The question’s in the title. Just wondering who collects the check from the book sales.
Not sure, but at $8.00 for 516 pages, i can’t imagine that the profit margin is especially high.
The publisher is W.W. Norton & Company, and i guess that they will want to at least recoup their printing costs. I’m not sure how a publishing venture like this works. For example, did Norton bid for the contract? And did it get paid a flat fee, or does it get a cut of the sales?
By the way, in case you weren’t aware, the report is actually available for free download on the 9/11 Commision website.
I just did a search on the subject.
The Commission apparently gave the publisher early(exclusive) access to the report in exchange for a pledge of immediate large scale publication at a low cover price. Profits, if any, are to go to a yet to be selected charity.
I noticed that this publisher has apparently been printing quite a few government reports for many years; from the titles they are the kind of things that seem to have extremely limited commerical appeal.
Actually, the publishers stand to make a substantial profit on the 9/11 Commission report. There was an article in the New York Times about it (you can access it for $2.95 here).
Since the publisher doesn’t have to pay royalties (because it’s a government publication), they can make a bigger-than-usual profit. IIRC the cost per book was about $5 or $6. This was higher than usual because they had to get the book printed and shipped in only a few days (vs. 8-12 months for most books) and had to spend a lot on overnight shipping directly to book stores and so on. The Commission wanted the book to be available in bookstores at the same time it was released to Congress and the media.
However, at list price ($9 or $10), the profit per book was larger than it usually is. Some stores sold the book a bit below list price, but it was still profitable. As for where the profit went, I believe it went to the publisher. I’m not sure if they planned to donate a portion of the profit. Of course, the report was widely available for download on the day it was released. I got my copy from CNN.com, and there were many other sources.