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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Betsy on March 11, 2016, 09:20 AM

Title: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: Betsy on March 11, 2016, 09:20 AM
Does anyone know how much it costs to produce an average traditionally-published picture book these days--I'm thinking of the major publishers, such as S&S, HarperCollins, etc.? The total would include advances for both author and illustrator, overhead, editorial and art design, shipping, printing, any pre-publication publicity--all that good stuff. I realize it will necessarily vary, but I want to give my students a guesstimate. I've heard everything from more than $30,000 to over $100,000. Has anyone read anything or heard any numbers at a recent conference? Any links to an article on this topic would be appreciated. Thanks!
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: Anne Marie on March 11, 2016, 09:21 AM
I don't know but I've never heard anything lower than $100,000.

AM

Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: Schriscoe on March 11, 2016, 09:32 AM
I don't know the answer either Betsy but I am interested to hear the answer.
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: Betsy on March 11, 2016, 10:00 AM
I think you're right, AM. The figure of $30,000 is from several years ago. But there's got to be more recent information out there somewhere.
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: HaroldU on March 11, 2016, 06:19 PM
Betsy, you emailed me about my write-up from 2006. I have to tell you that I don't think the costs have changed THAT much since then, at least when it comes to physical production costs. But overhead and advances are big pieces of it too, and they vary greatly from publisher to publisher.

$100,000 is at the high end--for a large initial printing, and some marketing money included, I think. I'll see what I can find out. I need to update the article.
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: DianaM on March 11, 2016, 06:31 PM
I've heard about $50K. But I can't tell you my source. Just something I've heard.
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: HaroldU on March 11, 2016, 06:42 PM
What complicates it is what you count as overhead, and what you count as a cost directly attributable to a specific book... Obviously plate costs and PP&B (paper, printing, and binding), but after that, what?

Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: Betsy on March 11, 2016, 07:32 PM
Maybe you can come up with a range, Harold. Anyway, I appreciate that article and all the other wonderful information on your site.
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: KatyD on March 12, 2016, 11:23 AM
I've often heard $50,000 as well, but like Diana, I don't know the source.
Title: Re: Cost to produce a picture book
Post by: CarrieF on March 12, 2016, 06:19 PM
I think (but would need to verify) that Cheryl Klein mentions the 50K number in her book.