Optimising digital publishing costs – and sales

Posted on Thursday 4th September 2014 3:34

Germaine Greer stated on Radio 4 that e-books ‘should cost pennies’1, but is this consumer ideal a realistic possibility?

Ms. Greer proffered that digital publishing doesn’t require the bulk of traditional publishing costs, perhaps unaware that printing accounts for 10-15% of book’s price2 or the wider costs of publishing operations, sales and marketing. However, the sentiment chimes with opinion that consumers think ebooks are overpriced3 – or do not appreciate the cost of production4.

But can publishers offer ebooks at a much lower cost?

If publishers fully streamline digital business operations, it is then possible to ascertain minimal running cost and therefore the lowest base cost on which to add sales profit.

Influential Software has, since 1993, helped publishers optimise the efficiency of business operations by automating the flow of sales data and reports, including commission owed to authors.

As well as guiding publishers in how to begin designing a Business Intelligence solution, selecting apt technology and evaluating returns, our consultancy identifies ways to improve existing BI estates.

Further, publishers’ BI solutions can be enhanced with predictive analytics technology, to boost sales by offering customers the products they want (see blog link, above).

To begin exploring how your publishing operations can be optimised, please get in touch.


1. Germaine Greer: e-books ‘should cost pennies’, The Bookseller, quoting from The Report, BBC R4.
2. Why do ebooks cost so much? The Telegraph and Michael Hyatt.
3. Buying Digital Content Report, Voxburner
4. ‘The author still needs to be paid, there are still production costs, promotion costs,” Elizabeth Weiss, Head of Digital Publishing, Allen and Unwin, The Age