Tidbits of interest to writers from around the ‘net.

ETA: Here’s a fascinating article from the NYTs on what we are all wondering: how much it actually costs to produce a book

But publishers also say consumers exaggerate the savings and have developed unrealistic expectations about how low the prices of e-books can go. Yes, they say, printing costs may vanish, but a raft of expenses that apply to all books, like overhead, marketing and royalties, are still in effect.

And this is where the rubber meets the road:

Let’s not forget the author, who is generally paid a 15 percent royalty on the hardcover price, which on a $26 book works out to $3.90. For big best-selling authors — and even occasionally first-time writers whose publishers have taken a risk — the author’s advance may be so large that the author effectively gets a higher slice of the gross revenue. Publishers generally assume they will write off a portion of many authors’ advances because they are not earned back in sales.

Without accounting for such write-offs, the publisher is left with $4.05, out of which it must pay overhead for editors, cover art designers, office space and electricity before taking a profit.

Making social media work for authors is the latest marketing frontier.  Jesse Stanchak’s post 5 tips for promoting your book with social media offers some good points worth pondering, such as:. 

Use your social presence to support other promotions. Asher said he doesn’t see social media as a platform for driving direct sales so much as for building buzz and promoting events. The publishing business is changing, and part of that transformation may mean that Web events and nonbook merchandise may become a larger part of an author’s income, he noted.

Which brings me to our call to find a new contributor for WU.  Therese and I have been so pleased with the response so far.  Keep ‘em coming!

Excitement builds around the launch of Apple’s new iPad.  The Unoffical Apple Webblog has leaked a list of books that will be part of the initial launch.  The big news?  Many of these titles are priced $14.99.  Will Apple or Amazon be the winner in the e-book  battle?  Either way, this is good news for authors.

SWOON!  Patti Lupone (I luurve her!) is asking for help in finding a title for her upcoming book on the theatre.

“Dolls, I’ve been busy writing the story of my theatrical life and need your help to find a suitable and fabulous title. If your entry is selected you’ll win an autographed copy of the book, two tickets to my next Broadway show (or major show in a city near you), and I’ll congratulate you personally at the theater. Contest ends March 30, 2010. Important note: Travel and accommodations are not included. Good luck!”

Aw, crap.  Team USA just lost the gold medal in ice hockey.  Anyone else sad that the Olympics are over?  I’m not a sports nut by any stretch, but if it’s the Olympics, I’ll watch any random sport that happens to be on.  That includes curling, nordic combined, ski jumping and skeleton.  Good thing American Idol is starting again so I can keep my timewasting habits sharp. 

Write on, peeps!

Image by ideoda.

About Kathleen Bolton

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber.