How much does it cost to create a book? A New York Times article spells it out: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01ebooks.html?em
However, I quibble with the estimates of .78 per eBook and 1.00 for traditional book for marketing (in theory, you have to send out physical copies of the book for the latter which runs up the price). What are publishers getting for that money? Are they merely setting a budget and doing what they’ve always done, try to get magazines and newspapers (rapidly dwindling media) and Oprah (soon to move to cable and perhaps not even have her own show) to do the marketing for them?
Also, let’s talk overhead. New York book publishers have certainly cut back on lunches (as any author will tell you, these days you’re lucky if your editor invites you to the house cafeteria–ah, when Michael’s was the norm!), freebie books going out, and the like. But they’re also paying rents and taxes in NEW YORK CITY, a very expensive place. The more virtual it all gets–the fewer book designers, the fewer editors with office space in midtown–the more it’s hard for publishers to justify their overhead and cry poor.