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Average print run

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What's the average print run for a picture book? (First time author, large publisher)

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#1 - September 21, 2003, 08:47 PM
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Well, it totally depends on the publisher and how many books they think will sell the first year.  (That's normally what they base their first print run figures on, from what I've been told by my publisher.)  If you are Madonna... obviously, they print a whole lot more than if they have unknown authors just making their "debuts."  

My publisher normally prints between 10,000 and 15,000 for a first run of picture books for an unknown author.  I think that's probably fairly "standard" numbers for most big publishers.  If you have a small publisher, your first print run could be substantially smaller.

Oh, and just for the record, they also told me that it costs them between $50,000 and $80,000 to do one first print run of a new picture book - so they have a very substantial investment in you when they take on your manuscript and agree to publish it.  That's probably one of the reasons it's so hard to get picture book manuscripts accepted.  The publisher is truly taking a large risk on an unknown.
#2 - September 21, 2003, 09:32 PM
« Last Edit: September 21, 2003, 09:36 PM by Verla Kay »
Verla Kay

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