Originally Posted by miketo
Yes in the case of self-published e-books, but not correct with respect to traditional publishers who put out e-books. Trad houses still edit, layout pages, and market materials; those costs don't disappear because the end product is electrons rather than dead trees.
If a writer chooses to go the self-pub route
and do the above tasks at home, that's fine -- but there is still a cost associated with those tasks in terms of time spent doing them. Those costs, as any writer will tell you, are non-trivial and are in addition to the IP value assigned to the work.
I'm not here to champion traditional publishing over self-publishing as there's much not to like about trad publishing (and more building up on the negative side of the scale all the time). As an author, my hackles go up when people say that "E-books have no costs!" That's just not the case, whether the business is run at home or on Fleet Street.
I am not an expert by any stretch but my brother's research
is showing that the cost to publish for an eBook is about 1/10 of a traditional paper book. The paper book houses are also asking him to guarantee a production run of 40,000 copies or eat their costs. The paper guys are also offering a significantly lower piece of the cover price
- partially for the binding and paper I am sure but the total difference is not explained. Part of it is the marketing
, editing assistance etc but those would seem to be one time up-front costs rather than recurring costs.
There will also be a couple of guys selling film and there will always be a couple of houses printing paper but like the buggy whip i is easy to see certain things are going the way of the dodo bird. No need for us to be sad, it's just progress...