Serious book proposals (IV): production data
A publisher won’t be able to offer a contract unless they are able to produce an estimate of how much your book will cost to produce.
To do this, two pieces of information are essential:
- the extent of the book
- the number (and type) of figures.
Express the extent in terms of thousands of words. Avoid specifying an exact figure, such as ‘60,000 words’. You are highly unlikely to write that exact number: the chances are that you will go slightly under or over. But by failing to specify a range, you have opened up the possibility of a dispute with the publisher.
So specify a range – e.g., ‘57,500-62,500 words’.
State how many figures will be required. Figures can add to the production cost and make a publication commercially non-viable, so avoid including figures that would be merely decorative. Include only those that are functional.
Explain what type of figures is required. For example, black-and-white line diagrams or photographs.
Provide plenty of information including, where possible, examples.
Clarify who owns the rights to the figures.
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