2008 to almost 23% in 2011. Given this, it is natural that the entrepreneur chooses to create an editorial on these platforms.
Know four advantages of creating an editorial
Before creating a digital publisher, it is important to assess its advantages over a print-only business. If you are not familiar with the sector, find out below the reasons to bet on this market.
Low editing cost
Mainly for authors who are just starting out, publishing a book through a conventional publisher means more work and higher costs. Large publishers tend to work with well-known authors, mainly to reduce the risk of potential damage. Therefore, newbies tend to look for digital publishers, betting on a simpler and cheaper process.
Books at your fingertips
The recent popularization of tablets and smartphones makes portability an ally when creating a digital book publisher. In 2014, according to eMarketer, the number of smartphone users exceeded 4.5 billion in the world, which represents more than 63% of the world’s population. With cross-platform support, your book is accessible to anyone with a device, regardless of make or model.
One of the main advantages of the e-book is the possibility of interaction. With the digital book, you are free to use hypertext (a resource that enables the continuity of reading in various ways, through links on the Internet), you can navigate like on any website or dictionary and use other research resources.
Natural evolution of the market
Following the market and its evolution is a natural tendency in any area and in the publishing market it is no different. Think about the possibility of offering digital books. Tools like Kindle and Amazon facilitate and help fuel the growth of this market.
Traditional publishing: how much does it cost to publish with an editorial?
This is the posting method most people are familiar with, hands down. Traditional publishing boils down to finding a publisher that is willing to publish your book. It seems easy, right? All you have to do is write a good book. It is not like this?
Get an agent
Well yes, that’s definitely a good start, but the hard work doesn’t end there. If this is your first time writing, getting your book on a publisher’s desk is going to be just as difficult, if not more so, than writing the book in the first place. Most publishers don’t consider manuscripts unless they come through approved or trusted channels. This means you can’t send your book to Penguin and expect them to like it. In order for a publisher to consider your manuscript, you will need to hire an agent. This agent will take care of submitting your manuscript to publishers on your behalf.
Literary agents usually work on a commission basis, which means that instead of charging you up front, they will take a cut of the profits if they manage to sell your book. For most agents this commission will be around 15%. Keep in mind that this is 15% of what the publisher will pay you, not 15% of the profit generated from the sale of your book.
The publisher and the distributors take their cut
This brings us to another type of “cost”. Surely you have heard about how in the music industry most of the profits go to the label, and not to the artist. The same is true in the publishing industry. When a book is published, it is sold at a certain retail price, set by the publisher. This is what people will pay when they buy your book in stores, and this amount will be split between the publisher, the retailer, and you. The next question, of course, is how much of this retail price is yours.
In Spain, authors usually take between 7% and 12% of the sale price (excluding VAT) of the book as copyright. The rest is split between the publisher and the retailers. Also, publishers generally don’t invest in marketing for new authors. This means that if you want to increase the sales of your book (and therefore your chances of publishing more in the future), you will probably have to invest in it yourself. Keep in mind that we are speaking in broad strokes; individual cases will undoubtedly vary.
If at this point you start to think that it seems that there are many people who take advantage of your hard work, then you are not wrong. Although the cost of an agent is fairly easy to justify, the fact that publishers pay so little on average is unfortunately a huge obstacle to financial independence for most authors.
Before you get discouraged
This is the true “cost” of publishing a book in the traditional way. It’s not that you have to hire an agent to get access, but that much of the benefits you could get are diverted to third parties once you’re inside. The amount of time and money you spend writing your book and getting it published is probably going to result in relatively small returns, at least for most authors.
Don’t get us wrong. We don’t mean to imply that traditional publishing is the place where writers’ dreams die. However, we want to help you get a clear idea of how the business works. Traditional publishing isn’t necessarily the most profitable way to make a living as a writer, but it sure works for some people. Even if you don’t make a lot of money for each book sold, traditional publishing can give you legitimacy, which can translate into more sales. You decide if you receive enough money in exchange for your work.
But how much does it cost?
Time and about 15% of your total income, give or take. As a reference, most authors in Spain take between 7% and 12% of the Sale Price of their book.