Paper and Digital books – Should they cost the same?

publishing.pngSo yesterday I talked a little bit about pricing – and valuing the work at different prices due to its length. But that’s pretty straightforward – I believing in pricing to value the author’s work.

But this leads to another problem.

Different formats cost vastly different amounts to make. I’m not sure if it’s more a matter of communicating this to authors and publishers than to readers. I’m using CreateSpace to make print books at the moment, and I’m aware that there might be cheaper (but less noob-friendly) options. Still, it serves to illustrate my point rather well. I will have to price the print version of the Crimson Pact around $20 in order to make the same average profit. 1 (Remember, my business model has 75% of the reciepts going to the authors.)

Sure, CreateSpace provides a much cheaper version for the creator/author 2. As a publisher, I’ll continue to do exactly the same thing – provide author copies at cost to the authors and any print copies I sell are poured into the royalty structure.

But let’s not forget the major point here: The cost of the print book must be higher than the digital version, even with POD, to keep the same amount of money flowing to the author. This cost is solely the production and shipping of the dead-tree edition, and after the creators all get paid.
1 The way CreateSpace has things set up, royalties are dependent upon where/how the book is sold. I aimed to keep the average author profit the same as the digital edition.
2 More on this in a day or three…

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