Hawley's Bhutan book sets size record

Meltsner, Kenneth Kenneth.Meltsner at ca.com
Fri Dec 19 12:06:23 PST 2003


Factor of five markup between production cost and retail price is
actually quite low if you're looking at mass market books.  Typical
hardcover costs ~$1 per copy to produce, $10-15 to the retailer, and
$20-30 as the list price.  The production cost doesn't include the
editorial or design costs, I believe.  Returns (greater than 50% for
many books) do complicate matters, since the returned books may only be
sold at a fraction of the production cost, or simply pulped.

Publishing companies, like movie studios, lose money on almost
everything they do, and yet stay in business year after year.  I'm not
sure whether it's creative accounting or the occassional blockbuster
that keeps publishers going; with Hollywood, creative accounting is more
important.

Ken


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