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What does a budget look like for a book?

 
master steward
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I'm hoping to have my kickstarter for publishing a book in about a month.  It's my first kickstarter, so I want to make sure I get this right?

Looking around kickstarter, some people only ask for a couple hundred dollars, others want $20,000 or more.  How much they ask for doesn't seem to relate to the type of book they are making.  Some people post a budget of where the funds will go, others don't.  My tentative budget is on the high side of the average.  So it's hard to tell if I'm on the right track.

These are the things I'm thinking about and I'm wondering if I'm missing anything out.

printing
packaging to send out the books
professional editing (worth ever cent!)
professional formatting (This is way more complicated than I thought - so glad I found someone skilled enough to do this right! my attempted looked really unprofessional)
professional illustrations (which are gorgeous by the way)
professional cover
kickstarter rewards
promotional material to help sell the book once it's launched
10% for kickstarter and other fees???
10% unexpected expenses

My biggest concern is unexpected expenses.  

I'm also wondering about kickbacks.  I notice Paul uses these in his kickstarter so if someone else promotes his kickstarter, they get 20% back on any business they bring in.  Sounds complicated to keep track of.

Then the cost of mailing out the stuff.  On Kickstarter, sometimes it charges shipping for rewards, sometimes not.  

I feel like I'm missing something really vital from my budget.  
 
pollinator
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I don't know if you want to do this, but you may want to add in some travel costs and/or selling supplies(tables, cashbox, signage, etc.), if you want to sell physical copies at something like a launch party, or bookstore/library signing - if you think something like that would work for you.

I look forward to the launch - your posts here are always well considered, and well written!
 
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I'd make unexpected expenses 20% instead of 10%
and you should have a miscellaneous category for anything you find you need you didn't think of. I'd make that 10 to 15 percent.
 
steward
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r, those offering "free postage in these countries" followed by a list, have folded the cost of what they calculated would be their shipping costs into the price of the item, usually based on the numbers they figure to put out.
I prefer others, that say "it's gonna cost this, and shipping is this additional amount" for things with weight to them like a book or something. A DVD has a nominal shipping and packaging cost, so a book either needs to have that calculated in or put as an additional cost when pledging.
If someone complains about it, they can go shop at the local chain store, because that is what they are going for there.
 
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Not sure if you're thinking of hiring out the kickstarter video creation but that might be another budget item.

r ranson wrote:I'm also wondering about kickbacks.  I notice Paul uses these in his kickstarter so if someone else promotes his kickstarter, they get 20% back on any business they bring in.  Sounds complicated to keep track of.



My understanding is that Paul just has a dashboard in kickstarter that allows him to create a bunch of links and name them whatever he wants. For example, for the rocket ovens kickstarter Paul gave me three links and they all have my name attached to them. Kickstarter automatically tracks how much money each one of those links brings in, so at the end all Paul has to do is go down the list and paypal each person the money that the links with their name brought in. It takes a bit of time but I don't imagine it to be too complicated.

r ranson wrote:Then the cost of mailing out the stuff.  On Kickstarter, sometimes it charges shipping for rewards, sometimes not.  



My understanding is that as the creator you can choose whether to list shipping prices separately or roll it into the reward amounts. I think it can be helpful to put shipping separate and charge a flat fee based on shipping destination. Or you give a sweet shipping deal to people far away and make everyone else pay for it. Tough call but either way it's probably fine.

Otherwise I think you've got a great budget set up. I don't think you've got anything big missing. And if you find out that you do please send me an email because that means it's missing on the list for my book project too...
 
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ISBN - if you're going to purchase one for your book, and if you're putting it out in eBook form as well you need a separate ISBN for each eBook format (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc) in addition to one for the printed version. Same for eBook formatting--each company has their own formatting guidelines.

You might need/want to purchase a bar code. Last time I bought one the price was $25.

Depending on who you use for printing there could be set-up fees, and you may need to pay for a proof copy.

Revisions - if you find an error after you've already approved the print based on the proof copy, there may be an additional charge for that.

Are you going to have an advertising budget? Or is that included in promotional materials? Are you going to do a book trailer video?

Kickstarter seems to have a set shipping rate within the US of $5. That could include shipping materials, but it will depend on the weight of the book and which shipping option you choose. Media Mail costs less, but it also takes a lot longer for the packages to arrive. Do you want to ship in bubble mailer envelopes, boxes, flats that fold up into boxes? Once you have that decided you can look into price points for your materials. Remember to weigh a ready-to-mail package to determine shipping cost per book (if you know about what size and weight the book will be, you can use a similar book rather than wait for a copy of yours). If you're shipping a bunch at once, you might be better off using UPS or FedEx than USPS, so be sure to check out bulk rates.

Don't know if this is something you're thinking about but, if you want to enter your book in any literary competitions, there are usually entrance fees and those vary.

Also, if you're thinking of publishing more than one book, you might want to create your own publishing company and have a logo designed for it. This is optional but worth considering.

 
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