Current fees and costs

Bilharzia

Fish Priest
Thanks a lot for your advices!
Just a couple of additional questions:
  • do you think the layout/background of the page is smtg important or a detail which can be skipped?
  • what are stock artworks? Apologies this is an unexplored field... Do you mean that there are websites where i can buy fantasy images? But once i use them, i can find the same images also in other books?
  • re to the proofreading (which i do not consider to be only this as "editing"), is it better to go with someone non-pro but expert in rpgs or a pro (who doesn't necessarily know about rpgs)? ...pls do not reply me that a pro in the rpg market is the best option...
Outside of actually writing the thing, I put layout above all other parts of the production including editing and proofreading. Not to say editing and proofreading are not important, but layout is more important.

Stock artwork can be used depending on the licence - but usually (not always) once bought they can be used unlimited times anywhere you like, but you have to check the licence each time you buy stock. Yes, this does mean you might see the same artwork used in different books. You can find stock art on Drivethrurpg, as an example.
 

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Dioltach

Legend
Thanks a lot for your advices!
Just a couple of additional questions:
  • do you think the layout/background of the page is smtg important or a detail which can be skipped?
  • what are stock artworks? Apologies this is an unexplored field... Do you mean that there are websites where i can buy fantasy images? But once i use them, i can find the same images also in other books?
  • re to the proofreading (which i do not consider to be only this as "editing"), is it better to go with someone non-pro but expert in rpgs or a pro (who doesn't necessarily know about rpgs)? ...pls do not reply me that a pro in the rpg market is the best option...

A last comment (it is not a proper question): even the definition of "editing" is not clear to me, afaik there are two moments for the editing: the first one is when you organize the structure of your book, meaning the correct sequence of the topics and the way these will be written. Then there is a second editing, which is the revision of the contents, the proofread, the layout of the pages and the final definition of the structure of the book (which might differ from the one originally conceived). Is that all these things editing, or am i including too many activities within the word "editing"?
"Editor" means a lot of different things. In book publishing, it can mean someone who decides what gets published and in what form (a "publishing editor", if I've got my terminology right), or someone who reviews the text for logic, consistency and style (a "copy editor"). Proofreading is supposedly the very final stage before printing, and I've worked with copy editors who don't consider anything below the level of sentence structure to be their job, but personally I include proofreading in the copy-editing stage.

As for a professional proofreader (or copy editor) vs RPG insider: go with the professional. A good professional will scrutinise the text more closely than any amateur ever will, and do their utmost to make the text easy to read and understand. If anything is unclear they will add a question or comment, and follow up to make sure that it's sorted out. It can actually help sometimes to get an outsider's perspective.

As an editor, I'll say that the text is more important than the layout - you can always read up on some basic principles and then play around with margins, fonts and so on to find a design that you find visually pleasing. But a layout professional will probably disagree. Whatever you do, make sure that every single page looks just as you want it - never assume that the software will do the work for you.
 

cavetroll

Explorer
I would like to have an idea of the actual costs I would need to face if I want to produce a "professional" product.
The assumption is a new rulebook of approx 200 pages.
To my knowledge the costs are:
1. Proofreading (the assumption is 200 A5 pages)
2. Editing (meaning the production of the final layout of the book, including fonts, background images for the interior pages)
3. Artwork for the cover (1 color piece of art)
4. Artworks for the interior (assuming one piece of art every 4 pages, we have 50 b/w pieces of art)
5. Maps (i assume 4 maps to be realized)
6. Final editing for a digital edition (tranformation in a pdf)
I assume no publishing costs as the solution would be Lulu, Drivetru or Amazon...

What would be your estimation for each lineitem and then the total cost?

Thanks
I can only speak to what I have spent to give you an idea; mine is a rulebook aiming for 200 pages.
1. Proofreading will be last. I will spend $100 to double-check before the final print.
2. I will hire an editor, it will be $300 or so, to do editing. BUT and a big BUT, there was no way I would turn over a word document to someone to layout my book. The layout is absolutely everything, so I am doing it myself in Affinity Publisher.
Fonts I spend around $400. There are various art pieces explicitly used for the layout, maybe $300.
3. Cover art was $3500 plus $400 for the cover fonts.
4. Interior art is somewhere from $25,000 to $30,000. I haven't totaled it, because I don't want to look at the total yet
5. Maps around $600 though it might be up to $1000 by the end.
6. PDF is just an export function for Affinity
7. I will publish on Lulu too.
8. Marketing is going to total around $3000.
9. Playtesting/consulting feedback is probably $1000.
10. Professional writers $5000.

