What It Costs to Run a Press

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In solidarity with The Atlas Review after their recent announcement that they will be unable to open for chapbook submissions due to financial hardship, we at Skull + Wind Press have decided to make it clear just how much it costs to publish a book and run a press by sharing our projected 2020 budget with you. We feel like this perspective is valuable enough that the transparency and indeed vulnerability of sharing these numbers feels well worth it.

Now keep in mind S+W will be publishing two full-length collections and two chapbooks — TAR publishes six immaculate chapbooks a year so in many areas their costs are likely higher than ours. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the costs below are projected costs. Even if (and it is very likely) it is impossible for our publisher to be compensated, our costs will almost certainly be much more than this to actually get us through our first year.

Skull + Wind 2020 Budget Overview

Business and Editorial — $12,358.00
Production — $6,290.00
Marketing and Publicity — $5,633.00
Total 2020 Budget — $24,281.00

2020 Editorial/Business Expense Budget

Business Expenses
Website (Squarespace) — $312.00
Email (gmail business account) — $120.00
Accountant — $400.00
Bank Fees — $156.00
Unforeseen business expense cushion — $1,000.00

Membership fees
CLMP — $50.00
Fractured Atlas — $240.00

Editorial Costs
Freelance copy editor (Spanish; 1 hour) — $80.00
Publisher salary — $10,000.00*
Total 2020 Edit./Business Expenses Budget — $12,278.00

* Note: Should our budget be tight this is the first thing to go

2020 Production Budget

Design
Covers (4 at $1000) — $4,000.00
Interiors (4; pro-bono) — $0.00

Printing
Full-length cost (2 sets of 50 author copies) — $324.00
Full-length cost (2 sets of 50 press copies) — $324.00
Chapbook Cost (2 sets of 50 author copies) — $281.00
Chapbook cost (2 sets of 50 press copies ) — $281.00
Shipping from printer — $140.00
Printer fees — $300.00
ISBNs (10) — $300.00
Copyright — $340.00

Total 2020 Production Budget — $6,290.00

2020 Marketing & Publicity Budget

Optional expenses
Press Launch — $400.00
Book Launches (4) — $800.00
Review copies — $648.00

Prize submissions
National Book Award ($135*2) — $270.00
Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards Contest ($70*2) — $140.00
For at-present unknown prizes — $200.00

Shipping supplies and equipment
Office Printer — $250.00
Bubble Mailers — $50.00
Labels — $50.00
Postage (400 at appr.. $5/each) — $2,000.00

Conference (this is in an ideal world)
AWP/registration/table (shared) — $325.00
Totes (100) — $500.00

Total 2020 M&P budget — $5,633.00

If you would like to support TAR head to their bookstore here to purchase a chapbook or two. Yes, our publisher has a book coming out from TAR, but if you are a supporter of S+W Joey De Jesus’ Noct might be the way to go.

We believe it is the responsibility of any good member of the publishing community to support others and that that kindness and support will come back to you. Also TAR just puts out some damn good books that everyone should read. Here’s to poetry big and small. Let’s help them continue to do the work they do so well.

Trevor Ketner