The High Cost of Publishing, part 3

02.20.09 | Comment?

Unfortunately, my “numbers post” isn’t quite as functional as I’d wanted. I really wanted to embed a spreadsheet right onto the page. I wanted it to retain all the formulas I’d set, and allow visitors to plug in different values and watch profitability rise or fall accordingly. That just isn’t going to happen. I played with Google Docs, but I haven’t been able to get it onto the page. With more time and the right plugin I’m sure I could make it work, but I just don’t have the time. So here goes:


If you follow that link, you should find a publicly editable spreadsheet. The green cells are ones with which you can insert your own variables. The non-shaded cells calculate the results. Please don’t screw with the formulas.

I think that this spreadsheet illustrates how important it is to keep costs down and sell lots of copies. Some people may be looking at “units created” and thinking that you can sell 10 times those many. If you’re a publisher who DOES sell 10 times that many, then you already know this stuff. What are you doing here? If you’re an “armchair publisher”, I’d suggest doing some research before you start adjusting upward the number of units created.

The moral of this story is that it’s a lot easier to lose money in publishing–even e-book publishing–than it is to make it.

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