The Cost of a Picture Book

Picture books

Probably 75 percent of my clients want picture books. Of that 75 percent, about 25 percent go the traditional route.

Yep, most don’t have the patience or grit to go the traditional route.

But, with the retail price of a traditionally published picture book being on the high side, authors may wonder why they only get a tiny fraction of it.

Well, to create and publish a picture book costs a lot.

Harold Underwood uses an imaginary book that costs $18 retail. Seems a good hefty price that will allow for a good royalty amount, right?

Uh, not so much.

Breaking down the costs involved in getting that book out to the world, it’s really not a good amount considering the wholesaler and bookseller get half of that.

Then take into account the publisher’s overhead, cost of printing and other incidentals, like the time involved in the project and all the ‘publishing’ people involved for that length of time. That $9 gets eaten away pretty quickly.

This is why there’s usually only about a 10 percent royalty set on the list price for the author and illustrator to split.

You’d be surprised at how little the publisher’s profits actually are.

To read more about why your book costs so much and you get so little, read:
Why Does A Hardcover Book Cost $18?

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