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Cost of Creating An E-Book

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Ankari, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I read this short blog posts that itemizes the cost of creating an e-book. It doesn't mention the cost of selling an e-book, something I think is crucial. What do you think? How many of you who have completed an e-book have followed something like this? Here is the condensed info:

     
    wordwalker likes this.
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    from the article
    We really do judge books by their cover.:p

    Is this a registration fee? [sorry but in the UK copyright is automatic - I thought...]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Copyright is automatic in the U.S., but unless you register it you generally can't sue anyone for infringement, and there are advantages to registering fairly quickly after publication.
     
    CupofJoe likes this.
  4. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    I wonder how the laws of one country affects the others. E.G.: Here the copyright of any kind of creative work is also automatic and you can sue someone for infringement. It's always good to register so you have official proofs that you're the creator, but technically any kind of proof will do.

    What would happen if someone from, let's say US, breaks my rights?

    (Yes, I'm an ignorant newb!)

    @CupofJoe
    Yes, we do judge things by appearance. How far would you go to buy something that looks amateurish? :p
     
  5. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    Spot-on, from my experience. Of course the cover art can vary a lot (pay more? have the right connections to get a bargain, or Photoshop it from the right pieces?), and the editing might.

    The closest thing to an omission I found is if you thought it was time to get an Author's Photo too. And like you said, the real question is how much to spend on selling it.
     
  6. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Seems relatively accurate. As I've mentioned before, you can get bargains by seeking out beginning editors/artists or college students looking to pad their resume.

    But unless you're unable to use a computer and follow directions or your eBook is very complicated, the eBook formatting is unnecessary.

    Interestingly, I bought 10 ISBNs, but I haven't used any yet. You don't need them for eBooks. They're automatically assigned electronic IDs. I'm waiting for the print versions.
     
  7. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I know you're a lawyer, but I thought the law was different now and you can sue people so long as you can show evidence of your copyright. Having a published book seems like evidence...?
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Nope. See 17 USC §411:

    "§ 411 . Registration and civil infringement actions11


    (a) Except for an action brought for a violation of the rights of the author under section 106A(a), and subject to the provisions of subsection (b), no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title."

    The exceptions in §106(A)(a) relate certain so-called moral rights, such as the right of attribution or to integrity of the work. These won't stop regular copyright infringement actions, in which case you need to be registered. Registering earlier rather than later can preserve certain damage claims, &c.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  9. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Can you use an ISBN for an ebook? What are the pros of doing so?
     
  10. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    If you use an ISBN, then you can have the same ISBN for all the different electronic retailers of *that format* of your book (for instance, you can't use the same ISBN for the Kindle mobi version AND the epub version used by BN et al, but you could use the same ISBN for all the epub versions).

    The drawbacks are a little costly in my opinion though. If you do any future editions, each needs its own ISBN (read: "edition" as anything beyond changing typos really). Unless you're going to buy the ISBNs in bulk, the cost becomes prohibitive.

    I found this link, ISBN Essentials: An FAQ for eBook Publishers, that summarizes some of the main things to know.

    You may be asking yourself if you should get ISBNs even for your print books. Most print-on-demand services grant you an ISBN. I recommend getting ISBNs for those for two big reasons: (1) so that you're the publisher, and (2) so that you can use multiple POD services and keep the same ISBN. For instance, CreateSpace AND LightningSource.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    Ankari likes this.
  11. Well, you *can* use the same ISBN for the epub and mobi files. And many people do. That's against the recommendations from the international committee that puts out such things, but it's pretty common practice at this point to simply use one ISBN for all ebook formats of a book.

    Or to not use one at all. Now that Apple no longer requires ISBNs for ebooks, no major retailer still does. The main reason you'd want to use ISBNs for ebooks is if you were a large publisher with hundreds of books coming out, in print and ebook, and were tracking royalty payments and sales using the ISBN - which many publishers do.

    I don't use ISBNs for ebooks. Don't see a need, as there is no advantage to doing so for me, so it's a waste of money. If that changes, I'll be buying ISBNs. ;) Until then, I'm declining to set fire to my money. ;)
     
  12. Darkblade

    Darkblade Troubadour

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    $100 dollars for formatting? That better have some serious DRM because Calibre is free and encodes office docs just fine.
     
  13. They pretty much used high end estimates for everything.

    Alternately...?

    Content Editing - beta readers, exchanging novels, cost = time.
    Copy Editing - varies some, $250-400 for a 80k word novel is typical
    Cover - $10 for stock art
    Formatting - free, for the ebook - seriously no reason to pay for formatting, for novels; all writers should learn this simple skill
    ISBN - none, for the ebook
    Copyright registration - $35

    Total cost? About $300-400.

    If you want a POD version, add in:
    $10 ISBN
    $25 Createspace extended distribution
    $250-400 print layout, if you don't know how to do it yourself


    Print layout isn't HARD to learn. But if you don't know how, and aren't publishing a lot of books in POD, then it might be worth outsourcing. I've been doing print layout since I was a kid working for my parents (back when "layout" meant using hot wax and an exacto knife), so for me it's a no-brainer: getting a book ready for POD takes me 1-3 hours, unless I'm building a whole new template.
     
  14. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Just signed up for Smashwords. I was a little stunned to find out that the only way to be listed as the publisher was to provide your own ISBN. They had previously had a service where you could buy an ISBN from them for $10 and be listed as the publisher. I don't know if they're trying to get more people to recognize Smashwords or what. They said they may start the service up again in the future.

    Haven't read the ToS fully to see what is entailed by having them listed as the publisher, but I assume when you do an updated edition (which would require a new ISBN) that you can change the publisher as well. It'll be a little strange having the same book published at Amazon AND in-print by me, but by Smashwords at all the other retailers unless I use one of my ISBNs.
     
  15. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    The price listed are "reasonable". I think to ensure a good ROI an author should shoot for $500 - $1500 out of pocket expenses. I'm pretty much a dyed-in-the-wool DIY'er so my self-published books cost me only the ISBN registration - I did my own cover design and traded editing services (initially) with other authors. For my new self-publishing venture I'm going "the other" way and investing substantially on getting "the best in the business" for Hollow World. The cover illustration alone cost me $1,500 - but I have a substantial platform and can easily absorb that kind of cost - I would not recommend that approach for new people just starting out.
     
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