And how much would it cost?
“Depends, but most likely in the neighborhood of $500 to $1200. Don’t worry, the publisher will front the cost and take it out of your royalties.”
And that got us started discussing “author costs” – about which most writers are blissfully unaware. So let’s talk about those for a minute.
Yes, the index is, believe it or not, the author’s responsibility. You can hire a professional indexer or DIY (but it’s specialized and tedious work, so I wouldn’t recommend it).
In addition to that, it’s the author’s responsibility to pay for:
Permissions to quote poety and song lyrics. This can be prohibitively expensive, especially songs, so if you’re writing a novel of 50 chapters and planning to place a song lyric at the top of each one, you’re probably going to want to scrap that plan. You may not even think it’s worth it to pay for permission to quote one song lyric in your book. Costs vary so I can’t give you a quote but usually at least a couple hundred dollars for a line or two from a song.
Photos: All photos must have permissions, and the photographer may want to charge for the use.
Artwork: If you have any kind of art, including line drawings, charts or graphs, you’ll need to pay any associated costs. (This doesn’t apply to children’s picture books, which deals are structured differently.)
Cartoons: These can be pricey, but some people like to use them in non-fiction books to underscore a point.
Basically, if there is anything in your book that you did not create, it’s up to you to procure legal permission to use it and pay any associated costs. Kind of a nice thing to know in advance, huh?
Later I will do a more extensive post on permissions in general – this barely scratches the surface! There are many things you can use without permission; additionally, there are many things that require permission but don’t require payment. Let me know if you have questions so I’ll be sure to address them.
P.S. I’ve already answered a lot of questions in the comments.
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