The total budget is around $45,000.

I hope I sell some when it is finished.
But this is for my pleasure. I am having so much fun, it's hard to describe.
And I'm doing my best to put together a product people can genuinely enjoy.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Thanks a lot for your advices!
Just a couple of additional questions:
  • do you think the layout/background of the page is smtg important or a detail which can be skipped?
  • what are stock artworks? Apologies this is an unexplored field... Do you mean that there are websites where i can buy fantasy images? But once i use them, i can find the same images also in other books?
  • re to the proofreading (which i do not consider to be only this as "editing"), is it better to go with someone non-pro but expert in rpgs or a pro (who doesn't necessarily know about rpgs)? ...pls do not reply me that a pro in the rpg market is the best option...

A last comment (it is not a proper question): even the definition of "editing" is not clear to me, afaik there are two moments for the editing: the first one is when you organize the structure of your book, meaning the correct sequence of the topics and the way these will be written. Then there is a second editing, which is the revision of the contents, the proofread, the layout of the pages and the final definition of the structure of the book (which might differ from the one originally conceived). Is that all these things editing, or am i including too many activities within the word "editing"?
Editing is the process of checking and revising the text, usually by an editor. It is not layout.
 

Dioltach

Legend
I can only speak to what I have spent to give you an idea; mine is a rulebook aiming for 200 pages.
1. Proofreading will be last. I will spend $100 to double-check before the final print.
2. I will hire an editor, it will be $300 or so, to do editing. BUT and a big BUT, there was no way I would turn over a word document to someone to layout my book. The layout is absolutely everything, so I am doing it myself in Affinity Publisher.
Fonts I spend around $400. There are various art pieces explicitly used for the layout, maybe $300.
3. Cover art was $3500 plus $400 for the cover fonts.
4. Interior art is somewhere from $25,000 to $30,000. I haven't totaled it, because I don't want to look at the total yet
5. Maps around $600 though it might be up to $1000 by the end.
6. PDF is just an export function for Affinity
7. I will publish on Lulu too.
8. Marketing is going to total around $3000.
9. Playtesting/consulting feedback is probably $1000.
10. Professional writers $5000.

The total budget is around $45,000.

I hope I sell some when it is finished.
But this is for my pleasure. I am having so much fun, it's hard to describe.
And I'm doing my best to put together a product people can genuinely enjoy.
So correct me if I'm wrong, but that's around $30,000-$35,000 for the book's appearance (art, maps and fonts) versus $6,400 for the actual substance (writing, editing/proofreading and playtesting).

I'm clearly in the wrong line of work.
 



cavetroll

Explorer
So correct me if I'm wrong, but that's around $30,000-$35,000 for the book's appearance (art, maps and fonts) versus $6,400 for the actual substance (writing, editing/proofreading and playtesting).

I'm clearly in the wrong line of work.
The writing I paid for, is the the writing that I didn't do, which is specific prose I subcontracted.

What I wrote, is worth at least $100,000 :)

The book has a lot of art, including some very high end pieces inside the Bestiary, so yeah the art adds up.
 
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cavetroll

Explorer
$300 for about 80K words is $0.00375 per word. Are you sure you meant $300?
I'm just guessing on that future cost, since it will be towards the end of the process. Could be a lot more, but will depend on which sections of the book I hand over. Doesn't make sense to have them do the Bestiary. Hopefully under $600.
Line editing and copy editing are not words I'm familiar with yet.
 

Dioltach

Legend
You can save on the proofreading phase - provided that you've had the text professionally edited - using the Read Aloud function in Word. Bear in mind that this only works if a professional editor or trained writer (i.e. someone who can spot a grammatical error without thinking) has already gone through the text with a fine-toothed comb (count on about 1 hour per 1000-1500 words).

With Read Aloud, it's vital that you actually listen and read along as the software goes through the text - word for word, every single word. It takes time (I usually allow for about an hour per 4000-6000 words), but if done properly you should catch 99% of any remaining mistakes.
 

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