Thanks to my agent-stalking-on-Twitter hobby, I found a great blog on Book Cost Analysis.
The overall purpose of the article is to compare the publishing model of today to the new one being ushered in by Amazon's Kindle. There's a lengthy list chock-full of details I haven't even begun to think about like book returns, printing, and marketing. Of course, my curiosity peaks when hitting the author-related sections. The percentages and figures are mind-boggling -- who knew only 1 of 3 paperbacks sells?
If you've ever wanted to know the costs associated with producing and selling a physical book, this is the link for you.
The author summarizes their findings at the end:
"My main closing thought is that Kindle Edition books and Kindle DTP are going to destroy the current model of publishing. In the ruins of the old model there will be a huge number of opportunities (such as selling customizable book covers and cover design services). Amazon and the Kindle will basically replace the publisher-distributor-retailer trifecta."