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.

This entry was posted in News, RPGs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.