Packages can be deceptive

Those familiar with the way4772680734_3ab815e07a_z CinnamonTeal Publishing operates know that it is loathe to offer self-publishing packages. We have always believed that packages skew the transaction in favour of the seller often leaving the buyer with products or services that he or she has no need for. With menu-based services, there is more transparency as the buyer knows what he or she is paying for.

We therefore offer services a la carte, or off the menu. And we believe that we are still cheaper.

Let me illustrate this with a true example. We recently received a manuscript of 74 pages (of text with no images or graphical elements such as tables) in the A4 format.

a. Since we insist on a round of copy-editing, for which we charge Rs. 120 per page, the cost of editing to the customer = 120 x 74 = Rs. 8,880/-

b. The cover for the book is then designed at a cost of Rs. 6500/-

c. The text in a 5.83 x 8.27″ (A5) format filled in 160 pages. Page design at the rate of Rs. 35 per page cost = 160 x 35 = Rs. 5,600/-

d. Printing one copy cost Rs. 147.10. Five copies for submission to the National Libraries (as required by ISBN allocation guidelines) cost Rs. 735.50.

For these specifications, the cost of printing 100 copies will be 101.90 x 100 = 10190/-

The total cost of publishing and printing 100 copies will therefore be 31,170/-. We charge for shipping the printed books too, so assume a final cost of Rs. 32,000/-

At this point, your book is published. In addition, if the service is requested, we charge Rs. 3000/- for pan-India online distribution and Rs. 9000/- for international distribution. That would total to Rs. 12,000/- for both. Add it to the earlier costs and the total cost adds up to Rs. 44,000/-

To see how these costs compared with the competition, almost all of who offer packages, we compared it to the prices of various packages on offer. Because many self-publishing service providers in India offer packages that offer some services and do not offer some others, we compared this final cost to packages that provided the following features (our goal here was to compare the package-based model with the a la carte model we offer:

a. Copy-editing
b. Cover design
c. Page design
d. ISBN allocation
e. Free copies (at least 5 so the author can submit the copies mandated by the ISBN guidelines if the service provider didn’t)
f. Pan-India online distribution
g. International online-distribution

Since these services were alone enough to get the book out the door and in the hands of people, we ignored the packages that did not include these services, even if they were cheaper and included other bells and whistles.

So here is what we found:

Provider Package Name Cost
Notion Press Silver (since no package included editing, we chose the cheapest one) 24,990 + Rs.0.60 per word x 40000 (for editing) + Rs. 6000 (for international distribution)
= Rs. 54,990.00
Partridge Publishing Topaz (since no package included editing, we chose the one that offered 5 free copies) 50,000 + Rs.1.11 per word x 40000 (for editing)
= Rs. 94,400/-
Become Shakespeare Basic (since no package included editing, we chose the cheapest one) 24,990 + Rs.1 per word x 40000 (for editing)
= Rs. 64,990/-

As indicated above, it became rather difficult to compare packages especially since most service providers do not place much emphasis on the need to have an edited book. However, we do and we feel that the buyer deserves value for money and an edited book provides such value. Nonetheless, we remain committed to providing services a la carte and let the customer choose.

Update:

Since we are on the topic of costs, we thought we would provide you with a few more examples. These are based on actual manuscripts that we have published as books. Before comparing with other service providers, please note that the services provided also match.

A) Manuscript Submitted: A4, 160 pages

Costs:

Copy Editing @ Rs. 85 per page = 19,200.00

The text corresponded to 208 pages in the A5 format. Hence:

Typesetting @ Rs. 35 per page: 7,280.00

Cover Design: Rs. 6,500.00

Ebook conversion into 3 formats (@ 25 per page for the 1st format + Rs. 2000 for each subsequent format):  Rs. 9,200.00

Printing of 100 books @ Rs. 127.82 per book: Rs. 12782.00

Online distribution of printed copies (within India): Rs. 3000.00

The total cost of publishing (including copy editing and printing 100 copies), developing Ebooks in the PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats, with distribution of printed copies in India: Rs. 57,962.00

 

B) Manuscript Submitted: A4, 144 pages

Costs:

Substantive Editing @ Rs. 165 per page = 23,760.00

Due to the presence of illustrations in the book, the total page count of the book was 312 pages in the A5 format. Hence:

Typesetting @ Rs. 50 per page (for books with illustrations and other graphic elements): 15,600.00

Cover Design: Rs. 6,500.00

Ebook conversion into 3 formats (@ 50 per page for the 1st format + Rs. 2000 for each subsequent format):  Rs. 19,600.00

11 illustrations @ Rs. 600.00 per illustration (this charge varies with the type of illustration needed): Rs. 6,600.00

Printing of 100 books @ Rs. 183.98 per book: Rs. 18,398.00

Online distribution of printed copies (within India): Rs. 3000.00

The total cost of publishing, printing 100 copies, and developing Ebooks in the PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats (with substantive editing and illustrations), with distribution of printed copies in India: Rs. 86,858.00

 

C) Manuscript Submitted: A4, 50 pages

Costs:

Substantive Editing @ Rs. 165 per page = 8,250.00

Due to the presence of illustrations in the book, the total page count of the book was 118 pages in the A5 format. Hence:

Typesetting @ Rs. 50 per page (for books with illustrations and other graphic elements): 5,900.00

Cover Design: Rs. 6,500.00

Ebook conversion into 3 formats (@ 50 per page for the 1st format + Rs. 2000 for each subsequent format):  Rs. 9,900.00

7 illustrations @ Rs. 1200.00 per illustration (this charge varies with the type of illustration needed): Rs. 8400.00

Printing of 100 books @ Rs. 101.46 per book: Rs. 10,146.00

Online distribution of printed copies (within India): Rs. 3000.00

The total cost of publishing, printing 100 copies, and developing Ebooks in the PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats (with substantive editing and illustrations), with distribution of printed copies in India: Rs. 43,696.00

The low costs aside, when compared to other service providers,

 

 

Image: Marc Falardeau

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