Costing Out Success

Over on Sword’s Edge, I mentioned that I was eying crowd-funding as a way of addressing a couple of projects on which I am working. I gave some numbers in that post, but didn’t really offer how I came to those numbers. This does not relate to the perks, and

The shortest, cheapest project would be a modern, action short story tentatively titled “Boltcutter.” I put the amount needed for success at $500. The writing itself, at around 5 cents per word, would cost $350 (assuming around 7,000 words, which is a rather long piece of short fiction). For layout, I added 20% and rounded up, for $420. Then there are the fees required by the crowd-funding sources (almost certainly Indiegogo, unless Amazon Payments allows Kickstarter to begin embracing Canadian banks in the near future). I added on 10% for the various fees, which put the project at $462. Given that there will likely be unforeseen fees, I increased it to $500, a nice round figure.

The easiest to produce with a medium cost would be a new short story collection. This would include four new stories and one reprint (“A Dead Pound of Flesh,” published previously in Black Gate). I threw out $2,500 as a back of the envelope success point, but that might be too much. It depends on how I want to approach it. For the four new stories, I would want 5 cents per word, leading us to around $800 for those. The reprint, I would want 2.5 cents per word, for $125. Since I’m working with a budget, I’d hire an editor, which I’d like to pay 1 cent per word (not sure if that is a good rate or not) for $210. I’d like to commission a cover for it, so that’s $250. Then there is the layout, which is basic enough that I wouldn’t budget more than $250 for it. That totals $1,635.

Now, that’s just getting the book done. Since one of the perks is a print copy, I need to factor in print costs. I’d need around 250 to 300 backers to get this funded, and most of those I would expect would want a print copy if the perk is reasonable. A print run of 200 would likely cost me around $1,000 (based on previous print runs), and then there is the shipping and handling, which would likely cost me another $1,000, so it looks like my initial estimate was way wrong.

Including print costs, the total would be $3,635. Add in the website fees of 10% for $3,998.5 or $4,000.

That short story collection not looking so cheap now.

Next post, I’ll show you the math for Centurion: Legionaries of Rome RPG, which is even more developed than these, and which costs out at $8,000 including a print run of hardcovers or $6550 without hardcovers.

You can find my post on Sword’s Edge here.

You can find Indiegogo here.

You can find Black Gate here.

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