Creating P&Ls in Excel: Book products & digital subscriptions

Accurate, speedy forecasting and finance tracking.

Course overview 

In this course you will consider the purpose of a P&L from an editorial, production and marketing perspective and understand how it can be used as an accounting tool for estimating and forecasting, value engineering and financial control.

Step-by-step in Excel, you’ll be guided through the creation of two P&L templates for both a book product and a digital subscription service. Learn how to pull together the relevant product information to generate fixed and variable production costs, estimate the overall cost of sales and calculate the net receipts, gross profit margin and breakeven.

Course outcomes

  • Identify the data required to create a basic P&L and the publishing functions responsible for them
  • Build your knowledge of P&L outputs, from budgeting to forecasting
  • Evaluate a book’s financial viability across trade, academic and different formats
  • Understand the difference between a book product and digital subscription P&L
  • Learn to identify pitfalls of value engineering in different scenarios

Who is this course for?

  • Publishing professionals working in editorial, production and marketing who are hoping to improve the effectiveness of their P&Ls when informing their future business decisions.
  • Aspiring publishers who would like to gain insight into what goes into a P&L report, how to successfully budget and forecast for a project and how this varies across different publishing sectors.

Your Course Leader

Helena 1

Helena Markou is the Subject Coordinator for the MA Publishing (via distance learning) at Oxford Brookes University where she lectures in Production, Digital Product Development, Editorial, and Sales and Marketing. Within this, she teaches the costing, estimating and financial modelling of a wide range of published products and services.

Her professional career spans publishing, bookselling, and digital consultancy. As Publishing Innovation Manager at Blackwell she completed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership developing and launching the UK’s first custom textbook service to incorporate chapters from multiple copyright holders.  Prior to this she worked in International Sales at Taylor & Francis and was Head of New Business at Perini Networks.

Helena is based near Glasgow and is completing a PhD with University of Stirling on longselling trade nonfiction in the UK entitled The Shelf-Life of Books: An Exploration of the Lifecycle and Longevity of Books in the UK in the 21st Century (funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities).

If you would like any information about undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses in Publishing feel free to get in touch:

Follow Helena on Twitter @Helena_Markou

Connect with Helena on LinkedIn

Send Helena an email [email protected] 


Helena was the course leader and tutor for my MA in Publishing. Not only is she one of the most generous and intelligent people I’ve met, she has a broad working knowledge of a range of subjects. I was particularly impressed by her finance expertise. Helena was able to clearly communicate the intricacies of P&Ls, the profitably of different formats, and develop my understanding of the importance of finance from a marketing perspective.

Rachel May Quinn, MA Publishing Alumni & Freelance Marketing Consultant

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1 Course

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Course Includes

  • 7 Modules