Anthology Cost Estimate
The following figures represent the projected cost estimates for a volume of Darwin’s Evolutions with an estimated word count of 120,000.
These numbers may not represent the actual costs incurred at final production. Final cost information and revenues post-release will be shared privately with contributors only.
Stories (12 stories at $50 per story): $600
Illustrations (12 story illustrations at $50 per illustration): $600
Cover art (1 cover art piece at $100): $100
Monthly web hosting cost (12 months at $15 per month): $180
Content editing ($35 per 10,000): $420
Copy editing ($25 per 10,000): $300
Story layout ($25 per 10,000): $300
General office overhead (0.5 hour per story and piece of art at $35 per hour): $420
Current total estimated break even line: $2920
Total number of shares to divide any profit beyond the break even point: 28
- The rates for copyediting, content editing, and layout are based on some research I’ve done with other folks. The rates shown are severely discounted compared to the going professional rates.
- Time increments for editing, layout, and office overhead are estimates that are probably low and overly generous.
- The “break even line” verbiage is a marker for “this is what would make it worthwhile to do another anthology” as well as “all the money that comes in after this goes back out according to the shares.” Starting out, there’s almost no way we’ll hit that line in a reasonable time frame. The goal is to stick things out until DE’s rep grows enough to garner repeat sales and word-of-mouth growth. When that happens, due to the joy of instantly available back issues via e-books, the sales of earlier volumes will naturally grow as well. The challenge is gritting down and toughing out the lead-in time when sales are squeaky at best and to keep doing a professional job regardless of how little you initially sell.
- The reason the advertising budget gets a question mark is that I’m unsure of how much I’ll be able to budget for it and what the most effective mode of advertising will be. This is a question that will probably be best served via crowd-sourcing an answer with the contributors.
- As you can see from the calculations above, the lower the story count, the lower the bar becomes for the royalties. I just roughed the maximum story count at 12 pieces each 10000 words long for a “worst case” cost estimate. The actual costs for stories, art, and effort may be much lower for each issue. That’s good for everyone, but I’m not counting on getting three or four novellas per issue.
- Actual word count for each DE antho will be between 90k and 120k depending on story stock.