Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Publishing Services and Costs

What is a hybrid publisher? Our company 3L Publishing ( is a hybrid publisher. Hybrid (means combines both) publishing takes traditional publishing and crosses it with self-publishing.

What does this mean? You get everything a traditional publisher provides (editorial, graphics, and book distribution, which many of those services are not available to individuals ... for example, our printer who provides competitive pricing does not work with individuals) at higher royalties. Royalties range from 35 percent to 100 percent (you sell it yourself). Now compare that to a traditional publisher that provides 8 to 10 percent.

Why are the royalties higher? Because the author (much like a self-publisher) pays to have the book created. The payment is a one-time fee. Higher royalties enable the author to enjoy return on investment at a faster rate and become profitable AND be the one who enjoys the profit if the book becomes a best-seller.

What is the average cost to publish a book? Contrary to some belief that 3L Publishing might cost "big bucks," we are not expensive comparatively speaking. Depending on the size of the book and the writing needs, we are extremely economical without positioning ourselves as the least expensive.

Comparatively speaking, our average cost of an entire book with editorial, graphics, production and distribution ranges from $4,000 to $5,000 (and some projects are as low as $2,000). Ghost writing can increase because you're hiring someone to write your book for you, and that takes a lot of time. These are also professional services. It would be akin to hiring a marketing or PR agency, which those hourly rates cost upward of $125 to $200 AN HOUR. Public relations agencies charge a baseline or what is called a retainer. Many of the regional ones won't even look at a client without a $2,000 a month retainer.

What do you get for that money (because that sounds like a lot)? The only way to give clients perspective on why 3L Publishing is such a great value is to break it down.

How much would it cost to hire a professional editor? Average cost of editorial services per a competitive price comparison: $75 to $100 an hour. Most books require about 20 to 40 hours to fully edit and clean up. A 150-page book to edit and clean up ... at least 30 hours. So let's do the math (at the minimum):

30 x $75 = $2250

How much would it require to hire a professional graphic artist? Most artists charge about $75 an hour (for the good ones). The average design and layout time for the average book is 25 hours (includes copy corrections):

25 x $75 = $1875

Now add upload to the printer, e-book conversion costs ($300 to $500), and you're now looking at $4000 to $5000.

What don't you have in this mix, that 3L has built and provided?
  • Amazon account management
  • Bookstore distribution
  • eBook accounts to sell (Nook, Kindle, Apple)
  • Book fulfillment services
  • Printer relationships
  • Credibility with the media under the 3L brand name
  • Reputation
  • Distribution potential into foreign markets
 This is the low side of a price quote if you tried to do it yourself. When I put these kind of numbers on self-publishing and all of the work involved, many writers decide they do not want to do it on their own. They don't want to fill orders. And reality is they CANNOT get individual author accounts set up with places like Apple or involved with our printer (that serves major publishers like Random House). Bookstore distribution becomes nearly impossible. They do not have a Foreign Rights agents, which we do.

It's a big bite to chew. But 3L Publishing has invested 6 years in building that foundation. What are the bonuses of working with 3L Publishing:
  • We produce award-winners (Second Bloom, Vengeance is Now, In the Footsteps of Greatness)
  • We decide who we publish and do not publish just ANYTHING. We screen every single manuscript
  • We create excellence in every product regardless
  • We're an international company
  • Potential to become an Amazon top seller and go to no. #1 on Kindle and print
Now to distill myths:
  • We don't cost "bucks" comparatively speaking. Many other hybrid cost at least $10,000. Please shop to compare.
  • We don't publish EVERYONE
We are more than happy to discuss all of these aspects with anyone interested in writing and marketing (general marketing for companies is also provided by 3L). For more information, call 916-300-8012 or send an email to 

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