How much do books cost to produce?

A terrific article in today’s New York Times shows a cost analysis of producing paper books vs. e-books:

At a glance, it appears the e-book is more profitable. But publishers point out that e-books still represent a small sliver of total sales, from 3 to 5 percent. If e-book sales start to replace some hardcover sales, the publishers say, they will still have many of the fixed costs associated with print editions, like warehouse space, but they will be spread among fewer print copies.

Moreover, in the current print model, publishers can recoup many of their costs, and start to make higher profits, on paperback editions. If publishers start a new e-book’s life at a price similar to that of a paperback book, and reduce the price later, it may be more difficult to cover costs and support new authors.

1 reply
  1. PackingPadre
    PackingPadre says:


    As we have discussed previously, I love the texture of the paper, the faint smell of the ink and the stout cover of a hardback book.

    However, I know a woman with severe rheumatoid arthritis that has hit her finger joints hard. A voracious reader, she finds the Kindle a God send as it is lighter and easier for her to manage than a book. And she said it is ever so much easier to read in bed or on a plane than juggling a laptop, which also contains in it the temptation to work.


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