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Pricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)

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Dan RollinsPricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)
by on Jun 18, 2012 at 5:33:10 pm

Good day, I have a small business owner I am working with and we just produced a 40min "how-to" style video that he will sell via his website. We didn't approach this to create a DVD, rather several short videos for his youtube channel. But when I edited them all together and discovered it could be a 40min piece I convinced him to take advantage of that for his site.

I avoid DVD authoring like the plague, 99% of my corporate work is for the inter/intranet. So, any suggestions out there as to how to price the DVD authoring piece?

Background: I have already been paid for the creation of the video. So this is a new "project". He is a small business owner with a limited budget, this is outside of the budget but he still wants a quote and I think he will find the money to make it happen.

Here is the meat & potatoes of my question. Should I take into consideration the fact that he will be selling this DVD? Do I factor in a "profit share", etc. Or.. do I just charge the rate based on the time I think it will take me and leave it at that?

By the way.. this will not be a hot seller as it will be a video for a pretty niche market (How to repair and care for your Djembe (african hand drum).

This could open up a slightly new market for me so I would love to hear what/how others have priced something like this.

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Videographer (T2i & 7D shooter) - FCP 7.0.3 (Studio 3) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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Tom SeftonRe: Pricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 7:56:15 am

Hi Dan,

We've had this same problem a few times. I'd suggest giving your client a dual proposal based on you creating the DVD and having no claim to future profits, and another where you reduce your rate but have some percentage.

However...tread carefully with a small seller and a niche market for something that you are going to have to put a lot of work into. How are you going to monitor his sales and ensure you get your cut?

Each time we have done this; admittedly to similar business niche markets as yours, we have decided to just charge for creating the DVD. First off, you need to chat with your client and find out what his aspirations are for the DVD (does it need looped videos for the menus, bespoke animations, animated thumbnails, extras within menus, easter eggs, subtitles, menu pages designing etc...). Each of these will take you time and increase your invoice. I'd figure out a charge per hour, and per day for designing the menu pages and working in your authoring program and go from there.

Don't forget to factor in a charge for rendering all of the material to the correct codecs for the DVD. Then plenty of time back and forth with him until he is happy with it.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Pricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 10:45:07 pm

Forget about profit-sharing; bill this as one-and-done, let the other guy worry about selling it and making a profit. What you want is not a marginal trickle of nickle-and-dime royalties, from this how-to video, but his repeat business to produce NEW how-to programs, on a regular basis.


So, bill the authoring job like it was an editing job, time and materials times your day rate, and any markup you forgot to add. Simple. Anybody who pitches you to take a lower rate in exchange for profit participation on a project like this is just conning you, IMO. The margins are too low for anybody else to profit after the client does.


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Bill DavisRe: Pricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 11:49:51 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Anybody who pitches you to take a lower rate in exchange for profit participation on a project like this is just conning you, IMO. The margins are too low for anybody else to profit after the client does."

The ultimate test for this is when someone pitches you on the idea of discounting the first job deeply in return for the promise to pay you full rate from that on - tell them you'll happily give them an even BIGGER discount on the second job if they simply pay my full price for the first one.

So far, I've never had anyone bite on this.

Wonder why?

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Chris TompkinsRe: Pricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:10:04 pm

Mark summed it up best +1 there.

Charge for the work of creating the disc. You got paid for editing (and shooting?) for the project already.

Bill hourly in the edit suite.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Dan RollinsRe: Pricing for DVD authoring (DVD that goes to market)
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:14:17 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies, makes total sense. And the thought of tracking royalties gives me a headache. This could lead to more projects like this and if I enter a non-niche world and produce something that could be a hot seller I will rethink a profit-share type of a deal.

Thanks again!

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Filmmaker (T2i & T3i shooter) - Adobe CS5.5 (and sometimes FCP 7) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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