A day that I have long dreaded has arrived – the day on which I have to work out just what it cost to make the translation of Eusebius of Caesarea’s, Gospel Problems and Solutions.
Why now? Well, it’s the end of the financial year. The company has been selling copies of the book for the last two years and, unless I want to pay tax on non-existent profits, I need to book the costs incurred in making the thing in the first place.
Trouble is, the payments went out in small lumps. There was twenty pounds here, and fifty pounds there, over quite a long period. I did keep track of a lot of it, initially, in a spreadsheet. But then I succumbed and stopped being so meticulous. Which meant, of course, that today I had to go back through emails looking for the ones where I said, “the cheque is on the way” and things like that.
Realistically I cannot hope to have covered them all. I know that there are more costs that I have been unable to find. But everything I have billed is certainly a real expenditure.
There are also costs connected with the Origen, Homilies on Ezekiel book, which still languishes unpublished but still cost a lot (I need to hire a typesetter and get it out there). These I have included, since they are part of the expense. But even so, I spent quite a bit more than I thought.
The bill for translating and reviewing and editing and transcribing is a little more than five thousand two hundred pounds; around $8,000 dollars. That, to put it mildly, is quite a sum. Revenues from sales, which exclude the physical cost of manufacture, have been only around 60% of that. The cost of manufacture and postage drives that revenue figure down further – I have not calculated quite how, since I charged for those costs separately. So it looks as if I will end up with a loss of around $4,000 on the project, assuming I don’t sell many more copies (which is likely).
I don’t complain, mind you! The costs came in, little by little, so I hardly noticed them. I can afford the loss, spread over four years as it was. And, heck, it’s not a huge sum, really! A foreign holiday would often cost more, and leave nothing behind.
The great positive is that the job is done! For a small sum, as most people count these things, a translation of this highly interesting work now exists. Once sales cease — there is still a trickle of these — I shall place the translation on the web, just as I promised. We shall all be the better for it.
And I will bring out the Origen book too. All the main costs are already paid, so why not?