So, you’ve finished writing your book and you’re thinking about self-publishing it. But you’re wondering… how much is it going to cost me?
If you’re artistically talented, you have good connections and you have the right software & tools, you could self-publish the book for almost nothing.
For example, when designing the book cover to “Amidst Traffic” — which by the way, it’s a rad cover if I say so myself — I was able to shoot the cover image with the help of a friend for free, and I laid out the design using Photoshop. All on my own, and it cost nothing.
I saved about $500 or more right there.
But the difference between me and the average self-published author is that I have several years of experience as a professional photographer and I’ve spent enough time using Photoshop and design software that I can produce a clean job that won’t get scoffed at.
Also, I had a friend copy-edit my book for about $200, a service that can cost anywhere from $500 and $3,000 depending on the editor’s experience and your book’s length.
Here’s a list of costs you can expect to put out a professional product:
Professional editing: $1,500 to $3,000
Don’t cheapen out on the editing. This will absolutely kill your book if you decide to play the head-in-the-sand game. I have years of experience in writing and I was educated at the University of Pittsburgh, and I still recognized the need of a quality editor.
Book cover: $250 to $1,000
75% of 300 booksellers surveyed said the look and design of the book cover is the most important component of choosing what to sell (Source: www.selfpublishingresources.com
). The book cover is like a business card or a hand-shake. It tells you almost nothing about the actual quality of the book’s interior, but if it’s bad, readers won’t even give it a chance.
ISBN Registration: $125 (for 1) to $250 (for 10)
Some publishing sites include an ISBN for free, but that means your book will be released under their imprint name. I always recommend spending the money and register your own publishing company with Bowker. You can purchase your ISBN through www.myidentifiers.com
Book layout & formatting: $150 to $350
Some sites help you set this up for free with templates, but if you have a book with a complicated layout requirement, or you want something a little artful, you might have to pay someone to set it up for you. Again, I laid out my own book’s pages for free using Adobe InDesign.
Book listing: $25 to $300
Websites such as CreateSpace
will charge a small fee to have your book made available by online and brick-and-mortar bookstores other than Amazon.com
Book printing: $5 to $20 per book depending on which self-publishing company you use and page count
Total: $1,925 to $4,650+ before printing a single book
And we haven’t spent a single dollar on advertising yet!
If you’re thinking of publishing a book on your own, definitely start planning now on some strategies that can help you save money. Seek out help from connections you have or take the time to learn software that can help you do a bulk of the production yourself. If you’re not too savvy with the production requirements, then it’s time to start saving some money.
What about you?
Are there some costs involved I might have missed? What have you done to save some of the costs required to self-publish a book?