A Short Rant on Digital Distribution Costs

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June 2012
by Fran Toolan

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You’ve probably heard some version of “digital distribution doesn’t cost anything.” And you’ve probably heard it more than once. I know I have, and every time I hear it, I want to shout that it’s not true.

Anyone who thinks that digital distribution costs are zero has never done digital distribution.

The costs are different than the costs of physical distribution, but they most certainly exist. Think about servers. And storage. And bandwidth. And staff. Then think about customer support, which is the largest cost by far, and never stops.

Developing a digital distribution infrastructure is much more complicated than most people realize. Among other things, it involves managing relationships with different booksellers, each of which has its own contractual terms, its own discount rates, its own price and availability requirements, its own format requirements, and its own rights restrictions.

All that, of course, involves creating and managing sizable quantities of metadata….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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